Help! No Applications from Sitters

Hello all, we are new members and have recently posted our first sit in mid-May, but haven’t really had any interest. One person has saved our post and I’ve invited quite a few sitters to apply, but most have said they are already booked - and some just decline. Am I doing something wrong? How long does it usually take for a ‘newby’ to receive an application from a sitter?
This forum is very helpful, so thank you for that. Any suggestions you might be able to give us would be much appreciated!

Hi there, I took a look look for you. Here are my suggestions:

1: Great title, I wouldn’t change it!

2: Your profile picture should ideally complement your title and sell your sit. A random picture of stairs will do nothing to attract attention and stop sitters from scrolling straight past your listing. A lovely and attractive image of your pets would be a much better choice.

3: You have 32 pictures, which is too much and not many people will view each picture. Aim for 10 - 12 of your best pictures that really showcase your sit.

4: Your intro should really sell your sit and tell sitters exactly why they should sit for you. Your first sentence “Bob and I are both retired” does nothing for me. Instead, try something that really hooks readers, for example “do you want to explore the exciting bustle of Oregon, and peaceful days outside the city limits? Do you love cats? Then this is the sit for you! Hi, we’re (names), and were looking for a responsible sitter who can care for our 5 lovely and independent cats while having plenty of time to explore Oregon.”

Sitters don’t need to know much more than that from your intro, though I’d definitely keep the part where you mention the free shuttle, as that’s an added bonus for sitters!

Info about why you’re going away etc is unnecessary for sitters to know.

5: Home and location - not bad, just a little long winded and can be simplified. We don’t need to know about every single attraction on offer, every room in your home or that there 4 stairs with a hand rail. You can cut this all down and simplify.

6: Responsibilities - perfect, very well written - this is the ideal length for the rest of your sit descriptions.

It may also be helpful to remember that although you are retired, sitters reading your profile may not be, and the local activities you describe are rather directed at people in your age group & demographic. It may lead sitters to think you are only interested in hosting like-minded retirees, so consider if you are intending to give this impression or not, especially as you mention “stairs with handrails” etc. If you’re not intending to only accept retired sitters then maybe mention what’s interesting in Oregon or in your area for younger people.

Hope this helps!

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@DaisyDukes I agree that you need a good first photo to entice sitters to open your listing and read it properly. I understand why you have included the photo of the steps, as you also mention them in your listing, but they shouldn’t be the first photo.

There wasn’t a photo that stood out for me, but when I read your listing I noticed you said

“We have gorgeous sunsets! The lower portion of our property is full of trees and wildlife. Our farm borders the Santiam River and hiking along our private road to our river “camp” is peaceful and great exercise!”

Can you add some photos of a sunset, your river “camp” or the walk to it, or of wildlife? One of these might make a great cover photo!

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Good advice from Nagy. I agree on the photos…your first photo is of stairs, and your third a room full of Tiffany lamps, neither of which tells a sitter they’ll be comfortable. You need one good photo of each space where the sitter will be fixing food, eating, sleeping, relaxing (indoors and out), and bathing. All it needs to show us is that is it’s clean and uncluttered, we don’t need six photos of a room from every angle, that’s just confusing because we aren’t sure whether it’s a second room.

Hello @Jenny just happened again…even with a click on OP.
just fyi… (ongoing glitch)

It’s really no biggie for me, as this glitch does not inhibit
my own profiles. So…

I just don’t look beyond the broken link for the listing…



Welcome @DaisyDukes! You’ll get differing opinions as you’ve found out by reading the forum. For me, as a retiree, I like to read a little about the owners to see if we are likely to connect. I don’t want the introduction to be just about the home and pets as I’ll be reading about these in the next sections. If you are looking for like-minded people, or retirees, there is nothing wrong with saying that in your introduction. Believe it or not, but there are many retirees on THS so it is not a limited market!
I do agree that your choice of photos could be improved and there’s no need for so many.
All the best!

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I agree with other comments to keep your photos relevant. Showcase what is mostly important to sitters; bedroom they will use, bathroom, kitchen, living area, outdoor area.
It sounds like an easy sit but perhaps you’ve given it a slant toward older sitters (okay if that is what you want) so to attract a wider variety of sitter you could chirp it up sbit.
You live in a great location so highlight this; mention the serenity of living in the countryside while being well situated to explore the area. It’s an ideal (or great) location for those who enjoy the outdoors …. km from Oregon and within easy driving distance to the …. Coast and only 45 mins to walking tracks in….
It would be a great sit for anyone with independent transport, I’m just sorry I can’t apply. Good luck.

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I disagree with the bit you have written about the fact that the sitters are retired and why they are travelling is irrelevant . I myself as an older sitter who is semi retired am drawn to sits for older retirees knowing we can connect in a positive manner over commonalities of our life experiences given our similar age group Its fully human and to the home owner very personal piece of factual information they feel they’d like to share and should be respected and honoured by a prospective sitter Similarly if they wish to share where they are going and why this is wholly important of course at least to them and something a sitter can help to creatively support by being aware of the same

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Totally agree with you from one semi reitired oldie to another

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Cute sit, nice looking kitties @DaisyDukes - as others have mentioned, too many photos (one of each pet close up is fine) as is one of each room. Please don’t open with a pic of the stairs or potential sitters will never stop to find out more! A close up of a feline would be way better or a collage pic of the four of them would be nice. Less photos overall, sunset idea from @Debbie is also a nice one. Best of luck.

Personally I think you’re both right…it’s nice to have insight into who the HO’s are but I wouldn’t start that section off with “we’re retired”.

Having a welcome/inviting opening sentence though as @Nagy26 has described, then following up with a relatable bit about you doesn’t hurt at all. X

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Thanks for the info, I will be revising my post - don’t know how the stairs got moved to my intro picture, I had the picture of the outside of our house as the cover picture but somehow the stairs must have been moved to the cover, which I would not have done on purpose! It was just included to show people that they do need to navigate some stairs to the main living area. But really appreciate your candid response and I loved your intro paragraph, might use some of that! thanks again :slight_smile:

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great idea, thank you!

thank you! I wasn’t specifically trying to target older or retired sitters, just trying to explain who we were! Guess it doesn’t really matter to sitters, so will make some adjustments and can explain some of that once we get a sitter.
Thanks again!

What is this agism about that Home owners are not encouraged to simply speak the truth about the stage they are at in the journey of their life experiences
Retirement can be a wonderful stage of life when one is freed up from the obligations and expectations of the working life,free to follow their passions and tick items off their bucket list and hopefully having the wisdom and wherewithal to be making the most of life .Its a time to celebrate and trust me the retirees Ive worked for are by far some of the most fortunate and blessed and well off popele Ive come across who have the freedom and the means at their disposal to be living their best lives… Being retired IS NOT BORING at all only maybe to groovy young things caught up in illusions of glamour and an artificial notion of what it means to live an exciting eventful life …Keeping it real in posts is not boring at all and I for one will not be holding it agianst any homeowner who starts off thier post with “we are retired” …

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No worries, glad I could help! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I deleted the extra photos of each kitty, now it says 2 pics of each cat are required … so I’m having to add one back for each of them

Well that’s a first! Sorry have never heard THS ask for multiple photos of each pet before @DaisyDukes ……#everchangingwebsite :flushed:

Never once implied any of the above. Was simply pointing out that the sentence “Bob and I are retired.” is not a particularly strong opening line for an advert from a writing and marketing standpoint. A strong opening sentence should aim to hook sitters by stating what their sit is offering a sitter. If the owner would like to explain that they are retired later on in the intro paragraph and introduce themselves a bit, that’s great, and I’m sure very helpful for sitters.

Just trying to help and give some simple suggestions :woman_shrugging:t3::woman_shrugging:t3:

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thank you, appreciate your input!