Help Us Know Your Preferred On Sit Amenities

Hi Sitters!

The TrustedHousesitters product team are looking into ways to highlight the amenities of our listings.

What are the things which you look for in a listing? Do you need a space to work like a desk and high speed wifi? Or perhaps you like a bit of luxury and only do house sits with hot tubs, pools and tennis courts? Do you like to cook and need to know about what a kitchen includes? Or do you want to know about the security of the property and know that it is gated or has external CCTV?

This discussion is to get an idea from you, the TrustedHousesitters Sitter community about the things you would like displayed on listings to help you choose the perfect sits.

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In Addition, Owners, what are the features of your home that you would really like to showcase and let sitters know about?

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@ArjunaTHS , thank you so much for asking! This is the list of things that are important for me to know:
Microwave ____
Toaster ___ Toaster oven ___
Blender ___ Immersion __ High Speed ____
Stove__ Gas __ Electric ___ Other ___
Coffee maker __ If so, what kind: ____
Vacuum cleaner ___
Television ___ cable _____ streaming services: __ ( which ones?)
Internet speed____
Cell Phone Reception: excellent__ good __ fair__ poor__
Use of Car: Yes__ No ___ Negotiable or Conditional ____
Fire Extinguishers ___ Locations _________
Washer/Dryer __ Location ____
Type of Heat ______
Air Conditoner(s) _____ If so, type and location _____
Cat Owners: Location of Litter Boxes ______
Alarm(s) ____
Cameras or Recording Devices ______ Type ___ Locations ___
(Note: Indoor cameras are not permitted while a sitter is staying in your home.)

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Wifi for me, with a screenshot of a speed test would be ideal. I can’t sit if I can’t do my job from the location so it is my number one priority. Different people have different ideas of what high speed internet is so it would be great if more listings included details on speed.

Aside from that, different sits will have different amenities and while I wouldn’t say no to a bit of luxury it’s all about the animal company and the location for me.

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We usually sit as a family of 4 so we’d like to know what beds / bedrooms are available. Some family friendly sits may only have sleeping space for 3 of us.

If the sit is in a town or city, is parking available?

Otherwise its mostly about the pets!

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I don’t need to see most of these details in the listing, but I would want them in the Welcome Guide.

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I’d like the listing to show

  1. How long dogs can be left alone
  2. What heating and cooling systems are used (especially for remote houses).
  3. Do the pets have special needs - medication, incontinent, etc.

This is a sampling of amenities on an AirBnB listing

Scenic views

Mountain view
Valley view

Bathroom

Hair dryer, Shampoo, Conditioner, Body soap, Hot water, Shower gel,

Bedroom and laundry

Essentials

Towels, bed sheets, soap, and toilet paper
Hangers
Iron

Entertainment

TV with standard cable

Heating and cooling

Air conditioning
Indoor fireplace: electric
Ceiling fan
Heating

Home safety

Smoke alarm
Carbon monoxide alarm
Fire extinguisher

Internet and office

Wifi
Dedicated workspace
A desk or table with a chair and space for a laptop.

Kitchen and dining

Kitchen
Space where guests can cook their own meals
Refrigerator
Microwave
Cooking basics
Pots and pans, oil, salt and pepper
Dishes and silverware
Bowls, chopsticks, plates, cups, etc.
Freezer
Stove
Oven
Coffee maker
Wine glasses
Toaster
Baking sheet
Barbecue utensils
Grill, charcoal, bamboo skewers/iron skewers, etc.
Coffee

Location features

Private entrance
Separate street or building entrance
Resort access
Guests can use nearby resort facilities

Outdoor

Private patio or balcony
Outdoor furniture
BBQ grill

Parking and facilities

Free parking on premises
Free street parking
Private hot tub

Services

Pets allowed
Assistance animals are always allowed

Self check-in
Keypad
Check yourself into the home with a door code

Not included

security cameras on property, Washer

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some things that, imo, should be checkboxes vs HO being expected to write it in the post:

Near public transport
Free parking available
Smoking/Non Smoking home
Walkable to amenities
Interior/Exterior Security Cameras
Speed Test performed + results
Heating/Air Conditioning

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1/Are utilities included: gas, electricity, water, …

2/ Is public transport available

3/ Do dates include handover or not

4/ Are visitors allowed?

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Feeding habits of the pets
Medication the pets take.
Pictures of the pets.
Habits (good and bad) of the pets
Where do the pets sleep - pictures.
Where do I sleep. - pictures.
What equipment is in the kitchen. - pictures
The bathroom I will be using. - pictures
Public transport.
Size of garden. Size of driveway.
Walking paths nearby.
Does the dogs travel well in a car.
Internet speed.
Expectations of the pet owner.
What time they are leaving
What time they are returning

Just lots and lots of relevant pictures. I don’t want to see the nice sunset. I want to see the pets, the house, the garden.

That’s just a few, give me 24 hours and I’ll come up with another list. I’m always messaging to find out something else.

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I think my focus is less on amenities and more on requirements for the pet’s needs. I would like to see some categories relating to that, to more clearly define some vague descriptions, e.g:

  • define a long/short walk in distance or timeframe, as that’s so subjective
  • how long (hrs) can pets be left alone
  • specify special needs for medication, injections, dietary routines, or physical/mobility issues
  • whether cats are indoors only or outdoor cats
  • where does the pet sleep
  • do they travel well in a vehicle

As for amenities, overall I am adaptable. I think many of the amenities can be determined from good photos and a detailed description. Rarely would luxuries sway me to select a sit. My personal focus would overall be:

  • non-smoking homeowners
  • where I will sleep, including bed size/style - traditional mattress vs sofa bed, for example
  • if I have a separate bathroom, if I’m there the day before and/or after
  • if driving, if there is off-street parking
  • if it’s a bathtub or shower (I have a specific preference)
  • for longer stays, if there are laundry facilities
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The only “amenities” that could potentially be deal-breakers for me:
fast wifi
parking / transport
microwave (not as ubiquitous as one might think!)
air conditioner cooling in locales that get hot (over 80F?)
laundry

It’s important to me to know if there are video or audio recording devices before I agree to the sit. (not an amenity per se, but could use a checkbox on the HO profile!)

​The bed and couch are important to me, but photos will suffice. Same with the amount of natural light. Important, but not measurable!

When I’m evaluating whether to apply to a sit, the first thing I look at is the Responsibilities section.
When there’s dogs on the sit, I want to know:
-how long the dogs can be left alone
-how many walks / actual lengths of walks for dogs

One amenity I’d love to know, but which would not be a deal-breaker: Are there parks / greenery / walking paths nearby.

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Most of what I would prefer to see listed has already been mentioned with the same things being highlighted.
Definitely more information on the pets - their routines, medication, health issues and mobility, behaviour towards other animals/strangers/storms, where they sleep, specifics about actual dog walking time/distance, how long they can be left alone and where, dog/cat flaps, like/dislike car travel.
As to the Home and Location section, some owners completely omit stating anything about the actual rooms - how many bedrooms, bathrooms (shower and/or bath) and what would be available to the sitter. As I usually arrive to a sit by car, off street parking is important to me.
GOOD CLEAR PHOTOS are so important - sitters’ bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living area.
Storage space for clothing, toiletries, and food - fridge and freezer.
WIFI - doesn’t have to be superfast for my needs but I do want it included.
With the very lengthy thread on Security Cameras (external and internal) and the alarm bells raised by a number of members, this definitely needs to be included!
Do dates listed take into account sitters arriving the day before.

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Of course care of the owners pet is the priority.
However a happy pet sitter is also important. I pet sit alone, so certainly would want to be able to use my mobile phone. There are still areas of Cornwall, Devon & other UK destinations that do not have a reliable mobile phone network.
I would also like to be able to watch television & be confident that there is a good heating system in place, during the dark winter evenings.

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I guess with airconditioner heating you are talking about the US? Nobody in Germany would consider using the (very expensive) airconditioner for heating! Here each house has a central heating system, which works with oil, gas or pellets, which usually is turned on from October until May. I guess HO from Europe, especially in the Northern countries, don’t mention this, because it’s a basic every house is equipped with.

Hi @dma welcome to our community forum and thank you for your contribution, as a single sitter member, to this important feedback request by the Product Team.

Mobile network connectivity is so important, as you says there are many places where it’s non existent, locations you would never suspect and being able to connect and have a fully functioning mobile phone is a necessity, especially as so many homes no longer have land lines.

Welcome again, we hope you will explore other topics and join in the many other interesting conversations.

Angela and the Team

@Düsenzofe I’ve actually never heard of “airconditioner heating!” I edited my comment to be more clear. I’d only ever heard the term air conditioner in relation to cooling, in hot climates.

:rofl::rofl::rofl:so this seems to be a misunderstanding. Our air conditioner actually CAN heat, but we would never dream of using it.

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@Düsenzofe @luckycat My condominium home has a heat pump, which means it acts as both an air conditioner and a heater. I live in an apartment, so there’s a unit indoors on the wall (and another on the roof) and I switch to heat or air, as needed. I had it installed last year and it works wonderfully. Originally I only had electric baseboard (skirting board) heaters, but when my air conditioning needed replacement, I chose this style. It provides air movement, whereas the baseboard ones don’t.

preferred on sit amenities - I believe my list is a combination of @ElsieDownie and @Snowbird preferences. Thanks for asking