Hello, I’m new to this platform! I still don’t quite understand how it works. Do you think someone would give a chance to someone to take care of their pet if they have no reviews on their profile? I always look at reviews, so I would understand if someone hesitates. Probably I don’t have a chance in this case without a track record
@Ligia - Welcome Ligia everyone has to start somewhere. We joined THs 6 months ago.
If you have experience with looking after pets - your own, families or friends - this is enough to get started.
Once you become a THS member you can ask these people to give you a reference which will be seen along with your profile . In your profile, you can Include photos of you with the pets you have looked.
It’s a good idea to start applying for local sits where the HO can meet you in person beforehand .
Or you can apply to a HO who is also new and who also doesn’t have any feedback yet
If you can make yourself available for a last minute sit HO will be really grateful.
If you don’t have any experience with pets at all -you can volunteer for a local pet sanctuary or walk a dog for an elderly neighbour- That way gain some valuable experience and get references that way .
We started by house- sitting and taking care of our friends pets when they went on holiday . Then we joined THS 6 months ago - we used the references from friends that we had house- sat for over the years . With only these references we were accepted for 6 sits - we now have completed 5 of these THS sits and have 4 more confirmed and booked in.
@Ligia welcome to the forum. You are going to find great answers from great members here who have so much experience as sitters as well as those who are HO’s/Pet parents and can give you direction on what they look for in a sitter.
I see you have not joined TrustedHousesitters yet. Here is a link to give you information on what to expect.
How it Works | Find a House Sitter | TrustedHousesitters.com
My biggest suggestion once you have joined would be to look for local sits where you can meet the pet parents ahead of time. This can give them a sense of security even though you don’t have any reviews yet. Also, look for any last minute sits in your area as the pet parent is quickly trying to find someone to take care of their beloved furbabies. When you take great care of the pets, the home, etc., you should start receiving those all important reviews…each making the next sit easier to obtain. After that, the “sky is the limit” as to where you can travel to care for pets and homes, all the while getting the opportunity to explore new areas or those you want to see again.
If you have any questions, please feel free to come back to the forum for help.
When you start and have no reviews you may get overlooked for popular sits but you can quickly build up your reviews by applying for last minute sits and local ones. It took me 23 applications to get my first sit just over a year ago and now currently on my 14th sit.
You won’t have reviews until you have completed Sits, but you can ask friends to write reference letters for you, and those go into your Profile. It can be any friends, not necessarily people for whom you have cared for pets.
Be a good communicator throughout the process. It took us awhile to get our first Sit, but after that Sit and a 5 star review, we were off and running!
It appears to me, at the current moment, that there are many more Sits than there are Sitters, so it should not be very difficult to get Sits. It just depends on where you are looking! Good luck!
My family of 5 started applying 4 months ago and we confirmed 13 sits so far. In the beginning we were getting rejected due to no reviews and a big family but we did a couple local sits to get our feet wet and now loving it so much that I could see fulltime sitting as an option when we retire
Well home owners don’t always have reviews! I went for a new sitter with only personal references, it just depends who you click with
We just joined in March (so no reviews at that point), and we’re now pretty much fully booked until October, and even then we only have a couple of weeks spare, and already have 4.5months worth of bookings for next year (and approx 90% of our sits have come from THS). Plus we now have 5* reviews, so it only took us 3 months (well 2 months from the time we got really going).
You need to treat it like a CV, why would someone choose you? Tap into your background, not just about pets you have had or watched before, but about your home, how tidy you are and things like that.
Also, make sure the owner knows that you have taken the time to actually read their advert, and pop something in your application to them that makes you stand out. Also, tell them why you want to do this, so that they feel like they know everything about you already.
Plus, start local to build up your reviews as you are more likely to get those jobs, we kept within a 2hr drive of our home, so owners knew they can rely on us for future sits. Which is a really big bonus to them and you.
I don’t know if I should start my own topic but I thought that this thread might make sense as my situation is similar. If any of you would take the time to look at my profile and let me know what you might suggest, I would like to land a sit and I have been getting looked over, I do think it’s more of the Catch '22 than anything else but I want to be sure I am not missing out on some glaring mistake.
@nativecourage That is great that you are reaching out asking for advice - you have come to the right place.
If you add your THS sitters profile to your forum profile other members can view it and give you the feedback and tips you are requesting.
Here is how:
Otherwise, just reply here or DM me and I can add it for you
@nativecourage THS sitter’s profile is now available by clicking on their user name. Please reach out with feedback and tips! Thank you
Hi, I had a click!
I will start by saying I’m no expert!
I think your photos are good. In your bio you mention you’ve looked after friends pets before, could they not give you a review? I think the ones you have don’t sell you very well.
Perhaps mention how you look after pets ie you like to walk them/ play/ fuss etc.
You mention your work, would you be working from the sit? For some people that’s a plus, it means you’ll be around.
For me, I want to feel I can trust who is coming into my home. You are mature, traveling alone, you work - I would emphasise your trustworthiness/steadiness.
Best of luck!
Thank you, Helen! Great suggestions.
Hi @nativecourage ,
I like your photos. It would be nice if you could add one that shows you with a cat too and once you have begun sitting, pictures with other pets.
Your first reference had some nice things to say but with a left-hand compliment. I would also ask her to add another star as even though the average person thinks four stars means very good, in the THS world unless you have five it means not very good - make sure she is aware. Ask her to remove the first sentence and start with I was delighted to hear J was pet sitting and will be asking him to watch my cats this summer. Also ask her to remove the first line of the second paragraph, While I don’t know they would feel warm and fuzzy … and begin the paragraph with, I know my cats will be safe, well cared for … After she has made these changes have her contact membership services so they can publish it.
And as @Helen74 says, ask those friends whose pets you have watched to write references. I would optimally like to see five references or at least three at a minimum. These won’t be as important once you have reviews from owners you have sat for.
I would suggest you click on Find a Sitter and look at other sitter profiles, particularly those who have done many sits. Owners are most concerned about care for their pets. Under Why I want to house sit, you should talk about this, about your desire to be with animals and the care you will provide for their pets. Pets are the center of this whole service. Keep that in mind.
You have joined at a very opportune time. There seem to be homeowners who are having a hard time finding good sitters.
After you have spruced up your profile, you’ll be ready to apply for more sits. You’ll get a lot of help for that here on the forum as well.
Hi Jeremy, personally I don’t think you’re profile would attract many pet owners, sorry, but I am only saying this to help. Looks at other sitter profiles.
Your references are not relevant to pets in any way, they simply say you are a nice person (a lot of us are nice, so it doesn’t make you stand out). I actually think they go against you. One of them only gave you 4*'s and you haven’t even sat for her before, and the other that gave you 5* is not relevant to animals at all.
Also, there is no content about yourself, nothing to say who you are. An owner needs to feel like they have the full story about you. I can only tell you two facts about yourself, your name is Jeremy, and you live in a small apartment in Manhattan, nothing else???
You mention you love animals, but we all do, it’s why we petsit. So why do you love animals? Did you have pets growing up, if so what were they? Or is it the way they make you feel? Relay the feeling.
All an owner knows right now is you are Jeremy from Manhattan, if you were an owner, would you give this person Jeremy the keys to your home, and the trust to look after their fur-baby, the thing you love most in the world? Jeremy from Manhattan is still a total stranger to them, so whatever you write needs to make them feel like they ‘know’ you.
Tell your full story in a positive way, fill it full of facts, and get across your emotional connection to animals.
Write a big list of all the things you could say, then pick the ones that you think would help others to know you.
Leave no questions in the mind of the reader.
Hope that helps
I would also write more under each of the various headings, what you have written is very good but can you perhaps add some more? I would suggest writing more especially under the “Why I want to house sit” section.
Another good point @mars mentions is although the reference with 4 stars is good, I would perhaps see if they are willing to change this to a 5 if possible. If you explain the importance and the fact that you are just starting out. I would suggest adding another reference too if you can.
Good luck in your new adventures!
I am a HO who has twice taken on newbie sitters so I’m very open to them. You have got good feedback already. To be honest if you can’t get Lisa to amend her review I would delete it as most of us would be concerned about “not warm and fuzzy” as meaning you don’t connect easily with animals. That may not be the case at all, Lisa may just mean you don’t babytalk and fuss as much as she does or that her particular cats are standoffish, but it’s not helping.
Both reviews emphasise reliability and attention to detail so can you give some examples of that? Approach it like a competency based job interview and give a couple of examples, ideally but not essentially involving animals or property, where you’ve listened to and followed specific instructions and/or solved problems which arose. A lot of HOs like to be reassured about your communication skills and that you will send regular updates - we’re not obsessive about updates but it is nice to feel that someone will send the occasional photo of happy animals and will ask if they are unsure about something, as well as being responsive in the run-up to the sit around organisational details.
Some people have mentioned single men can take longer to get going as sitters- one reason being many animals are more nervous of men, so if you have any experience with nervous animals do mention that.
References from friends you have sat for would help a lot, that said I have a sitter coming next week who had none but I liked the sense I got of her from her application and subsequent video call. Being a mature person is an advantage, I will assume you’ve dealt with a variety of situations in your life and have the capacity to be adaptable.
Hope you get going soon- don’t give up! Try less in-demand locations first to give you a better chance to build up a profile.