Welcome, and great questions!
As a sitter, my favourite sit so far was a lovely farm in the Cotswolds, we had two brilliant dogs, free run of 100 acres of horse pasture and two free ranging Kunekune pigs. It was fantastic! I applied for it really early so I don’t think it was that competitive. I’ve never applied for any of the more tropical sits, I imagine there is stiff competition for them!
As a homeowner, I’ve had a few sitters from another site before I joined TH and the level of engagement was what really made a difference for me. We once had a couple come from Vancouver to housesit for our hobby farm in Ontario, I was a little nervous as it was the first time we had anyone look after our dog, chickens, guinea fowl and pigs but they sent photos every day and even made us a delicious home-cooked dinner for our return.
I felt so reassured that everything was in capable hands and it meant the world to me. We haven’t had sitters in quite some time as we have been the sitters ourselves over the last few years, but that is the feeling that I really want the homeowners I sit for to have.