I am posting this here in hopes or HO being more upfront to eliminate lots of back and forth and applying just to get clarification. Many HO write so little in their profile. It’s frustrating. Don’t say you are in the city when you are an hour away. Give us an idea are you a mile outside the city or 10 miles outside the city limits. IS their public transport how long does it take to get to the sites you are promoting in your profile?
Also give some details in the responsibilities and tell us how long the pets can be home alone in the profile. Is it 2 hours or 6 hours? Be honest and upfront in your profile. It is misleading to say that you are in the cities and say a great place to spend the day exploring the city for a day or there is an amazing national parks only 1 hour away etc. (when both sites are 1 hour + away). Then only to say that you can’t leave their cat/puppy for more than a few hours as it needs lots of care, potty training and/or medications. Also please do not and any further responsibilities, beyond what you have shared in the welcome guide, after the sitter has agreed to sit. The sitter may then have to cancel and that looks bad for everyone.
Maybe some HO with many demands should be looking for a paid sitter service not a THS as this doesn’t seem like a mutual exchange. It is misleading. Some listings are more like an employment situation when the THS can barely leave the house for an hour. I know some people are THS nomads and have no issue with staying home most of the day but some of us are doing THS to be able to travel and explore the area as well, so please just be honest and detailed upfront ,that way you get the right kind of sitter and eliminate the back and forth in applications that are not suitable candidates.
Hi @Pets4me I do agree with what you are saying about honesty, as TrustedHousesitters is based on mutual trust with both sitter and pet parent. It can cause trust to be lost when information is found to be misleading and not factual. That is why we try to stress to all the importance of being upfront and honest from the beginning. No one likes surprises!
Agree, no point mentioning all the sites if you can’t get there because the animals can’t be left alone.
I also find it funny when people promote their swimming pool, knowing very well it’ll be closed because it’s winter
Same here re the hot tub @Globetrotter. The HO listing says “our deck features a 2 person spa” only for the WG to say it’s not working and can’t be used. It would have been nice to say that in the listing so no expectations are raised.
I can only assume that the HO had never walked to the station and had innocently misread Google Maps “0.7mi” (0.7 miles) as 7 minutes.
It worked out to be at least 15 minutes walk for a healthy, non-disabled person.
I need knee surgery and the extra distance left me in agony, so I ended up not going anywhere unless it was by taxi.
A distance error is a tiny thing if your body’s working well, but if it’s not, it’s a much bigger issue.
I’d love to see THS include information about distance (not walking time) from public transport hubs, particularly in cities, where it’s essential for getting around. If this can’t happen automatically via coding, perhaps hosts could be prompted to calculate it manually when they list? It’s quite easy to do.
I agree with all that you say and I feel that all the HOs on the site are writing their listing to include most of your points.
It is the HOs not on the Forum and not realising that their listing is falling short that need to be aware of the sitters’ concerns.
I don’t know how we address this.
That’s right. But there’s a reason why the exact location isn’t shown on the THS website before a sit is confirmed.
I agree that home owners should be truthful. But everything else can be talked about after the application. It’s simply not possible to give every single information in the listing, because it would be way too much text.
I don’t know if we’re talking at cross purposes here, but my point is about measured distance from a public transport hub and how that relates to disability… It’s not about listing a set of home coordinates.
If the home owner makes a mistake with distance - as happened to me recently - by the time I find out their address, it’s probably going to be just before the sit, when everyone’s travel plans will already have been made.
This all seems like an area that’s ripe for improvement, not something to dismiss without any investigation into workability.
But with exact distances it would be very easy to find out the location.
As soon as I do a video call and we agree to confirm I give the sitters my address. Usually they haven’t made any travel arrangements before this.
If you need to know distances just ask the home owners when they respond to your application.
@Pips I can appreciate your request is based on mobility, but also respect that owners deserve privacy as to their specific location, until a sit is confirmed. I’ll just share some examples of how I manage the location question. If my application results in hearing from the owner, I then ask for a major cross-street intersection (if in Canada) or a neighbourhood (if in Mexico, for example). The specific country or city dictates how I ask for that information. That helps me determine if it’s in an area of interest to me. It also allows me to see what’s available nearby, or what distance it is from things that may be of interest to me. I’m generalizing as my focus is unique to each sit. Recently I asked for an major street intersection as their idea of ‘the outskirts of the city’ may be far different to mine.
Once I am confirmed for a sit, I ask for their address, email address, and cell phone number. I also ask for their preferred form of other contact, such as WhatsApp or Messenger. I don’t wait until close to the sit date to request those. As a confirmed sitter, I then have the option to do more research into my new temporary home location.
If I was preparing a listing as a homeowner (I’m a sitter), I would think that the more information I provide upfront, the closer I’d be to finding the right sitter for my location. Why wait until a face to face call, to discuss those details. Wouldn’t that be an inefficient use of everyone’s time? Our last 5 sits were without a car, so it was imperative that I find only sits that had walkable grocery, nearby train stations, good bus routes and available taxi service. All of this info is a simple addition to a posting. Accurate location, without giving street/number address, will only benefit both the HO and potential sitter at the end of the day. A HO wants their sit to appeal to a multitude of sitters, so being forthcoming with specific location information is a win-win.
I agree. Its easy to post if the house is in the city center and if groceries are to be reached by walking, bicycle riding, car and if public transport is available.
My listing is very detailed and still I read here requests for even more information. I think a listing needs to be balanced and there definitely can also be too much information.
Keep the overall information as detailed as possible but not too lengthy, because otherwise people don’t care to read it all or presume that the home owners are nitpickers.
It is only easy to check if the HO gives you their actual location. Not easy when they misleading you and say they live in the City when they live far out in the suburbs of the listed city. Meanwhile sitters waste time going back and forth trying to get that information form the HO until they finally give you their address and then you check google maps and realize they are several buses away from the city. THS should just provide the location on the profile not the HO. It doesn’t have to be exact but it should not be 4 miles from where the HO said they live.(city center v suburbs etc.)
I’m a home owner and I try to be as accurate as I can in my listing. It doesn’t help though, despite asking THS to correct it, that the location of my home is incorrect! When I put my postcode in to bring up the location it brings up a village that is a mile from where I live and a very different type of village. I’ve had to put in the write up that I live in Thurcroft, but THS automatically defaults to Brampton-en-le-Morthen
It’s not always the HO that gets it wrong though, it’s clear in my listing that our house isn’t suitable for children, yet we still get applications from people that want to bring their 3 children which is frustrating as you get excited about receiving an application and then disappointed that you have to automatically decline it
I’m a home owner, and I agree with the need for honesty and being upfront and accurate. The only thing I would say about public transportation information is that, I as a homeowner never use public transportation, so I truly can not give you, the sitter, accurate information about that. I can say, there is a bus stop 2 blocks away, but I don’t have any idea about bus routes, times, etc. That’s why there needs to be good communication and lots of questions asked and answered.