We’ve been getting a lot of invites to sits where the HO has just chucked dates at us with no message attached, not even a “Hi, would you like to look after our pets”. For us this pretty much means that we decline the sit without really looking at it.
When we apply for sits, THS requires us to leave a message. We do this anyway as a curtesy to the homeowner, saying who we are and why we’d be a great fit for them.
All I’m suggesting is that this is the same for Homeowners - in that they have to add a message along with an invitation.
Not only would this remove frustration form sitters who get chucked dates, but I would assume homeowners would have much more luck finding sitters therefore improving success rate and customer satisfaction from both sides.
Agree. I have had a few recently, and although I state clearly at the start of my profile I am only sitting in Scotland at the moment, I have had requests from England and Belgium. I don’t think they even read my profile properly - maybe I am just so good looking and trustworthy in my profile picture …
Wow! I would never do that. On the rare occasion that I have contacted sitters to ask if they would be interested in sitting I always leave a lengthy request explaining exactly who we are and what we need. It’s downright rude and impersonal to just send dates. That’s like cold calling!
I hope you get some nice invites.
I agree @Petermac That most of them don’t even read your profile or refer to the availability calendar .
I always respond though with a message, asking have they sent a message and it has disappeared? This way I may try and educate them. It is frustrating.
Yeah we have it in our profile too. I don’t think people scroll down and read it though and we @Itchyfeet said they don’t look at the availability calendar either
We’ve had the same thing happen. Kind of strange really.
I’ve had the same thing happen and a number that I have looked into usually turn out to be new owners unfamiliar with “best practices” I follow up and without exception they appreciate having the process explained fully and a common phrase I hear “I didn’t realise”
An opportunity to put “educational” content in front of new members on both sides of our community.
That isn’t really a solution though. We do try and message people and ‘educate’ them but, with all due respect, it isn’t our job to educate new members. We love being a part of the community, helping out new members and getting people interested in housesitting but if this is an issue that a lot of new members are having - maybe the on-boarding process needs to explain this better in the first place?
A simple requirement on the form should be easy enough to implement and this will stop people inviting without a message. It doesn’t even have to be a long message, but just something to acknowledge why they want us.
I think there maybe something wrong with the process on the site though. When I have asked if they have written a message that may have disappeared some have responded that they did send a message. I think if you write a message and then hit the button “Invite”, then the message just deletes. There are 2 stages. You send a message and hit the “Send” button. The you hit the “Invite” button.
This has happened to me when I wrote a message and hit the Decline button. The message disappeared.
Perhaps @Vanessa-Admin could advise?
@ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies this has happened numerous times to me over the years and I always reply saying “I don’t seem to have received your personal message with your invitation”. Sometimes there’s a reply back! I’ve declined them all because I wonder just how many others have been “invited” and also that they have not checked my availability which I keep up-to-date.
As you say, we are required to leave a message when applying for sits. Both HS and HO pay the same membership fees (depending on the new tiers) so I believe HO should be required to leave a message too - for equality’s sake.
No you are right it isn’t the solution @ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies we are constantly looking at ways to make the process clear and efficient for new and existing members … and it is only a small portion of new members as the onboarding is continually updated.
As you say if and when we have the time and the opportunity to pass on our experiences and knowledge to those less experienced, as members do here on the forum, it helps everyone have the very best experience possible.
When someone is a very experienced or frequent user of TrustedHousesitters it can be frustrating when the aspects which you feel are obvious are not followed or completed.
There are steps in the process which are clearly outlined in both the onboarding process, subsequent emails and educational pieces on the blog which some members on both sides get wrong or overlook that’s why we have a Membership Services Team and now the forum.
@Angela-CommunityManager My original point was that if we, as sitters, physically cannot send an application without including a message, why are we not afforded the same courtesy from homeowners? It seems like a mandatory message from homeowners would be easy enough to implement as it already exists for sitters.
Can you tell me if this is something that the team would be willing to incorporate in the future? Or at least discuss as part of the ongoing improvements? We love the team and the forum but it would be good to know our feedback is actually helping… As you say, there are new members signing up all the time and we of course expect that they may not fully understand how the site works. This is something that at least would give them a higher chance of success.
As always we appreciate your feedback, it’s just frustrating as we put a LOT of thought into our applications and rarely receive the same treatment back - we even state in our profile to please include a message but homeowners mainly focus on reviews. We now receive multiple invitations with no message each week and it’s becoming tiring to constantly have to educate new members when this seems like a simple fix.
Hi @ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies the forum was introduced as a place for members regarding any and every aspect of their TrustedHousesitters membership and lifestyle and is successfully benefitting our community in many ways, but as a vehicle for members to give feedback, suggestions and ideas on how we can make the product better for everyone, is a major benefit.
The subject of communication between members is a priority, from owners responding to applications, sitters applications, pre, on and post sit communications and this topic also.
Thank you for your feedback and suggestion I will make sure this is fed back to the team although just to reassure everyone the team do monitor the forum on a daily basis and take all feedback on board for discussion.
Hi @Itchyfeet there was an issue with this and Membership Services were told it was working as it should.
I forwarded your question to @Katie-MembershipServices this is her reponse.
When an owner invites a sitter, there are two separate actions.
When an owner writes a message and clicks the date to invite, the message is deleted and only the invitation is sent.
The owner will be able to see that no message was sent as it doesn’t navigate away from that message with the sitter, but for whatever reason they are not following up.
What they need to do is invite the sitter, then send a message.
Some owners may not have enough applications so invite multiple sitters to those in their location and may choose not to add a message thinking their owner listing is enough to encourage the sitters to apply.
@Katie-MembershipServices will raise with tech to either allow the owners to send a message with the invite or add a prompt/warning message that their message will be deleted.
However we cannot say when this will be implemented.
I have just received yet another invite from a new HO with no message. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and sent a polite response adding that as per our availability calendar we are unavailable and I hope they find some lovely sitters.
Within seconds I got an application declined - again no message. So maddening and I sometimes think it’s not worth responding at all but one of the invites may be a genuine new HO who needs a little help with the process.
Thank you @Angela-CommunityManager and @Katie-MembershipServices
At least I know that what I have been advising the HOs to do has been correct
I had one of these invitations a couple of days ago. No hello, no message, just an invite to sit. It was a local-ish sit that I would have considered if I had been available for the dates. I declined but took the time to thank the homeowner for inviting me and wish them the best of luck and still nothing, no thanks for responding at all. It felt quite rude even though I am sure that was not the homeowners’ intention. My feeling is also that it should be a requirement to include a message when inviting a sitter.
I agree with @ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies that the easiest solution would be to not let the invitation be sent without the homeowner entering text. This would make the process clearer for the homeowner and provide a better user experience for the sitter. I imagine it would also result in higher success rates for the homeowners.