How to get noticed as a new sitter

This is a hypothetical question as I haven’t actually committed to creating a paid account yet, but I’ve been browsing the site and a thought came to me - how to you get picked as a new sitter without any reviews etc when you’re up against people with 20+ 5 star reviews?

I am a home and pet owner also, and I know from that perspective if I was to get 2 applications and one had many glowing reviews and the other was a new account with no reviews, I’d pick the one with reviews!

So I’m just wondering how do you get in the game? I think it would be harder for me too because we are a family with a small child and I know not everyone is keen on children/don’t have the space/their pets don’t like children Although I know that our daughter is quite responsible and myself and my husband are respectful people and would ensure great care for any pets and homes, I understand that our word is not enough.

Again, haven’t created an account yet, but I’m just curious what are the chances of being picked amongst all the already established sitters out there?

Everyone who has a multitude of 5* sits started off with nothing so you are exactly the same there.
You may have to be more flexible, look for last minute or local sits to build up your reviews.
Good luck if you decide to join

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Welcome @ashleigh there are lots of sitters that successfully sit as families . There are sits with a family friendly tag which you can filter for when you search for sits .

It is easier when there is no competition, so you can start with applying for the “low-applications” sits.

Often the only reason that there are no other applicants is that the sit is a bit remote and/or in a non-touristic area, in an ordinary home. And/or that the sit is short.

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Hi @ashleigh - I recommend your profile talks about your current pet, you have photos of your child with your pet and other animals, and you get great references that specifically address concerns a potential pet owner may have. Talk to your strengths as a pet and house sitter (e.g. gardening skills, cleaning skills, house maintenance problem solving, any dog training skills, etc as applicable) and how much you can stay at home with the pets. If you have a car, this could be attractive as you could take the pets to the vet easily in an emergency.
Apply for many sits that are a good fit for you, and keep trying even if you are not selected for a while.

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Hi @ashleigh I housesit during school holidays and some weekends with my sons, who were 10 and 8 when we first started. We have done over 30 THS sits.

As others have said, look for last minute local sits, or sits at popular times when there is lots of demand for sitters. You can filter for sits with the “Family Friendly” tag. Our first sit was over a summer Bank Holiday weekend, and we deliberately chose an ordinary looking home. Our second was over Christmas.

I introduce my sons in my profile and say a bit about them and their hobbies. Most of the photos are of my sons with animals! I also include information about my work, hobbies and interests. We often find ourselves sitting for families with similar aged children, or for people with similar work or hobbies to one of us. I think sometimes homeowners connect with our profile because they feel we have things in common.

We have always been very grateful to that first family who chose us to sit for them when we were brand new. In return, we have been the first sitter for a number of new homeowners and helped them start their THS journey.

Good luck, and do let us know how you get on. I’d love to see you posting photos from your first sit!

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I’m new and had feedback from one HO who gave us the sit over another applicant with 50+ reviews… was because I’m a dog walker on BorrowMyDoggy and particularly interested in dog training. She liked that I talked about dog training during the video chat…. her dog is a lively 18mths border collie which I’ve got experience of. So I’d add into your profile any special skills/experience etc.
Another sit I got confirmed for involved an elderly horse and a feisty pony…I’ve owned both so was able to talk about the issues involved and approaches.
These were both confirmed without me having any reviews…. Good Luck and definitely ask for advice from more experienced sitters here on creating your profile as it really helped me.

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@ashleigh

Getting in the game begins with being willing to get in the game. And if you join as a sitter or HO, create a profile that conveys a genuine love for animals.

We have heard many times that ‘we all started from some where’.

When I first started as a sitter, I had only one reference. I applied for my first sit (local) and was accepted the same day as the HO expressed how they loved my profile and from my application felt that I would be a good fit. As it turned out we were a good fit and the HO invited me back twice more.

THS has been the blessing that I needed. When I lost my beloved bestie dog as it was hard on my heart. But finding THS helped heal my heart and I can still continue to care, interact, and share my love for animals. :heart:

Don’t be intimidated by the number of sits / reviews someone else has done. Just because someone else has more reviews does not guarantee that they would be secured as a sitter. So do not let that discourage you.

Focus on you and what you can bring to the table.

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Hi @ashleigh
You will get sits but like anything in life you need to start somewhere. That somewhere is local sits and last minute sits until you have a number of great 5 star reviews. Then apply for the more popular sit locations. It took me 23 applications to get my first (local) sit. That was just over 2 years ago now. I have completed 21 sits since all over Europe.

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For some reason I wasn’t really worried about being rejected when I signed up for this service for my family of 5. I figured it’s just a numbers game and eventually a pet parent would confirm a sit and I was right. I had several upfront that said yes and just when I was feeling confident, then we started getting a bunch of rejections. We are on our 22nd sit as I’m writing this. We even landed a Singapore sit last year and in a couple months, we are returning to Asia for a dogsit on Jeju Island Korea. All in all it’s been a great experience. Feel free to read through how I wrote my children’s bios on our profile page. It’s just one example

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You can get 3 References for your profile without any sits.

If you dont have pics of your family with pets, go to a Dog Park, visit friends with pets, or pet sit in your home for family or neighbours.

If you have a Profile for yourself only, you can pop out to do nearby local sits to get started. I see many weekend sits…which are WAY too short to travel to, except for locals. The nearest sit I did was only 6 houses away. I popped over to meet the lady. She confirmed me right after.

Search for sits with no pets, so you do only house sitting, plant watering, and winter home care. Ie no pet experience required

Here in Canada, HOs who travel south for the winter months may need a house sitter to occupy the house only - insurance is more expensive for unoccupied houses. A power failure may cause frozen pipes to burst. Water flood later!

My first sit was 4 months in the winter in a remote farmhouse with only a koi pond. My 2nd sit was an unoccupied house with one houseplant for 10 months.

Start somewhere, but just start. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Good luck.

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Your thinking is incorrect on that front, if you have two applicants one with reviews and one without, and both seem to love pets, but one lives within a two drive of you who knows your area really well, and one lives 5 hours away who’s main purpose is sightseeing a brand new place… you are more likely to pick the closest one as there may be a chance of them sitting for you again if they already know the area, but only if you ‘feel’ they would be great fit.