How to get positive responses as a newbie?

Hi guys,

I´ve just discovered TrustedHousesitters a few weeks ago and I am absolutely amazed by it. The only thing, I noticed and what is currently quiet frustrating for me, is the fact that it seems to be so hard to find a home to sit as a newbie. :confused:

Luckily, I have my first sit right now and I am really hoping for a positive review soon. But is that really the only reason, why it is so hard to find a home to sit?

Most of the time, I don´t even get a response from the house owners, which is really demotivating, since I always take the time to read the listing carefully and write a detailed first mail…

Maybe you have any suggestions for improvement on my profile?
I would really appreciate it! :pray:


@Nana , Welcome! I think you’ve made a great start! Congratulations on getting your first sit! You’ve broken the ice and it will be much easier from here on out once you have a good review on your profile.

Fyi, the forum guidelines request that your THS profile appear in your forum profile, as opposed to the body of the message. So, here are the instructions for doing that:
How to add your listing or profile to your forum profile
After you have done that, you can edit this post and delete the link within the message.

Your pictures are outstanding. They really show your affinity with animals. Also good are your links to your AirBnb and LinkedIn profiles. If you can get three to five character references on your profile, it will be even better.

I wish you many wonderful experiences here!


Hi @Nana
Everyone has to start somewhere and good that you have got your first sit and hopefully you’ll get a 5 star review from the owners. Unfortunately I do think that some home owners might disregard sitters who have no reviews.
I’ve searched the forum, as knew your question had been asked before, and the following may help you:


Thank you both, for your responses, really appreciated! :pray:

I didn´t realize that people outside from the website can write me a reference. That will make things so much easier! :blush: I have taken care of friends homes or lived as a subtenant and will just ask these people for a reference.


Hello and welcome! I’d suggest taking out the parts about leaving Berlin and living with your boyfriend until you get your own apartment - it’s not really relevant to pet sitting. The parts about animals are great and I think it would be better for people to see these immediately.
Otherwise, I’d suggest the usual: apply for short sits not too far away, sits which might not get too many applicants as you’ll have less competition there.
We seem to have loads in common by the way, I had budgies and guinea pigs too as a kid/teenager.
Good luck!

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Don’t be discouraged. Focus on your current success which is already a big milestone. As has been said we go from 0-1. Keep yourself motivated by knowing that others are doing it and so can you.
Stay positive :wink:
Have confidence and keep going.


Hi Nana! I’m exactly in the same situation - I wish people would at least write a short message and give some feedback on why I’m being rejected. Congrats on your first sit, I am still waiting! Fingers crossed


Good point, thank you! I wrote this when I joined the website and didn´t realize that here are only housesittings including petsitting anyway. :smile: Because of that, I wanted to give an explanation beside the fact that I like to have animals around. But I updated it now, thanks for your advice! :pray:

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Welcome @Nana. It’s great you’ve got your first sit. Getting mine was hard as you say. Think it took 23 applications to get it! Many owners prefer sitters with multiple positive feedback.
my suggestion is to do local and last minute sits to keep building your feedback.
I started 11 months ago and have now completed 11 sits all over Europe. I still get declined sits as we all do but they are less.
Good luck.


Hi @Nana welcome to our Community Forum and to TrustedHousesitters I see you’ve had great support from the community and feedback from new members on getting started which can take a little while but equally I’ve known other sitter members who get the first sit they apply for, every situation, sit and member is different.

It took me 6+ weeks of continuous applications and after 14 years, numerous sits and many reviews, I don’t get every sit I apply for.

This thread posted by a new member who was having difficulty getting started, provides some great advice, feedback and insight …

Andrew became successful during the course of the conversation and has gone on to have an amazing THS journey …

As @richten1 and others have said, if and when possible start locally, my first sit was a 10 minute drive from my home and it’s not just a tactic, local sits are just as rewarding and fulfilling and long distance, you can actually discover things about your own “back yard” which you would otherwise not have seen, get to know local people and pet companionship is the same 5 miles or 500 miles away.

When you start locally you can connect with the pets and pet parents/owners ahead of the sit, giving everyone a chance to begin building a relationship, trust and confidence also you get the opportunity to see if this lifestyle is one you will adapt to and enjoy, as that is the ultimate goal.

Regarding responses from applications, we remind all members to respond to all messages in a timely manner as this helps everyone with plans and simply put is always appreciated, however we know that people live busy lives, circumstances change and we never know what is going on in anther person’s life at any given time.

I’ve had a look at your profile and would agree with @mars regarding references … this article from our website blog explains the importance of references. When surveyed PP/Owner members list references and reviews as one of their top considerations when viewing a sitter’s application.

Good luck with your first sit and do let us know how it goes … where are you sitting and what pet will you be keeping company?

Happy Easter …

Edit Update … @Sarah80 I hope this post will help you also …


You have such a nice profile! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I would ask you to sit my home without hesitation! Fingers crossed, that you will get positive responses soon :blush: :pray:


That’s reassuring to hear, thank you so much :slight_smile: Same for yours! The pictures speak for themselves :wink: Good luck for your first sit, where will you go?


Aww, thank you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I am currently on my first sit! In Heidelberg for a few days. Taking care of two cute cats. And so far, everything is really smooth and as expected or hoped for :blush:


Yey! Good news: I saved my second sit :star_struck:

This time, it was because of my effort and also the timing, I think. Maybe this is helpful to others as well:

I started to write to homeowners a second message, when they didn´t reply after 4 days. In a polite way I am just asking about an update and letting them know, that I applied for several sits (if this is the case) and it would be a pitty, if we would not work out because of the wrong timing in terms of communication.

Most homeowners told me at least that they found someone else and declined (finally). But this time, the guy told me, that he haven´t heard back from his original applicant and if they would not hear from him in the next 24 hours, they would like to meet me over a video call.

Luckily for me, the sitter remained unavaible and I got the sitting! :star_struck: :pray:


Thank you so much for taking the time to write me such a detailed answer :blush: :pray:

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That is what we are here for @Nana and congratulations for securing your second sit … excellent news, well done!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


I’m new and I get responses, but I think it’s how I word things. Write a lovely personalised message along with your application, and treat your application as a mini job application. Would you trust you with your most prized possessions from your application? Do they get a full image of who you are from your application (ie would they feel like they know-know you and do you come across as warm and friendly?).

If you think someone else stands more chance, then figure out how you solve that. You will have plenty of other experience that others don’t, so figure out how you make that relevant to pet and house sitting. If you have zero experience, get some from friends and family.

Also, stick to more local sits for a while, as you stand a better chance of getting them, so build up your reviews. Because the person will know they can potentially use you again in the future as your on the doorstep (or within 80 miles in our case), without having to go through the whole process of finding someone new.

Hope that helps.


Thanks for taking the time to answer me and share your experience :pray:

I always write a detailed and thoughful message as well. :blush:
But yeah, especially the fact that I did not had previous experience with catsitting, might have been a “no” for some of the people I applied to.

Luckily, two homes gave me a chance anyway and now I have a bit of experience with living together with a cat. That might be helpful for the future.

Another thing, I just realized:
It might have been tough to apply to the most famous city of Germany :joy:
For me, Berlin is just my hometown, where I like to come back from time to time, but of course, for many other people it is the city they want to visit. So a lot of competition. :blush:


If you want Berlin, and your from Berlin, that’s a huge selling point!

You beat all of the competition :wink:! Personally, I’d get across that you are looking forward to living as a local again (albeit for a short while), and give the indication that your intention is to be at home caring for their pets, rather than living like a tourist and out and about all of the time, away from the pets. It doesn’t mean you can’t go out away from the pets, it just means you aren’t a normal tourist-tourist who vanishes for 6-8hours at a time. But keep it positive and light-hearted, don’t make it negative against tourist minded pet sitters, just keep it positive about you and your objectives.

You’re getting bookings now, so you’re off, so that’s brilliant. But you could also write yourself a list of what you feel your negative points are, and then work out what the positive of that thing is. There’s always a positive way of looking at our own negative points, when you write it down it makes your head look at things with a different perspective.

You’re going to do just fine.


Yay, congrats! I also just got my first sit confirmed, in London :slight_smile: And I have another one in the works that will hopefully work out too. Looks like it’s also just a matter of perservering, patience and good timing :slight_smile: