Hello @Newbie987 Welcome to the TrustedHousesitters forum and it’s great to hear that you are thinking of joining as a house and pet sitter. The moderation team and our members have lots of information they will be able to share with you about the process and the lifestyle! We are all sitters and/or owners on the team so please feel free to ask us anything. Our members are also super helpful with lots of great advice.
Most of your questions have been covered in topics that you’ll find on the forum - the spyglass symbol top right allows you to search across a wide range of categories and topics.
I’m not sure where you are based but if you are not registered from the USA you only need to obtain an ID check which for the majority is a quick and easy process… mine was approved almost immediately but if you need to get the CBC (criminal background check) it can take up to 7 days, although in reality this is often much shorter - that’s the worse case scenario
Your private information is NEVER shown publicly to others (e.g. addresses, surnames, emails etc.), and you are provided with a secure messaging system when you pay for a membership, that helps you to communicate with the home owners when you apply for house sits.
References - when you sign up as a paid member you’ll be guided through the process of creating your profile (all the information you choose to share with the owners about your motivation, experience with pets, skills etc), and you can reach out to anyone who can give you references. If you’ve looked after pets for family or friends, these can be good starting points.
All of this can take time and the more time you spend crafting a well thought out profile with references, it is known to help you when you get started. I would say if you are looking for a particular sit in mid-October, there is a chance that this sit may have been filled before you get all your information together, checks done and uploaded. But it’s a difficult call.
Some sits get filled very quickly, others take longer … it’s a how long is a piece of string question unfortunately. If you can be more flexible about locations, or other sits in the area you’ll increase your chances.
There is a lengthy thread about the current test regarding your final question (search - pausing applications), but in summary, sits are currently paused when an owner receives the first 5 applications, for them to review those applicants. If they don’t find a sitter in those first five they unpause and continue receiving applications.
There’s always a chance that a sit is no longer available, but ONLY sits that are available with unfilled dates will be shown to you when you search for sits as a member. If a member is reviewing applicants after pausing you see “reviewing applicants”. You are shown inspiration sits that don’t currently have dates at the end of your search but that’s very clear.
I think I’ve answered everything … but if there’s more you’d like to know just ask and we’ll do our best to help. We can also put you in touch with the membership services team if you have specific questions about the joining process.
Hope this helps and we look forward to seeing how this unfolds for you!
All the best
Vanessa and the forum team