I am new to the site & sitting - a few questions

Hello

I am new to the forum and a new prospective “sitter” - I am thinking about signing up to this site to offer myself as a house/pet sitter.

I have seen many long standing members with hundreds of reviews/feedback - so would be keen to know from more recent members if they do manage to find sitting opportunities or do these often go to people with more an established background? I’m keen to know that if I sign up (and make the investment) there will be some opportunities.

Also, once you join up, what personal information is visible to others or does this only become visible once both parties have agreed to a “sit”. I’m a bit wary about personal contact info being freely available - please can someone tell me how it works in practice with things like full name, email address and phone numbers?

I just read the Trustpilot sight and noted some negative reviews, particularly something about the length of time taken to process ID checks and a “5 applicant limit”.

Can anyone comment on these? The sit I have seen, which is the only reason I want to join right now, is in mid-October. If my ID checks can’t be processed by then, then it seems pointless my applying.

Also, there is criticism about the ability to apply for a sit being removed after only 5 people have applied for it. Have I understood this correctly? Does this mean that the advertised sits you see may not in fact be available any longer? How do you know if a sit is still available?

Many thanks

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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 :slight_smile:

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

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Hi welcome to the Forum. I can’t comment on all your questions but can tell you our experience as new sitters on THS. I don’t know if this is representative of others but does show the potential. We joined in May having prevaricated for months as there was a perfect sit for us. We applied and got it (it is for Christmas so not yet done). The day after joining we were contacted by a house owner and within a couple of days had a Zoom call with them and a two week sit confirmed. This went really well and we have kept in touch with them since then. It has also led to the possibility of a three month sit for them early in 2023. Whilst on the two week sit in July we saw a further five week sit which started the day after the other one finished. We applied and got it.
So, within less than six months of joining we have completed a total of seven weeks sitting, have another ten day sit over Christmas and the strong likelihood of a three month sit early next year. Maybe we had ‘beginners luck’ but lack of reviews didn’t seem a problem although we did post three references from friends and neighbours as we would often take care of their pets when they were on holiday but not through THS. Our ID checks were confirmed almost immediately but I believe that if you are USA based they take longer as they are more extensive. I hope this is some help to you and good luck if you decide to join!

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I joined around May. In that time, I have done 4 sits, and I have 2 more planned for the next 2 months. I didn’t have any references, but tried to put as much information about what I am doing/where I’ve been, why I am a sitter on my profile page. I also try to treat every prospective sit I am applying for as a job, and try to stress that making their pets feel unstressed and that respecting their home is my first priority. I’ve had only one of my sits request a conference call; the rest we just messaged back and forth on the website. When we get closer to the sit and are communicating more frequently, I start using WhatsApp to communicate. There is very little private information shared. Overall, this has been a positive experience for me-Yes, you see people unhappy, but you can’t please everyone. I find when a prospective sit doesn’t work out, it will open up another opportunity elsewhere.

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@Newbie987 welcome. I’m a relatively new sitter on THS having joined in mid May. I have just completed by 5th sit since joining. 3 were in my home country and 2 overseas (Copenhagen and Venice). My advice is to fill out your sitters profile as fully as you can. Offer to do a video chat with any HO so you can emeet. I also suggest start applying to less popular sits and maybe local ones to build up your feedback. That’s what I did. It can be hard to start with getting your first sit but just keep applying. Good luck.

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