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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Hi everyone! My name is Roxana from UK and I’m new on this platform, I just created my account.
I’m sorry if my question is offensive for anyone. I don’t know much about this platform, but I know that I love pets incredibly and this is pretty much my dream job so my question is, do we get paid when we pet and house sit? I could probably still pet sit in my holidays if we don’t get paid, but if we do get paid I could start doing this full time.
I could never even imagine a job where I could spend all my time around animals and I feel like now I can finally do it.
Thank you for your answers.

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Hi @Roxana and welcome.
In short you do not get paid - there are other sites where you do.
Hopefully you will be able to get your pet fix in your spare time when not working.
I suggest you apply for local sits to start with and build up your reviews.

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Hi and welcome @Roxana. If you have actually joined THS, then it may not be what you are really looking for as no money is exchanged between owner and sitter. It is not a job. The equal exchange is pet and home care for accommodation. It would be a good idea to read up about THS through the many excellent blogs and information provided via the Help button on the site to get a clear idea as to whether THS will suit what you are wanting. You certainly could do this in your holidays though as you have an incredible love of pets, but at your own expense like we all do. Have fun!

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Hi Roxanna
There is a site called Pawshake where sitters get paid. And probably other sites too- you’ll have to google.
Even though THS is a no money exchange-as others have said- you could still use the site for your benefit- e.g local weekend sits to get some experience and build up your reviews. - to help you get paid sits elsewhere.
Or you could look for an attractive looking home/location to have a bit of a holiday or a change of scenery!
And if you use the site for more extensive travels you can save a fortune on accomodation costs- which- though not actual pay is very helpful to the budget & you get to spend time in lovely homes with gorgeous pets! E.g We spent 5 months in Western Australia housesitting up and down the coast- had a great experience- beautiful homes, including villas with pools, & so many lovely animals! And gorgeous beaches. And we only had about 2 weeks total paid accomodation in all that time! So there are plenty of other benefits to joining THS!

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Hi @Roxana! Welcome!

Totally fair question to ask. And you’ve already gotten helpful info from other helpful members. As @temba noted, you can find more on the TH website’s help section and the TH blog. For example:

Oh, and searching these forums is also a wealth of info. But I totally get just wanting to talk to a real human sometimes. Maybe we’ll add chat to these forums, as I think Discourse recently added that feature.

As others have noted, no, you don’t get paid on TH. But don’t give up so easily! Keep pushing. If your goal is to get paid while pet sitting, you could simply separate the two: get a remote job and then apply for sits via TH. People do this all the time. Just search the forums for stuff like “remote work” or “jobs” or “nomad”:

Also, @Amparo recently recommended a book in another topic:

Or you could try to be a zookeeper. =)

Best of luck! –Geoff

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