@lcoley: Any news since you last wrote? I see you still have 1 applicant, so that’s promising!
Photos: @Samox24 did what I would’ve done and linked to TH help. But that’s half the story, as you noted. See also: Home Listing Cover Photo - #29 by geoff.hom. The TL;DR is—if you want a pet photo as the cover—you have to upload the photo in the home section, then select it as “cover photo.”
Vashon Island is dear to my heart even though I’ve never been there. My mom, as a child, picked strawberries, cherries, and apples there. My aunt grew up there; she was a Matsuda: Revisiting Washington — Matsuda Farm. She’s got this plaque in her restroom:
Your sit is pretty long and good. But, yes, there seem a lot of other great Seattle sits right now. Three ideas:
- Change your title, esp. considering the truncated version in search results. Maybe:
“Car+bike+isle+easiest dogs ever! 5-stars x 14!”
- Make your cover photo a collage. You’ll have to make the collage yourself, but it should be straightforward if you google it.
- In the responsibilities (or earlier), note how long the animals can be left alone and a minimal day. You want both bits to be easy to read and fast to find by scanning. Similarly, make super-clear that a car and bike(s) can be provided.
Thank you so much for your clear information and inclusion of links. I am not horrible with computers, but not quiet as savvy as some (or my teenagers). As soon as I have some free time, I will be adding links. Unfortunately as seems to be our luck these days, our one applicant headed off hiking out of coverage for the weekend before she could call. Sounded enthusiastic and then cancelled her application this morning without a message! I really feel the trust and connection has changed for many sitters since COVID, but we will keep persevering as I know a great sitter is out there! Our sitters in February were amazing! It just seems as if there are a large number now who are playing the numbers game, not responding or reading requests and we did not use to experience this in past years. Thanks again for all your help.
We have owned our home on Vashon for about 20 years and I am very familiar with your family and the Matsuda name. It is wonderful how your family’s property has been restored and the gardens brought back to life. There have been some wonderful cultural events that we’ve attended at the Matsuda home. Thank you for sharing! I will Google making our cover photo a collage and did also find out that as far as I can tell there is no way to re-order all the pictures and mix up all the animal photos with the home/island section as they don’t ever get put together as a group. They are in different sections. But I will put at least one in the home section. I wish TH would change this and allow us to reorder all the photos together. I’m also incorporating your other suggestions of the title and putting front and center how easy the animal care tasks are as well as what we provide.
Unfortunately, our one applicant who appeared very interested last Thursday and wanted to connect via phone went hiking off the grid and then without further communication sent a cancellation of her application this morning. Disappointing. We do have one other TH member who is interested, but told me she would get back to me in a couple of days as they were trying to decide whether to stay in Mexico or come back home to Seattle. I’m thinking they made up their minds…not losing hope though and sending out 10-15 invites a day! Somebody has to think this is the right fit. Thank you for your help.
I looked into the reordering and unfortunately there does not appear to be any way to reorder all your photos that you have added to the different sections of your listing. You can only reorder them in the “home” section. I wish TH would change this and allow you to reorder all photos as when you scroll through them together it does look a little lopsided to get halfway through the home/community pictures before ever getting to the animal photos. I will add at least one animal photo to the home section and change our cover photo to a collage as another member suggested to accurately represent
I can’t believe you still don’t have applicants. Your sit looks so great. I love the pic of the baby goat/pup together.
Can you ask one of the admins on this forum to promote your listing on social media? I’ve seen a few post on FB and Insta, but I’m not certain if those are done only for very last minute sits, or if that’s an option for everyone?
One more thing… there’s a Facebook page called World Wide Housesitting and Petsitting Community. You could join that, post your pictures and info, and refer to the THS listing. That way, a potential sitter would still be booking it through THS (and you’d have the security of having them background checked etc. through the site). The page has 29k members, so I would make sure to list it as an island near Seattle, WA and mention the ferry situation. Good luck!!
I will tag @Angela_L as she will be happy to put it on social media for you if you like?
Thank you very much. Any help getting it out there would be appreciated!
Hi @lcoley and thank you @Therese I will share again on Social … members plans change all of the time and so a sitter who wasn’t available for one reason or another, even yesterday may be available now …
Thank you for all your help!
@lcoley: You are correct. The way all PPs get a pet photo as the cover photo is to upload it to the home section. It’s a hack, but it’s the only solution I know of until the pet photos can be reordered and/or set as cover photo.
Personally, I think of the sitter’s experience, since they’re digesting the listing. If putting a pet photo first is better for them, or mixing pet photos with house photos is, then I’ll try to do that.
I would test on both the app and the website, though, as the UI is quite different. For example:
- captions are not available on the website.
- in the app, you can’t go backward on the first pic to sneak quickly to the pet pics: You really do have to go thru each house pic one by one … unless you know that you can tap on the individual pets to see their pics.
- … but on the website, clicking on a pet’s pic does nothing.
BTW, I still stand by my earlier suggestions. And if you have a PC/Android, you can test whether you can do emoji in the listing title to save space and draw more attention. Emojis do not work on Apple/Mac/iOS: it’ll delete the emoji and everything after.
Thank you! I’m still thinking about changing the title…pro’s and cons to it in terms of the demographics you’re trying to reach. Also, I do have only Mac/iOS and can’t use Emojis I guess…I’m not the most technologically savvy. Getting closer to working out a sitter plan though fortunately due to close friends who will jump in if they have to and save us! Plus we have a couple sitters who will be reaching out next week to let us know if they can do part or all the sit. One of them may be able to share the sit with another TH. At least I know we have a backup plan with our friends if all else fails and we can still get on that plane! I have really appreciated all the help and feedback on this forum. Thank you!
I wanted to post a final reply on my original question regarding our lack of applications. I wanted to let all who had reached out and helped us (as there were many) know that ultimately we did receive a request from a couple in Atlanta, GA who accepted just a few weeks before our departure and flew all the way across the country to sit. They were fantastic sitters and were so thankful for their application. I just wanted others to know that just when you think you may not find the right (or any) sitters, they just might apply!
Thank you to everyone for your suggestions and advice. I will continue to perfect our listing and incorporate all the suggestions that I received. Although I hope we don’t have this situation again, it was a positive experience from the TH side as everyone was so kind and generous with their advice. It was also great that in the last few weeks before we did find a sitter, TH was always willing to do things on their end to help us attract more applications.
Thank you !