Listing photos and descriptions

Looking for a sit in Australia, I’ve noticed that many of the listings have the briefest of descriptions and very few photos. We didn’t re join an Aussie site for this very reason. Some of the photos are really random, one main photo was of a toilet! Better perhaps than another with what appeared to be a crystal glass filled with alcohol, in front of what could be an inflatable spa. Or photos of the owners :woman_shrugging:
As a sitter I want to see where I will be living, sleeping, eating, bathing etc. Just a couple of photos of the pets is enough. Descriptions too of the home’s location and amenities plus an honest but brief outline of what is required for pet and home care.
This doesn’t appear to apply to listings for other countries. Can anyone explain why Aussies appear less willing to post these things than their counterparts elsewhere?


@Nina I am an Aussie. If you can give me an answer to this question then we’ll both know! :crazy_face: To be honest, I sometimes get a bit of a laugh out of the ads you mentioned, particularly a toilet being the main photo. I’ve seen that on all house-sitting sites and in many countries not just Oz. Not sure if your query is specific to TH?

I think one of the main reasons is that there are two main players in the housesitting game in Australia. Both those sites are free for homeowners to place an ad and usually homeowners advertise on both those sites. Housesitters pay a nominal fee, much less than TH.

I am on both those sites and most of my sits come from these but TH when I travel internationally, unless TH has a suitable one here. I have done dozens of sits from these two sites and 99% of them have been fantastic with their ads showing everything you mentioned so I wouldn’t say it is the norm, but certainly does happen more than it should. TH has it’s faults like five rules cough cough five cough, but it is a premium site and we pay for the privilege.

We are a pretty easy going lot here down under but I agree, it is an annoying habit, worldwide.

But there are so many sits here, on three sites, just ignore the ones you don’t like. The majority are fabulous and so are the people :person_raising_hand:

But hey, it’s worth it just to be here hey? :wink::kangaroo:


My experience is limited, less than two months and in only one glorious area, but I have been out and about and there is a totally different and wonderful vibe here.
People are friendly, extremely kind, private in the sense that they are respectful, keep to themselves but ready and eager to chat or help.
Wholesome is the word that comes to mind.
People are relaxed and genuine.


I’m going to disagree with you @Nina if you are referring to Aussie sits on THS as I find the majority have the required photos and information; certainly more details and photos than the other two sites where owners join for free. It may depend on your availability dates as to what listings are shown. As an international sitter, listings with few photos and very little detail do appear for other countries so it’s not just Aussie ones. Just bypass those that don’t meet your requirements just like many of us do.

Agreed @temba :+1:

I don’t understand the fact you say there are not enough photos. I have been a member (HO) for several years and had a variety of photos of house, land and pets. Then last year I seemed to be blocked for putting my post up to search for sitters. After some back and forth I saw a message saying you don’t have enough photos. I had to go on and add the bathroom as I hadn’t provided one before. So from my point of view THS request soooooo many photos I cant see why you don’t have enough. I don’t mind, you are going to see my house when you get here and it is very nice.

I’m not sure if Nina is talking about TH or the other two Australian sites. I’m a little confused and think a few of us might be?

My observation is that the Aussie specific site I joined was terribly disappointing photo and description wise. I expected the THS site to have the same number of photos for an Oz sit as they do for any other country. Reading the listings I am finding this is not so. I believe THS require a certain number of photos now but from what I have seen they are clearly not enforcing this. I was just curious as to why this just appears to apply to sits in Oz, whichever platform they are on.

Hi @Nina unless a member is combined it can be hard to know how each side works. Listings do have minimum photo and word count requirements. If either of these are “short changed” the member will get an error message and will need to complete before a listing goes to approvals. This is a universal requirement and doesn’t vary from country to country.

All new listings go through a manual approved system, existing listings don’t and will be published when new dates are added.

Editing: In the same way that sitter members can edit their profiles, pet parents/owners can edit their home listings, can remove and change images and change copy once approved/created.

Existing listings can be published just by adding new dates. These listings would likely have been created before any minimum requirements were introduced, which would account for any “missing” images.

The blog has some really helpful articles for pet parents/owners to help guide them to create a great listing … like this one

And advice about imagery too …

The same help is available for sitters when creating their profiles.

We hope this helps answer some of the questions around photos and listings.

As this is mostly sitters, I’ll tell you what the interface is like from a homeowner perspective. You are instructed to show photos of every room. You can choose the “cover” photo. This is easy. There is a circle saying “cover photo” you can check off next to each photo. So there is no reason to see a bathroom cover shot here unless the HO really isn’t paying attention or wants a bathroom shot as their cover. There is no mark identifying what each room is, but I think there might be a minimum number of photos, so one could put all exterior shots and I think it would pass. You could certainly leave out one of the essential rooms and the system wouldn’t catch it. There is a space to write caption/descriptions of each photo, but these don’t actually appear anywhereon the phone app or the website, so I don’t know what that is doing there or how one could access it if it is supposed to be alt text for visually impaired people. If they were upgrading the system, it would be useful to help eliminate human error by having people upload room by eg living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, bathroom 1, etc. Perhaps even with prompts for HOs asking, “Are there any other rooms that guests will have access to?”


Idk why the Aussie thing, I did read the comments, so the other/combined sites could be the problem, idk.
In the 70 sits we have done so far, I have had many many invites overseas and some of their listing photo’s are a bit hit and miss, however the possibly thousands that I have looked at in the UK, there are many that leave you wondering.
Possibly TH need to give a few more tips to HO when they are listing. The challenge is that HO usually does not sign up until they are a Month or so out from their travel date, I know on the free sites here in the UK they put very minimal information and Photo’s before we joined TH we were on other sites to the UK that the HO gets for free and the Sitter pays, worlds apart from the TH listing. Plus the HO mindset again worlds apart. Hence why we didn’t renew on those sites and joined just TH, it’s worked we for us, a different group of Pet/Home owners have joined since lockdown because many know full well their Pets are not going to be okay going to the Cattery or Kennels and many that you would want your Pet to go to, won’t take them due to them being Lockdown pets and anxiety, not socialised or training classes and them just not coping, it’s cruel on the Pets to do that to them, so they are more and more looking at House sitters, they tend to put soooo many photo’s of their pets, not many of their home, so many toilet photo’s at the seat is up, the only time I want to see that is that it’s a sparkling clean bowl! lol. I am fairly confident that nearly every house on TH has at least 1 loo, it might be outside, but they have one, we don’t need to see it, maybe the Bathroom yes so you know if you are in a Shower/Bath or just a Shower or Bath, we have been to some where it was just a Bath, no shower, no shower hose, just a bath…
The Room(s) you are in, your Bathroom(s) Kitchen, Laundry, Living area’s if HO are worried about privacy, put some tea towels over the Photo’s before you take the Photo for your listing, no one is asking for the front of the house so that you can google street maps it for the location, however some photo’s of outside, and inside and yes the pets. Most of us don’t need a Photo of the local attractions, parks, entertainment etc, we can ask you or good old google will provide it all. I understand some HO for privacy reasons be it a business run from their address or child protection if they do fostering etc will not post any photo’s of their property, just their pets and still not disclosing anything that could hint at where they live or who lives there, however this is the minority really.
So in answer to your question lovely IDK??? However I think TH could help out HO with their initial listing that they are wanting the right sitters for their pets and home, their peace of mind and so therefore if they advertise it, they will get a good number of applications if they are clear and concise in their listing and also the visuals.
HO check our profiles, how many, where, the feedback etc, they look at our Photos and if they not, then you possibly know that they might not be that fussed, they can’t put their pets in to Kennels or Cattery because they won’t take them or HO does not have the budget and then you ask them lots of questions and for more photo’s of if agreed a video walk through beforehand.
I do look closely at the backgrounds of the Pet Photo’s, are they on a Bed? Lounge/Sofa, the Kitchen table etc, I look at the outside of the property does it look unkept, messy, I look at the photo’s of the inside, is it messy, cluttered, does it look dirty etc, you get a good feel for a HO and what to expect by these photo’s too. I am guilty of looking for an AGA in the Kitchen if I see one, I usually apply, I love AGA cooking, the Pets are always at the AGA when it’s Winter time, it will keep the house warm, you can dry your clothes on the rail and have a pot of soup rolling all the time, but that’s just me… lol, what does annoy me is the photo’s of the Hot tub/Swimming Pool, however they then say " it’s turned off you can’t use it" well don’t put it in there, it’s like putting a photo of the Master Bedroom in the listing but it’s not for use, don’t put it in there, or the Garages, but there’s not space for your car, you can’t use, don’t put it in the listing and the photo’s, I don’t have gold bullion in my profile photos that would make a HO think “ohhhh, are they going to leave that gold bullion here for us?” lol (sorry aussie humour coming out there) x
Hopefully you find some good sits in Aus, I am pretty sure if you see sits that you think could work for you, they’d be happy to send you some pics in the TH messages and answer any questions, if not, you might not want to sit for them anyway.
Happy Sitting x

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@Nina I think if you have a look at the statistics, Australia actually has a far smaller number of sits than, say, the UK so I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say Oz seems different. At any one time, there is roughly over 5,000 available sits throughout the world, of which Oz forms a minority. I think you have simply been unlucky or something in the sits you have actually looked at in Oz to make your comparison.

I just took a random look at some sits in other countries and some certainly leave a lot to be desired insofar as photos and descriptions! One that keeps popping up is a main/first photo of a sink full of dishes! So this is not a country specific issue on TH, agreed it is an issue on the other two Oz sites but one of those sites also has a UK arm and the issue is the same there.

Screenshot is current as at 23 October.

I guess having had a very unsatisfactory experience with the Aussie site we joined, I was expecting better with THS Oz listings.
We never rejoined the Aussie site because of the lack of photos and info. Fortunately we have found some sits in Oz through THS now. So the listings are better but there is still room for improvement. It’s just not something we had noticed before we started looking at Australia.

Hi Angela,
Thanks for answering. I know the same standards apply to listings worldwide but there does appear to be a certain reluctance with HO’s in Oz to post photos and descriptions. This was particularly evident on the Aussie site we joined but didn’t use and didn’t renew.
Interesting that only new THS listings have to be compliant and old ones get through the net.
We applied for one THS sit that from the description sounded really appealing. However the primary photo was a very dark view looking out from the house. 5 photos were of the dog and one of the cat. There were no others. It was not possible from any of these to get any idea of what the accommodation was like.
The HO contacted us and wanted to set up a video call for this past weekend. We replied with when we were available and added that we would like to see some photos of where we would be sleeping etc. We have not heard back from the HO and today we withdrew our application.
They have had 3 sitters. The first was 7 years ago, the most recent 4 years ago. Only 1 left a review for a sit 5 years ago, which was for a different dog. This sit is still looking for sitters.
If only all HO’s would read the 2 excellent links you gave and act on them. Sitters would know what to expect and HO’s would get applicants.
P.S Swindon seems a long time ago now. So wish we could do it all again :hugs:

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