Membership fee credits for low-use sitters and unpopular sits

I’m thinking that many sitters who have families, jobs, or very limited travel budgets are probably only able to complete 1-2 sits per year, or maybe not any. As such, the $129+ membership fee may be too high to justify the value received.

My first suggestion: For sitter members signed up to auto-renew, on the renewal date if they have had zero sits in the past year they get 50% off their next year. Members that have completed only one sit (7 days or less) get 25% off their next year. This will encourage people to keep their membership even if they couldn’t find sits to fit their available dates, acceptable travel distance, etc., or if none of the sits they applied to selected them. I’m guessing this will net THS more money in membership fees by encouraging people to stay subscribed and keeping people feeling like they got decent value for their money.

A second suggestion: if a sitter is the ONLY applicant, and the HO confirms that sitter, the sitter should get an $X credit to their account toward their next renewal. This does two things: First, it makes the less attractive sits a bit more likely to get at least 1 applicant; that makes the HO happy because THS worked for them. Second, it makes the sitter happy because they earned $X for taking an unpopular sit. It could be worded something like this: “You were the only applicant for your upcoming sit at ____'s place. As a special thanks for helping ____ successfully find a housesitter, TrustedHouseSitters is crediting your account $X. This means your next membership renewal will be $X less! Enjoy your stay!” When the membership renews, include a note again about the discount they received.

THS could do a similar credit for sits that are new and have zero reviews, to encourage people to apply to unreviewed listings and increase the number of applicants that first-time HO’s get. “This is the first time ____ has listed their home on TrustedHouseSitters, and you were their perfect match! As a special thanks …”

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My first thought was “do you work in the insurance industry?”

I have lost count of the amount of times I have telephoned my insurance provider and asked for the perks they are advertising for new customers. The answer is always no.
I would feel very aggrieved if this suggestion was implemented. As a full time sitter NOW and as a two weeks a year sitter in the past I feel I have paid my dues and deserve any freebies that are being given.

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Hmmm, I think, with THS having only recently rejigged membership rates etc, a further change is unlikely.
Often, I have been the only applicant but this is because the HO has almost instantly accepted my application. I would not say that those sits are necessarily unpopular ones: I know lots of people who would jump at the chance of a few weeks in Florida!

That’s a good point about homeowners accepting the first sit application that comes in. Perhaps any credit would only apply if a sit had no applicants for a certain period of time, or if the sit start date was less than a certain number of days, etc.

Seeing how many hundreds of sits are available, I really think THS needs to give more consideration to sitters who don’t sit often enough to justify the membership fee.

I don’t see how the last suggestion here could work. It’s market forces. The sitter surely knows that a) there’s considerable competition for certain housesits and b) due their own personal circumstances there may be weeks and even months between their sits. Plus c) we still have a situation in which overseas international travel is restricted to some extent.
As a teacher I can do school holiday sits only. But I cannot expect THS to refund me pro-rata for the 195 days I’m not available.

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Doing a single multi-day sit pays for the cost of membership if you look at what it would cost to pay a hotel for a stay somewhere. so it seems a bit unnecessary to refund people who don’t sit much. If anything I think it would be better as the opposite. the more you sit the lower your cost. why should people who only rarely take sits be rewarded vs people who are sitting all the time? It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like a reward stamp at a coffee shop. You don’t earn rewards by NOT buying coffee. You earn them by buying a lot.

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Even if you only sat for one or two nights a year, it’s comparable to a night or two in a hotel.

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I think mahkato has a good idea going though. Especially if uou join and dont manage to get a sit.

At the moment it seems that there are a lot more listings than available sitters.
If sitters follow the guidelines they should be able to be confirmed even without any reviews yet.

I totally agree with thejohnsfam - one night in a hotel in the city where I live is three times the price of what I would pay for the THS membership for a year! If a sitter can’t afford a one year membership that they don’t think gives them good value then I wouldn’t advise joining the organization.

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I agree.
Especially in Australia. The membership fee for a house sitter is like a one night accommodation in a city of this country.