My challenge: Many homeowners prefer females or married couples 🙁

So after being turned down for a few sits, I’m finding that many homeowners prefer a female sitter or a married couple. Although I can understand it, at times that’s proving to be a challenge for me :slightly_frowning_face:. So In response, I’m trying to strongly emphasize that I would treat their home with unwavering care and upon their return they would find your home just the way they left it. I also assure them that I would spend most of my waking hours in their home keeping it tidy and attending to their pets and under no circumstances would any other person(s) be allowed into their home on my watch. I’m married, but my wife still works full time and I’m retired. I’m open to any suggestions other sitters may have!

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Hi @Brian_S , I have to admit as a HO I might be a bit more wary of having a single young man doing a sit for us, but like wise I wouldn’t be very keen on a single young female either, as we have a large house and three dogs. Generally we prefer older sitters and usually a couple to sit, but we do have a single mature lady coming to sit for us in May. I would have no problem with a mature man sitting on his own.

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Don’t be discouraged @Brian_S. Though that may be true that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people just like you who would welcome the opportunity to welcome you. Like you said, it’s a challenge.
do you accept?
go on get on with your bad self.
Also keep in mind that this forum represents just a wee sampling of the thousands of wonderful, unique, individual members on THS.

But wait there’s more, I always have more :smiling_face:
This is a network, we build a greater more concentrated network of “our ideal people” with time. Your reviews, feedback, word of mouth will build your network and the natural order will make it happen for you.
There are lots of male travelers, sitters here.

Come on out fellows.

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Hello @Brian_S and welcome to the forum. I can relate to your concerns, having gone through a parallel situation. I am a solo female sitter. My first four years with THS was sitting with my (then) husband, and together we were an ideal pairing in that we had different strengths and skills. Continuing on as a solo sitter, I felt that couples would be favoured over me. However, having been reassured by homeowners from previous sits who became friends, I continued on and have had successful sits.

I do realize that at times there are benefits to a homeowner having a couple for certain sits, or that it is just their preference. The reverse is also true. Hopefully you will hear from our solo male sitters, many of whom are full-time sitters booked well in advance. As for ‘being turned down for a few sits’ - we ALL experience that, but it may have nothing to do with you being a male.

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Like you, I put a post on here asking for advice after being turned down 13 times in a row! - Nobody wants me :-( Advice for a first time house sitter?.

I updated my profile and I made it clear that “I’m a single, non-smoking, 52 year old regular guy”. My profile also says what my interests are, and some of my photos show these, as well as pictures with the dogs I’ve looked after. I kept applying and it worked. I had several sits last year, and have several lined up for this year, and have now built up my profile with some great reviews. I’m now contacted on an almost weekly basis by homeowners asking if I can sit for them.

So, don’t be disheartened, keep applying for sits and you’ll be successful.

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Brian
I’m single male but 70 years old. Some folks do specify a female or couple, sometimes I’ll apply anyhow and talk about gender.
First few sits were hard, until I had some reviews, but now up to 40+.
Just keep telling your story in your applications.

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hi @Brian_S, I joined THS in February 2017 and decided to try doing some sits in SE Asia.
Initially, I was applying when I was still in Scotland, with no success, so took the plunge and travelled to Singapore where I was able to stay with a friend.

Almost immediately I got my first 2 sits in Bangkok, back to back, then another in Vietnam again straight after the Bangkok ones ended - being in the region helped, an hour or so flight.

I have never had an issue as a solo male sitter, and have now completed almost 50 sits. Once you get the 1st couple under your belt and a couple of good reviews, I don’t think it matters - Homeowners read your application, profile and reviews - they are looking for the best sitter for their home and pets.

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Hi @Brian_S :-). Have you got some external reviews in with your profile? Are you wanting to get away from home or simply have a chance to spend time with pets during your retirement? If the latter and you live in England there is a great resource called Borrowmydoggy.com. Are you familiar with it? My brother and his wife “borrow” a doggy from an elderly couple and give the dog great walks and everyone benefits, dog included. That would be a way to get some great reviews from local pet owners which you could then include here on THS. Borrowmydoggy has also started a house/pet sitting service so again, if those are close to home you have a great chance of amassing reviews for you future house sitting career :-). But as everyone has said, keep trying and your breakthrough will come. All the best :slight_smile:

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Hi @Brian_S I took a look at your profile and must say that it’s really impressive. You have so much experience with animals that I am confident it would make homeowners feel comfortable leaving their pets in your care.

I see from your calendar that you have your first sit coming up later this month. Congratulations! It will be good to then get your first review, as many homeowners are guided by that feedback.

Only one thing I would suggest is to show your availability on your calendar. You’ll see discussions on the forum of the need for the calendar to be revamped, but there are homeowners who still decide to contact sitters directly, based on the sitter’s calendar. Your calendar appears as though you are not available. Updating that may just be the difference for the next homeowner looking for a local sitter, for example. I hope all goes well for you.

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Thank you so much fellow sitters! I’m really delighted to receive your support and encouragement. It means a lot.

Thanks again for caring and taking the time to reply.

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Hi Brian,

You’ve had such great feedback and support from our amazing community but I’m going to move the profile link from your post as we don’t have links to listings or profiles on the forum. You can add to your forum profile so community members can view and get to know you.

Here is the “How To” link How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile

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I really appreciate the time you took to assist me, you didn’t have to do that, it demonstrates kindness and generosity. Your advice is sound and I would welcome more where appropriate. It’s people like you that help restore my faith in humankind! Thank you!

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Hi Brian. I am a HO, and our sit has quite a few animals (donkeys, alpacas, sheep, chickens, ducks, as well as our dog and cats) and so is not suited to someone who wants to spend a lot of time touring the area. or sitting with their feet up cuddling the cat, and we always think it may be better suited to a couple due to the extra workload, and also them having company in such a rural area. However, we have just accepted a gentleman in his 60s for our September sit. He usually housesits with his wife, but this one will be on his own due to her having a prior commitment, and he is looking forward to some time alone with the company of the animals and home comforts! We did face time with him so we could get a sense that his goal for the sit matched ours and that his attitude toward the animals was loving and caring, but we would do that with anyone, even a couple.

Whatever the age or gender of an applicant/s, we would want to be certain of the commitment to the sit, and the fact that our animals’ safety and comfort are top of their priority list. Like others have said, I would mention that sort of thing in your profile (I haven’t checked it so maybe you have already). As a HO I try to anticipate the sorts of questions or reservations potential sitters may have and answer them in my listing BEFORE they have to ask them (even if it makes my listing longer - which it does). Perhaps you could take that approach - if there are things that you feel HO may have reservations about, answer those reservations upfront before they have a chance to need to ask them!

We have had a single man housesitting for us before and it was fine.

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Why would you be worried. Brian is 58 btw

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I didn’t say I would be worried, I said I would be wary of having any single young person sitting for us, this is probably because we have a big old house and three dogs and being older ourselves we feel more comfortable having someone with more life experience, the kind that can only be gained over time, this is why we would prefer more mature sitters……

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We’d like to have you sit for our Miniature Schnauzer. Look at our listing to see if the dates suit you.
Charles

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I would not dismiss a single male sitter right away. It all depends on if he is the right one for our needs. If it’s a fit it doesn’t matter if single, couple, male or female or whatever :wink: applies.

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That is true and even I advise going with a couple over a single person (if all other things are equal). But if you just keep applying and saying everything you have mentioned… you will get sits. The solution will be to keep building the resume (reviews). A stacked resume will put people at ease when choosing a single or male sitter. GOOD LUCK!

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I checked out your profile I think your first picture(where you are not smiling) would be better if you had one of the friendly pictures with pets, It just looks a little cold and not you (given the other pics) Everything else looks great but being greeted with that first pic might not be the impression you want to put forward.
I hope you understand that my intentions are good.

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Some homeowners ask for female sitters because their pet(s) may be afraid of men.
This is quite common with rescue pets.

We’ve been on sits where one cat has shown a distinct preference for my husband, the other one prefers me.

Also, in our applications, we emphasise our home exchange experience, which involves deep cleaning our place for guests, plus knowing how to care for other people’s places.

Perhaps if you outline your domestic duties credentials as well as pet-sitting experience, you may get more acceptances.

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