New here and would love to get feedback on our profile

Hi! I joined the site two months ago, and I’ve been so excited to get started on sits! Initially I was encouraged because we were accepted on 2 sits. The first sit was cancelled by the owner due to their trip being cancelled, and I had to cancel the second sit due to my daughter unfortunately contracting covid (I’m fully vaccinated and boostered). Since then we haven’t had any luck. Most owners don’t message us when our application is denied, so I would greatly appreciate receiving any feedback regarding our profile and any changes that might be helpful. I’m a single parent traveling with my daughter, who turns 9 this summer. I completely understand many homes are not child friendly, or owners might have concerns because their pets have had limited exposure to children. I’m very thoughtful regarding the sits we apply for, and I really try to personalize and give a detailed application letter when we submit. We just completed an 8 night sit through another homesitting website and we received an excellent review. If anyone has a moment to look at our profile I would greatly appreciate it! I’m wondering if there’s additional information I should include, etc. Thanks so much for any feedback!

Hi @sherrien and welcome to the forum. I have not read all of your listing, in part because you have created very long paragraphs, which I find difficult to focus on. I would suggest you add some ‘white space’ (blank lines) in your content, especially where you change to a different topic or aspect of your skills, for example. It makes for easier reading for many people.

You have spent some time at the start introducing your pets, saying that you have the option of someone watching them if they don’t come with you. As taking your own pets can limit you to the sits you will be considered for, I suggest you start by making it clear that you do not expect to take your pets with you, but if you can, then that would be a bonus. Otherwise homeowners may pass you by if they sense that you want to bring them with you.

You may also want to set up your availability calendar, as every bit of detail helps. Note that green shows when you are available, and currently your calendar shows all white.

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Hi @sherrien. Welcome to TrustedHousesitters and to the forum.

In a past life corporate communications was part of my job responsibilities, and I agree with @Snowbird’s recommendations. You want to make it easy for busy homeowners to scan your profile and pick out the most important pieces. This is your elevator speech, as they say, and you only have a quick few minutes to get your most important messages across before you lose your reader’s attention.

As an example, you might want to remove all sentences about your dogs in your About section, making “My daughter has grown up with pets [both large and small]…” as your third sentence. Currently that message gets lost, but I’m guessing that’s what you’re hoping to get across.

A next paragraph could be about your extensive experience in residential property management and the skills that’s given you, so the homeowners know you’ll take great care of their beloved property and handle any emergencies well. Were/are you also a homeowner of many years?

Finally a paragraph, really just a sentence or two, about liking to hike, etc.

Decide on one or two main messages you want to get across in each section of your profile, and keep your reader focused on those messages. That will help homeowners get a good understanding of what a great pet sitting team you and your daughter are.

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Thanks so much! That’s so helpful! I’m definitely going to work on restructuring it this weekend!

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Thanks so much! That really helps! I definitely don’t plan on bringing our pets, so I need to make that clear. And I have a tendency to be too wordy, and it sounds like the long paragraphs make it hard. :slight_smile: I really appreciate your advice! I didn’t even realize my availability calendar was showing unavailable.

@OnTheGlobalRoad has given you great advice, and the concept of the ‘elevator speech’ and first impressions are so important.

Your listing did give me the impression that you were hoping to bring your pets whenever possible, so it would be good to review that.

As for the calendar, don’t feel bad. If you search ‘calendar’ with the spyglass you’ll see many suggestions for changes to make it more user-friendly. It’s on the wish list of most sitters. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I agree with the suggestions to keep paragraphs short and to the point, but as a fellow HS I have to say your pictures are divine and your daughter is just beautiful!

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As a HO I agree with everything @Snowbird and @Angela-CommunityManager suggest.
When someone applies to my listing I first read the application, check if the sitter has read most of it and asked questions, but before I dive further into it, I quickly scan the sitter’s profile.
What I want to know is:

-Is he/she traveling alone, as a couple or, like you, with children? I would not go on reading from there, because our house isn’t safe for small children and I mention this in my listing.

-Is the sitter fully vaccinated? If not, I decline right away.

-Does the sitter plan to take along any pets? I would stop reading, because our cats don’t welcome pet intruders.

-Does the sitter have experience with (older) cats? If yes, great, even without any reviews yet!

-Has the sitter owned (or still does) a house? Wonderful, because I think there’s a difference between (especially very young) renters or owners in appreciating other’s property.

-Does the sitter have experience with house/pet sitting?

Then I look at the pictures. If there are only pictures from sightseeing places around the world and hardly any pets, I will probably not consider the sitter.

What I am trying to say is, keep it short but clear with important information. Of course I expect the sitter to leave the house as clean as he/she found it. Everything else can be talked about.
What I appreciate is, because Covid-19 isn’t over yet, if the sitter mentions that he/she would be able to stay a few days longer in case there are any travel disruptions. At the moment we don’t dare to confirm sitters, who go from one sit to the next without some space inbetween.

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Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I definitely will reduce the length of my profile and get more to the point. I’ve been a home owner for many years, so I will definitely add that to my profile. It makes sense that information might be important to another home owner. And that’s excellent advice regarding having the flexibility to extend a stay. We actually did this recently when a homeowner’s flight was rescheduled for the following day. Thanks so much for your advice!

This actually was the main reason why I chose the couple, who will sit for us in July, even if they don’t have any reviews yet. The other reasons were that they cared for their older cat, which needed regular shots and medicine until it passed away and that they assured us they could be flexible.
We did a video call and I also saw a part of their house. It looked beautiful and very clean so I think they are perfect.
Good luck :four_leaf_clover:
I am sure you will find a great sit to start with.