I have been using the THS website & app for over 2 years as a sitter but this week had the experience as a new home owner seeking a sitter for 5 months while we are sitting in the UK. From a sitter’s perspective our sit is desirable - an easy care beachfront apartment with no pets, just some plants to water, resort amenities in the building, great public transport and coastal pathways and numerous cafes nearby. Within 24 hours of the listing going live we had 19 applications. Here are some learnings:
- make sure all photos are in landscape orientation not portrait as they fill the space and don’t have thick black margins on each side like portrait layout does
- if your sit is a long one, have some understanding of your country’s tourist visa limitations. Half our applicants were international and Australia’s tourist visa rules have changed limiting most to being automatically granted for 3 months even though the goverment website says it can be for up to 12 months, however this is for extenuating circumstances, not a given. Meaning, for a 5 month sit some international applicants might back out when they can’t get a long enough visa. This is not helpful if you have confirmed them in THS and then they have to cancel. I know sitters should research all of this before they apply for a sit but a lot don’t.
- don’t be afraid to hit the pause button to review listings. I went to work with 10 applications and by lunchtime had 19 when I hit pause. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
- as soon as possible send all applicants a quick thank you note advising you have had several applications that you are reviewing and will get back to them soon (all sitters were very appreciative of this)
- DON’T decline all applicants before you have formally confirmed your sitter! We had a video meeting with great sounding sitters who were keen to do our sit. We thought it was going to happen. We formally invited them, formally declined all the other applicants so they could get on with their lives, and then the invited sitters declined our application. We then had to go back to a few declined sitters, explain the situation and arrange video calls. It was a bit embarrassing. But we did get great sitters, the 19th applicant before we paused the listing! Fate intervened nicely!
- WhatsApp is a more stable video platform than Zoom
- have now started working on the welcome guide, it’s clunky and not user friendly…
Fabulous details, @Crookie, thank you.
I, too, am both a sitter and owner and very much concur with your input on best ways to ensure success. It can become overwhelming at times when your home and/or location is so desirable that a large number of applicants come in straight away. There is a great deal of time and consideration given when reviewing all candidates so your point to make sure to acknowledge applicants quickly is spot on.
I personally agree the Welcome Guide could use tweaking and our tech team is working on it.
All the best with your upcoming stay in the UK. We hope to see updates along the way…
Karen S and the Forum Team
Hi @Crookie and as @KarenS-Moderator says, this is fabulous detail and very much appreciated feedback from your sit that I know would be useful to new and existing members alike. I wonder if you’d mind if we moved this into the “Help Getting Started” Category where it will serve to both inform and educate owners arriving at the forum? What do you think?
It also happened to us regularly that a HO’s “chosen” sitter declined and we got contacted later by the HO. We usually only apply to one sit at a time, but a lot of sitters apply to multiple sits and then pick the one that is “best” for them.
@Crookie This is excellent information and supports the idea that THS pausing applications at FIVE is probably not going to be the BEST solution! I am all for incentivizing Owners to respond to applicants in a timely manner, but FIVE applications might be too low.
A post was merged into an existing topic: Product Update - June 2022
On request I am adding here a post by @keysfun that provides another good lesson and subsequent advice for new owners:
I feel absolutely awful. I made a decision on a sitter and confirmed with her. I had intended to write to a couple of others I was considering to let them know, but before I could do that, I received a sort of ‘not so nice’ response from someone. It was then that I realized once you confirm a sitter, apparently any others you are considering are automatically declined.
Lesson learned. I want to write to the others and apologize, and explain that I didn’t know how the system worked and how awful I feel, which is true. My gut feeling is to do that, even if they are angry, or, what I’m asking is - would any of you suggest I just move on because they probably won’t ever respond to future posts anyway. I feel so bad. Any insight is appreciated - what would you do? Thanks. I prefer to do the “right” thing and just apologize. Just looking for feedback please.
The full thread on this topic can be found here:
Accepting a sitter & confirming