New to TH - need a Christmas sitter

Hi - we’re new to Trusted Housesitters and think it’s a great idea!

Previously we’ve always put our two lovely cocker spaniels in home boarding or with family, but due to illnesses etc, we now have nowhere for them to go for during our long planned cruise at Christmas. (We have other trips booked next year, so are hoping to use TH then too - but with more notice of course)

We do understand it is very short notice now for a four week sit, but we have had very few replies, and nothing we’ve been able to firm up on, and are getting extremely anxious.

Can anyone suggest how we could better reach out to potential sitters? It seems a bit random contacting sitters one by one out of the thousands out there?

Advice welcomed

Kind regards
Jean and John

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Hi @JeanandJohn. Welcome to TrustedHousesitters and the forum. I’m glad you joined our community. Your link wasn’t working quite right, so I fixed it. Now our forum members will be able to take a look and suggest tweaks to fine tune it if needed.

Your home is lovely, and Lady and Lulu look like they would be fun to stay with for a month. I hope you find that perfect sitter soon!

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Hi @JeanandJohn, welcome to the Forum. You have a great listing in Saltfleet - detailed information in all categories and excellent photos of your lovely home and dogs. I can see you have 2 applicants. If they are definitely not suitable, do decline them with a personal message attached. It’s the busiest demand time for owners wanting sitters but with such an excellent listing, hopefully you will attract more interest. You can have your listing boosted. I’m tagging @Angela-HeadOfCommunity who can also offer ways she can help you re advertising it. All the best and enjoy your cruise!

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@JeanandJohn - your sit looks great and I’d consider it if I weren’t already sitting in Australia for 6 weeks - Dec-mid-Jan.
I’ll watch for other posts from you.
tom

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Yeah, I’d sit there if I were in the UK. Hmm…

I see two applicants so far. Are they still figuring things out, or are you trying to find one who sparks more joy? If you decline 1 or both applicants, it might seem more inviting to other sitters (and there’s apparently a “few applicants” search feature in beta).

If you don’t want to decline the current applicants, can you update the listing? Like append to the title: “(Still looking!)” and maybe a note at the Introduction’s start.

You could also think about splitting your dates. Like if someone can do only the first couple weeks, you could then find someone for the remaining weeks. Whether you want to be proactive about suggesting this or wait for an applicant to ask about it, is up to you.

I do wonder what impact being new is. E.g., no reviews from other sitters. Wouldn’t bother me, but others can chime in after looking at your listing.

Good luck!

HI @JeanandJohn welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters

"Hi, we are John and Jean and we have two lovely (slightly bonkers!) cocker spaniels, called Lady and Lulu … " I LOVE this description I had a Springer, Holly and yes she was bonkers also.

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As well as two adorably, bonkers Spangles is that also an Aga in your gorgeous kitchen?

Seriously you have a wonderful listing with adorable furry family members and a stunning home in a great location and such a good length of sit, a real live like a local experience …

We can share your listing on our Social channels if you give permission … this will give your listing more exposure and will make no difference to who can and cannot apply, only THS members will be able to.

Do let me know by Direct Message and we will posts asap.

Thank you for sharing your adored family with our community.

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Thank you Karen
I hope so too!
Regards
Jean

Thank you for your advice! I didn’t realise that Housesitters could see when other applications are under consideration.
I’ve been trying to be polite waiting for a response to an email, and feeling disheartened when they haven’t responded. This seems rather rude to me! I didn’t realise that by waiting for a reply from someone who isn’t bothered I could potentially be missing other opportunities.
Thank you for your help
Kind regards
Jean

Thank you

We are planning to go away hopefully in March, but I think I need to get this trip sorted first!
Kind regards
Jean

Thank you Geoff,
I will certainly apply the ‘still looking’ idea
Yes, I realise that being new makes it more difficult, as if Christmas wasn’t difficult enough!
Still, we all have to start somewhere
Kind regards
Jean

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Thank you Angela

I will DM you as suggested

Kind regards
Jean

It looks like a fabulous sit! When the times were tough for us as sitters we subscribed to all the platforms out there. Have a look at MindMyHouse, Nomador and Mindahome UK.

Oh i love them. I will keep my eye out for future sits. Unfortunately i live in Australia but will be housesitting in the future in UK and Europe…

I agree with this. If I were applying for sits, and I saw there are 2 other applicants already, I might not bother applying. I’m saying might! Sitters are a bit on edge these days with the 5 applicant limit.

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@JeanandJohn One other thing that fleetingly crossed my mind - for people like my husband who hates cold weather! Could you maybe give a very short description of how the home is heated over Dec/Jan so that sitters will know what to expect in that regard?

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Yes, I’ll add that to our house description. It’s difficult to know where to start/stop sometimes. Don’t want to overwhelm with unnecessary info!
Thanks
Jean

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Hi @JeanandJohn Your listing looks delightful and if it were in the summer we’d be very interested! But we are not winter fans so have booked our Christmas Sit in Singapore!
We really hope you find the perfect sitters for Lady & Lulu- they both look super cute! Good luck!

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Note that rejecting a sitter doesn’t have to be all-or-none. For example, suppose a sitter seems great, but they haven’t replied to your message in a timely manner. (3 days?) You can then follow-up with another message saying you’re removing them because they don’t seem interested; but if they are still interested, just to message back. You should still be able to message back and forth on the TH site.

On a related note, I prefer text/email to messaging on TH. Many people respond to texts much more quickly, too. One sitter said in his app he gives his cell and email, so the HOs can contact them that way right away. I think that’s a good idea/option.

To clarify what sitters can see: They can see how many applications have been submitted. If there are 5 applications, then it’s “paused” and I think says, “reviewing applications.” If there are maybe 0 or 1 applications, then some sitters can see a “Low Applications” banner on a sit, similar to “New.” (it’s a feature in beta-testing)

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I’ve saved your sit in the hopes that you might be going on another trip in the spring when I’ll be in the UK. I’m a huge spaniel lover as I have an English Springer myself (we love the bonkers personalities too :joy: and your two cockers look absolutely adorable! Your listing for the Holidays does have everything well detailed and I do hope you find a great candidate for Lady and Lulu.

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