New types of sitters ? Another article on pet sitting

I read lately a post where some member of this forum was complaining about an article published in The times magazine, about pet sitting.

To day the Guardian publishes too an article on the same topic
title ? “I’m a homeless looking for a palace” (!!!)

we learn pet sitting it is the best way to spare rental fees, utilities.

More and more people are struggling to find a place they can afford to live in, so housesitting is definitely a desirable alternative,” says Nick Fuad, of [House Sitters UK], (…) The number of housesitters on his site is double what it was before the pandemic.

TrustedHousesitters, tells the article, reports a 275% increase in UK growth since 2021.

Angela (yes, the THS Angela who is supervising here, with a nice photo of her) who has been interviewed tells she heard “some THS members have spared 30 000 £ a year

Very little is said about the love for pets

Will the profile of members soon change a lot ? I guess there is a lot of difference between nomads who choose this kind of life to travel a lot, discover other cultures, and many new sitters who cannot afford to rent a home. Will all work at home or outside ? (sitting local and leaving the pets all day ?)

Agreed, the article is heavy on the cost savings and very light on the pet aspect. No doubt there will be more sitters signing up that aren’t exactly top notch. But in the end, the homeowners are the ones to decide and in reading through the applications can determine if someone is only out for free housing or if they are genuinely pet people.

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Yes, we are seeing the changed demographic already.

Recently, we posted a sit and we declined the first 8 applicants, due to their focus on free this and that. Some barely read our listing, and many barely mentioned (or did not mention) our pets or how they take care of them.

[sigh]

We were patient, though, and application #9 was a real house and pet sitter! Whose first priority is to take care of our pets and home! Needless to say, we snatched them up right away.

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This is how marketing works I’m afraid. Only mentioning the advantages and benefits to attract customers and money…
A real estate agent also advertises the benefits of a house without talking about for example a low energy rating.

Will some people be attracted only by “free accommodation”? Of course! We just have to hope that owners can see through such motivations.
If those sitters can’t get any sits, they’ll consider the membership isn’t worth it and they’ll eventually disappear…

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I agree it is very worrying, something I am unsure about is if a sitter has no home how does a security check work.

As a HO I want sitters to be genuine but you only know this after the event which Is why its so important to give a honest review. A full 5 star review has to be exceptional and if a review is given for any other reason its not helping the HO who will eventually give up and stop using THS ending in a lot of disappointed sitter who cant find sits. Is it not better to be honest on both sides and that way a potential sitter or HO knows what questions to ask and can make an informed decision.

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I’m curious too about security check…
If a sitter has no home, how an owner (or THS and its insurance guaranty) can get in touch with him/her if anything bad happens to the home or the pet(s) ?
What kind of adress (valid ?) this type of sitter can give to the owner who lets his car ? For his insurance company.

What would happen if the sitter vanishes after the sit, changes his/her cell phone number ???

Reading the Guardian, I’m amazed to learn " The pandemic has brought more owners to the market, too. On House Sitters UK, homeowner memberships are up 400%. This year, 5,000 new sits were posted on the TrustedHousesitters site each day.

Where all these figures come from ?? THS had announced 100 000 members, it must be more now…

We can understand why some sits are not filled…

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If THS are doing so well why do they feel the need to send out three emails in two days pushing discounts on upgrades and membership fees.
I and many others requested one email be sent to all members advising them of the significant change when applying for sits (which we are not allowed to mention). They said the change was a benefit as are the discounts but are being treated very differently.

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Apparently there are 120,000 ‘happy’ members according to the website. I am unsure of what the ratio is of sitters to homeowners but there does appear to be a lot of Xmas sits unfilled at the moment.

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Good Morning everyone and thank you @Candide for sharing the article and yes it does speak about cost savings, which is the focus given the current economic climate.

I have addressed the subject of press publications and media interpretation in a previous thread so will not repeat what has already been written.

Undeniably pet and housesitting does save members money, on both sides of the network. Is it the sole motivation for most, of course not and has this journalist written everything that was said in the interviews, again of course he hasn’t if he had other key points would have been PETS, PEOPLE & PLACES in that order.

Are there sitter members who have saved enough to eventually buy their own homes, others who have and continue to live rent free for long or short periods? Absolutely … if you’re reading this you may even be one of those members.

Do articles like this attribute to the dumbing down or lowering of standards in those wishing to become pet and house sitters or engage sitters? No, because ultimately the website and member’s choices drive the vehicle … not the press.

What they do however is create awareness among those who have never heard of house sitting, have no idea that it is a "thing’ even. No knowledge of how we provide the very best pet care option for beloved pets together with unique experiences for pet loving sitters, enabling pet parents/owners to have peace of mind when they travel.

Should we let others know and give them the opportunity also … absolutely because that’s exactly what community is all about.

Over the years PR has been a key component in the success, global growth and normalization of pet and housesitting and without it many would not have the opportunities available to them today. No company, organisation or individual has control over what is published or how it’s presented and we are not about to justify being featured in published articles.

Might readers get the wrong idea through some of the narrative, I think we have to rely of people’s intelligence for those whose interest and curiosity is sparked by any article their next stop will be the website … and that’s the true story.

If anyone has any questions please Direct Message me …

On a separate note … @Twitcher these are Black Friday Promotions for our members which we run every year, you may have noticed other companies doing the same thing.

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Agree, because we do it knowing that there are hassles AND extra costs associated with it.

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Why emails and not on the website?

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Yes and never underestimate the responsibility involved.

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I may be wrong but I think there could be a difference between American and UK sitters. I believe a lot of US sitters charge or expect some recompense for their services. THS was founded in the UK and has only relatively recently spread its wings further afield, which is a good thing.
Of course there will always be a few ‘bad apples’ who spoil things for the majority of sitters who understand that pets are their priority while staying in the owners’ homes.

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Exactly, as HO we leave our car for the use of the sitter, plus not only our beloved pets but our home.

When I first joined we used to look at security check but it is becoming more popular now for it just to be verification of email address

It is a concern

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Ok, we knew this was going to happen: more members - both sitters and owners - as THS is clearly pushing for growth. But in exchange, we want a better review system both ways! So that the weeds can be weeded out more easily! PLEASE!

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Absolutely agree a better review system but please be honest not nasty about either party but honest.

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Post deleted by author in order to keep this thread open…

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We are now going off topic - there is a thread on the review system. If we stay on topic this thread may not get closed down so quickly. Thanks

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So i delete it…

No, not at all. Just respectfully pointing out that threads get shut down if the moderators feel it is moving away from the main topic. Once it is closed no-one else is able to add their comment.

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