Newbies here seeking help to get FIRST sit!

Hi all,

We have been applying for many many sits so far, nearby and in Europe, but did not get got even one… we are still waiting our first one.

Would appreciate feedback to improve our profile and any tips welcome how to get first sit! :pray::crossed_fingers:

Appreciate!!

Edited to meet Community Guidelines.

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Apply for a short sit with few applications (or none at all) that will start soon. You can set a date filter for that.

Even if not ideal, you will survive a short sit. And especially when they have the “New” label, there is probably nothing wrong with them, it is just that the HO is late in posting. And they will be happy with an applicant.

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Hi there
You noted wanting feedback on your profile. I don’t know if you are just looking for general advice on the type of info to include, or you thought you provided the link to it in your forum profile so people could look at it…if that is the case, it is not there.

It’s really not possible to say why someone isn’t having luck getting sits without seeing a profile, the messages you are sending to homeowners, how you are communicating with them if they have replied at any of your messages or did video chats with you, the types of sits to which you are applying,etc…

But some general thoughts:

Every experienced sitter at one point had never done a single sit, so eventually someone will choose you even if you don’t have experience. But it could possibly be more difficult at first if more experienced sitters have been applying to the same listings.

You mention you have been applying to sits nearby which can be a good strategy for booking those first assignments. A lot of people like the idea that the sitter won’t have to come a super-far distance.

And while it is certainly not necessary or customary, offering to meet people in person could also help your chances–connecting in this way may help a homeowner feel more confident in choosing you even though you don’t have a lot of experience. Local sits that are more last minute can be particularly good ones to pursue.

Make sure the application message is personalized–address the person and pets by name. Show you actually read it by referencing at least a couple of things that may have seemed important to them, and how you can meet that need or preference. For example, if the listing states the dog is very used to being walked early in the morning, I would mention that my husband and I are early risers and that wouldn’t be a problem.

I personally opt for a more detailed profile and a shorter application message and this has seemed to work well for us, but some people seem to do the exact opposite. So there is no right or wrong there.

And while this isn’t relevant to having more success with the application process directly, a more general piece of advice I would offer is choose your sits carefully.

I know in the beginning it is tempting to apply to pretty much everything and anything just to get something. But the less discerning you are, the higher the chances of having bad experiences by way of taking on sits to which you aren’t suited, encountering HO’s with whom you don’t connect well,etc…

And these bad experiences can translate into bad reviews, which can be harder to overcome for a newer person who doesn’t have a raft of positive reviews to diminish their impact.

Listen to your intuition. Think carefully about what is important to you and your overall preferences and don’t compromise on that because you are anxious to get a sit, the location is really desirable,etc…

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Welcome @Camilla.Gioia
You’re best applying for local and last minute sits to build up your reviews. It get easier with more positive reviews. I took me 23 applications to get my first local sit on THS about 2 years ago now. Just completed my 21st sit.

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You haven’t included your profile link so we can comment. We got our first sit very quickly, and were fully booked for the year incredibly quickly too, but that’s not the case with most.

We stuck within a 2 hour drive of our home to begin with, and also did the odd last minute sit too. You’ll hugely increase your chances of being picked that way, so you can build up your first few reviews.

We used to update our profile on a monthly basis to add in a little bit more linked to our experience with THS each time.

When an HO reads our profile, I would like to think they know exactly who we are and what we are about, and I think other sitters sometimes get that wrong.

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Admin have now added our profile :

Seems I missed the link! :grimacing:

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I tried this message type :

Hi HO,

It’s wonderful to meet you, and your lovely cats, X and XX! They are absolutely adorable. :blush:

As experienced pet lovers and dedicated house sitters, my partner and I understand the importance of trust and reliability when it comes to caring for your furry family members. While we may not have reviews on this platform yet, we have a strong track record on other platforms, and we are more than willing to provide references, do a video call or any other information to alleviate any doubts you may have.

We would be grateful if you would give us the opportunity to be your chosen house sitters. With our remote work setup, we will be able to spend quality time with X and XX, ensuring they feel safe, happy, and loved in their own home. We understand that your pets are your family, and we will treat them as such.

Additionally, as Vienna is very close to Bratislava and we know the city by heart, we can assure you that we are familiar with the area and can handle any situation that may arise. We will also be around next Saturday so if you wish to meet, let us know!

Your beautiful home would not only be a comfortable space for us but also a peaceful environment for us to focus on our work while exploring the surroundings and taking excellent care of your pets.

We are committed to exceeding your expectations and providing you with peace of mind knowing that your home and pets are in the best hands possible.

We can’t wait for the opportunity to meet you and your precious cats and to help make your time away stress-free and worry-free.

Warmest regards,”

Edit in line with forum guidelines

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I applied 32 times and still nothing… I don’t know what to improve, I tried all possible sits nearby but nothing :pensive:

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It’s just a thought (& might not be right) but, are you using exactly the same message to each application? It sounds very formal and quite generic (but beautifully written BTW) and maybe too long. Try jigging it around or trying to find one thing that’s different about the sit you’re applying for (they love their plants so say you will water & care for them, the cat loves a long playtime and you’re full of energy, you had the same cat as a kid so have a connection etc) Just one thing that connects you to them specifically. Vienna is really competitive if that’s where you’re trying for. Where else have you applied? Is it only cats you want to sit? Do you have great pics on your profile if you with cats? Do you have some references on there whilst you wait to build up reviews? If you link your profile to your post here JUST SEEN IT - WILL TAKE A LOOK - to be experienced members will help you make it the best it can be. Don’t give up. You’ll get one soon :raised_hands:t3: #gottobeinittowinit

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So @Camilla.Gioia it’s a pretty good profile. A few small tweaks that could help - get some more references on there other than one family one, add your Airbnb link as you mention it and have 30 great reviews, add your Linked In profile as you are working and shows professional credentials, change title to “Experienced cat & horse loving sitters with multiple languages who love travel.” Or similar (you’re using characters up just repeating your names), zoom in on your profile pic (or use the snowy one) so they can really see you both. And then keep on going and you’ll hit a winner am sure! #itsanumbersgame

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Welcome @Camilla.Gioia
You profile is good however the main thing I noticed is that you will be sitting as a couple and your one and only external review is written by your partner who will be sitting with you .

Your profile would be greatly improved with some independent references .

Your profile needs to stand out from others who are applying so think about your unique skills and experience that you bring to house sitting and give owners a reason to choose you . For example you say in your profile that you are living abroad - you could expand this and say which country you grew up in / have lived in and which languages you speak fluently. These details may help you connect with the owners and make your application stand out from the other sitters who apply .

When you sit as a couple owners are entrusting both of you ( strangers ) with their home and pets so they want to get to know about both of you from your profile. I suggest that you add some more information about your partner ( their work, hobbies , experience with pets )

I endorse what others have said about starting with local sits as a good way to start. I would add that there are always a surplus of sits available in the UK (- not necessarily in central London as these get filled quickly ) . There are so many other beautiful UK cities that can easily be reached by public transport for example:
Oxford, Bath, Edinburgh, Cardiff, York, Brighton, Southampton, Windsor.

Also cat sits are the most popular with sitters so if you are available to take on the responsibilities of a sit with dogs you will improve your chances of being accepted .

Also don’t be tempted to apply for a sit that doesn’t seem right ( negative reviews from previous sitters, or missing reviews - too many responsibilities or a listing that is scant on the details ) just to get that first sit.

It’s a great feeling when you do get your first sit confirmed so please don’t give up and let the forum know when you get your first sit .

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Some great advice here already about the kind of sits to apply for to build a review history, which can be a big factor in getting selected.

Re your listing - it would be a red flag to me that your only reference is from your partner. Getting some others from friends/family would help.

Also - perhaps outline some of the care you gave the cats you mention: were any kittens or seniors, did you play with them, look after some while they were ill? Ditto dog care.

Your reference says you respect and take good care of homes - it’s worth also putting that in your experience. Think of the ‘experience’ section as you selling yourselves to the HO.

If you’re planning to sit together I’d also want to hear more about Leonardo and his experience with animals and homes. It can be another red flag if only one of a couple is really into animals.

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Main problem is that you are in Slovakia, and that there are not many sits nearby on THS. You can set up a Saved search for your area, and get alerts for new listings in mail and/or push notifications.

If you are looking for sits in the UK, the HOs are worried that you might not show up. I got my first sit in the UK because I had set my location to somewhere in England. The HO had not read my application carefully and accepted without any other interaction. When they realized from my reply that I was still in Sweden, they were worried because they had had cancellations and no-shows. So I bought a ferry ticket and I showed them a copy. That solved it.

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Im also new and I looked for HO’S that are also new. Without reviews. Ive had 2 set up so far.

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Tweak your ‘Our Experience’ section. The reason you haven’t been given sits is really clear to me. There are 3 things which could put HO’s off. Hope this helps:-

  1. The way you have worded the bits about dogs could be a lot better, the way you are a “dedicated cat lover” and “we are more than willing to care for small dogs” - that to me says you will care for small dogs if you really have to, instead of you really loving dogs and wanting to care for them just as much as cats. So re-word that, as I can’t imagine ANY dog owner would continue to read any more of your profile after that. So you’ve instantly turned off all of the loving dog owners out there. You don’t have to do dogs if you don’t want to, but if you do want to do them, change your profile a little.

  2. “we are living abroad” - that’s a little confusing, as it explains why you don’t have pets, but it is a little illusive at this point about exactly where you are from and where exactly you live now… unless an HO chooses to read on further, which they may or may not do.

  3. You are sitting as a couple, so I have no idea why your only reference is the person you are sitting with, totally confused by that, it could make the reader feel like they don’t actually know who is actually caring for their pets, and you won’t get picked if an HO doesn’t feel like they know-know who you are. So personally, I would have that reference deleted, it goes totally against you.

Hope it helps

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@Camilla.Gioia - I think your first picture should include a pet. It makes your profile stand out and encourages a HO to check out your other photos and read more.

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It might help if you get some character refrences and upgrade your membership to get the background check.

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Background check is only for US.

Where are you located? We need a sitter June 7 to 15.

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They’re in Slovakia but they’re keen to travel @emmieo :raised_hands:t3: #thiscouldwork @Camilla.Gioia

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