No applicants after cancellation for June

Hi there! This would be our 4th time using TH as homeowners and we had a sitter cancellation.

I re-listed and boosted my dates and haven’t had any apps in a few days now, which is really strange. I’m wondering if something changed on the site as I got my friends to sign up for their own trip and they, too, struggled to get even 1 applicant. In any case, I’ve been reaching out to past sitters, but no dice thus far.

Any suggestions?

Edited to comply with posting guidelines

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Dang, I’m already booked during that time but your sit sounds awesome. I did not see any red flags in your listing, perhaps it’s just timing. Hope you find someone soon!


A lot of home owners are listing summer sits at this time so that’s the main thing working against you, but your listing looks great. I am already booked for those dates, but if I wasn’t I’d want to know how your pets handle fireworks 4th of July and all. Maybe also mention a 4th of July viewing nearby that sitters could go to, if the holiday doesn’t cause major distress to your dog like it does some.

I like that you’re upfront about the pulling, if you don’t know, the more you walk a dog on the same route encountering the same smells and animals the less excited they will be about it which will result in less pulling as well, it’s called desensitization training. Does your dog have doggy doors? You mention leaving your dog outside/in the sunroom so I’m just wondering. Doggy doors are a great benefit and if you have them I would list it. Does Emmy Lou play fetch reliably? Some sitters are really into a dog that can fetch or play frisbee, but you don’t mention what they like for playtime.

I would remove “you can see her thinking sometimes, deciding whether or not to listen to you” because it makes your dog sound untrained and doesn’t match with the trailing statement of being able to leave the house for 6 hours.

I would also address whether she’s a chewer or not and if so, what items. One of your reviews mentions snatching pillows and TV remotes and then when you mention leaving Emmy Lou in the sunroom/outside you say ”nearly always does fine” but don’t mention what might go wrong, which coupled with the review causes concern for my personal items and yours. I jump straight to chewing or digging holes. Maybe the wording needs changed on that.

I think you could do with a more catchy title and @geoff.hom is really thorough with suggestions so I’ve tagged them.


oh man! Ah well. We had originally done this search back in January because we noticed last year that most people get situated pretty early on this site. Anyway, thank you for the feedback and good wishes!

awesome–your feedback is super helpful! I’ve added the info about 4th of July activities nearby to the house info section as well as some info on the pets at the bottom of the pet section.

Thanks for the desensitization info–our route is adjacent to a huge nature preserve so no smells remain the same. Right now, it’s baby deer season and so the migration paths of many predators (name a CA predator and we’ve got it!) are shifting. Always something new in these parts!

I’ve also removed that bit about the thinking. It’s a common breed-specific thing with great pyrs that makes us owners chuckle, but we appreciate the other perspective and get that. Same with playing fetch–pyrs are generally more of the “if you threw it, you get it yourself” kind of dog. :rofl:

there are a couple items that I won’t update as it’s a security issue (super small town) so I can share it with any sitters during the interview. I am happy you’ve mentioned this, though, because it helps me understand what my audience is thinking.

Anyway, I’ve updated the listing and, again, am very grateful for the extensive critiques and time you spent!

Ah thanks for the tag, @AnotherPointOfView. Hi, @thebees!

I just mentioned this in another post, so I’ll re-harp: Lobby for better metrics from TH. I don’t want to waste our time (or TH’s), so maybe just a quick note on the appropriate forum topic (suggestions for TH), or a quick simple email to membership services. At some point, they’ll have some tipping point and implement it.

For example, if you knew how many views you get per day, you’d know whether something’s changed. I’m not a fan of unnecessary black boxes.

Ok, on to your listing:

  • I know that area a little bit. My uncle and aunt live in Santa Maria, and I took the train there to visit last summer. Beautiful!
  • Since we don’t know if anything’s changed on the TH side, and I doubt they’d tell us in the near future, let’s focus on improving the listing as best we can.
  • I’m usually wary of advertising/clickbait, but I think it’s helpful in this case. I’m reading an autobiography by someone from the Wall Street Journal (TH book club =), and even they mentioned the need for a “hook”: the first few words determine whether a reader will read your whole article or not. It’s just human psychology.
  • For example, here’s a 3-step 4-step process:
    1. Visualize your ideal sitter match.
    2. Your thumbnail listing should hook them into clicking on your listing.
    3. Your opening paragraph should hook them into reading the rest of your listing.
    4. The rest of your listing should hook them into applying, so you can communicate further.

Now obviously “hook” could be replaced with a nicer word. We’re all human beings/people, after all. “Catchy” as mentioned earlier, is better. “Spark joy”?

Search for your listing and see how the thumbnail looks. And see what searches bring it up (or not). Does LA? Santa Barbara? Anyway, your photo is fantastic with both pets. The title is truncated to “Sweet great pyr and chill Main…” which is meh. Dates are good. “Lompoc”; where is that? =) The last info is 1 dog, 1 cat. Reasonable (in sitter’s mind).

Look at your first paragraph from a sitter’s view. “We are a family of 5–3 humans, the pup, and the cat. We love to travel almost as much as we love our pets…” It’s meh. It wouldn’t work in the WSJ. Seriously, think like a publisher!

Now, if your pets understood French+Spanish+English, or you want them to, that would be catchy!

What are spark-joys you can put in your thumbnail listing and/or 1st paragraph?

  • golf course
  • 500-acre nature preserve
  • car included (I see now that the flag says yes, but in the text you say it’s just a possibility; fair enough. But you could still say in the 1st para, “and we’re very open to discussing use of our car.”)
  • Santa Barbara beaches
  • accessible by train (just kidding; very good to mention, but not a hook)
  • remodeled kitchen with extensive spice collection (maybe; I’m not a cook)
  • world-class wineries
  • perhaps your great pyr (I’m a cat person so can’t tell lol)
  • etc.

Play with that. Remember for the title to check how it appears in the thumbnail (it’ll be truncated). And proper grammar is secondary to spark joy. Shortcuts are your friend (e.g., + vs and). Emojis could be great, but last time I tried that on an Apple device/Mac, it deleted all of my text; so good to create if you’re on a PC, not Macs/iPhones.


Ah, thank you for reminding me of things that both my husband and I should know, and should’ve enacted, based on our professions. We’re still adjusting and revising as you’ve given us much to think on! It will definitely be a process.

As for metrics, totally agree–saw your other post on it–and will head over to that part of the forum and ask (maybe in tandem with membership services email). It’d be nice anytime, but especially in situations like this where we are not listing with a ton of time before the sit. Knowing what works best is important especially if you can do your own testing for most effective header photo and listing title, etc.

Awesome. Thank you all! And we finally got an application just now!

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