Andrew: Set up alerts so that you can be one of the firsts sitters to apply. Apply to sits that are last-minute and relatively close by. Apply to sits that have few candidates. Focus on what you can do for them and not how much you would like to visit their location. Good luck. Things are picking up, so be persistent and you will be successful.
HI Andrew and welcome to the forum, you have come to the right place for help and advice.
It can be very frustrating to receive repeated rejections, but please don’t take it personally it took me 6 weeks and numerous applications before I was successful also these are unique times, some would say not the best to begin your new sitter’s adventure.
There is great advice from members in this thread and Membership Services can also help, they will look at your applications, the sits you are applying for and your profile. Sometimes just a few small tweaks can make all the difference, as well as applying for the right sit as opposed to a sit.
Start local, if you can, where you will have the opportunity to meet the owner first. Add references to your profile as well as completing the verification levels … do please connect with the team, the ultimate goal is for every sitter to achieve their own level of successful … and you will.
The feeling when that first sit is confirmed is amazing.
@Andrew I’m sorry, it must be so frustrating. As HO I can tell you what I respond well to in an application message.
- Tell me a little bit about yourself and why this sit appeals to you (be brief but engaging if possible, I will read your whole profile for details)
- reference my pets by name, or at least species, like “I would love to take care of your senior kitty and I have prior experience with finicky eaters”
- let me know you’ve read my whole listing by responding to the important things I’ve made note of (eg: I live close by so I won’t need to borrow a car)
Maybe you already make a great first impression and things are just super competitive, but hopefully this helps. And maybe some of you will think I expect too much but I like to know I’m not just one of 20 sits someone is applying to because they need a place to crash. I have ten animals and a small farm so for me there is a lot to consider in making the right choice! I also want to know the sitter is going to enjoy themselves. Good luck, I hope you get the next one!
I’ve learned a lot from reading this post too!!
Excellent responses from everyone, with advice to apply local. I note that you have been applying both local and across the country. I would recommend that you carry on applying for places afar as well as local. The more the better.
I find that rural sits tend to receive less applications.
I secured a sit last week which had 18 5* reviews, some if which said they would return. I nearly didn’t apply for that reason.
Good luck and I hope you let us all know when you are successful
I am a brand new sitter, too - and am grateful to be planning my first sit at the end of this month. I was nervous about someone accepting me, too. I started reading tips about sitting (like leaving a thank you card and maybe some flowers after cleaning up after myself well) and other things to learn as much as I could. I also filled out my profile and added pictures of my sons and my own dogs and tried to allow my potential homeowners to learn as much about me as I could. I applied for a few “local” sits and some “last minute” sits. And I participated on this forum. That participation is what led to one of the more experienced sitters recommending me for a sit at her daughter’s house and I was accepted!
So, continue doing what you are doing, being as open as possible, contributing to the community, offering to sit last minute and local, and your sits will come.
You did exactly right just by reaching out for help. We are all in this together!
Hi Andrew, the feeling of rejection is real and I have experienced it as well. I have lost track of the number of visits I have applied for. I’m guessing the ratio of being chosen to not being chosen is 1:20. If you are truly passionate persevere, you will be chosen and it will be a rewarding experience that will make up for all the rejection!
It’s been a rough time to find a sit. I have 2 years experience and was rejected for 12 of 12 applications that I was overqualified for before I finally booked one. Remember if 12 people apply, 11 are disappointed. As travel picks up it will improve. When I started I followed the TrustedHousesitters suggestion to apply for short sits close to home and volunteer to meet ahead of the sit. It worked!
Don’t give up keep trying. Also try to get a couple of good personal recommendations.
Hope this helps.
Hi @Fur_luv welcome to the forum and thank you for your very encouraging message for Andrew, sometimes we just need to hear words of support and “it happened to me also.” Even the most experienced sitters started at the same place, it took me 6 weeks of numerous applications before I got my first sit, that was 200 sits ago, I still get rejections and have learned not to take it personally, it’s about getting the right sit not just a sit.
Thank you again, enjoy connecting with other members and continue to share your wise words and experiences.
Angela & the Team
Don’t give up hope Andrew. My husband and I have been part of THS since 2013 and usually try to get one or two sits per year. We have very good reviews from previous sits and have been invited back numerous times but in the last six months all we’ve gotten is rejection. Many of the homeowners didn’t even take the time to read my message. It can be disheartening but don’t give up. Make each message unique, use the pets names, pay attention to the writing style of the homeowner and try to mimic that style. If someone goes into great detail and uses lots of exclamation points then send a very enthusiastic message. If the tone is more serious then respond accordingly. It’s kind of like online dating! Most important, don’t take things personally.
Wishing you the best in your search.
Hi Andrew It took me a while to get underway with a house sit. I did have references from friends but really what you want is a reference from the home owner. I took my first house sit out of London, I am from Australia and was visiting the capital. It was not really convenient or even what I wanted but it was a start and it got my first home owner reference. Hope this helps. Robyn
Lots of good advice here so far. Before I apply for a sit, I read the reviews from previous sitters (to look for warning signs) but also to read the responses from the homeowner. For example, I was surprised that one homeowner was wowed that I laundered the bedding and made the bed again, whereas that’s a normal thing for me to do, as long as travel times allow. It was a first for them though. Look for what impressed the homeowner and get an idea of what’s important to them. Use that in your application, but please stay honest as it’s so important for all of us to do that I agree also that things will get better as travel restrictions ease up.
I am by no means an expert. I just started back so I knew my proposal letter really needed to shine. I read all the advice - using the pet’s name, being open about who I am, etc.
I think what helped me was that I added links to many references online that have nothing to do with housesitting. I have excellent reviews for my business on TripAdvisor and Google, I have 5 star reviews and was a SuperHost for years on Airbnb. I added a link to my personal blog and to my business so the host could see what I am all about. It seems they all read through my blog a bit before contacting me so I think that helped.
I’m still a beginner myself. I’m trying for long-term sits and am getting turned down a lot. But I have the first 7-week sit scheduled so hopefully I can get a great review and go from there.
@Andrew, I’ve been thinking about this. As well as everything that everyone else has suggested, I have noticed that there are lots of sits advertised for London. If you’re prepared to apply for those, to get your first sit under your belt, do so. They are probably sits which would otherwise be taken by travelling Australians or Kiwis, so you can capitalise on the fact that they cannot travel into the UK right now. Hope this helps a little bit.
Hi Andrew, you’re amazing to try to grow your time on THS. You’re doing everything right. I think many people wants reviews but the only way someone gets reviews is to house sit. I understand your frustration. I took a chance on a couple at the beginning of the year who were new at THS. I’m a flight attendant and have now had them house sit 3 times. I took a chance on them and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made!
Hi @Rpatrick3200 welcome to our community forum, thank you for your encouragement and great piece of advice for @Andrew and for sharing your THS success story, we are so happy to have you join our community conversation.
I did the same with a younger couple of sitters. I’d always chosen more mature and experienced sitters until an application dropped into my message box, one of 20+ all experienced and more mature sitters. it was beautifully written, expressed the most compelling reason for why they felt they the were the right sitters, it had warmth, personality and professionalism and jumped off the screen at me, I wanted to have a conversation with this couple and get to know them better, they had external references but no THS reviews … but after more connecting I knew they were right.
They sat my home for three months, it was immaculate when I left and exactly the same when I returned and we have remained friends ever since.
Andrew’s determination to be successful speaks volumes. These are different times for sitters and owners, pre-COVID I’m sure he would have been on sit number +1, 2 ,3
Thank you again for your words of positivity @Rpatrick3200 and welcome.
Angela and the Team
One very important thing is the photos attached to your profile. Photos of you showing genuine affection (hugging or close contact with the pet) and spontaneous looking interaction (not standing stiffly beside or over them) is important. Borrow a pet if you must, get them comfortable with you, take a few candid photos! Volunteer at a local shelter, take some pictures, even ask the program director for a reference afterwards!
As a HO we just hired mid-twenty aged sitters (unusual for me) because they wrote a lengthy, well written, compelling letter to us using our names and all our pet’s names! They talked about all their volunteer activities(while pursuing higher education degrees). There were pictures of them with different farm animals, showing them not afraid to get close and dirty And I have to say that when we wrote the acceptance letter to them, the adorable reply back stating how long and hard they had tried to get accepted, and them running through the house shouting, “We got it! We got it! We’ve been accepted to our first sit!!” Well that made us doubly happy that we had chosen them over several more experienced sitters!
Don’t give up, Opportunities will increase in the next few months. Melanie
Exactly - homeowners want to know you read what they wrote and have the experience they need. When I say I need people with horse experience and people apply who don’t have any…they didn’t read it.
I have 2 sits listed that I can’t get any apps for but I would be thrilled to have you come to Wisconsin Andrew!!!
Hi Andrew! Where are you located or based out of, and where are you looking to do house sits?