I feel the same here in March 2022. I didn’t realize that it was so difficult to find housesits. I thought that if there were listed sits and no replies yet that it would be easy to get a sit. Instead, the sitters don’t even respond to me. I live across the “pond” from England so I can see that they would want locals instead. I wish I hadn’t signed up though as I have little interest in petsitting near my home when I have my own cats wanting my attention!
Hello @danapez and welcome to the forum and to THS. When you say you live across the pond from England, I’m assuming you live somewhere in North America. You may not want to see areas that are local to you, but there is a vast difference in country, landscape, and lifestyles without crossing the pond. On a more positive note, things do seem to be more encouraging for travel this year, so you’re likely to see more homeowners easing back on their hesitancy to accept travellers from other countries. It’s unfortunately from experience, of the complications that can come about from the unexpected during the pandemic, that made many homeowners (and sitters) more cautious.
You may want to embed your sitter profile in your forum username. Many forum members will be happy to give constructive feedback that may help you tweak your profile. I’ll add the instructions next:
If you have not already asked for references, I’d encourage you to start there. Homeowners will rely on those, until you get your first THS review. Once you start getting reviews, it often makes it far easier to get a sit. Until then, consider sharing related experience that will assure homeowners that you are equipped to care for their home and pets. Also, the reasons why a homeowner selects a particular applicant are so varied that you might still get chosen, even with no THS experience. We all had to start somewhere.
It is a good idea to make your first sit a relatively local one. That way you may be able to visit the homeowner in person, which also helps everyone assure that it’s a good fit. You may be pleasantly surprised at learning more about areas that are relatively close to you that you didn’t know much about before the sit. I say that from experience.
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Thank you, and right after I posted, I reminded all the my applications that I was still waiting to hear from them, and one chose me! So, so excited!!!
Hi @danapez, that does sound disheartening but dont give up. There are plenty of UK sits - one of them must have your name on!
You might want to add a link to your user name here of your THS profile, people can then suggest what might appeal to house owners. Do you have reviews already? If not, I think the established advice here is to do some (shorter) local sits, just so you have some “job history” with THS. Local ones mean the home owners can actually meet you before you sit, and more likely to give a new-comer a chance.
In other good news, the UK covid travel restrictions come to an end on Friday so it’ll be ‘back to normal’ as far as getting here goes:
Fantastic! Well done!
Have fun, be kind and keep going!
Congrats @danapez well done
I still remember how exciting that first “You are the chosen one” message feels.
Here’s a little encouraging reality check, don’t get disheartened. When I first started a number of years ago, it took over 6 weeks and numerous applications before I was chosen.
10 years and 200 sits later I get rejections and messages go unread but I’ve learned not to take it personally because it isn’t just as sitters choose sits based on personal preferences, owners do the same although application messages and profiles greatly influence their decision of course.
I was unsuccessful for a sit in Edinburgh, just an hour from where I live because the owner had a application from a sitter she had previously had a conversation with. Another owner chose a sitter who could “pop in” and meet her and the kitties … it’s all about what fits.
The point is the right sit is out there and you’ve found it … the the key is to make certain it is the right sit and not just a sit, it needs to work for everyone … especially the pets.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!!
Happy sitting and congrats again.
Has your experience gotten any better ?
Hi Lee, yes it has. I got back yesterday from a sit, and I’m off an another on Saturday. I have had to put a notice on my profile stating that I don’t have any more availability this year as I get invited to sites every week and I have to decline them! It’s gone from no sits, to too many!
Congrats Andrew - you are a natural !!
I look forward to hearing more -
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I’ve recently joined TrustedHousesitters with my intention being to make use of my remote contract and get away from home from time to time and take some walks with a nice dog. I’m trying to find a sit for around the 28th May to 2nd June. I’ve found three likely candidates (there are lots) and written three carefully thought out applications to sit - none of these have even been read (at least the status is ‘unread’ on the site). Now, one of these has just been marked as ‘last minute’ - let me do it! At least read my application to sit please?
Could there be something wrong with my account? Maybe my applications have not been delivered. Is there anyway I can confirm that things are working as they should be? I have searched the community and I can see that sometimes sit requests do go unread but all sit requests?
I would anticipate that, when a sitter places a request to sit, a notification would be sent to the home owner so it would be quite hard to ignore - at least the application to sit would be opened and even if not read thoroughly it would be marked as read. Is this not how it works?
Any advice on this matter warmly received.
Hi @dominicb Welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters
I have checked your account and it is all working as it should, have you checked your messages recently? There are messages which go unread and unanswered, on both sides, owners and sitters and there can be many reasons for this, none are personal and while it can be frustrating it happens to all of us, the message is keep applying.
I have added your profile link to your Forum profile so that other member can view.
I’m adding the link to a thread that was started by a new member who was having a similar experience https://forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/nobody-wants-me-advice-for-a-first-time-house-sitter
He is now fully “booked” for a year.
Our team work hard to improve methods of communication between members but there is one element over which we don’t have control … the human element I am sure you will get some good feedback from our community and if you have any questions ask as our members are helpful and supportive.
Angela and the Team
Thank-you @Angela-HeadOfCommunity I have now arranged a sit for those dates (which I found by chance whilst scanning the forum), and I’ve also had a response to an earlier application so I’m much more confident that every thing is working as it should be.
I also received an invitation to sit in August (sadly had to decline) so things are definitely looking up.
Many thanks for your considerate response.
Dom, that’s absolutely brilliant news we are so pleased for you … it’s all about being patient and not giving up because the right sit will come into your in box eventually.
Please keep us up to date with your new TrustedHousesitters adventure.
Perhaps you could put a link to your sitter profile as folks here could give heaps of feedback to get you on your way. Do you have pics of you w any animals etc? External references?
Just wanted to see if anyone else has similar experiences…I have been on the site for months now, I’ve made several applications but haven’t receievd one sit. I do get invitations to sit in towns local to me, but that’s not really what I joined for !!
Don’t think I’ll be auto-renewing .
Just for you informatio
Today after being with HS for 7 years. The first 14 months I didn’t receive any but any sit.
Now over 40 sits , so many years and traveling for pleasure. This is patience and really luck .
Hi @kathycalderbank. Sorry to hear about your frustration, but many of us started out by taking those local sits to gain experience and develop our profile. You’ll look more appealing for more competitive sits with a few reviews under your belt. Plus, you may really enjoy those local sits — I became friends with a local homeowner and by the end of this year will have done 6 sits for her. Don’t discount them out of hand — and they’ll really help you down the line.
Hello @kathycalderbank and welcome to the forum. Here you can find lots of advice in past posts, as well a community of members who are here to help you succeed.
I encourage you to browse past posts and see what may be helpful to you. Use the magnifying glass to search key words.
You have joined at a time when sitters are in great demand, in part because of the huge increase in pets joining homes during the pandemic. Perhaps your sitter profile could be improved? Most of us do routine reviews of our own profiles, especially when we want to incorporate tips we learn about on the forum. I encourage you to add your sitter profile to your forum username/profile so that homeowners can view it and members can give constructive feedback.
Perhaps check your profile against this sitter guidelines blog post and see if you are covering what’s suggested.
- Have I added enough photos showing my love of pets and perhaps hobbies and interests?
- Have I added three references to my profile?
- Have I detailed my experience with caring for various pets?
- Have I included any special skills that would allow me to stand out and be noticed?
- Have I shared my experience in caring for a home and property?
- Is my availability calendar complete? To make sure, review this excellent post.
- Have I shown the homeowners that I can be decisive but also know when to first consult them?
- Have I offered ways for them to meet me (in person or video) to answer any of their concerns?
Your profile is similar to a job resume. Fine tune it so that it sells you, but is still honest. Show a homeowner why they should at least connect with you. Most important of all, take a local sit to get that first all-important review. Some homeowners will only consider sitters with reviews. You may not think that’s fair, but it is what it is.
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Hi @kathycalderbank - When you apply to a listing you will often be in competition with other sitters applying for the same house sit. When the home host has more then one application they have to choose which they feel more comfortable giving the keys to their home and the responsibility of caring for their much loved pet.
As the home host does not know any of the sitters personally the best indication of how good a sitter you are is by reading your reviews from previous sits that you have done.
This is why getting yourself a handful of great reviews is the most important route to getting accepted for the sits you really want to do.
The easiest and quickest way to do this is to do a few short, local sits - think of the time this takes you as an investment in yourself.
Once you have some reviews to show future home hosts then you will be amazed how much easier it becomes to get accepted for the sits that you really want to do - Good Luck!
It’s frustrating isn’t it being at ground zero isn’t it? It is a place where we have all been and it feels uncomfortable but as my peers have shared most excellent advice, my only contribution is to be patient and compassionate with yourself.
Those local sits are golden gateways to a world that is waiting for you. As you peruse the forum, you will see how much is out there and how many HOs and pets are looking waiting for you. Many of these HOs are also first timers, a bit nervous and anxious and those local sits and reviews will help greatly to ease their concerns.
all the best