Nobody wants me :-( Advice for a first time house sitter?

Hello everyone,

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 :wink: 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.

Welcome again.

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.

Yours,
Dom

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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.

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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?

Hi,
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 .

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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 :four_leaf_clover:.

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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.

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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.

Ask yourself:

  • 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. :sun_with_face:

Francine,
Volunteer Forum Moderator :canada:

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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!

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Hya @kathycalderbank
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

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Hi there Ive sent you a sit request…we would love for you to stay and look after Tia for us. Please let us know and hopefully meet up soon. Kind regards Jo

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Thanks for considering me @Jo-Andy, but I had to decline because, as noted in my profile, ‘I currently have no availability for 2022’. I hope you find someone soon. Regards, Andrew

Hi @kathycalderbank and welcome to the Community Forum. I know it can be very difficult to get that first sit…especially when you want to go outside your home area. Since you are having difficulties and have received requests near your home, you might want to do just a couple of them to get the references needed for homeowners to feel comfortable with you traveling to their home, possibly in a different Country. I would also just suggest putting a few more pictures on your profile showing you with pets. Owners love to know that you are comfortable with different pets, even if your profile states so.

I would also suggest you link your profile to the forum by clicking How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile). This will give you an extra layer of exposure for homeowners to see and possibly reach out to you for that first sit.

Please do re-consider not leaving TrustedHousesitters, as I am sure you will be happy once you have found the perfect sit. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our of our team to assist.

Debbie and the Forum Team

@kathycalderbank : Hi ! Where would you like to petsit ? It seems to me there is a lot of offers with 0-3 applications on the site. I’m sure one of them would be glad to hear from you. If you are interested in Nashville, Tenessse, USA around December, my daughter recently posted her assignment.
Good luck. Many of us went through that at first.
Brigitte

I’ve been on this site for more than 8 months and have YET to Secure a sit. WOW! Discouraged doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. I’m a trustworthy, reliable , easygoing millennial who loves animals . I thought Trusted house sitters would be a great fit for me since I work in an industry that gives plenty of downtime and freedom to travel but every time I apply for a sit- I swiftly get denied. I understand that preference is given to those who have pets of their own and to those who have experience/reviews but how can I gain experience if nobody will give me a chance? :slight_smile: I’ve taken care of pets and homes before, I’m more than capable of being an amazing sitter but no home owners will give me a chance. I must admit, after each rejection, I take a break from this site and just continue traveling because I’m starting to think HO’S may think I’m totally inadequate or maybe i look like a bank robber LOL which is quite disheartening. I think I’ve applied to 8 sits in total. I’m INTERESTED TO KNOW HOW LONG IT TOOK NEW SITTERS (Specifically the ones without pets of their own) to secure their first sit? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE LOOK OVER MY PROFILE and tell me what I’m doing wrong? Sadly I wont be renewing my membership if I can’t lock in a sit within a year of being on this site. Looking forward to hearing your input…

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Same here ! Nobody wants me either and I’m a 37 year old female . I’m starting to realize priority is given to people (especially younger folks with pets of their own ) … I saw one Home owner who specifically stated that he wanted college kids for his sit . Beats me !

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If you post a link of your profile you might get some helpful suggestions. A lot of sits specifically ask for women, especially single and “mature” (whatever that means). There is actually a bias against people of college age and we didn’t even try to sit in our 20s. We were lucky to get invited to our first sit because we are vegan, maybe there is something about you that makes you stand out? The first sit was also during Christmas (high demand for pet sitters!) and was not the most attractive or least challenging.

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The first sit is always the most difficult to get. Once you get your first you will hopefully receive a review from that and once you get a review its is easier to get your second, when you get your second review it becomes MUCH easier to get your third…and so on.

Having pets of your own is not necessarily an advantage as you will need someone to care for your pets whilst you care for others. There are sits advertised that will allow you to take your own pets but your options are more limited.

So, how to get your first sit? You need to apply for as many as you can preferably those that are likely to have the least competition. Stay local to keep your travel costs down, one or two night sits are excellent to quickly build up your reviews.

If you have applied for 8 sits in great locations or amazing accommodation types then you are going to struggle. applying for one a month really is not enough to get you going.

When we started just over a year ago we had no experience and no pets of our own - we applied for about 30 sits in the first week and got accepted for one of those - from there it got easier and we are currently on our 23rd sit!

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As you have asked for someone to look at your profile you can add this to your Forum profile, here is the link to help you do this How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile

Doing this will allow other members to view and give the constructive feedback you’ll find helpful often tweaking profiles and application messages has the biggest impact.

It took me 2 months and constantly making applications before I was successful and even though I have numerous reviews and over 12 years of experience I still get refusals … owners connect with applicants for many different reasons, a refusal is not personal in anyway.

Our community are both supportive and helpful you have certainly come to the right place, please feel free to ask any question also the website blog has some great advice an information. Like this article

TrustedHousesitters

How to get started as a TrustedHousesitter

Recently joined TrustedHousesitters as a pet sitter? Welcome to the pack! Here’s a recap of how it all works, and a few tips to get you started…

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