Owners want local sitters

I am seeing more and more posts from homeowners who want local sitters to sit on a regular basis. I have been turned down by 3 who want someone local.
I joined THS to be able to travel far from home. Why would we sit for free and not travel?
Additionally, I just read a request for someone to run their Airbnb and another who will want painting done while they are gone.
It seems things are off track.

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Sometimes a person will sit locally because they are new to THS and want to build reviews. Sometimes they may not be a local but already be in the area on another sit.

As for the 2 posts that want the sitter to work - I’m sure the admins will look at this @Therese-MembershipService

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I understand sitting locally to build your references however, the homeowners are seeking someone locally to sit on a regular basis.
I’m sorry if I’m off base on this but it is happening way to often.

Hi Pat
I wouldn’t get too discouraged by this. If these are people who are traveling regularly, it is understandable to want to establish relationships with people close by who can do repeat sits for them. But if I had to guess, the vast majority of sits don’t fall under this category and are people looking to take their yearly vacation,etc… Also, there are plenty of people who probably couldn’t do this even if they wanted to ,given their location, and have to use different people all the time. And as for many international locations, there isn’t a bit pool of local sitters and they likely need to get someone from a distance, probably a completely different country.

I know people get really discouraged by a situation like this, not getting responses,etc…and it’s understandable but it is really important to go about this with a greater sense of detachment. See a great sit you would like? Apply and then let it go. Get rejected? Don’t take it personally–people can only pick one sitter and if you weren’t the one, wasn’t meant to be. If the HO of a really great opportunity isn’t moving quickly on choosing someone, don’t get all bent out of shape waiting on them because you are attached to this opportunity–apply for other jobs too. Don’t take it personally if a HO doesn’t respond to your application or send you a personalized rejection message–sure it’s nice I guess but they don’t owe us anything. There are going to be lots of sits where we aren’t going to fulfill the criteria they want, but there are just as many where we will.

The more relaxed you are about the process, the easier you get jobs. Trust me on this one.

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Thank you for your response. I have begun to book sits internationally and I’m so happy about that. In the past (prior covid) I pet sat all over the world. It just seems things have changed and some pet owners are looking for free local sitters. One person who declined me told me as much.
Sorry, I will keep my frustrations to myself going forward.

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Thank you for the direction @Snowbird … my apologies @Lassie it was your directional response I was referring to, thank you

@Patforcier

Please forward these listings or similar if and when you come across them to either myself, @Vanessa-Admin or @Therese-MembershipService by Direct Message and we will get the Membership Services Team to contact the owner.

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Angela, you must be a mind-reader. :rofl: You’ve given me credit for replying here, but I’m just reading the current responses before sending mine. I will send my two-cents worth though, as I often do, as you know. :rofl:

I was on autopilot there for a moment … :rofl:

Hello. I agree with all that has been said so far, so I won’t repeat that. I will just give you my example of sitting locally. Like you, my goal is to travel to new places and new countries, and in the past I’ve always travelled far from home. But as we know, we are in different times. After more than a year of being held back by the pandemic, a few months ago I chose to look locally. I had the need to travel, but I also wanted current reviews, to show that I was active. I took two sits within a two hour drive of home. I was able to explore rural places that were new to me, spend time with pets (which I don’t have), and discover an amazing bakery was the icing on the cake. :yum: The sits were certainly worthwhile. I’m now booked for my usual snowbird travels to escape the cold Canadian winter, this time to Mexico, and I feel like I’ve won the lottery.

Hopefully the responses, or lack of responses, by sitters for what is often seen as unreasonable requests will manage those who may be trying to take advantage of the concept of THS. I will mention that I’ve cared for an Airbnb more than once, to varying degrees, and have thoroughly enjoyed it and the homeowners were appreciative. One of the joys of this site is that it has such diversity - in people, and sits.

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I think we will continue to see more of this due to the current situation and there are sitters out there who would welcome it. New people for one who are seeking to build up their experience and profile but there are also people who cannot travel for whatever reason and enjoy the time away, being with animals and/or doing something they enjoy in exchange for the experience. It’s just a different type of experience.

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Thank you everyone for your input. I will continue to look for sits that are compatible for me. I will care for lovely pets, clean homes, do laundry, make pet owners a return meal and tend to some gardening chores. I will not however paint homes, care for elderly parents, look after a collage age teen who may return, run an Airbnb or sit where there is not equal consideration on both parts. Yes, I have been approached and requested to do all of the above. I suppose this is just my day to vent

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I don’t see your post as venting, even though it might feel like it to you. Your points allow each of us to think about what is right for us, and what we will and won’t accept. The more we can personally define what is a good fit for us, or not, the more we can hope that sitters will be appropriately matched with homeowners’ requests, and vice versa. Like the core concept of THS, it’s a win-win when that happens. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Pat, I’m a HO and I don’t blame you in the slightest for not wanting to paint houses/babysit people or run an Airbnb, and I think it’s a cheek of anyone to ask you to!

As to local sitters, I’m sure it’s down to these still uncertain times…… personally I would be less inclined to accept a sitter who was coming from overseas to do my sit, (my sits tend to only be a week), however if someone was traveling in the UK and wanted to add my sit to their travels I’d be quitee happy with that.

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We have sat locally ( no more than 70 miles) from our home most of this summer for personal reasons which I am not going into in a public forum. Yes, international travel was almost impossible but it suited us this summer and we have made some great friends and met fantastic animals. There are people who just want a change of scenery and enjoy going to certain areas. I know from talking to other sitters that it’s almost impossible to get sits in London and NYC. The rents are so high that people pet sit round the city they work in to save money. Is it wrong to use a resource in this way? I’ll let you make up your own mind on that one.
Now I’m ready to spread my wings again.

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Hi @Patforcier the requests you have listed which involve any third party being in the home are against our T&C’s which clearly states this is not allowed. If you have been approached to do this and it was not stated in the listing, which would be picked up on approval and the listing rejected, please pass this on to the Membership Services team or DM either myself @Vanessa-Admin or @Therese-MembershipService .

Regarding owner expectations which go above or against our fair value exchange ethos please also advise Membership Services who will investigate and advise the owners accordingly.

All new listings go through an approval process however just as with sitter’s profiles edits can be made post approval and existing listings which owners republish with new dates do not go through the system.

There is always room for guidance of members on both sides of our community and I’m sure you will agree that we are part of a fair and generous community motivated by the mutual win win win principle - the third win being for the most important members of our community … the pets.

We are emerging from unprecedented times affecting everyone, our community is no exception. The important thing is that we recognise we each have different motivations and expectations of this unique and authentic lifestyle.

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I too have been approached to do all of the above.
It is amazing that people ask me to run their B and B without any knowledge of whether I can fry an egg.

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Please do DM me any listing that you feel are not in line with our guidelines so we can reach out to these homeowners immediately. Many thanks, Therese

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Hi @Therese-MembershipService
I have just looked at the listing about us running their B&B. It doesn’t actually state it in the listing. We agreed dates in the knowledge that their B&B was closed, but then the HO had to change their dates so we couldn’t do them. She then asked if we would return later to run their B&B when they hoped to re-open it. I declined. She then wrote back to say that they had secured someone who was happy to run their B&B.
An interesting one but I will not send to you as their listing still states that the B&B is closed.

Interesting. I recently posted a sit to take care of my home and dog while we are away and received a total of 19 applicants, about 4 of which were local (within a two hour drive), and I immediately declined them (graciously of course). I couldn’t understand why someone in the next town or even same county would want to disrupt their lives to sit for a total stranger.
They way I see this service is as a platform for people to exchange a service (free sitting) for free lodging in a new place so both parties can enjoy travel the way they like to. I can’t see what benefit a local would have to sitting for another local. What does the sitter get out of it (maybe a change of scenery, which I suppose is fair enough but it just didn’t sit right with me)?
I would love to hear people’s opinions on the matter. I meant to pose this question in this forum so I’m glad someone beat me to it. It’s a timely topic for me.
I’m happy to consider local applicants in the future if they are qualified and if we click, but I had a really hard time seeing any mutual benefit from such an arrangement.

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Hi @jaumais we are a diverse community with different motivations for living this amazing lifestyle and pets are at the heart of TrustedHousesitters, we are a community drawn together by a love for animals.

Many year ago my first sit was literally 10 mins from my home on Vancouver Island, why would I take a sit that close to home? There was an owner in need, I had just lost my beloved Springer and decided not to have another pet of my own but animals are my joy, this was an opportunity for me to bring joy back into my life for two weeks and help another pet lover in return.

I did more local Island sits and found places I would never have discovered

Since COVID I have done all local sits. I’m discovering places I would never have otherwise but more importantly I can work from home with a pet companion. For me it’s not about travel it’s the whole experience, helping another pet lover, having a different place to call home and knowing I’m keeping a beloved pet safe and happy at home so that their human family can travel with absolute peace of mind.

We all use our lifestyle and membership to suit our personal preferences, for some it is about travel and the opportunity to see new places while enjoying pet companionship … that’s the beauty of TrustedHousesitters there is something for every pet lover and some prefer local, both owners and sitters.

Another important aspect is we advise new sitter members to start locally when possible, to build up their reviews and experiences, they are on hand to meet with owners and can often be more flexible.

We are in different times, some members are preferring to stay closer to home with travel uncertainties still in many minds.

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