Product Update - June 2022

such a good point @Pawtastic, often times if i see an application is in the 8-11 range i dont even bother applying thinking the HO has plenty of applicants already!

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We had 19 applicants for our sit. Thought we struck gold with the first applicant who we invited after doing a video call but sadly they declined. We are about to have a video call with the 19th applicant (the last one before we paused the listing). So you never know what gems are laying beneath the surface…

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Just wanting to weigh in as being not in favor of the 5 application auto-pause feature. I am both a sitter and HO and do not think the feature will well serve me or others in either role.

Why not let the HO set their on own auto-pause limit?
Why not have auto-pause apply to the number of applications that have not been responded to, if the goal is to encourage HO response?
Why not track and post a HO average response time so that a sitter knows what they are dealing with?
Why not allow a sitter to set an auto-withdrawal date that indicates how long they are willing to wait until they get feedback?
Why not have filters that allow a sitter to indicate their range of interests in location and timing and allow both the system and the HO to easily find and invite the sitter to apply?

There are so many better ways to address the issue of finding good matches (that’s the goal, right?) that are not being done, the auto-pause mechanism seems both less effective and more intrusive to both sitters and HOs than other options … i.e. it’s a stick where several carrots would be much preferred!

Love the service THS provides presently, please don’t reduce it’s value with this auto-pause change!

2 cents and no non-cents,
Bruce

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Last night I sent a HO a 2 line message, telling her that I could not, at that moment, make an application but please would she wait until the morning. By this morning the adv had had 4 - 7 applications and I know I was number 1 when I sent that message.
It transpires that neither of us can proceed wit the sit after all: her dog has just come into season and I always sit WITH my (male) dog.
She and I have really hit it off today as we have exchanged messages. We have ‘favourited’ each other. Under the 5 applications / pause system she and I might not have ‘met’ each other.
I really, really don’t trust such a low number. Because I work in the evenings, I am going to miss the opportunity of applying when everyone else is scrambling to be the ‘one to five’!

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Im wondering since Covid and the world changing, just what % of sits get 5 applications. ?When I first started ,I had 17 hits in 24hrs, as times has gone on it got down to a average of 5 and now Im lucky if anybody applies to look after my cats!
Has these statistics been realised ?

I agree, but i think the THS changes happen so slowly that even though it has been inundated with comments that five is too low a number, it now isnt going to change that in a hurry.

I’ve been looking at sits in NYC. You would never know there was any sitter shortage. These listings have lots of applicants. With the proposed pause, it will be very hard to get your application in before they hit the 5 mark. I really hope this change doesn’t happen.

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Don’t shoot me!!
With July imminent, I see every day concerns from both HOs and Sitters regarding this ‘five applications and then pause’ issue.
I’ve asked but I have had no answers, so if anyone knows the answers to these questions, PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME!

  1. EXACTLY WHEN in ‘July’ is this change starting? July 1st, or July 31st?
  2. How will a sitter know which advertisements have been ‘auto-paused’?
  3. How will a sitter know when the adv had been ‘released’ from ‘auto-pause’ and is once again open to applications?
  4. Does the ‘five applications then auto-pause’ begin all over again for that adv?
  5. How do the (first, and subsequent) five applicants know they have all been rejected and therefore it is not worth re-applying? What message do they receive?
  6. What happens if a HO simply ‘sits’ on the five applications (as many HOs do now, with up to 50 applications)? What recourse does the sitter, ie one of the ‘fortunate five’ who applied first, have? Potentially, a HO who simply sits on his /her applications and lets them accumulate, can do exactly that with the ‘five then pause’: it won’t necessarily change their ‘behaviour’.
  7. Did any HOs and / or sitters on the Forum ‘road test’ this change?
  8. Will THS PLEASE listen to both the HOs and sitters who have expressed doubt over such a low number? Is there a ‘review’ of the change after, say, three months?
  9. Is THS actively monitoring the effects of this change? As someone else posted last week, the intended ‘redistribution’ of applications might not come about because if I am looking for a sit in Tampa, Florida, I am not really interested in a sit in Basingstoke, UK! (Much as I like Basingstoke).
  10. What is the exact wording a HO will receive once their five applications are in their inbox? I’d like to think the wording will actively encourage them to make a timely decision, (although see point 6 above).

Thank you!

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I won’t shoot unless you shoot first :laughing:
I don’t have the answers but this is my take on this.
The answers will come and then we will see how it will work.
My initial impression is that this “five and hold” may ease the back up and anxiety of waiting. It will cause the HO to process more quickly thus allowing the next batch in, like a turnstyle when there is a mad rush.
so lets remain calm and see how it works. I don’t think anyone is being impacted by any of this at the moment.

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On the whole I’m pretty ok with my applications … except one made 3 weeks ago and which now has 50 applications. My appl was unread for 2 weeks and after I chased (politely) for a second time, I received a rude: ‘Well we would never have accepted you anyway’ message … but the adv is STILL ‘live’!!
So I guess …

There all kinds of people in the world and we may never understand why people behave the way they do but it’s ok. We also don’t know any of what events have brought them to how they interpret the actions of others.
So chin up, big breath and carry on dear lady.

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Scroll up a bit because quite a few (but not all) of these questions have been answered by Ben.

Take a peek at posts #17, 23, 38, 39, 105, and 126. Quite a few answers there.

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@LTD I noticed that the communication for this change was posted in the THS blog on the website. There was nothing in today’s THS newsletter, however.

Hi Ben,
I have just read the announcement in the blog although it was not in this week’s newsletter. I think many members will not see this announcement as they neither follow the forum nor the blog.
This is the first time in five years I have read the blog and that was only because another member in the forum commented on it.
Despite all the concerns about pausing applications with a limit of five and concerns by people applying to different time zones, it remains as originally proposed.
Just yesterday I saw two sits I would consider applying to were already at 4/7 by the time I viewed them in the morning. If this was in operation I would have not been able to apply or even favorite for future sits enabling them to appear on my search notifications.
I am based In Carolina and mostly applying to the UK sits. With a five-hour time difference, this limits our ability to see certain sits let alone prepare a solid application.
I am generally a cheerleader for THS but am very disappointed by this approach and hope you will reconsider it.

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I have never looked at the blog either in all the years I have been a member. Just found it but notice it still does not say when in July this change will be implemented.
Several sits that I looked at recently were all at higher than 5 applicants when I first saw them. It wouldn’t have made me apply for other sits that were available if these were paused as I am very selective about the sits I apply for.

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Ben
I notice that you still have not made any commitment to allowing a sit to be shown for 24 hours before pausing. Nor have you responded to owners’ requests to have 10 applications before the pause kicks in. Strange that the blog reports positive feedback for your change and nothing about the legitimate concerns we all have raised.

Since THS seems committed to moving forward with this change no matter the feedback provided, I suggest you should change your Ts and Cs to state "… the services we provide for Sitters are … “3.2.2 the ability to search for Sits by looking at Owner Listings which are available and have not been paused or otherwise filtered by Us (i.e.Trusted House Sitters)”

Thank you

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Trusted Housesitters: the above posts show that people are virtually screaming out to you for a reply.
Why no response?
I’ve paid you for at the very least a basic level of communication. I TRUST you to do so.
Is my TRUST misplaced?

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Where is the blog? I’ve searched and can’t find it

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I scrolled all the way down to to bottom on the main site and it is listed there on the right hand side

Thanks. So not on the app then?