Product Update - June 2022

@LTD Vanessa is offline for the day now and will be back online tomorrow (UK time).

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I was thinking that as well. Was a bit disappointed a lot of that part was assumed.

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Hi everyone as @Vanessa_A has said Ben is still on vacation, he posted details of his vacation leave as a polite advisory to manage members expectations. Any relevant updates on this subject will be posted here as and when they are available.

I’m sure you will all want to join our team in sending good wishes to Ben and his family for a relaxing and well deserved vacation, something we all look forward to.

Thank you.

One possible positive about the pause feature is that you will know that the HOs are still looking for good applicants if the listing has more than 5 and is still open. HOs need to actively unpause the listing, and they probably will only do this if they are looking for someone better than the first 5. So even though this listing has 12+ applicants, the HOs may not have thought they were good enough.

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You are 100% right. I just got an application exactly like that. Every important information was missing and it was obvious that the person did not read my listing.


Hi everyone… we have taken the decision to temporarily close this post until Ben returns from his vacation and he can take up the queries that have and continue to be posted in his absence. Once he has the opportunity to post an update we’ll of course open this again to get your valuable feedback. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

@Itchyfeet @Lassie

We have been testing one-off pauses. @Lassie your listing must have been included. This has been going on for the last 6 weeks.

We are now looking at a continuous pause which means that if a listing reaches the limit then owners will be notified. I want to stress that this is still a test.

@Lassie Really good insight and point on the visibility of pause/unpause and if this is a problem that keeps arising during this test period then this would be something we would look into.

Thanks, Ben.

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@Els Thank you for this feedback and we will incorporate this into the email.

Thanks, Ben


@Tarheel1 In the blog post we are referring to testing one-off pauses and it’s the feedback we have received from those Owners we have paused.

The next part of the test is to do continuous pausing, which means that as soon as a listing reaches 5 applications then the listing is paused. I want to stress that this is a test. Thank you for flagging the T&Cs which we will review.

Thanks, Ben

Hello @LTD

Below are the answers to all the questions you have. Please DM me if you have any further questions.

  1. EXACTLY WHEN in ‘July’ is this change starting? July 1st, or July 31st?

We are looking at launching the test this week.

  1. How will a sitter know which advertisements have been ‘auto-paused’?

As this is a test we have kept adding features to a minimum, so have not added additional states or additional logic to show paused sits.

When an owner pauses a sit we don’t currently show the Sit. If the test is successful we might look at introducing a new state where Sitters can view Sits where Owners are ‘reviewing applicants’. This would be in a similar vein to showing Sits without current dates.

  1. How will a sitter know when the adv had been ‘released’ from ‘auto-pause’ and is once again open to applications?

As this is a test we have not added any additional logic to make members aware of listings which have re-opened from an Owner unpausing the listing. However, if a Sitter has a Saved search or the listing is marked as a favourite then the listing will be visible and searchable.

  1. Does the ‘five applications then auto-pause’ begin all over again for that adv?

The number of applications depends on the number of applicants the Owner has rejected.

  1. 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?

If a homeowner rejects the application then the Sitter will receive the automated Trusted Housesitters email. We also encourage the owner to respond personally and state why they have not been accepted for the Sit.

  1. 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’.

We will be keeping an eye on whether we have Owners not confirming or unpausing a Sit. We will be sending an email when a listing is paused and on days 3, 7 and 14 if the Owner has not taken any action. The owner will also be notified by App push and are made aware they need to choose a Sitter or unpause from the dashboard and Inbox.

  1. Did any HOs and / or sitters on the Forum ‘road test’ this change?

Homeowners have been testing this for the past 6 weeks with one-off weekly pauses. We also interviewed forum members before we started this project to gauge general feedback.

  1. 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?

Data shows that 1-5 applications give the optimum chances for owner success. As part of the test, we will be reviewing the limit.

  1. 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).

Our data team will be looking very closely at the impact this has on the platform.

  1. 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).

The copy of the email is being finalised as we speak and is being adjusted based on feedback from this thread.

Good news! You have 5 sitters hoping to sit for you between the [SIT DATES] We’ve now paused your applications to give you a chance to review your first 5 sitters. Now, you’ll need to either confirm one of these lovely sitters or decline them to unpause your applications.

This is then followed by what to do next and also FAQs.


Hi @anon36831737

Thank you for this feedback :pray:

This is the same functionality as we currently have when an owner manually pauses the listing. This is a valid point and something we will keep an eye on. If the test is successful and this is a recurring problem then we would look at clearly labelling a Sit as ‘Owner reviewing applications’

Thanks, Ben

Hi All :wave:

Hopefully, I have answered all of the open questions.

I want to thank you all for your feedback it’s been extremely useful and constructive.

I also want to reiterate that this is a test and continues to be a test.

I plan to provide a further update in the next 24hrs and will open up a new topic on pausing applications.

Also thank you for the holiday wishes and here are a few snaps


Hi Ben,
You have not addressed the issue of the problem people will have if applying from a different time zone which is a major concern for those of us this impacts.
I have recently seen several sits with 4/7 applicants by the time I check in the morning.
You indicated the 24-hour condition would be reviewed in earlier comments.


Hi @Expat6

Thanks for raising this, This impacts a very small amount of Sits however I fully understand the concerns expressed about popular international sits and assure you we will monitor the situation closely throughout the test. i.e. Sits taken by international Sitters.



One question/clarification I still have/would like - can an HO manually unpause a listing to gather more and more applications, if they are still looking - as long as they are active about it? Or the only way to unpause is to decline enough folks to get the number back under 5?

If it’s not already obvious from the rest of the comments, I think the biggest angst this causes for me as a sitter is that suddenly there is a prospect that I won’t see all the sits for my desired parameters but I won’t know that I’m not seeing them, I’ll just see other sits that may or may not work for me. I’m paying the same money but missing out. And since I’m not the type to check every day (I tend to go in spurts) I almost certainly will be, right? Or at best it’s hit or miss? I guess that’s my biggest worry and we’ll just have to see how it actually affects things. I’m already finding it hard to find enough sits.


@sbwade - yes, a HO can manually unpause, but it is not very intuitive. See my comments above about how this worked for me.

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Ok good, thank you! I guess communicating it clearly is another issue.

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That’s helpful, Ben, thanks for your detailed responses.


Thank you Ben for answering our member’s questions, we are now closing this topic as there Ben has posted Product’s latest update on the Pausing Applications Test in the Owner Sitter Exchange.

Thanks everyone.

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