Product Update - June 2022

[What do we mean by redistribution of applications?

Some sits attract very high volumes of applications while others receive very few or no applications. By pausing sits with at least 5 applications, the applications will be made elsewhere and drive owner and sitter success across the platform.]

So sitters will be paying a membership fee and unable to apply for more popular listings if they don’t act fast. I hope you aren’t really considering this. HOs with popular listings should be ready to start addressing applications as they come in and this won’t be necessary. That’s where the problem lies. Why are you catering to them? When we don’t get a sit we do move on already.

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What do we mean by redistribution of applications?

If sitters are not successful with their applications then they will apply for another one eventually. This may be in 24 hours or maybe next week - the effect will be the same.

Is it me or am I missing something.

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I totally agree @Knowmad. I, too, rarely read either as well.
Important changes have never been acknowledged through an email to all members and they should be.

Hi Ben,

My main concern was never having a chance to see an open sit that reached five live applications. We (my wife) generally take the time daily to go through new sits in the areas we are looking for. So, adopting the suggestion of giving us 24 hours before pausing a sit solves our problem with your original proposal. This addition should help drive rapid response by sitters and also homeowners, which is a good thing, but also allow diligent sitters worldwide to apply for the most desired sits.

I agree with JackieX’s comment about the proposal not driving us to consider other sits. We generally are selective about the areas and timeframes we want to sit. I also am allergic to cats. And we often like to sit close to family. In these cases, we don’t consider sits outside a 30-minute drive radius. But with the 24-hour minimum time until pause this won’t be a problem.

Given the 24-hour rule addition we think this is a workable solution for us. If I were on the homeowner side of the equation, I’d like to see an increase to ten applications before a pause.

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.

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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