Product updates

Hi All :wave:,

We promised we’d update you as we introduce improvements to the release of the pausing applications process, so I’m pleased to be telling you that the second change goes live today!

One of the main frustrations you raised as sitters, was that you didn’t have time to write a well-thought-out and considered application because you felt pressured to send a quick application to be within the first 5 applications. You were finding on more popular sits, that by the time you sent your application, the listing was already paused with owners reviewing their first applicants.

Although this affected only a small proportion of our members applying for sits in prime locations (most sits do not reach the 5-application limit), we listened to your feedback and have prioritised this adjustment. From today on both the desktop and the App (iOS and Android) if you have started an application you will be allowed to submit it, regardless of the 5 limit.

Once you press “apply” and start writing your application you won’t need to rush your application and can take your time to craft and submit a well-thought-out application, which we know our pet parents and homeowners appreciate.

However, there are a couple of things you’ll need to remember:

  • The system knows you have begun the application process when you hit the “apply” button and start writing your application, but if you refresh your screen, or close the browser tab you will lose your place and have to try again.
  • If the homeowner very quickly selects a sitter while you are still in the process of applying, you will see the message “reviewing applications”. Your application will not be considered in this rare case.

Submitting hurried applications was one of the top discussions both here in the forum and through the membership services team, so we are very pleased to have been able to implement this change quickly in response to your concerns.

Just a reminder too that we have already made the change to how the number of applications is displayed. Now you will see the exact number of applications, rather than a range. However this is currently only displaying on the desktop version, the App will be updated shortly (:crossed_fingers: this week) and we will let you know once this is live. We will continue working as a priority on the other adjustments.

Thank you

Ben and the Product Team

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I am sorry. I really must be thick. But if very few listings reach 5 applications, why did we need this change?

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11 posts were merged into an existing topic: Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

@Timshazz hello :wave:

Few numbers of listings, but its the positive impact on the number of applications that go across the platform. Less wasted time and effort for all members :slight_smile:

Full explanations provided in this thread

Thanks, Ben

Happy Tuesday :wave:

Another update, we have had a lot of reports on the lack of photos of sitter accommodation and in general lack of interior photos. (Also mentioned on the forum) So we have added guidance on the type of photos needed when creating your listing.

We now clearly explain that we require a Bedroom, Kitchen, Living area and Bathroom photo for a new listing to be approved and to go live.

We also now don’t allow listings to go live without Pet photos being added (with a minimum of two photos of each pet)

Over the coming weeks we expect the quality of listings to go up :rocket:

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It is clearly not true that ALL members have less wasted time and effort. Many sitter members have complained about the

  • wasted time in trying to apply for sits that are not available by the time they finish their application (yes, I know you may have fixed this).
  • Wasted time in looking for sits after getting a notification about a saved search or favorited sit, only to find that the sit has paused.
    *Wasted time in checking the website more and more often, trying to find a desirable sit before 5 other people apply (extra traffic suits THS metrics, of course).
    *Wasted time by homeowners in having to review applications before they want to review.

I’m sure others will have examples.

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This is certainly an improvement. Besides applying to new members, will existing members also be required to include these photos?

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Hi @Lassie :blush:, we are looking into improvements on the areas you have raised so will keep you posted when these go live.

Ben

Hi @mars :wave:

The problem has been with new listings. We are keeping an eye on existing listings (is on our to-do list) Will keep you posted when we add similar logic.

Thanks, Ben

@Ben-ProductManager The problem is with existing listings, too! I have a list of 26 homes (culled from a search in an area we’ll be visiting next year) that do not adhere to THS rules regarding what photos to include in the listing. No bedroom or bath shown or NO photos of the inside at all. I can send 26 unique URLs.

Shall I send this list to you or if not, to whom?

Please advise. It would be so helpful if these HOs fix their listings.

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You need to give us an easy way to report the listings that do not meet these minimum requirements! Those of us who are already logged in should be empowered to notify whoever is enforcing this with one click to alert you, and to check multiple boxes to indicate what is missing. This could generate an email automatically to that homeowner to give them instant feedback that they need to update their listing if they want a person to reply.

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Great, thanks for doing this Ben!

Actually, we shouldn’t have to report problematic listings. THS should be doing a better job of reviewing listings, not hoping that its customers will police each other

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I agree :100::100::100::100: however, lately every little thing seems like patching holes in a sinking ship.

My priority is to get address abandoning the 5 application rule.

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@MissChef That is a great idea! I have reported a few listings that were either for day sits or for sits where family members would be staying / popping in etc neither of which comply with THS rules. However it is laborious to do and must be time consuming for whoever has to pick up and deal with each report individually. I also wonder if a check listfor home owners to confirm before a sit is uploaded could remind them not only what their listing should include (i.e. photos etc) but also what is not permitted under THS rules.

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Admin Notice:

Hello everyone Ben’s Product Update is about improvements being made for all members on the functionality much as a result of feedback posted on the original Pausing Applications post.

For the benefit of of our active forum members and the many more who choose to remain readers, we will now merge all Pausing Applications comments in this conversation into the original thread to keep all relevant content in one place and to avoid this post becoming another long and repetitive Pausing Applications conversation.

We realise members may still have concerns, which we are addressing with the improvements and Ben will continue to keep this post updated.

Your help in keeping this conversation relevant only to the improvements is greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone.

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@Timshazz A way to get HOs to pick sitters they wouldn’t normally go with… Because if they see your stellar application, that you’ve put a lot of work in to, they will likely pick you. A way to stop your application from getting in… You’re over qualified. They want less successful applicants an opportunity to get the most popular sits.

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Hi @Angela-HeadOfCommunity I sure would like to share my list of HOs who don’t have the proper photos on their listings… If you close this thread will that message get to Ben, which is to whom I directed the offer? :slight_smile:

Hi @KenandMary1998 this topic is not closing, we are just moving the Pausing Application posts into the original Pausing Application thread so that this topic stays relevant to Ben’s Update.

Angela,

Once threads are moved into Pausing applications the reply function is removed.

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