Really Disappointed Since Joining

It’s been a tuff time with covid, etc. … keep trying … best of luck.

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Also agree that sept/oct is too far ahead to plan for. The UK MAY be ok to book for since they’ve never really closed their borders yet, but way too much can change between now and then. Except for full timers, people seem to be booking weeks ahead these days vs months.

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Hmmm maybe we can help each other!

Hi Doug,

I went through the same thing at first. I just kept getting turned down, even when I applied for local sits. I am currently on my first sit (in another state) and my second sit will be in August (another country). No luck locally at all. I think I completed my background check and started applying in mid-March. I know how terrible it feels to get all excited and then either hear nothing at all or just get a cold “declined” email. That’s the worst part of applying for anything, really.

I think owners do have to be a little more considerate and stop ghosting sitters, especially when sitters are expected to write heartfelt, personalized application letters. The expectation should be the same for both sides. Treat us the way you expect us to treat you. You want to know that we care about your pets and your home, so please… let us know you care about us too.

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Hi Doug,

First of all, welcome to TH. I’m both a petsitter and a homeowner, so looked at your profile from both perspectives. The first thing I look for from a petsitter is Criminal Background Check if from the US—you’ve got that. If a person hasn’t done a sit yet, I go to their external references. I didn’t see those. Ask friends who know your relationship with dogs, to post. Rather than concentrate on your art, ask them to talk about your pet loving qualities, your personality and how you maintain your home.

Third, the main things I gleaned from your post are that 1) you’re an artist and that’s important to you 2) you don’t give out a lot of information which leaves me wondering 3) I’m not sure how much you want to watch my pet vs travel and meditate. Be honest with yourself about balancing that out. What I tell people is that I love to explore new places around the care and schedule of their pets. People need to know that. Be upfront about whether you will be traveling alone, or with your wife and kids. DEFINITELY take a picture of you interacting with one or both of your dogs, and make that your cover photo. Hope this helps. Don’t give up. If taking care of other’s pets is something you really want to do, it will happen. I find dropping into other people’s homes, neighborhoods and watching their pets, to be fun and exciting. Best wishes.

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I started by doing sits locally, even if it was for two days. Do whatever you need to build up your reviews. I now get invitations constantly and have little trouble acquiring sits anywhere. Off to the UK and Europe where I have applied for and gotten 99% of the sits I applied for. Hang in there, you just have to sometimes do the little stuff to get the big stuff :wink:

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Hi Doug,

Your frustration is totally understandable.

Like other responses I’d suggest first applying for a local sit or 2. You have a better chance that way. As a newbie it helps to offer to meet in person before the sit. My first sit was an hour from home. They may not take you up on meeting up in person but it’s the gesture that counts.

I also agree about adding more pictures. As sitters we like lots of pics of houses and pets, the HOs want the same thing. Selfies with your own pets, your friends pets are all helpful. Your art work looks great but I want to see you with your dogs or your neighbor’s cat.

Right now there are tons of sits available. Keep trying. It will happen.
Good luck!

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And one more thing that is helping now is including your Covid vaccination status in your profile.

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I totally get it!! The way I navigated this was to apply to a few local sits, and once 1 person took a chance on me, I got my first review. Now I have a bit more credibility and I am getting more sits! Stick with it. Make sure u have a bunch of good clear pictures of you with animals and a few personal references too.

Can people leave me reviews who are not members here??

Hi @ArtistDoug There’s a distinction on THS between reviews (from a THS owner, after a sit) and references (from outside of THS). You are encouraged to get references when you first set up your account. I’ll add the information here for you.

Francine,
Voluntary Forum Moderator

HI @ArtistDoug to pick up on @Snowbird’s helpful post, we frequently survey our members and whenever owners are surveyed regarding Trust & Safety when selecting sitters, particularly new sitters without TrustedHousesitters reviews, they look for external references.

New sitter members with 3 or more external references have a higher rate of success getting chosen for sits.

Yes. There’s a way on your Dashboard to add external references. I’m sure their help desk will help you if you have any difficulties adding them. I had 4 external references from long time friends and acquaintances when I first signed up and I truly believe that helped me secure my first sit.

Hi ArtistDoug.
I fully understand what you are talking about. I had the same thing,not with THS in the beginnging but anouther site. I then got help to put up a good profile,I added reviews from former work places and then it started for me. I even paid 300 Euroes for utilities at my first sit just to get in. I have not paid anything after that and would not do it or reccomend it to be done. But the people I sat for and paid on my first sit ever reccomended me to theire friends and that same winter I got 2 more sits from that in the same area and got my money back and then some. I have also sat for them again I think 2 more times and 1 more time for theire friends.
After that it has just been great. I get most of my sits with THS but I am at 2 other sites. I also did not have any sit 4 months in beginning of last year but since then all good. Been very much booked this year and I am fully pretty much fully booked untill November and at the moment I am not gonna book my self longer than that. I might go and take a break from house sitting and just travel. I am retireded and get a decent amount every month so it is ok to take some time of. I love this live , met so many nice people and lovely animals and also got some repeat sits going on all the time. And of course I get to see so many new places…
Don´t give up and good luck.

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Hang in there! Lots of suggestions here, but us HO need sitters and I love to give a sit to someone from outside of the UK. We once had sitters who were living in Australia, had no sits on THS, but their application was really professional and warm, they went out of their way to make us feel safe in taking a chance with new sits. Linking to their LinkedIn helped (as you have). I could see that in addition to my cat having caring sitters, that it would really help in their move to the UK, and that struck a cord with me. Your profile might strike a cord with HO who are interested in artists, who knows (although your profile did make me wonder if you’d be painting at the HO’s house)! Best of luck.

I am having the same problem getting a sitter.
I have not had any response for the dates I need a sitter for.
I have sent lots of offers to people but not one is available.

If you give the link to your profile forum members can help you to improve it. In general it’s quite tough right now for HOs and we recommend doing the same we did during the lockdown period: use multiple platforms.

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Gosh. I had no idea it is hard to get a first sit. I’m in the UK, I’ve been a member for some years and I ALWAYS have to approach people to see if they will consider doing a sit for me. only twice has someone approached me to say they are interested and both times they have decided to go somewhere else.

Anyone want to come to Wiltshire UK to do a house sit with a lovely cat? Yes you absolutely do need a car and no you cannot bring your dog.

I’ve had some lovely people come house sit for me but heaven’s it is hard work finding people who will do it. Half the time people don’t even reply which is a bit disappointing. It costs nothing to be nice.

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I was in a similar sentiment on my first year - after paying over $100, nothing in spite of my excellent Airbnb and professional reviews and 2 references. This topic seems to come up time and again and have shared my experience in the past. I renewed for second year and as others suggested, did a short “local” sit just to get thee first review and back when it wasn’t required for U.S. sitters to get background check, I paid extra to do so. After the first sit, I was sitting around the world.
Good luck!

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Unfortunately I can’t as I’m not in the UK, but I would recommed linking your sit listing in your forum profile so that people can see it and potentially give feedback on how to entice sitters. It’s currently very much a sitters market so you want to make it as good as possible. Good luck!