Search Function Covers too large of an area

I am searching for a specific city in the UK for a sit (Sheffield) late September but I keep getting listings that are far outside the city. Which would be fine but the city listings do not come up first, they are not prioritized at the top of the results and so I have to go through all the pages of listings to find out which ones are really in the City and read the descriptions to find out where the home really is. Even then it isn’t clear. I know the area very well, so I am well aware that places such as Bakewell are not close enough to the city center for me. So how can I can eliminate places that are not within real walking distance (or short bus/tram ride 10-15 mins) of the city it’s self. Is this possible?

Hi @Pets4me I understand your point and your question. I don’t have a detailed answer for you as to distance, but I do know that the search area covers a specific radius, rather than just the location name you inputted. The product team do read the forum and so will be made aware of your comments.

I don’t know that there is any workaround for your intended search, because of the way the system is set up. Have you tried enlarging the map when you search the location and then using the filters? I just search Sheffield and enlarged the map to the max and it left me with 15 sits. If you then add in your date range and preferred pets, I would expect it to come down to a reasonable number to review. I hope that helps.

Francine
Volunteer moderator :canada:

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Thank you, yes I did try that. The reality for me is that location & proximity to the city is more important to me than the dates. I have more flexibility in dates than I do in location. Thank you for answering my question.

It would be good if I could prioritize the location over dates. But I am guessing that is not a function currently offered. I hope admin do read this post and add such filters.
Thanks again.

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I agree with @Snowbird about how to search with the map. That is really helpful. A weakness of the system is that Owners are allowed to indicate whatever location they want. The Sitters have to ask the right questions to determine where the Owner actually resides. I see many listings which are not accurate, and some are purposely meant to mislead the Sitters, which is simply ridiculous! So the Map Search Function can be helpful, but if the listing’s location is not accurate (by the Owner’s choice), then the Map Function is not accurate either. The only way to ask the Owner about the true location is to “Apply” to the sit and let the Owner know that you are interested in applying for the sit as long as the location is X. It’s okay to tell the Owner exactly what you need! Good luck!

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A search like “Europe without some countries” or clicking together some countries would be great as well. Or for Example that I can click together some countries or States for the search in general.

Cheers
Frank

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Yes this is so true, people say they are in the city and then after lots of back and forth attempting to get clarification you finalize realize they are an hour away and they want you to check on the pets every 2-3 hours. It would save a lot of wasted time if they were more accurate about the location within a 1-2 mile radius of city etc. That way if I need to be in the city I can eliminate the constant applying just to to get location clarification.

Also some HO write so little in their profile. It’s frustrating. At least they should be more detailed in the responsibilities and tell me how long the pets can be home alone in the profile. Is it 2 hours or 6 hours? Be honest. It is misleading to say that they are near great national parks for days out hiking etc or in the cities (when both sites are 1 hour + away). Then they tell you that you can’t leave for more than a few hours at a time. Maybe they should be looking for a paid sitter not a THS as this doesn’t seem like a mutual trust and exchange, it is more like an employment situation when you can barely leave the house. I know some people are nomads and have no issue with staying home but some of us are doing THS to be able to travel and explore the area so just be honest upfront.

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@Pets4me this is why it is so important to have those “interviews” prior to accepting a sit or inviting a sitter. Pertinent and important questions should always be asked and no one should be afraid to do so. So many important things such as length of walks, length of time pet can be alone, proximity to necessary amenities such as grocery, gas, etc., and just daily habits of the pet are important. Also, always, always, always make sure everyone is clear on sitter expectations of responsibilities at the home. This would include any necessary plant/lawn care, snow removal, if necessary, etc.

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I agree! I would not accept any pet sit without a video chat or phone call but some HO just want to just accept the application without one. I would not agree to that. I have collected many helpful questions from this forum to ask HO. It has been eye opening.

Debbie, Could you please explain the rationale of why Owners are allowed to choose whatever city/town they want, to state the location of their home?

I would like to know this too as THS already know the address of the HO and so they should be giving the location within a mile radius instead of allowing the HO to mislead the sitter with the location.

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@PVGemini I cannot answer this question myself but I will tag @Therese-Moderator to see if she can answer this question. If not, I know that other team members peruse this sight and one of them will be able to answer.

Thank you! Hope to hear a sensible answer.

Hi @PVGemini
I hope to give you a little more clarity, as naturally for security/privacy reasons, homeowners cannot give their zipcode address on their listing, but need to choose the closest town to their proximity. However, the location map can sometimes be a little tricky and we have to work around some locations not coming up on the click bar. (this is not controlled by TrustedHousesitters but sub-contacted to a third party who owns/operates/controls this map/location function) We do request new locations if we find homeowners are not finding a close enough location, but there is no guarantee this will be added. We often suggest to Homeowners who are struggling with this to add the closest actual town to their Listing Title. This works best under these circumstances, so sitters can get an immediate feeling as to the proper location and the Homeowner, can then go into more detail via the description section.

When members are in the process of applying and confirming sits, we encourage them to talk to one another and they are more than welcome to ask these important questions in the application process, such as exact location, pet routines, how easy it is to get there, video calls, etc before confirming a sit. That way both members are happy with the arrangement and happy to confirm the sit.

Thank you for more explanation and the process. I still do not see a rationale for the THS approach. Why do Owners get to choose the town rather than THS choosing the closest town for them? You have all the exact addresses. The only thing that I can think of, in order to protect an Owner, would be in the event that an Owner lives in such a small town (like only 10 homes in the whole town, and these do exist), that indicating the precise town might make it too easy for a criminal to figure out when someone is away from home. For these cases, then choosing a larger nearby town would be completely understandable. But….for everyone else, THS (or a third party) should map each property in the town where it is actually located. Also, the label under the banner title for each property should be the actual town/city. I see wrong labels every day.

@PVGemini Thank you for your comments and I can certainly see and understand the frustration this causes. I will definitely take your suggestion to our product team to look at how to improve this function. In the meantime, if you find listings that are clearly not correct, please do DM the URL to me so we can help make it more accurate. This would be most appreciated.
Best Wishes
Therese

That sounds great! How do I DM the URL to you? I am looking at a listing right now that I need to send. Thank you!

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If you are looking at the listing under another tab … on the very top of the page is the URL … left click on it, and it will highlight it and then right click to copy that and then click on my name on the forum … Press Message and paste it in there.

I’m new, and a HO, not a sitter. Out of curiosity, I did a search for sits in my city, and there were numerous listings listed as being in my city, but were in outer (one hour’s drive, no public transit) suburbs and even across the river in the neighboring state.

@GardenCat the search does a certain radius from the location, and not in an order that starts at the core, where you’re located, and radiates out. I live on the Canadian side of the border between Canada and the US. I recently did a search of my home city and the first two sitters were from the US. It’s less than ideal, I realize, but I just thought I’d’ share those details.

Thank you, Snowbird.

Yes, I do understand how the search radius works from having read through this thread.

Here’s what I saw just now when I did a test search: I searched for a sit in Philadelphia and there were twelve listing snapshots on the first page.

Two of those listings had towns other than Philadelphia named on the snapshot, ten were described as “Philadelphia.”

Of those ten, seven were in Philadelphia. Three of those listings were in suburbs. One described their location as being 8 miles from Philadelphia. The other two didn’t specify distance, but named the town in the description. I know each of those towns to be about a 45 minute drive outside of the city.