I’ve been on the site for over a month now, applied to 8 sits, declined on all.
I am a single female sitter from Toronto, looking to sit in France, preferably in the south, but have equally applied to sits here in Toronto, and the US, to no avail.
I get that with Covid and the current situation in Europe, maybe European home owners are a bit leery, but frustrating nonetheless.
Any and all advice would be appreciated!
Hi @Louise65 and welcome!
Link your THS profile to your Forum profile. For instructions, Click here
Then forum members will be able to view it and give you tips on how to spruce it up, so you can begin your house and pet sitting adventure.
Hi @Louise65 I’m also a solo female sitter from Ontario. There are many posts on this forum that can give you excellent suggestions - the one from @mars is the first one to take care of, in my opinion.
It’s good that you’re first trying for relatively local ones. Make sure your application is tailored to the homeowner’s priorities, and that means going beyond just the listing. Yes, address the points in their listing, and show how your skills from outside of THS fit well (and make sure they do). Also make sure to mention the names of the pets, rather than ‘your dogs’, for example.
Then, if the homeowners have had previous sitters, take time to read both the sitter and homeowners reviews. If the homeowner said ‘wow, she even did X’ and you can do it, then mention it. Your application and your listing are your combined sales pitch. Also make sure you have relevant references. I think I had more than 10 references online before my first sit. Lastly - be patient. Many sitters do not get a sitter within their first month, and yet go on to do many successful sits. Once you have your first review, it gets easier.
When you do get your first sit, please come back and let us know as we do love to hear about that.
Done! Thanks so much everyone. Appreciate the community here!
Hi @Louise65 You have a warm and friendly profile, with tons of experience with horses and being bilingual - those are qualities that not everyone has for sure.
I note you do have experience with cats, but don’t have any photos of you with cats. If cat owners look at your photos first, they may just pass you by.
You mention that you’re not getting any local sits, but you don’t have Canada listed in your choice of countries. Although that may not make a difference when you apply, if someone local searches for local sitters, I don’t know whether this would filter you out. I’d add Canada to the list of your preferred countries.
Here is your chance! There is a new housesit looking for a single person in Antibes, in the south of France, from June 24 to July 5th, with just one cat! Here is what they ask in their listing:
“We are looking for a quiet and reliable animal lover. We are NOT looking for couples or families however, sorry, so please don’t waste your time asking only to be refused.”
Search: Find a housesit - Where? “Antibes, France”.
I wish I could apply, but I am unavailable during that time period, so go for it!
It might be a good idea to travel to France and look out for last-minute sits once you’re in the country. Especially now for Easter a lot of HOs will be looking for sitters.
Welcome Louise! Your profile looks great. A few short months ago, I was a newbie too. I say “was”, because now I have 4 completed sits and 6 more confirmed. So 10 successes… but that doesn’t show the work. The first few months, I had an approximately 4% success rate. And from reading this forum, I think I had above an average early success. Which means you should expect to have to apply to 20 to 30 sits to win one. Ultimately, this site is just a numbers game. keep plugging away at it! I would suggest focusing on North American sits until you get some reviews. It’s hard to break into Europe.
Good observations, thank you!
Ugh! Would be absolutely perfect for me, but those dates don’t work for me, sadly.
Thanks for the tip though, there IS hope!
Thanks Timmy. Food for thought!
@Louise65 , since your profile looks so good, maybe you should start working on your application letter. Take a look at this topic.
Your letter has to interest the HO enough so they will want to read your profile. This is where you can talk about things that are not explicitly stated in your profile. My recommendation is to read their listing very carefully a few times, read the feedback from previous sitters and the reviews the HO has left for those sitters. You will see what is important to the HO and will often learn things not included in the listing. See if there is some point of connection between you and the HO, such as a common interest, love of their dog or cat breed, your extensive experience with horses (a big advantage!), and go with that. As others have said, apply locally, last minute, offer to meet them ahead of time if possible and apply for sits that don’t seem to be drawing interest, such as one in a hot climate in the summer, a cold climate in the winter or an out of the way location that is not that popular. I’m sure you’ll soon be telling us about your first sit!
Thanks so much Brad, on it!
Excellent feedback, thank you!
I use single female sitters all the time. That is mostly what I get for applicants. I used to be in CA and now I’m in Vancouver WA. I’ve noticed that I don’t get as many applicants here but have always been able to get someone. I am very open to first time sits as we all had to start somewhere. Be sure to apply if you ever see me. Right now I have my sits scheduled but will be looking later for a week in October.
I just sent an invite
I’m a single female full time nomadic sitter - member of THS for 5 years. I didn’t get accepted to any sits on my first year in spite of my 200+ positive Airbnb reviews, professional client reviews, and references.
I almost didn’t renew for second year but decided to try for another year. My first sit was relatively local - a weekend sit here in thee Pacific Northwest in the States. I slept on the sofa with my own bedding and roughed it just to get my first review. After that, I got a sit in Brussels. Since then, I’ve been as far north as Arctic Norway and south as Melbourne, Australia. Back then, background check was optional, and I paid extra for that; I know that helped my applications.
I also revised my profile often to make sure it was reflective of who I am and inviting to the owners.
I had to turn down several invites the last two years but noticed recently - due to high membership - I haven’t been as successful.
Far as being North American, I spent 2 months recently in Europe and am going back for another sit in 2 weeks. I’m triple vaccinated and haven’t been sick enough to take a day off for - forever. So make sure to highlight your vaccine status.
Thank you so much! All great advice. Happy to report I have secured my first sit in France!
Thank you for your response!
Wish I could have accepted your invite, but the dates collide with another engagement.
All the best,