Apologies if this is a very stupid question, but I’m searching for a sitter and putting in specific dates (they match my listing). The majority of results are sitters who show as white on their calendars, meaning they’re not available. Is there anyway I can search for just those who are green on the dates I’m looking for, or do I need to click in to each profile and scroll down to view?
Hi @red_thread and welcome. Definitely not a stupid question. If you use the forum spy glass and search the word ‘calendar’ you’ll see it’s been a topic of conversation, with many voicing that there’s certainly room for improvement. You’ll also see that some choose not to keep theirs current, because of its shortcomings.
What you can be sure of is that those dates on a sitter’s calendar that have a line crossed through them is when they are on a booked THS sit.
My personal opinion is to not spend too much time checking people’s calendars. If you are searching so as to invite people in a certain area, I would go ahead and do that and see what responses you receive. You are not limited to doing that one at a time, but just be respectful to notify people, when you have made a selection.
Given I’m a sitter, perhaps homeowners will give you other suggestions. I hope you’re successful in your search.
I would recommend not bothering with the calendar at all. Based on previous threads it seems that most people don’t use it because it’s so difficult to use. I know I haven’t even bothered to try updating mine in years because my first experience was so frustrating. It’s something they’re working on.
Thanks @Snowbird and @CreatureCuddler - much appreciated
We are both sitters and home owners. I’ve just posted new sit dates, then looked for sitters to invite. I filtered on our state, the dates we need, and those with Dog experience. Many of the results do NOT show availability through the dates in the filter. This is happening on the mobile and desktop sites. So now it entails opening each sitter profile to see if their dates are highlighted for being available.
Admin - any thoughts on this search behaviour, and if it can be fixed?
Hi @Breezylake This is a topic of ongoing discussion. However, your best chance of success in finding suitable sitters is with a stellar listing. I suggest you take a look at Angela’s top 10 tips and see if you can make any changes that will better promote your listing.
You can embed your listing in your forum username. Here are the instructions:
How to embed your listing into your forum username/profile
Or you can post details of the location as shown in the listing and the date range. Forum members can then provide constructive feedback.
If you are viewing sitters’ calendars, I suggest you only rely on those dates with the line through them, as they are confirmed THS sits.
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Thank you @Snowbird got it.
We have 9 reviews for our home (and 29 reviews as sitters) so I’m confident in the strength of our listing, and in what a sitter is looking for. Have already coached someone that declined yesterday in how to update their calendar; they didn’t know there was different functionality on the mobile vs. desktop sites.
I’ll keep looking, we have time yet. Now I better understand how we get sit invites when our calendar shows us as unavailable. Thank you!
I’ve done a few house sits, and I was just wondering how many home owners actually reach out to you when you put your availability on your profile?
Hi @KoriStephens, welcome to the forum!
We’ve been on THS as full time house sitters for nearly 5 years and always keep a full open availability. We get invites occasionally and it ebbs and flows. Sometimes a couple in a week and sometimes we go a month or two with none.
We tend to mainly get ‘local’ sit invites, meaning from owners who live in the same city that’s listed on our profile (however, we go a year+ without being in that city). Occasionally we get invites from other areas.
To be honest, we’ve never had an invite from an owner we hadn’t previously spoken with that worked out for our dates and travel needs. So, we rely mostly on looking for and applying for listed sits.
Hopefully that helps a bit
Hello @KoriStephens and welcome to the community. We hope you enjoy starting and joining conversations, and connecting with other members from around the world.
This is a good question, and one that for us has varied tremendously over our years of house sitting. Generally, because we’ve always been very proactive in applying for sits, we’ve not been available to accept. Now we are based in France, and with the big upturn in house sitting, we are getting requests on a weekly basis, some for repeat sits rather than based on our calendar, but many that are new. I suspect, however, if we were still showing our previous location of London, it could be far less at the moment.
What’s your experience so far?
When the listing for sitters was based on how many reviews a sitter had then we used to receive about 10 per week. Now, we receive about one a year.
I am not complaining as this gives everyone a fair chance. Also, it was apparent that many of the HOs had not read our profile or even looked at our availability calendar.
That is another issue, you may have read on other threads that it is too difficult for people to manually keep their calendar up to date so they may not even be available.
I used to get two or three per yea., Most came while I was already on a sit and the HO saw that I was already in-country. Since the upturn in available housesitting opportunities (as the world opens), I’ve gotten quite a few. Most have been local but several were in other states and one international invite.
Depends on the sitter though, doesn’t it?
We are only available to sit for a couple of months a year. If I had to put in when I’m not available, I’d have to put in most of the year. And then how far into the future would I put?
That’s a fair point. I agree with pete above that the voices of the forum tend to skew full time so I tend to forget that probably most people are likely only occasional sitters. I guess the best option is to allow users to choose when entering the time whether it should show them as available or unavailable during that period. Give the calendar 3 states: Grey = user status is unknown. White = User is available. Green = user is unavailable. Default everyone to grey and then let people add their availability or unavailability. It would be a relatively simple implementation that would give users better control over how their calendar appears. I also think that it’s important to include the location indication. Because available doesn’t mean available to everyone. It almost certainly means available in a specific location/region.
ETA: It would also be nice if the calendar could stack entries, like on google calendars. So I can enter in that I’m available in France for all of May. But when I get sits, it will show them both so I don’t have to edit the availability. That alone would have me using the tool. It’s the ridiculousness of having to edit availability to account for new unavailability that has me not using it.
More thoughts = more edits: Another option would be, to just give people a checklist of the months so they can mark their availability like that. Which months are you available - check each box. If you have partial availability, enter specific dates.
oooh I love this and yes it most certainly does not!
I like this a whole lot!
Also, the region of availability. I keep getting invited to the stays that I have favorited in Europe. I’m not going to be in Europe until next spring, but I like to have an eye on the places that could potentially be available.
Yes. I think without the ability to add location, the calendar will never be really useful.
We are not full time sitters, and normally only sit in school holidays. However if someone needed sitters reasonably close to home and school, we could do it.
I like to take the view that we are available most of the time, but not always available to travel to sit.
Maybe there could be different colours for Available to travel, Available local to current location, and Unavailable?