Ok, I admit I overthink, but I have been agonising for the last 10 months over the fact that our sitters didn’t leave feedback. Did they hate us? We think we’re normal but are we really filthy and gross? What did we do!!! Aaaaghh! But it turns out, they actually left a really lovely reply to our review, they just didn’t realise they were meant to do it as “feedback” as I didn’t request it (we had mentioned it on WhatsApp so I thought it would be overkill), they didn’t get a prompt, and they didn’t know they could do it without a request. They’ve done it now in the right place- phew. It was bothering me not only because I would hate to think there was anything that spoiled their stay, but as we only use the site once a year, every review really counts towards giving the next potential sitter a good impression. So happy my paranoia was unjustified! Now really hoping we get someone for our sit in June, it’s definitely a sitter’s market at the moment.
As a sitter I have to agree this feature is not intuitive. I did the exact same thing on my first sit as your sitters did and left feedback on my review not realizing there was a separate feedback area to do so. Thankfully the HO pointed that out to me (as other sitters had done the same!) and I was able to fix it, but even after many sits now I still sometimes struggle to remember how to do the Feedback. I think it would be helpful if THS auto emailed a link to both the homeowner and to the sitters 24 hours after the sit ends that directly put you into the review/ feedback section and then a second reminder seven days later if the link is not activated. I know some folks take care of these right away, but it’s also easy after a trip to forget hence the reminders I think would be very useful.
If you’re looking for suggestions to make the listing more enticing, I suggest adding a few clearer ones of the living area and kitchen, and including one of the bathroom the sitter will use. Is there an outdoor area to sit and enjoy the scenery? How far is the town and what amenities are there?
Also, as you have probably seen in the forum, offering the use of a car is helpful. If that’s not possible, you may wish to include information about how far you are from grocery stores, shops, pubs, etc.
p.s. I see you are not far from my grandfather’s family’s homestead in Cootehill. AncestryDNA has me matching to many people from Co. Monaghan and environs.
Hi @ElEd I’m just going to touch on one point that jumped out at me (I have not read your listing or viewed your photos). Take a look at what displays when I search your listing. I would remove the ‘Dog and 3 cats’ as those details already display. Then your inviting wording will be seen.
Hi @ElEd as far as a prompt for feedback goes - I joined in 2017 and was not really aware of feedback for almost a year. I replied to a review.
I did go back later and complete feedback for previous sits. There have been a number of posts about this in the past on the Forum one of which I Link below.
It would definitely be a good idea for THS to send a prompt to both owners and sitters after the end date of a sit. I am sure I did get a prompt in the past, but actually, not sure I did for the last couple of sits.
Thank you! Done.
Let us know if you decide to visit! Cootehill is not far at all. Cavan/Monaghan is not thd best known area in Ireland but there’s a lot to like (especially if you like lakes!).
Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve clarified some of the information and will attempt another photo shoot tomorrow - I’m a bit limited by the quality of my phone camera.
The car is a definite issue. There is no way to manage without one. Subject to insurance being doable, we could leave ours if the sitter was available and willing to drop us to the airport and leave it back for us or collect us, so it’s something we could discuss with an interested sitter, and I’ve edited to say that.
@Freebird @Petermac I totally agree, a prompt for both would be ideal. Feedback is so important, I think sitters are acutely aware of how much they need it and as a HO I make sure to do it promptly, but HOs need it too, perhaps especially those of us who are not in the most sought-after bucket-list locations. It’s a courtesy we can all easily do for each other and it would be nice if everyone was reminded systematically to do so.
I have seen that happen many times. I wish they would prompt both the HO and sitter and use the terms Leave a Review of your Housesit or Leave a Review of your Sitter - vs Feedback and Review. BTW, your house looks lovely and I would have fretted too!
I did a car hire/rental search for that time period, and it’s $500 per week but only cargo vans are available. I checked Dublin and Shannon airports (there’s nothing) and some Dublin area locations. Crazy! I’d be mistaken for a delivery driver.
Well actually our car is a Peugeot Partner so it’s a bit van-ish too I did not know the rental situation was so crazy. Will definitely consider leaving the car if I get the right person and the timing works.
In addition to clearer photos, I would put a close-up photo of the dog as the primary photo. That would be more appealing than a distant photo of the house. If your phone camera isn’t good, you could try using one of the photo filters to increase exposure.
Some people don’t like photos of scenery, but I like to see the area without needing to Google it. There are some good ones here: Explore Monaghan - Ireland’s Best Kept Secret with Discover Ireland
I would also remove the references to the house being “unfancy” or not “luxury”. Those are subjective anyway and your house looks great.
I’m from Dundalk, now living in the US, BTW. I haven’t been to 'Blaney in many years!
Thank you for the suggestions! I debated about house or dog as opening shot - personally I would like to see what kind of house and how close to others, but the dog IS very photogenic…I will do a photo shoot tomorrow when the light is better.
Thankyou so much for this article, it made me look at all the sits we have done and on some I had done a review not realising it wasn’t published as feedback for the home owner.
I realise this is important as when applying I always check what previous sitters have said and if a lot haven’t left feedback it does make me wonder if there was a problem?
I have now gone back and made sure I have left a review as well as feedback.
Aw thanks Ginny. I’m sure the homeowners will really appreciate it, I know I do.
@ElEd What a beautiful area you live in! I had a little look at your listing, I think it’s good but some of the photos definitely need to be updated. The written part is excellent. But could I ask what a passive house is? I have never heard of it, it might be an idea to add a brief explanation for those of us not from your parts. I’m sure you’ll get some lovely sitters for while you are away!
Hi Von, thanks so much for your comments- passive means the house uses very little energy, it’s very highly insulated and has a heat- exchange ventilation system so it doesn’t require heating. It is very comfortable and a big help in these times of rising fuel prices. I’ve added in an explanation and also updated the photos.
Thanks for explaining that! Sounds like passive housing might work here in Australia, except to keep our houses cool in summer!
Passive works both ways - here in Canada they are very expensive to build but starting to catch on as they keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer!