I’ve been a THS member for 5 years now and have wonderful house sitting experiences in that time, but I feel a change this year. I wonder if this is connected to Covid uncertainties and would like to hear what other sitters feel. I’m having some difficulty in securing sits for this winter (I usually sit throughout the winter months in the UK and have never before had any problem in finding suitable sits). A lot of sits currently advertised seem to be very short - 2 or 3 days only. In addition, I’m getting rejections without any personal message from HOs, which has never happened before. Have attitudes in general changed? Is this because I’m not UK based? I’d be interested to see what other members feel about this.
I would guess because of the ever-changing travel regulations, many HO in the UK would prefer a sitter who is already in the UK.
And as @Rob said in the Breaking News … topic, it seems the ratio between sitters and sits may indicate a glut of sitters.
Given the current situation @gardengirl and not knowing where in the world you are, focus on your local area unless you have a list of contacts from previous sits in the UK. Your chances will increase if you have a ticket in hand or are already there. Reach out to your known contacts and tell them you are coming and see if they have anything in the works.
Tweak your profile if necessary. Accentuate your strengths not your needs.
I’m booked into August with sits in the UK, all people who know me, who I have sat for before and established relationships with. The market may be flooded with sitters but there is only one of you.
I just turned down a month long sit because I have yet figured out how to clone myself.
Don’t concern yourself with the lack of response either or beat yourself up trying to understand why another person does what they do. People are being cautious now so flexibility is going to win. What can you do differently that will meet the needs of the HO?
The sits that I do have over the winter months in the UK are, with one exception, repeat sits. I guess the Covid situation has a lot to answer for but the number of very short sits is something I haven’t noticed before. I checked out sits this evening and there was one HO who listed several separate dates, each of only one day. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I can’t help you with finding longer sits, but I learned that many people simply don’t read. There seem to be lots of HO, who, understandably, either haven’t used THS for a while due to Covid-19 and others, who have newly signed up (like myself), but aren’t really up to reading the guidelines or plunging into the available tips for creating a listing at the THS website. Otherwise I can’t explain how someone got the idea of posting several listings with only one day.
Do they expect to return to a clean house and save the expense for cleaning personal? That’s what came into my mind right away. Why else go through the “trouble” of introducing someone to the pets and house with everything that goes with it? Goodness, when I think what planning everything to be perfect for the sitter took me last month and to do this for one day only several times in a row…no thank you.
It’s either this or they haven’t understood what pet and house sitting is about.
I second the statement people don’t read instructions, applications, helpful documents, guidelines etc. It’s just part of society now, some people would rather be heard than educated. And not just on THS.
We are finding this as well but we put it down to trying to be accepted for sits in the US. The attitude is totally different. It’s the first time we have ever been asked about insurance and being “bonded”, we had to look that up and no we aren’t, you have to be a business. The pet companions focus more on outside things whereas our priority is the pets. It is very frustrating.
There is an element of uncertainty with Covid-19 which is very understandable. I never take a rejection personal. I usually leave a “sweet” little note thanking them for reading our application, profile, references and reviews and finish it by hoping they have a wonderful break and secure a sitter that meets their expectations. I have started doing this even though it is obvious they haven’t read anything and have just pressed the reject button. It’s just my way of stating “manners cost nothing”.
Good luck with your endeavours.
Thank you, that’s a good idea to send a message even if the HO doesn’t bother. I very rarely apply for sits that have an awful lot of applicants. I’ve received 2 messages from a recent application, one saying there were a lot of applicants, did I mind waiting to find out, the next a very polite rejection. There are some wonderful, well mannered people around!