Sitter/Owner Ratios - Helping to Redress the Balance

As much as motor fuel prices have gone up, so have domestic fuel prices. The homeowner is already feeling this I’m sure, so as sitters perhaps we just have to take our share of the pain!

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Hi @Lauraa through email communications we work closely with all new members to set themselves up for success, whether owners or sitters. Completing listings, posting dates in the case of owners and for sitters completing profiles and applying for sits.

There are those new members who will hit the ground running, others will take a while to get started and we try and encourage everyone to actively apply for sits as soon as they join.

Starting local, being flexible, applying for more than one sit at a time, it can take some sitters many applications before they are successful, it took me 6+ weeks and numerous applications before I secured my first sit but we would like to see every new sitter secure their first sit within their first three months, if not before.

There are many ways to get help to be successful and the forum is especially effect with experienced members helping newbies, we are aware of members mentoring other members and helping them to success.

I hope that helps and thank you for asking the question.

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I don’t think it’s too bad, that at the moment there seem to be more sits than available sitters. This gives new sitters, without any reviews yet, a great chance to start off.
Maybe we HOs were spoiled by being used to receive multiple applications within a few days and being able to choose from a variety of sitters all over the world? Either way is not perfect and I can understand the frustration of not receiving any application for a soon to happen sit. Hopefully this will soon be balanced :pray:t3:

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And also seriously consider the area photographed. I really don’t care if the towel rail or shower room door is a particular colour, I am interested in my comfort just as much as the pet I am caring for. As has been said, I often scroll right past if the photos are either too few or not of good quality or as sometimes I have seen, on their side or even upside down!!!
I have done a lot of sits and can afford to be choosy but for some they cannot so it’s the same as we must sell ourselves, so must the HO…

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23 posts were split to a new topic: Homeowner posts with no reviews

These are great points. If I don’t hear from an owner within 24 hours, I assume I’m not going to get it and apply to other sits. I know as a home owner, I immediately send a note to the applicants who are good fits.

One more I would like to add that just happened to me. Please do not post for a pet sitter if you have friends/family who are considering the job. Also, clearly state up front if you are talking to multiple pet sitters if requesting a virtual meet. Be transparent!

We just juggled our schedules for a virtual meet that took place at 11:00 pm my time and finished well after midnight. It was the home owners first sit and they were a bit over the top with their interview process. At the end, they told us they were talking to a couple more people. Two days later, we were told friends were going to stay at their home.

I was pretty irritated that our time was not considered valuable between researching flights, rental cars and an hour plus interview. We even turned down another sit while waiting to hear back from these owners. Had I known the true scenario, I would not have agreed to a virtual meet.

I am accustomed to virtual meets once people have decided you are the best candidate but both parties want a face to face. I have chosen all of my pet sitters without needing a virtual meet. I extend the offer to them so they feel comfortable. I have been chosen many times by homeowners without a virtual meet. There are some home owners I do not feel a need for a virtual meet either. My current sit in London is one of my best sits and we only communicated via the THS site. I knew it would be an outstanding sit and I am sure they had a ton of applicants. I understand pet sitters far more than home owners wanting a virtual meet. Pet sitters are agreeing to stay in someone’s home so should have the opportunity to see it.

I have now learned to ask if the home owners is talking to multiple people. I will decline these “interviews” going forward. I can’t make up my reviews on my home owner and pet sitting profiles. I value our pet sitters time so much and I expect the same consideration as a pet sitter.

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Along these same lines, newbie sitters need to understand to not apply unless they are serious and prepared to accept an invitation. Recently a brand new sitter applied for my sit. We spoke on the phone and I was prepared to confirm her. Then she let me know she’d be visiting my city in a couple days, at which time she’d decide if she liked it and wanted to accept the sit.

I wasn’t too put out, as we all have to start somewhere and go through the learning curve. She’ll figure it out! But…to your point @claudinekent, there’s an opportunity cost to the HO (or in your case, the sitter) as you’re taking time away from pursuing other avenues that are likely more fruitful.

OTOH, HOs new to THS also have a learning curve. Many could be understandably a bit leery about having ‘strangers’ come sight unseen into their home to take care of their four-legged ‘children’. I know I was. And sometimes other stuff just happens. The HOs who ultimately had friends/family sit for them maybe didn’t intend to go that route initially, but rather had some valid reason for not choosing to use a TH sitter. Life can be complicated.

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Homeowner posts with no reviews

We are full time house sitters, we have been for over 3 years on multiple platforms and have completed over 50 sits. In the last year, as there has been an influx of new members and growth, I have seen so many postings/comments and complaints from homeowners who are not getting applicants. The number 1 reason you are not getting applicants is because your listing is lacking pictures and details. There are over 2k sits posted right now in the USA alone! As someone who applies for sits almost daily I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to see a sit posted that only has pictures of the outside of your home and your pets. 99% of sitters will immediately move on from your listing if you do not post pictures! At minimum there should be pictures of the room you will be staying in, the kitchen & living room, the front of your home and your backyard/patio. There are countless sits available right now with 0 applicants, some over a month long but they will not be filled unless someone adds more pictures…

Just wanted to share some advice to any homeowners who are struggling to get applicants.

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@mzb, that may have been the primary reason in the past (and is still a reason now) but at the moment the number of home-owners with live sits appears to be greater than the sitters seeking sits. Hence the title of this topic: “ratios - helping to redress the balance”.

There have been many posts by homeowners looking for sitters who do have good listings with photos etc (or who have got them now following advice here :wink:) who have been unable to find anyone.

It seems the pandemic impact will take some time to settle - sitters are understandably less willing to travel to overseas sits because of travel restrictions, impact of catching covid etc (and homeowners also preferring same country sitters for the same reasons); possibly more homeowners with pets (taken on during lockdown and reflecting a greater number of people working from home). Other factors sitters have mentioned include greater costs (air travel, hire car, fuel).

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As much as THS is doing to help redress the balance, their capacity is limited. As sitters we can help increase the supply of sitters by sharing our experiences amongst friends and family. I’m sure we all know someone who would be a fabulous sitter but hasn’t had the idea yet?
Now is the time to encourage people to become sitters. In a way it’s in our interests as sitters because disappointed home owners might not post a sit again.

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Thank you for this! At the moment I am very reluctant to tell other HOs about THS, because of the risk that they might not find a sitter.

I really hope that prices for cars and airfares will go back to normal again, which I actually doubt. At least this affects sitters and HOs likewise.
Energy prices haven’t even reached the top yet and nobody knows what will come out of this war in Ukraine or if another, more dangerous Covid-19 variant might emerge.

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We always spread the word about THS and other sites, especially outside of the English speaking world the concept is almost unknown. But we’re more connected with home owners and know very few people who would be willing / able to do a sit.

It’s definitely worth it to spread the word. As mentioned, it helps us sitters so HOs don’t get discouraged. And you also get free months, which is always nice. I’ve earned 6 years of free membership by sharing my link.

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So yesterday I was declined for a sit because the HO had found a Ukrainian refugee who needed a place to stay. Perhaps THS should join many companies around the world in supporting the refugees and provide free 1 year memberships. It would have multiple benefits:

  1. Help refugees
  2. Increase the number of sitters that are available
  3. Increase the general profile of THS and bring it to the attention of those who may not have heard of it before

While I always hope to get a sit when I apply, I thought the HO made a fabulous choice by choosing someone who would not only care for her pets but who also actually needed the place to stay. Just my $.02. It wouldn’t cost THS anything and could help mitigate the problem.

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That’s a great idea. It would also be great for that purpose if there were more sits in Eastern Europe. There isn’t a single sit in Poland at the moment and only a handful in other countries in Eastern Europe (I suspect that they are mostly expats). Not sure how to change that. In the UK there are lots of sits but I don’t know if Ukrainians can travel there easily (EU and Switzerland are open to them).

I think the UK is making things easier. I know several people there hosting refugees at this point. Even if it give everyone involved a break and some private space for the length of the sit, it would be helpful as hosting someone in your home and being hosted are both really stressful and difficult over the long haul.

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A valiant idea, but there is always that “minor detail” of background checks to consider.

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I thought they just did ID checks in Europe.

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That’s correct, at least we didn’t have the option to upload a background check.

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