And this is perfectly alright! Of course I would never expect that the sitters want to be in the house for the complete stay and look after our pets only. If I were a sitter I certainly would want to do some sightseeing (which doesn’t necessarily mean highly touristy spots), but I would like to get to know the area I stay in. The “free” stay is the exchange both the HO and sitters benefit from and it would not occur to me to look down on someone, who admits this, because it’s part of the deal.
We should not forget that we have just been through almost 2 years of unprecedented personal and universal turmoil. Many countries still haven’t returned to “business and usual” and people; individuals, families & communities are still recovering.
Many may take a very long time before they are completely comfortable with getting back into the world, especially for international travel.
I have just spent 3 months in the US and I can say from personal experience that attitudes are wide and varied, even in the same city for every individual who is comfortable to act as though the pandemic is history there are more who are still being incredibly cautious including owners and sitters.
Addressing the “free accommodation vs the true pet lover”
The percentage of full time sitters within our community is small and If a sitter joins with the intention of using THS solely for free accommodation then the illusion will be short lived, listings actually outline that it’s not about a free place to stay and comes with both responsibility and commitment as well as amazing opportunities to experience different places, some you might otherwise never see. It’s about a fair exchange opportunity with pets at the very heart of what we do and why we do it, otherwise why become a pet sitter?
If the intent isn’t genuine most owners and especially pets are savvy enough to see through an insincere applicant but if they did land the sit and their commitment to pets and homes was lacking the chances of receiving a good review would be zero and their success would be short lived.
Like many other businesses TrustedHousesitters was shut down completely by the pandemic, overnight everything came to a standstill. It was my responsibility to be front and centre of communications with our community during those dark days. I had daily emails from around the world expressing support for our company thanking our team for doing everything we did to keep TrustedHousesitters viable, not one email said “I really miss my free accommodation” instead …
“We miss the pets more than anything … and our friends at TrustedHousesitters of course”
Just posting to say with great relief, “sit confirmed” (with 3 weeks to go!) I took on board all the great advice on the forums, improved the photos and information on the listing and sent out about 30 invitations- I think what ultimately worked was the tactic of targeting new sitters, within the country, with no reviews. Having talked with her I’m very happy that the lady I got will be great but she is not that comfortable yet with using the site, has a pretty basic profile and no reviews. So for others in a similar position, I would say don’t give up hope, send invitations to newbies and do a proper assessment if you get a reply.
Is your sitter on the forum? Lots of tips and willing helpers here.
Enjoy your time away!
+1. I’ve raved about TH to two friends this past year. Both of them were not able to find sitters. Thankfully my friends don’t hold it against me, but it’s a bit of a catch-22 for TH. If they encourage more HOs to join but then those HOs have a bad experience, it wouldn’t be good for TH’s reputation or business. So for the moment I will probably hold off encouraging other HOs to join. On the other hand, I’ve tried to encourage a couple folks to become sitters
@Amparo I don’t think so, I think she’s more an offline person! But I will try and help her a bit myself if she wants it and certainly hope to be able to leave her a great review. Thanks, I am now really looking forward to our holiday!
I agree with all of your points. Especially point #4, people who come across sounding demanding and entitled I do not understand. I’m much more attracted to posts from people who sound wam and gracious from the outset.
Conscientious house and petsitting is a valuable service and so far, every sit I’ve done on Trusted Housesitters has been for people who could very easily afford to hire a sitter, but even if you are paying a sitter, it still behooves you to Be Nice.
My own dog is my absolute treasure on earth. If I’m traveling and need to travel without him, having someone take good care of him, keep him safe and happy, keep in touch with me so I can see he’s well, that peace of mind in itself is priceless. That’s what makes it possible for me to be away and enjoy myself. That right there. Everything else is a huge bonus.
And for free? At my convenience? On the dates I choose, for the duration I choose, wherever I happen to reside, take good care of my home as well? C’mon now… it’s like a ‘Christmas miracle’!
I like to see that spirit reflected in the listings.
Interested to see the discussion on here about the lack of sitters, yet as a new sitter I am wondering how likely people are to take a chance on someone with no sits as yet. We are self employed so can flexibly work anywhere, and I am applying for various sits next week to get the first under our belts but have had a fair few still go unanswered for the start of next week. If anyone sees anything in our profile that might put someone off then feedback is welcome thank you…
Given how desperate many people in the UK are right now to find sitters, I think you’ll probably be ok. Maybe go through some threads and reach out to some of the HOs that are struggling and see if you might be a good match?
I would say that saying you’re out for long periods might turn some HOs away. Even with cats they likely aren’t interested in having them left alone all day. Your first priority is to care for and spend time with the pets. If you’re planning to be gone much of the day, it’s probably best not to do a sit. Because you never know what will happen and being gone all day may not be an option if something goes wrong.
Thanks so much for your feedback @CreatureCuddler I see your point. The majority of time we would be in the home working on laptops bar the one day we might be out shootingif it’s a working trip, and so have said we wouldn’t care for dogs on those trips, but you’re right a cat owner might be put off too. I’ll be clearer on what we’re likely to be able to achieve. Thank you.
I agree with what you have said but I have been criticised by putting too many photos of pets even though I have 1 photo per pet as requested by the site
@Lina_and_Tom - There are other threads here regarding how new sitters can get started.
Your profile looks great to me and I would happily have you sit for my single cat if you were ever in Dallas. I don’t mind if sitters are gone all day, or even overnight. My cat is mostly asleep or outside during the day. I did a sit in Denver recently where I only saw the cat briefly, once a day, and otherwise he was patrolling the neighborhood!
I think you will find other owners that don’t mind you being gone all day, but it is great that you are honest about this in your profile to save wasting time.
If you are interested in Sheffield we have just done a great sit with a easy to care for cat , the owners are often away and often looking for sitters that can do 2 week stays - if you think this may be of interest to you let me know and I will send you their listing link
You have a really nice profile! We also used to pick AirBnbs based on whether there was a cat or not. If there was ever a good time to start as a sitter, it’s now (especially in the UK).
If it’s just the odd one day, that’s different. In your profile it seemed more to me like you would be gone all day every day, which would not be attractive to me, if I were an owner. I think even with the one long day you could potentially do dogs if you could arrange a walker (paid for by you) with the HO for that day. It would depend on the HO, the dog, and whether they already have services like that which they use.
I appreciated your point of view though as it was something we hadn’t considered, and a great idea on the walker as a potential option for a one day out if the HO was comfortable. Appreciate your experience and insight, thank you
thank you @Timmy we appreciate that you like it We have one AirBnB review where she said her cat liked us more than her
Hi @Lassie thanks for your response and for letting me know you think our profile is ok I think as experienced cat owners we know too that the majority of cats will be ok with being left alone during the day if necessary, but we will certainly be taking into consideration what our plans are during every sit we apply for. We’ll always have the pet’s wellbeing at the forefront of our applications for sure, and thank you, hopefully we will be in Dallas one day then!
I have a couple of dates I am struggling to get sitters for, before the pandemic always got loads of applicants, now fewer people seem to be active, I have July - Sept. dates I need help with, does anyone have any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
Admin Notice: Post moderated
There are several threads on this topic as it’s an ongoing problem in a few areas. Have you read them and implemented the suggestions?
I’d start with that and adding your listing as a link in your forum profile so people can give you feedback about your listing. It’s currently a sitters market so you want to make sure you put your best foot forward.
I will also say that many people are wating until later to book so i wouldn’t start getting concerned yet. Good luck