Sitters more interested in a place to stay than your pets

One of the reasons the latest site/app updates that prevent/block introductions (five applicant limit, overlapping dates) should be removed, so both sides find a match.

Some HOs write on their listing that dates are flexible. About 50% of my sits the HO changed dates to suit their needs.

The forum is filled with examples that demonstrate there is no “one way”, two examples:
Call/video meeting

Frequency of communication

THS had a big membership push around this time. They had private equity investment which I believe was to enable this and a large advertising push. Primarily in the US (where apparently background checks are needed and obviously cost money) since it is an obvious big affluent market.
You can see that ads for yourself if you haven’t already, but for sitters they definitely focused on the ‘free holiday’ aspect. I would say on some level every sitter is interested in a place to stay - I can sit locally and get paid for the same or even less effort and have the same ‘access to pets’ that so many owners seem to think is a huge draw. The difference now may just be a shift to sitters who don’t honour their commitment to the pets.
I would also suggest that the owner type has shifted as well since this advertising push. THS tried to draw owners with the idea that there is a huge pool of sitters just waiting to be of use to the owners looking after their pets and homes. That their pets are so wonderful people are falling over themselves trying to get the privilege of babysitting them. The idea that people may be interested in something more than their pets seems laughably alien to them and hence their surprise that they may want to actually leave the house and do tourist stuff.
I don’t see THs changing their push for more sitters and owners and switching to more reasonable expectations would probably not be helpful in this regard.

@cawosey - we appear to see both indeed: an increase in HOs on this platform reporting about sub-par sitters. And an increase (from the sitter perspective) in HO listings, where one appears to expect ‘butler services’ for their pets.

Obviously every dedicated sitter is keen to take good care of someone’s pets, but there are usually limits in terms of how much time commitment or how much restrictions re ability to leave the house pet sitters are willing to accommodate. I’ve seen a fair share of sits in recent times for example with dogs that required 24/7 human presence

Well I believe people look for sits in places they want visit, be local & having that feel of residencey in that particula place. I don’t think it’s based on the pet(s) how sits are chosen. It’s the place, time & dates & fortunately the pets are included. Some pet lovers may choose a home because the HO possess farm animals and that’s attractive to sitters who choose to be in that type of environment. Some sitters may choose a home based on amenities such as spa, pool, garden, and location. Trusted House Sitters is a remarkable platform and it’s a win for Ho & sitters alike that loves travel, & I think it’s fair to say that sits are NOT chosen based on the pets alone. it’s based on the travel destination, dates, length of the stay, & amenities. For me it’s about building meaningful friendships, traveling & having access to new & different cultures & experiences and most importantly TRUST! Yes, it’s about loving the sweet & quirky pets that’s a plus but keep in mind sits are not chosen based on the pets.

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@TLH_070460 Agree- we’d never choose a sit primarily for the pets but we might decide NOT to apply for a particular sit because of the pets! E g a (fighter) dog breed or a too large a menagerie etc. Our top 3 search points are location, timing & home. Then the pets & the requirements of the host. Is it going to be a good exchange or not? We weigh up all the pros and cons and also cross reference all host and previous sitter reviews. For a short gap fill sit we are more flexible but for a sit longer than a week we do thorough research!
We joined THS primarily as a way to travel in an interesting and affordable way. We soon fell in love with all the lovely animals we met along the way! I was not particularly an animal lover to begin with- largely due to lack of exposure to pets!- but now I most certainly am! And my knowledge and experience is growing all the time.
Looking back I am extremely grateful we stumbled apon THS (one November Black Friday!) Its taken us on world travelling & life changing adventures!
Its a great pity, though, that THS is growing so fast and making so many unwelcome & unhelpful changes of late- it is spoiling our user experience. But as long as the pros continue to outweigh the cons we’ll remain members. :blush:

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@botvot
Brilliant!! (your cartoon!)

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I totally agree. My first sit was for 2 indoor/outdoor cats and a huge dog that had separation anxiety. The owners included their car as they said the dog had to go everywhere with me. He didn’t mind being left in the car for awhile but couldn’t be left at home (ate carpets). Luckily for me, he turned out to be one of the best behaved dogs I’ve ever known. He was fine in the car and it was May in Alaska, so nice and cool for him. We really bonded after 2 weeks of being together constantly.

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Some newer sitters seem unclear on the concept though. Had one sitter apply for my sit, and at the end of our phone call she said she’d be visiting my city the following week and would let me know then if she liked it enough to want to do the sit. Uh, no, that’s not how it works. :roll_eyes:

You sound like an outstanding housesitter Jilly !!

Each to their own - this is a fair exchange, and many sitters will go to places they are interested in, but maybe the potential sitter could have worded it differently or not mentioned the visit, in which case you’d be none the wiser.

Totally agree. I house sat for 10 years before joining THS. Now when i go back to house sit in those same places I think about how some of these sits would totally not fly on THS.

@DianeS Well, what if I’d confirmed her as a sitter (which I was ready to do before her comment about visiting first), only to have her decline 10 days later after she visited and decided she didn’t like my city? I’d be none the wiser as to her motives, but then I’d have the stress of finding another sitter, and other sitters would’ve missed out on applying to my sit. It’s not cool. I’ve seen HOs report sitters accepting sits, only to later decline with no explanation. Maybe this is what’s going on. Part of the “fair exchange” is a willingness to commit, on both sides.

I agree that it’s not cool after a sitter has been confirmed. By her being open about her decision making process you had the opportunity to decline her application and move on to other applicants.

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@pdxgal although this particular sitter wasn’t a good match for you . This situation is a positive example of the importance of good communication from both parties . It demonstrates how useful it is to have a phone call prior to inviting a sitter to sit .

As a result you found out this important information. As @DianeS said if the sitter had not mentioned it, you would have been none the wiser . So it’s good that you had the discussion and that the potential sitter was upfront about it . So you both knew where you were coming from .

Many of the problems discussed on this forum could have been avoided with good communication like this from the start. ( Before the sit was confirmed)

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