I think we’re at cross purposes @Katie. I should have been specific where @anon1411559 referred to Kiwi Housesitters and Aussie Housesitters as it is those two organisations where owners do not pay, only sitters.
I think it must be difficult to find sitters via invitations - as others have said, looking for locals wanting their first THS sit might be the best bet.
Unfortunately you can’t depend on the calendar and not just because it’s not user friendly. Like many others I don’t do this full time, I have my own home, so whether I want to do a housesit doesn’t just depend on whether I’m technically available - it depends on whether it’s in a location I’m keen to go to, and the home looks comfortable, and it doesn’t seem like nearly a full time caretaking job where I wouldn’t have time to explore that area I’m keen to be in.
If there’s a mismatch between my profile (cats cats cats) and the posting I’m being invited to (farm animals) I often don’t prioritise responding immediately but I do try to respond to all invitations. I think it’s best not to have expectations though given the fact that many sitters want to choose their sits and life so often gets in the way of best intentions.
@lacey.mason you’ve had an excellent suggestion from @Joanne, to link your listing to your forum username/profile. It really has proven to be successful for other members. Sometimes owners tweak their listing by applying constructive feedback that can make all the difference.
If you have a standard or premium membership, you can also boost your listing, which will move it to the first page again.
I treat THS like I treat the rest of the world. You meet polite, considerate people most of the time but there is always an element of rude folk who don’t/won’t do what I would consider the polite thing. Shrug your shoulders and walk away. They are not worth your consideration. Call it a lucky break you missed them.
I do have it exactly the other way around. I do write and apply and get no answer. I see that they read the message but… nothing. Not even an “No, it dos not fit” or anything. The Stay simply changes to “not looking for a sitter” and thats it. Even when there is 0-3 applicants for the sit.
I’m not too sure how successful invitations are as I have never done a sit as a result of being sent one, unless it is for a repeat sit for somebody I know. I do reply to say I am not available or that I don’t sit dogs for those who haven’t read my profile properly! As there seems to be more demand for sitters than supply at the moment, I have been advising my HO friends who are getting anxious to delete their entry and re-post it every couple of days to bring it back up to the top again.
Do you check their calendar to make sure they are free? We get a lot of invites when we are already booked on THS. I always reply kindly, but it can take a few hrs a week to do so.
Hope you can find someone!
And what about home owners that you never hear from after you try to organise a sit and it is never confirmed and yet they send a request on the day of the actual sit starting that they have selected you!
simply don‘t do it. When someone does not confirm I ask for it. When there is no answer I cancel the application. Like I always state. There must be a trustful and respectful behaviour on both sides. If one side is not acting like that, the other side does not need to take that.
I haven’t been in such situation (yet?). I would think that as soon as one realises the sit is not going to work out, it would be best to withdraw the application and move on, to avoid this happening.
Thank you for sharing btw, something to keep in mind.
I don’t think I did anything wrong on my part, I just let the application sit there and assumed it was going no where, There was no request to sit from him or requirement for me to accept the sit at all.
I always send a personal message to private invitees. In some cases I do get a polite message back but it is irritating to spend time on the personal message and have no response at all even though it shows it has been read.
I have posted on another thread about the issue of the calendar. I only invite petsitters whose calendars show they are free on my dates. Twice today I have had nice responses but they state they are either on holiday/or are petsitting elsewhere than with THS. Surely these dates should be blocked out as unavailable? Is this not the sitters’ responsibility?
@Sunny15 Sitters have certain responsibilities, but use of the calendar is not one of them. THS may recommend its use, but sitters are free to use it or not. Your best option for reaching a suitable sitter will always be via the main website with a thorough listing that includes the suggested range of photos. Also having reasonable expectations of the timeframe between listing and start date is important. Owners who post a few days before the start date are no doubt less likely to be successful.
Thanks. My listing is 6 weeks ahead.
It is not possible for sitters to block out unavailable dates, we are only able to mark dates as available.
This is good for some and not for others, depending on whether you are a full time sitter or not.
Dates with a line through them are marked unavailable by THS when you have accepted a sit
Green is when you have marked yourself positively available
White who knows? Might be available but not marked as such, might be unavailable .
Your obvious confusion about how the calendar works is the same for many, and why many don’t use it
Thanks @JackieX, I get this. Just had a response from one sitter who was available/green on the calendar but says she needs to update it as unavailable as she is visiting family!
So I guess I open invitations to sitters I like the look of who are white on the calendar. I have done this in the past and either got no response or rejected because the sitter wasn’t available.
@Sunny15 that’s unfortunate, with the ‘green’ sitter, but yes, white “give it a go”.
I assume you haven’t got anyone close by who has applied in the past? We have just accepted a local sit from a HO we applied to just after lockdown when the whole world went mad!
In some ways the whole invite thing is weird as many don’t want to sit where they live, and why would they? It works for us as we have no home except for my mum, where we can stay, but it’s better for all of we are just close by!
I would rather have a house-sitter not too far away bearing in mind that in the UK we are beset by strikes and high travel costs but I do understand why some sitters obviously want to be further away from ‘home’!
Im the same at the moment, its like pulling teeth , you look on there calanders to see if there available, oooo yes then message them,ooo sorry im busy, or not available until further notice arrrrr