Hi everyone. I’m having a nightmare trying to find a sitter. I’ve scrolled through probably 50 sitters who’s dates are in black and white which I understand means they are unavailable. They are like this for the entire year. Of the two that were in green that I found, when I made contact both said that they were unavailable. I fully appreciate that perhaps they don’t want to sit in the UK but why not say so instead of saying that they’re unavailable? I’m actually starting to think that our holiday isn’t going to happen. Any advice please ?
I may be asking the obvious but have you listed it publicly in addition to inviting sitters privately?
Your better way to find a sitter is as @Itchyfeet says - you add your listing onto the THS site then sitters will approach you.
Hi. Yes, it’s advertised. I did have one application but unfortunately they have no transport ( they asked me to pay for their train fare), but I have stated on my listing that sitter will need a car.
They wanted you to pay for their travel to your home???
I apologise for your first encounter with a sitter. This is a very unusual request and totally against the ethos of this site. Please take note, we are not all like that.
In my opinion no money should change hands unless it’s to do with food for the pets or vets bills. I feel strongly about this. If money is involved I am employed and the whole dynamics of the exchange is changed.
Keep trying, there is someone out there that’s looking for a sit like yours. I’m amazed how we find each other and connect.
Hello @Estelle and sorry to hear you haven’t yet had found a sitter for your lovely country home and Jim and Zen for your holiday in March. It really is a lovely home, with two gorgeous dogs, and your listing has lots of indoor and outdoor photos as recommended.
I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t get some good applications direct from sitters, but I do know that some are waiting until closer to dates at the moment to minimize potential travel changes. It could be that you’ll get more applications as the UK restrictions are finally lifted over the coming weeks.
There are a couple of things that you could do, one as part of some great advice @Colin gave you in your previous introduction post…
a) add your listing as a link to your forum profile so that people can find you on the forum
b) Use the Boost option provided as part of your Standard membership. If you’re not sure how to do this let me know and we’ll help you. This will relist your opportunity so that it’s seen again among the new sits. You can only do this once per set of dates, so if you have already done this, it won’t unfortunately be an option.
Don’t give up hope yet… all the best, Vanessa
Your listing looks wonderful, we are in Canada and no plans to come that way in March though.
I am wondering if the need a car option is flexible as this may reduce applicants from other countries, we never rent a car when we come to the UK. You don’t mention the name of your village, is there any bus service there? Could the sitters get a taxi to Market Drayton if required for groceries/ vets etc.
Just trying to think of ways to attract more sitters for you
I would not rely on the calendar being even a little bit accurate. It’s extremely cumbersome to update so you’ll find most here don’t bother and that’s likely a pretty common sentiment. Just because someone is marked green doesn’t mean they’re actually available as something could have come up and changing it is a pain so they didn’t bother.
My guess is that the thing that will limit you the most is the car requirement. I’ve done a lot of sits in the UK - probably at least 2/3 of my sits were there. I have historically avoided ones that need a car as I don’t have one in the UK and renting one would be cost prohibitive. If there is any flexibility with you being able to leave your car, that would probably help a lot. That said, your sit still isn’t for a while and with the covid rules changing, you might get more people. People seem to be leery about booking far in advance these days due to cancellation risk. Especially if there is any travel involved.
Hi @Estelle I’ve read this today and, after people commenting on your listing, I was puzzled as to how they had the details. That caused me to go into your username history, click on earlier posts, and then I saw your introductory post. Most people would not go to that length to find your listing. If others can’t find you, then that lessens your chances.
In your introductory post, I see that 18 days ago Colin provided instructions on how to add your listing to your username, and yet it’s still not added. Forum members are giving you excellent help, so I would certainly recommend that you follow through.
I’ve seen the suggestion of you offering use of a vehicle, but I understand that many homeowners are uncomfortable with that, and I understand the complications. However, your listing says you are 5 minute walk away from the village. Perhaps if you offered those without a vehicle, to pick them up and return them to a public transit point, and to take them for a major shop the day before, you would make your sit attractive to many more sitters.
As for the calendar, I do generally keep mine active. However, during your sit dates I might, for example, have some appointments booked that would be difficult to reschedule, or have work scheduled to be done in my home. Then I would thank you for the invite but say that I’m unfortunately unavailable. I would not update my calendar in those instances as its design makes that tedious and time-consuming. Please accept that someone may truly be unavailable for similar reasons.
Finally, your listing says that your dogs get two walks a day. Are they 10 mins or 10 kms? A sitter needs to know that they are a good fit for the dogs’ usual schedule.
Hi Snowbird. Yes, good advice from Colin and when I get chance to “absorb and remember “ the info then I will do it. I’m also going to edit my listing as a change in Zen’s health ( diagnosed with a heart condition a few days ago) means a five minute walk once a day - hence my loss of the ability to absorb any information at present but he’s making good progress with the help of his medication. Re transport, I’m more than happy to to pick people up and take them shopping etc and I will add this in my edited version
Yippee-I have a sitter !!! Thank you all for your advice. I think I was being a little unrealistic and starting to panic. A lovely couple have applied, we’ve “chatted” and it’s all confirmed. Egypt here we come
Excellent news @Estelle congratulations … We can’t wait to share in your first sitter experience, if you have any questions pre sit don’t hesitate to ask our community.
We’re sure you and your sitters will be communicating well and have everything under control but here’s one of the articles off the website blog which you may find useful …
When do you leave for Egypt?
Congrats and I’m so pleased for you. I hope Zen will do well, and that you’ll have a safe and enjoyable trip. I appreciate that you took the time to update us here too, as not everyone does. Sometimes we’re just left wondering.
Thanks Angela. Will have look through them. We leave on 16th March so there was probably no need for me start panicking. It’s just reassuring to get everything organised
You’re right, it’s always good to let people know the outcome. It’s been a good day, nice and sunny, spotted two moorhens on our pond and we have a sitter … it doesn’t get much better than that
Congratulations! After awhile you get used to the rhythm of arranging travel through TH. You just have to keep the faith that that perfect sitter is out there, as you discovered.