Sorry for the typo. RARE, house sitters are getting pretty rare.
@Katie Great points you make. I’ve been looking at sits from the UK to US and further afield but some of the prices I’m getting for last minutes flights are eye watering and unfortunately not in my budget.
I saw 13 cats & 9 dogs the other day…. Errrr, no thank you.
Yes! Everything @Katie said. We keep an eye on US sits, as we might be enticed to travel across from Europe if there’s a god match, but most of the US sits are shorter than we’d like. And frankly, it is just too uncertain with flights getting cancelled, people getting sick and having to cancel etc. and it often costs a lot to get anywhere if you can’t drive there easily.
I can only speak for my personal experience, but I live in a remote part of the United States that requires me to fly to any sit I do. This means that I’m not interested in a sit that’s going to be less than 10-14 days minimum and/or that’s very short notice due to flight cost (although sometimes even some advance notice isn’t working these days. For example, I saw some great sits on the Eastern coast of the United States 3 to 4 weeks out and tickets were over $1200 one way!) As many have mentioned the car issue is a big one for me as well. If the listing states a sitter needs a car, does not offer one, and does not clearly explain stores, cafes and someplace outdoors to exercise myself and the pets are all within walkable distance I pass over the sit. Rental cars are just crazy expensive at the moment. Like others have mentioned, I’m not interested in sitting for a messy home or more than one or two pets (I can’t believe the number of sits I’m seeing with 3+ dogs) or animals that have incontinence or barking issues. Lastly, climate is an issue. I’m just not interested in sitting somewhere that it’s going to be 90+ degrees Fahrenheit every day or hurricane season, unless I’m on the beach somewhere.
I guess the bottom line is sitting has become more expensive for many sitters, so I think sitters are becoming pickier in the sits they choose. I am still doing sits (just returned from a great one last night and have another 2.5 month sit lined up this fall) and am still very happy to be a part of the THS community and do not see that changing.
The good thing is there such a vast array of sitters on the site that have different needs or interest so what might not appeal to one sitter, may be perfect for another . Hopefully this helps homeowners understand a little bit what’s going on from the sitter’s perspective.
Thank you, I guess it’s helps that I only have 2 pets, live in a clean home in a moderate climate. All the house sitters I’ve had in the past have driven in their own vehicles, never had one that flew in, which would make your requirements very sensible. I think you’re right, people just aren’t traveling due to expense and all the CoVid cancellations. Although I’ve enjoyed using THS for years in the past, think it’s time to pay someone locally and check out the boarding kennels.
I was just invited for a month-long sit (late August-early October) in the DC area–just one cute dog and in a transit-friendly area. It’s too long for me but looks great otherwise. If you’re interested, I can DM the info to you.
Thanks Katie, that is thoughtful, but we are in France (housesit) and then South Africa (personal, hoping for a housesit still!) during this time.
I agree with the points that so many people have posted here. I just read an article that might also shed some light on things. They said that during the pandemic, there was a massive wave of people adopting animals into their families. Now more people are looking for sitters than ever and fewer sitters!
Of course, this is good news for those of us who are traveling the world and sitting!
The down side is these newly adopted pets are used to someone being around all the time as everyone was working from home. Pet owners expectations are becoming more and more to the extent sitters can’t do anything else but look after the pets.
Don’t get me wrong, I do this because I love animals but I do also want to see a bit of the place I’m staying.
This is very interesting. Things are certainly different these days. Pre-2020 we always had an immediate flood of applicants for short and long sits to the point I had to pause within 24 hours. Our last sit only had one applicant in 5 days (luckily a great fit). We were hoping to leave again in October for six weeks, but we are just back from a month in the UK and a trifecta of travel drama - got Covid, had to isolate and miss our trip to France, had our luggage lost. We’re feeling a bit gun shy about flying and are leaving it really late to plan. I have no idea if we’ll have any applicants or what I’ll do if we don’t. I’ll have to think about how to make the sit more enticing than normal!
@Shafofo Many owners have come to realize, as you’ve said, that being deluged with applicants is not the norm for many sits these days. Owners are seeing how important it has become to create a thorough listing. Sitters are also now being more proactive in voicing that they want to see the areas they will be using - living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. For that reason reviewing your photos is important.
Transportation costs have significantly increased, so many sitters have to assess the overall cost of each sit more carefully these days. It’s therefore become important that owners look at their location and look for options that might offset these costs. This may include offering use of a vehicle, or providing detailed information on public transportation, ride shares, delivery services, or the owners offering their own pick up and return of sitters within a reasonable distance.
These are different times, and so we all - owners & sitters - have to look for innovative ways to manage challenges so that we can continue to enjoy our travels.
I am the same. I love pet sitting too.
I would like to get some sightseeing in, even if it another part of the country I live in.
I saw one advertisement where the animals (4 dogs) require 24/7 care.
I agree that sitting has become more expensive for sitters. I live in Australia and just to go from one part of the country to another state cost “an arm and a leg” with fuel and food costs going up.
Like you, I wish I could do long term sits but my job and hubby’s doesn’t allow that as he only gets 4 weeks annual leave each year & I have long service leave plus my 4 weeks entitled too but he hasn’t been at the company for over ten years yet. Plus, we are saving money and leave to go visit my parents overseas but the cost of air fares going up is ridiculous.
I’d love to find an alternative (remote) government job but it doesn’t seem it exists, they want to micro manage you in the office despite knowing perfectly well the benefits the working from home enabled during our lengthy lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
I would love to be a digital nomad for flexibility with looking after my kids. My oldest is in school but my youngest requires day care occasionally.
We enjoy house sitting. We are picky.
It seems the house sits in nice locations, with nice minimalised rooms that are very clean and tidy are the ones that snap up more applicants, especially if a pool and spa is on offer.
Have you looked at Pointer Remote? They’re an Aussie based site & may have something for you.
Thank you kindly.
Definitely agree with this
I wish that were true! I have only had one appropriate application and they have chosen another sit. The other applicants were a single woman, a family of four and someone who couldn’t do my dates!! I stated quite clearly that a couple was needed due to our location and that we have 3 dogs. I always used to get lots of applicants, but not this time!
I think there are many factors involved in why people are somewhat waiting until the last minute to apply and/or accept sits. One is the airline crisis. It is so scary to book a flight, only to have it cancel weeks before it is due to take off, or even worse, get to the airport and find the flight is cancelled that day. Also with the COVID scare, I think some are afraid they might contract it or the pet parent might contract it, thus causing a last minute cancellation… We are in truly crazy times right now!
Your home and babies are beautiful, but I would make a suggestion that you add a few more pics of your home to include the bathroom and bedroom the sitter would be using. They usually want a feel of where they will be “living” while there.
Any other info you could add regarding proximity to necessary needs (food, gas, etc.) as well as attractions in the general area are very welcoming and helpful to potential sitters.
@Shirl your individual circumstances doesn’t negate the fact that @Debbie-Moderator 's statement is true. I’m one of thousands of sitters who are actively looking for sits. It is also true that owners often no longer get the influx of applications that they had in the past. However, as we all know, our world has changed dramatically over the past few years and we all - sitters and owners - have to adjust with the times.
Successful owners realize they now have to put more effort into their listings to attract sitters. Photos are key and yet many owners continue to post with minimal or no photos provided. For many sitters, that means a solid pass without giving it any more attention. Owners also post giving no indication of how much free time a sitter will have. After all, it must be a win-win for all concerned if it is to be beneficial and enjoyable by all involved.
As I’ve said, owners need to be more proactive than in the past. For instance, some owners are inviting sitters, rather than solely waiting for applications. I would suggest you add your listing into your forum username/profile to give it more exposure and perhaps gain valuable feedback from experienced sitters and owners.