So so many sits not being filled

Your personal circumstance doesn’t make Debbie’s statement true either to be fair.

I’d guess Shirl is one of thousands of HO’s looking for a sitter?

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It’s likely that both statement are accurate, given the size of membership. However, me looking at sits and not finding anything suitable does not have the same impact as an owner who has travel plans and needs care for their pets. I still feel that if an owner is not happy with the lack of applicants, then looking at how they might improve their listing would be a good proactive step to take.

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Hi happyturtle. I was curious what you think are multiple dogs? We have 3 smallish (largest 12 kgs) dogs which we walk once a day in the morning. From then on they can be left outside the house in our very large gardens and I make this very clear in my listing. We try very hard to make our sitters feel comfortable and have lots of time to see the area.

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I couldn’t agree more, which is why I’ve been going through the forums. My listing is already quite complete I feel and I certainly give information regarding surroundings and requirements for dogs (just one walk a day). I find it hard to believe that if I added a photo of the bedroom and bathroom it would increase applications but I guess I have to try that now. In the past I found a video call or calls worked really well, it’s more of a personal and honest way to communicate I think.

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The bedroom and bathroom really are important rooms of the house and, personally, I would be suspicious enough not to apply to a sit that did not include photos of them .

Your listing is your shop window and you want to make it as appealing to as many potential sitters as possible. It costs nothing to add extra pics so you have nothing to lose and adding more can only be a positive decision.

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Hello @Shirl I have been reading your responses to those on the forum who are giving input. From what I’ve gleaned, my guess is you are an owner who has standards I would admire. However, you seem to be defending why your past listing should be sufficient. Your goal is to get applicants, and these days that requires change and flexibility. You feel your listing is already ‘quite complete’, but if it’s not providing the results you need, then sitters may not be agreeing with you.

An experienced and well-respected forum member has explained that they pass by a listing without a bedroom or bathroom photo. An example is that a beautiful rolltop bathtub may be inaccessible for some sitter, or a shower-only may be insufficient for another. It also give insight into cleanliness. These are reasons why those photos are important.

A listing showing ‘just one walk a day’ is insufficient information. Even expanding it to a ‘short’ or ‘long’ walk is subjective and doesn’t give sufficient information for many sitters. Sitters need to know distance or length of time, and also for some whether the terrain is hilly or uneven.

I have been on this forum for more than a year, and am a regular contributor. Those who know me here are well aware that I am a strong advocate of video calls or meeting in person, if distance permits. However, video calls only work really well when you have applications. :slightly_smiling_face:

I doubt you would select me as a sitter, even though our values seem to align. Unfortunately, along with 5000+ forum members, I have no way of finding your listing to consider applying. I wish you well in your search.

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I can only speak for myself. I would consider 3 dogs of that size for one walk a day, as long as they were well behaved on the leash. I won’t take dogs to an off leash park because something bad can happen and it’s unlikely the dog has 100% recall with a stranger (me). I’ve seen enough tragedies. I’m thinking of the menagerie the other poster wrote about. Or the “three walks a day, one off leash in the forest for at least an hour.” Maybe some owners think we are just idling around but I work remotely and have busy days. Plus I like to see the area and just enjoy my time. On the other hand, I play fetch with my sit pups, talk to them, cuddle, lie on the floor and scratch their ears, go on modest walks, etc. I think that’s providing an important service, too! Hope that’s helpful.

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I have to say I am rather shocked at some of the replies here. In past recent years, there’ve been tons of sitters and we keep getting told there still are, that it’s the owners’ fault these days that no one wants their sits. They didn’t show a picture of a bathroom, they had more than one pet, etc. I wish THS would show the numbers, the registered members, how many home owners and how many house sitters are really on here these days. I suspect after CoVid, the numbers have gone down substantially. The site speaks for itself, go to almost any city in the U.S. listed and see how many unfilled sits there are these days…the only ones being filled are either quite long term, or in fabulous multi million dollar homes (yes, complete with pool and spa area). Gone are the days of traveling for the sake of seeing the country cheaply. Even modest homes had multiple applicants just a couple years ago. Now, the sitters posting replies seem to want 5 star hotel accommodations, plush and luxurious surroundings and in return, don’t want to be bothered with walking a couple dogs a couple times a day, or wiping up a puddle in exchange for staying free in nice homes, being able to save money by cooking their own food, etc. They are wanting to see every room in the house to make sure it’s up to their personal codes. While I agree it’s silly to think someone wants to accept a job where they are tied to the pets 24/7 or there are 5, 6 critters to care for, you are forgetting that there ARE some sitters who don’t mind. There are those who want to work from home in a nice, different surrounding, some who want to be in solitude in a wilderness area, etc. Obviously we are only hearing from a few. I’m not a disgruntled homeowner. I’ve had nothing but the best of luck in days gone by with my sitters. I’ve also paid them (call it a ‘tip’ if you want) all from 75-300 per stay (and we are talking no more than a 6 day stay here), put them up and given them a meal with wine the night before we leave, told them to help themselves to the food, etc. I haven’t posted for any sitters since spring (and I was successful) and doubt if I will bother. Getting a very bad taste in my mouth from hearing from either very disgruntled or entitled sitters. This used to be a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ sort of site and it’s definitely changed. Have there really been that many sitters who’ve had absolutely horrendous experiences? Is it the norm and that’s what has changed the attitudes here? I doubt very much if I will be renewing my membership.

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Makes me a bit sad to read this post. I don’t read it that way. I hear sitters saying please show me the bedroom & bathroom so I know where I can sleep and wash. I hear sitters saying please tell me the truth about your pets and what they need. I hear sitters saying the more you show me in your post, the more excited I can get and the more likely I am to apply. It’s no different than us all looking for better quality food or a nicer Airbnb or a friendlier hotel than a few years ago, the world has changed and so has the competition. It’s just a matter of perspective and balance. Yes there are probably more sits than sitters right now so everyone is just trying to get help and share advice with a whole community so we can find the ones that are a good fit for both halves.

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I think it’s lovely that you offer dinner and tips. So generous. I’ve never experienced that. One house was filthy. I don’t think most sitters are asking for a lot. Clean house, reasonable tasks, and clear, honest communication.

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@happyturtle we always offered dinner the night before if we were leaving early the next morning as we would invite them to stay that night before as well. I feel it is best for the pet, the sitter AND the HO as everyone gets to know one another. I always would have worried if someone just showed up at my home to take care of our baby girl. She would be wondering what was going on, so a night before was great. We also always left a basket filled with snacks, wine (if they said they drank it), bottled waters as well as local magazines showing area attractions AND menus to closest restaurants. I always felt the sitter was doing us a huge favor by taking care of our little girl while we were gone. It eased our minds to not being worrying about her as much (you always worry, but not as much!).

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We are sitters and see that 80% of our appliacations are not even answered by the HO. Simply cancelled without a word. And we are not kind of creepy type sitters.

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Recently applied for 2 sits, no word back from either of them…

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The site has definitely changed. There are more and more “vacation sitters” who see it as a cheap way to have a lovely holiday. There is no denying most of them love animals and will put in the care and attention these animals need but yes, they do want the luxurious house and everything that goes with it. I have to say we have done sits just to experience the pamper factor. But most of our sits are out in the country with not only animals but responsibilities of gardens, out houses etc. We like the isolation but we also like to see pictures of the bedroom we will be sleeping in and the shower we will be using. I think the pictures are very important. No one wants to stay in a hovel.

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Yeah, definitely not creepy type sitters :grinning:

and neither are we… we apply for so many, going through so much details, responding to almost everything the home owner has mentioned for responsibilities and requirements and yet the application just sits there “read” without a response of No or even acknowledgement.

I know there are very picky home owners and i get that, i get they want their property and pets in good hands…

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Hi @jspeth and welcome to the conversation! I just looked at your profile and it appears you are new to TrustedHousesitters (correct me if I’m wrong) but if so, I would suggest you start with a local sit to get your “feet wet”. This would allow a potential pet parent to possibly meet up with you and give them a sense of ease over a new sitter. Also, if you see a last minute sit near you, that is an opportune time to apply since they are wanting someone quickly. Once you get that sit under your belt, you will get your first review and be well on your way.

Just be patient and I am sure you will get your first sit soon. Know that we are all here for you to answer any questions you might have.

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Although it is harder to find a sitter than it was previously, it is still very doable. I referred two of my homeowner neighbors to THS this year and both have used the site with great results multiple times recently. We are in the Atlanta metro area, which is not the most exciting place on the planet. Both neighbors have very nice, clean houses- but not “show places”. Since you have attracted sitters previously, you may even be able to get previous sitters to come back. THS is still an exchange-based platform and most sitters are just looking for a clean, safe, comfortable place to stay in exchange for reasonable tasks. Most homeowners offer that. There are some sitters and homeowners who do not have realistic expectations, but they are not the norm. I have had nothing but lovely experiences as a sitter, but I have been taking a break to have work done on our house, do volunteer work and to do road-trips to the national parks. Unfortunately, my schedule has not aligned well with sitting opportunities in 2022. I am still keeping my membership active and hope to start sitting again in November.

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Well said @Cuttlefish

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Which doesn’t mean an answer isn’t necessary.
I am also one of the picky home owners, but I answer each application as soon as I can, which is usually within a few hours, depending on the timezone the sitters write from.
The same applies to sitters, however. I’ve had sitters applying and I answered right away including a few questions and never heard back. In this case I also don’t write a friendly decline message when I confirm another sitter but let the automated responses do the job.

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It is great that you answer each application as soon as you can.

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