Sudden decrease in sits over the last few days

Can’t argue with any of those, but in the position of a HO who contacts a green flagged sitter to just be told they are ‘unavailable’ it could suggest that they’ve got dates in they shouldn’t. If presented with the whole sentence I would imagine the HO would move on with more understanding.

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But the reason could also be:

  • I’m not available because I hate your breed of dog
  • I’m not avaialble because your house looks like a hoarder lives in it
  • I’m not available because you’re a smoker
  • I’m not available because it’s clear you want a slave, not a pet sitter
  • I’m not available because you give me the creeps

No is a complete sentence so HOs should just accept a “Sorry, I’m not available for your sit” and move on without needing to know why. Others have commented that when they’ve given a reason the HO then gets angry. So better, IMO, to just keep it generic.

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People are obviously very confused about calendars, see the thread on that topic…
Nothing has been improved so far in spite of comments…

1/ sitters don’t always fill it
2/ only black arrows proove a sitter is not available for sure as ths has automatically registered a future sit, when he was chosen by an owner

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Possibly, but why not be honest? You don’t know this person, you’ll probably never meet this person, what you say may help them.
To an invite I received the other day I said that they might get a better response if they didn’t sound quite so demanding. She didn’t reply, but she did change her listing!
If they get angry, you’ll still never meet them and you would know that you are the better person!
I appreciate that I’m not working so possibly have more time for this sort of thing!

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I completed a house sit and was welcomed back to their next one but they have moved to a suburb that is less than desirable actually and I don’t feel safe there, especially with young kids and the high level of crime and reputation it has.
It is also far away from everything and wouldn’t be worth my time, even though we are off work and school during the time. They haven’t found a house sitter yet and haven’t changed the location on their profile either. That could be one reason…

I also don’t want to spend the whole time with a pet daily, especially when the home owner has listed in their advertisement their location, how close it is to tourist attractions while trying to attract selling points. If an animal cannot be left for a few hours, I wouldn’t bother applying. Why tell me about the location and go into great detail about what to do there, if I am expected to be at your house most of the time and not enjoy myself with local attractions. Please be specific if it is suited for a homebody and how long the pet needs human companionship which i have absolutely no problem if someone wants to do this but it is not for me. I like it when homeowners tell me the schedule with walks for a dog, special diets and how long they need human interaction. It helps me with planning the stay.

I also believe that some advertisements get overlooked because the homeowner hasn’t changed the dates/location.

I am sure there are a few reasons why there has been a sudden decrease. Cost of fuel, airfares, winter in some parts of the world. I have a flight voucher that expires in December but flights are so expensive with add ons including choosing seats, food and luggage. It has been sitting there since April 2020.

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Yes I totally agree!
If I am expected to do too much for the pets in the short time I am there, I wouldn’t bother applying and especially with fuel the cost it is at the moment.
There are some less than desirable locations in the city I live in and some homeowners don’t exactly tell you where they are and choose the most desirable close location to attract applications.

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I agree with suggesting how a HO could improve their listing, but being honest could offend the HO. If I am invited and am not interested because the sit is in a boring location, or has animals I don’t like, or the house is a mess, etc - I just say I am unable to do the sit. Their messy house, ugly animals, etc. might be perfect for someone else (and is obviously fine with those HOs)

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Maybe it’s the dates that a number of sits were advertised have passed. For example, isn’t it the Queens Jubilee Soon? Perhaps this is a holiday (ignorant Aussie here).
For the dates I’m looking for - last two weeks in July in France / UK / Europe just keeping growing in number. I worry about all those unfilled amazing sits, especially in the UK.

We noticed the decrease as well. A week ago there over 4000 available sits in the UK, now that number is down to 3675.

What especially irritates me about the calendar is that I cannot strike through those dates when I know I am not available, but I am not on a house sit with THS.
For example, in early July I am on holiday OVERSEAS (nothing to do with THS) and am clearly not available to house sit. Yet I cannot block out those dates. .

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Those dates, in the UK, are the start of the school holidays so I would think families will be posting lots of availability July 14th ff.

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Hi @LTD What you’re asking can be done, and I think is worth doing when it’s a block of time. I recently did a similar one, for something outside of THS sits. In my opinion, it’s when it’s the odd date I’m unavailable in a range that it can be impractical.

I will be unavailable July 6-18, but I added a buffer either side for my convenience. Below is a screenshot of my calendar for July.

Before: Availability (end date for example only) June 3 - Sept 30

After: Availability:
June 3 - July 2
July 22 - September 30

July 3 to July 21 show white (unavailable) against the green (available) dates

It only took a few minutes to update on my dashboard. Of course, every sitter decides whether they want to keep theirs current, but I just wanted to cover this, for your sake but also for other sitters who may be wondering how it can be done.

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I don’t understand any of that, sadly. Like hundreds of other sitters, I want to make it crystal clear to HOs that I am not available. But leaving the dates white or green or sky-blue pink, (without a ‘Key’ nearby for HOs to interpret) make it look as though I AM available. I need a CROSS to indicate that I am not available.

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It can be quite confusing. Leaving calendar dates white on most other sites mean that something is available, not unavailable. I understand the green means available on this site, but it would maybe make more sense to shade out the unavailable spots in a grey tone as well. I like keeping the crossed out dates as booked for THS sits.

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This is what I find super confusing and have realized why it’s a bit odd to reach out to sitters. I’ve noticed people have their home location set on their profile, so when I do reach out, they don’t want to sit because it’s not to travel somewhere. It would be helpful for an on/off button for sitter’s profiles or maybe the ability for people to set a couple of locations that they’re willing to travel to for a sit rather than having them put their home location.

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Can you please tell me which other sites you use? I’m losing faith in this one. Thanks.

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I don’t think it’s the site. I think the world has changed and is out of balance. There’s the Covid factor where under lockdown everyone got pets… and stayed home, but now everyone is pretty desperate for a holiday.

A lot of sitters struggled during lockdown and so went off and did other things, for example we bought a camper van.

So now there are lots of sits and few sitters particularly in some areas. Other areas are over subscribed. For example, for France for my dates there are 6 sits, and in the UK there are nearly 300. There have always been more in the UK than France, but this is a crazy ratio. Many of these UK sits are incredible and would have been snapped up in the past, but many of these now have no applications.

A lot of international sitters are weighing up returning to house sitting. We probably wouldn’t have started sitting again right now, except we are attending an event in Europe.

Costs are very high. Air travel is crazy and for longer overseas trips it’s now impossible to lease a car until October and very expensive to hire a car, and many of the UK sits require one. Fewer sits in the UK offer a car as part of the sit and many state it’s a requirement.

I also think Brexit has made it less attractive for international sitters to visit the UK, because in addition to the cost of car hire there now we have to go through immigration.

I think the balance will return, but it’s awful to have the worry of pets with no carers on tap.

I doubt any other site has a different or better ratio of sitters to sits, unless perhaps you pay for the sitter?

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I’ll send you a message.

You may want to view a related post: other house sitting sites

Thank you for the information.

Ann