I thought I saw a category for suggestions to improve the THS site but I can’t seem to find it now.
I would like to ask…no, BEG the IT department to somehow PLEASE find a way to prevent HO’s from posting a sit listing unless the required photos are included.
I can’t imagine it’s that hard to have a box that they MUST check (much like “terms and conditions” on every site we know) that says “I confirm/verify/promise that all of the required photos, including all the interior rooms the sitter will be using are clearly posted on my listing” and that box must be checked before the listing can go live!
This cannot be so hard to add this to the site, can it?
I thought I saw a category for suggestions to improve the THS site but I can’t seem to find it now.
@carpediem16 is this the thread you are looking for ?
When I have seen a listing which did not have enough photos if it was one that fitted in other ways I have “applied” and said we are interested but would first like to see photos of the bedroom ( or whatever is missing ) .
You can also ask member services to contact the HO.
My understanding is that there did not used to be a requirement of photos of the interior so older listings that haven’t been updated may have these type of photos missing - but any new HO that joins now has to provide at least 5 interior photos before a listing is approved
I’ve done the same in the past, or if arranging a video call asked for a video tour which has worked well
I agree with you that this should happen but doubt it will…
Silversitters, yes, thank you!
I wonder if anyone who can influence a change will even read the comments and suggestions, however.
Yes, there is a requirement, and has been for a while now, for photos of ALL the interior that a sitter will have access to but there is ZERO control for members who joined before this requirement to follow this rule unless someone “reports them” to admin and even then…not sure what is done or how often.
It would be SO simple to add a box that MUST be checked before a listing can go live where they must verify that they have included all the required photos.
I do NOT see it beneficial to anyone to waste one of only 5 applications just to ask for more photos. Waste of my time and theirs.
There should be this rule. It sounds very doable for IT. I’ll go further regarding HO pix. There should also be a turn off mode. Currently the pix can also be used in random ads even if there is no sit. I can see some homeowners wanting to keep things on the downlow not just because of privacy concerns, but to go under the radar in case condo associations or others would have a problem with the system of guests when the homeowner is not home. I’m not crazy about photos of my home being used for advertising. So I think there should be a prompt before a listing with dates goes live for photos of each room. And even though machines aren’t great at reading photos, if stuff is too dark or not visible – eg if it’s hard to spot the bed in the bedroom – the listing shouldn’t go live. But I also think there should be a “turn off” photos/privacy mode when the listing is NOT public. In the privacy mode, sitters wouldn’t see the photos if they were shopping around for sits to favorite, but they’d be able to see it when a sit was taking applications.
DId you tell the HO in advance you’d be asking? I’d feel taken aback if the sitter suddenly asked, as my home might not be prepared at that moment. I’m usually trying to choose a sitter quickly and not keep people waiting. My counter offer would probably be: “I won’t have time to tidy up before our call tomorrow. Let’s just feel each other out. If you’re still interested in the sit after we talk, and I’m ready to choose you, I can send you a tour video we already prepared before you confirm.” Would that be acceptable or would it raise red flags?
I have also requested a similar drop down menu which asks owners to tick to confirm certain requirements that often form the basis for issues on this forum - 1. the sit has at least one overnight stay, 2. that no one else will be in the property, 3. that cameras will be switched off and this suggestion would fit very well with this type of drop down menu. I have never heard back so I am assuming the IT people don’t consider it useful and/or a priority and I have given up wasting my time asking. Perhaps you’ll have better luck.
Given that those are all against the terms of conduct, I could see it not being necessary on a drop down menu and would feel a little defensive if it came down on a drop down. However, if a sitter had had some bad experiences and asked during a video chat OR after hearing that I was interested after an application, I’d be happy to reassure them.
I agree they are all against the terms of conduct but in searching this forum it seems that a number of home owners don’t necessarily recall the terms and conditions (and in some cases were not even aware of them) especially if they are only using THS a couple of times of year and I have certainly seen ads that clearly break these T&C’s. It is just meant to be a reminder. I would not wish it to make anyone feel defensive as that was certainly not the intention but rather to smooth communication between sitters and owners and to avoid mis-understandings. I am sorry that it would make you feel defensive as that was in no way the intention of my suggestion.
And I agree we could all sitters and homeowners use reminders about a lot of stuff. I just wish ths was doing this rather than relying on sitters and homeowners policing each other.
This is an interesting idea. I understand it, however, one of the perks as a premium member is that I can “save” sits that don’t have current listed dates so that when they do post dates I get an alert and ideally have early dibs on applying.
I would not be able to save sits in my favorites if photos are turned off.
Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that. So maybe it really is a new IT feature I’m after. which I think could be worked out.
There’s certainly a tradeoff from being less visible (literally) if you “turn off” your listing between active dates , because you’d miss out on notifying sitters who might otherwise have favorited your sit. But with internet privacy and such being such a big topic these days, it would be nice to make it an option for HOs who value that privacy over quick hits.
Yes I usually say casually perhaps they could give me a tour of the home if there aren’t adequate photos. I wouldn’t expect someone to tidy up particularly. I can tell the difference between a ‘lived in’ home and a dirty home.
At the bottom is what THS says on the website (search for Listing and Profile Photos)
Based on listings we see, it appears tTHS is not following its own rules and is not manually reviewing and approving each listing.
For photos, I’d like to see a minimum standard of (in the following order)
Exterior of home
Living room / living area sitter will have access to
Pets (at least one pic of each)
After that, anything else would be nice
Seeing photo captions on BOTH the mobile app and website. Currently you can only see them on the mobile app.
Here’s what’s on the website regarding listing photos:
We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and including some great photos on your home listing / sitter profile will help other members to get to know you better.
As a pet parent, you must add at least 5 interior photos and 2 pet photos to your home listing, and the more you can add the better. Displaying clear photos of your home and pets will help improve your success on the platform as it helps potential sitters get a feel for where they will be staying and who they’ll be looking after.
You should add an account photo on your dashboard so that sitters can put a name to a face. Do note that in order for your listing to go live, this is required
Every listing on the platform is manually approved by us to make sure no sensitive information has been added. However, make sure not to include any number plates or street names or photos of children, for your own security and so your privacy is protected.
thnaks for pointing this out and yes, it definitely looks as if THS is not manually reviewing and approving each listing as they claim to do :
Every listing on the platform is manually approved by us to make sure no sensitive information has been added.
@Wetravel & @cat.tails Thanks for sharing this information. I am happy to share with you that we do have an approvals team (part of Membership Services) that manually approves all new listings to the site.
Once the listings are approved then the owners might choose to update them and add or remove information. Listings and profiles can be edited and updated as often as the members want and in real-time so it would be hard to reapprove every update the member makes, but that is something to consider and feedback to the team!
For older listings that were on the site before these requirements came in, If the owner edits their listings they will see the pop-ups asking for this information, but we are also looking at other ways we can get these aligned.
I hope that offers some reassurance and we are always grateful for any member who spots a listing that is not as it should be, it is never expected that members report them but we are always grateful when you do. The approvals team will then reach out to the owners and help them with their listing.
Any questions let me know
I believe I have to disagree with Carla_C’s definition of “listing”.
For example, if I listed a sit for March, 2021, and then listed my same home for another sit for December, 2023, that is a new listing and not merely an update and should be subject to the manual review by THS requirement.
An update would be making revisions to an existing listing - not initiating a new listing with new dates.
Rather than just a pop-up asking for information, THS needs to follow its own rule and manually approve all new listings.
And I’d love to see some photo standardization and captions on bothe mobile app and web site as I mentioned previously.
A ‘listing’ is essentially a profile, and not directly linked to specific dates. If THS has to review and manually approve every single set of dates, that would be unduly burdensome. It would take an army and delay the entire process. I think it appropriate that this is limited to the first time a home owner puts their information out there. While its possible for one to make drastic changes that materially change the information in a negative way, I expect that would be highly unlikely.