Things have changed

Hello Everyone,

I have just re-joined THS after a break of several years and things have changed…some good, like this forum to share experiences and get advice from the community. Other things not so good.

When I was last here, I’m pretty sure that even the housesits I was rejected from, my application was read and in most cases, replied to. I have already applied for a few housesits this week - out of 4 applications 3 have stayed unopened. One has been opened and I see it has been declined without a courtesy message that they’ve now found someone.

I always acknowledge messages out of respect. I guess I’m just finding it sad and if the rejections are going to continue to come thick and fast without acknowledgement to my application, I am wondering whether I should have rejoined…

Is this a common experience or am I doing something wrong that I am unaware of :upside_down_face:

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Hi @orangedrop and welcome to the Forum.

A lot of changes, yes, but the world has changed a lot in the last few months.

About a year ago there were virtually no sits on THS, no one could travel.

A lot of people are still very nervous about booking travel too far ahead, so many sits have been cancelled because HO couldn’t travel, or the sitter was unable to make the commitment.
It has started to improve over the last few weeks, but most people are still only travelling locally, very few international sits, most not allowed due to restrictions.
So, hang in there, there are a lot of sits about, but a lot of HO are waiting until the last minute, in case of restrictions change again…New world and all that.
Also a reduced number of members, I would guess a lot of HO have not renewed membership until they can travel again, so a lot of competition for those sits that do get listed.

Oh and yes the Forum is reasonably new, about. a year or so now.

Enjoy the Forum, lots of good info and chat, Peter.

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Thanks for the welcome @Petermac - nice to virtually meet you.

I completely understand the restrictions brought about by COVID, it’s not that so much, it’s more that HOs are not even opening my applications, or if they are and declining them, they are not bothering to even reply " thanks but we’ve found someone". That takes 3-4 seconds to write.

Things like common courtesy don’t cost anything or take any effort. I’d not really experienced this in the past from Homeowners…that’s all. Anyways, you are right - roll with the punches and keep on trucking :slightly_smiling_face:

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If you search the Forum, I think “common courtesy” is a topic heading!

Common courtesy

But recently some sits have received 20, 30, 40 applications in a very short space of time and I think some HO, especially new ones, have been overwhelmed by the response. At present, I would say there are definitely a lot more sitters than Ho, so more competition. But there are also a few new sitters on the Forum who are doing very well, and some old-timers who have just adjusted, and are getting to do, almost, full time sitting.

Oh, old-timers like to be called Classic Members!

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Hello and welcome back to TrustedHousesitters @orangedrop and we are pleased you are finding the forum a positive addition. As @Petermac says, so much has changed over the last year with a huge upturn very suddenly in the past month or so of sits coming available again particularly in the US and now the UK. We know that good communication between owners and sitters is key to building trust and good feeling among members, and for many of us (me too as a sitter) it seems so logical to take the time to personally respond (and in a timely manner) to any message received, and it is frustrating when that doesn’t happen.

It takes time, but something we’ve always done when we book a sit, is to send a quick message to the people who don’t read or open messages to say we are now booked, and unfortunately as we haven’t heard from you we are withdrawing our application, and hope you find someone soon. I’ve been amazed how many then write to say they hadn’t realized they needed to respond so quickly. My hope is they then know for the future :slight_smile:

On a more official note, TrustedHousesitters are continually looking at ways to encourage these good levels of communication and having this forum where owners and sitters get a better insight into how we all use this amazing service, and what makes us feel good about it, will hopefully help improve this.

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I think you may have been unlucky - we have been fine since May with some accepting us and others politely declining but then we had three on the trot that did not even open our application. There does not seem to be any particular reason and I do think that as much as we try to see the best in people we have to accept that some people are simply rude. If you feel the need to collect 50 plus applications before making a decision at least be polite enough to respond to the sitters you are declining.
The saving grace for us is that the type of HO that can not bother to read all applications are the ones that we don’t want to sit for anyway so we consider it as having dodged a bullet

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It has nothing to do with luck, it’s just bad manners and I agree totally with orangedrop! What I find exceptionally rude are those HO’s who contact the sitter, inviting them to sit, who do not rspond when you decline the sit with a valid reason (health). This happened to me twice in the same week earlier this year. A simple “thanks for getting back to me so quickly” would suffice. “Hope you get better soon” a pleasant but unnecessary extra. I have noted these HO’s and will not be applying to them in future.

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I have to admit that from reading the forum every day, I see a lot of the sitter’s side of the arrangement which I would not normally see, being a HO, and I have to admit that I am frequently embarrassed to stick my head up and admit that I am one, as there seem to be an awful lot of us, HOs, who lack any semblance of good manners or consideration. I am so sorry to all of you who do not have your applications read or acknowledged and who do not receive any personal message from the HOs…… in my opinion there is no excuse for it, no matter how busy people’s are…

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As a home owner I try to respond to sitter applications right away. I wish i were getting lots and lots of applications, but my Dec sit has not brought me any takers yet. :frowning:
shirley

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@ShirleyE - I hope you find someone soon.
There’s a lot of time between now and December so fingers crossed you get someone amazing x

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I agree this is sad. But this is the same with job applications, emails and even phone messages.

I guess you are using the app (?) as I can’t tell whether an application from the website has been read or not.
I’d say keep on doing what you do, as those are your standards, but don’t dwell on what others do as otherwise you may start to feel quite down :slight_smile:

My gripe is that the fees are high, and yet support from THS has been quite sparce (It does however seem that messages posted on the forum are answered quickly by THS). I guess thats why the forum has been put in place, so housesitters can support one another.

I hope you at least enjoy the year you have paid for :slight_smile:

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@Foldor13 - appreciate your post and the awareness of the sitter’s side of things :sunflower:

I can see it from the HO side too - things get super busy and replying to applications is just one more thing to do…but honestly, even cutting and pasting, “thanks for your application but we’ve just found a sitter now” takes seconds and makes a big difference.

I guess it’s just being aware that some HS might not be super quick to reply next time to a HO’s subsequent ad if they got no response/acknowledgement the first time.

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I hope so too, while it is far away, having airline tickets make me worry.

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@BridgetC - I’m just using the dashboard on my laptop and you can see if your ad has been read or not at the bottom of the message. x

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@ShirleyE - you can PM me the details and if I am available and can help, I will (if you think I’d be a good fit) :slight_smile:

Thank you.
I must be very unobservant !
Thats very useful :slight_smile:

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I agree that general rudeness is widespread and not just at TH. But it cuts both ways. I recently posted a housesit; all but one were local and had zero experience house/pet sitting. I had a couple over for interviews, since they were local and one couple would have been a good backup, but the rest had applications that made them seem flighty (well, this IS Los Angeles, but…) or otherwise unlikely prospects. One proposed to bring along her two middle-school age children, even though I specified there was only one bed in the house – where they were all to sleep beats me. Anyway, I offered the sit to a couple who have retired to Mexico, but return here frequently to visit children and grandchildren. They enthusiastically accepted via the inbox. I sent messages to the others I had considered, letting them know I had selected someone else so that they felt free to consider other offers. When I clicked the button to formally make the offer, however, I was stunned to get a declination. I went on to offer the sit to the backup couple and never heard a word back, which doesn’t surprise me given I’d just let them know I’d selected someone else.

In the end, I’m paying for a petsitter who’s the daughter of my cleaning lady and who has sat many times for friends. If I’d known how drastically things had changed at TU, I probably would not have renewed my membership. Perhaps the sits I’ll have next year will work out better – at least I hope so, given what petsitters charge otherwise!

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@DianaB - sorry that was your experience and I hope things go smoother in the future.

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Maybe things changed in the lives of the sitters you chose, and they were too embarrassed to send you a message explaining why they had declined.

I’ve never been in the position where I was relying on house sitting for accommodation, but that must also be very tough if you are planning to stay somewhere and the sit is then cancelled.

Its a tricky way of life.

One time I was due to sit for a lady I’d sat for for many years (not from the THS site). I also had my place on the market and I suddenly had to start looking for properties. I asked her if we could compromise and could she perhaps put the cats in kennels for just a few days and she declined. I lost the sale of my property … (really I could have just said I couldn’t sit for her, but I just could not bring myself to do that, knowing she was working away. I myself travelled a similar distance to work, and I think she could have done that for at least one night, and perhaps put the cats in a ‘hotel’ for another). To say I was gutted was an understatement and I never sat for her again …

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Hi @DianaB Welcome, thank you for joining the forum. I’m sorry that you’ve not had any success with engaging sitters on this occasion, these are different times and by next year hopefully we will see a settling down and normalisation.

We are finding member’s shared experiences on the forum are so helpful not just for other members but to the THS Team.

Communication is the key to successful experiences and it needs to come from both sides we are constantly looking at ways that we can help facilitate timely communication and help every member consider their true intent before making any form of commitment so that no one’s time is wasted, again I’m sorry this happened to you.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any help and advice from the team and I know you’ll find great support here from members.

Angela & The Team

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