Today our membership expires and we are in two minds whether to renew. We have had some brilliant sits in the past, but the reality is in the last couple of months we have missed so much thanks to the closed after five applications rule. It feels like I can never be quick enough from opening the notification on my phone and I am feeling downhearted about staying. Feels like we’d be paying to potentially get none or just one sit or so if we’re lucky in a year. I’d love to hear from others how they are managing it, if I’ve just been unlucky or if anyone else is questioning staying too.
I have a whole list of favourite listings because I want to meet the pets (yes I am that sad) and I just can’t seem to get to them to even apply.
It has definitely become a lot more challenging since the 5-rule. I assume you have notifications set up?
We do, but even then, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll be within the first 5.
We are full-time sitters. A few months ago we were looking to sit in Asia. Since we were in Europe, this meant that sits mainly went live during ‘our’ night and we would miss them.
So we set the alarm for 3am to quickly check whether there were new ads and to get our application in. It worked.
This is obviously far from ideal, but needs must
Up to now, we still find most of our sits via THS, but since the 5-rule we have started to build up our reviews/sits on other platforms too.
Good luck, hopefully you’ll find some dream sits soon!
I have a basic membership as a Sitter, and it seems that the email notifications are delayed. I do not rely on them. Rather, I go into the app or website and check twice per day if I am actively looking for a Sit. Perhaps the other tiers of membership provide instant notifications via text? I have not studied the tiers. It might be worth it to pay extra for the premium membership if you don’t have time to check the website frequently (as long as you are willing to check texts quickly).
@Lina_and_Tom : I have been very frustrated with popular sits closing within minutes of the notification being sent, but at the end of the day, my basic membership costs less than one night in a moderate hotel. We just renewed, even though we don’t anticipate using it much this year. If I was really needing a specific location, I would check the app when I get up, at each meal, at bedtime and if I woke up during the night. I really hate being tied to my phone, but if I could save tons of money in AIrbnb costs and get to spend time with lovely pets, it is worth checking in a few times each day. I also don’t want to lose my reviews. If I found a better alternative, I would use it. Good luck!
Yes I hear you with the hotel costs etc, and that’s another reason why we definitely haven’t cancelled. Maybe as you say it’s even worth it with just one sit, which I am fairly sure we’d get with the one particular HO that comes to us first now. Thank you
Hi @Southernsitter and I am in the same situation. I only renewed this year (as a ‘basic’ sitter at a cost of £99) because If I had removed the auto renew I would have lost this low membership cost and my 50+ reviews. It certainly wasn’t out of a sense of loyalty to the company.
I feel the same way but I did just renew. My husband and are house-less and divide our time traveling and sitting.
I find the 5 applicant rule very difficult, and I’m an experienced 5 star sitter. I’m currently on a sit in Carribean island and the owner raves about the new rule. I can see it both ways. The only way I was able to get in was that I saw her listing a week before and studied it a bit and then luckily by then she declined her first 5 applicants and i was notified when she posted again.
I think the most frustrating part is when you are trying to line up sits one after another in one area. You have to be so quick and often it’s hard to really think it over.
Sadly, many of us struggle with the 5 application rule and find it both disappointing and surprising that THS is convinced that it is effective. I think many HOs don’t realize they don’t have to pick when they get the 5-applicant notice. But it is what it is. You may want to give it a shot for another year to test it your success; that’s what I’m doing anyway as both an HO and a sitter.
I debated this myself but decided to renew to have a second year. For one thing I had booked sits in the future and wasn’t sure how it would affect them if I didn’t, but I also decided to make a big push to get a few sits in mainland Europe before I bow out. I couldn’t rely on notifications because the 5 application limit was always reached before I got them, but for a few days I would browse listings a few times a day and managed to apply to several and land a few so now I can relax
I learned to only create my searches on the app. This lets me get timely notifications. Seems that notification for web searches work differently than app searches. It’s not uncommon for me to get notifications on the app every thirty minutes if new sits keep posting where the web site would be once a day.
As an owner, it’s interesting to read these issues and thoughts of sitters. I’m debating myself about renewing. The issue for me is that the sitters will wait until the last minute and then cancel on me. I don’t have any recourse other than to cancel my trips. Granted most of my sits are for the weekend, so I can visit my grandsons, but I’m hoping this doesn’t happen on a sit coming up that requires air fare.
I hope they rescind the 5 application rule. It seems to me that should be a function of the owner, not the sitter. Just my thoughts.
Although I am no longer able to do what I had hoped to do with THS I still have a few places I can see in time to apply. I’ll keep my membership mostly for some repeats I hope to do. I’ll probably scaled-down to a cheaper level since the value has been diminished greatly. If I reach a point where I can’t apply for sits I desire more often than not I’ll keep the cheapest membership and participate less with THS. I’m not a full-time sitter.
Wow, if you have had more than one Sitter cancel, that is bad luck. I wonder what the stats are for that? I would not dream of cancelling ever! There would have to be a BIG health issue or someone died. Sitters should get a big DING for cancelling. THS must track this. That is terrible. No wonder you are wavering.
I think you’ve been very unlucky to have sitters cancel on you, especially if its last minute. Its really not OK, unless a genuine emergancy, and we would never do that. It seems to be happening more often these days- a wave of wishy washy sitters who don’t take their commitment seriously- e.g cancelling on a whim if something better comes up… It can happen to any of us- booking a sit and then seeing the ‘dream sit’ pop up! Therefore I deliberately stop looking at new sits on dates I’ve already booked!
exactly! you are booked for these dates why lose time looking at “what could have been”? I feel for home owners who lose their sitters at the last minute, it should never happen except for very serious reason. We have never cancelled any sit in 8 years in the platform!
judging by the replies, a lot of people are reluctantly “renewing one more time just to see how it’ll go this year” or renewing simply to keep their reviews. We feel the same, yet that just feels so sad. This is THS! We can’t renew reluctantly we should want to renew with excitement.
I think there’s a lot of valuable feedback to learn from this specific thread.
I am in the same boat with you. I am a home owner and this new 5 app rule has created so much more stress for me. I am now behaving in a way I never wanted to (just declining people without a reason or even an exchange). Its hard to put into words what is happening because of this Max 5 ‘feature’ that THS added. What the reasoning is who knows but the outcome for me is ALOT more stress in the entire process. My last sit in the end I had to cancel. I am putting it down to the process that I am being squeezed into. When renewal comes up I will be looking at other options as well.