What attracts you to the pics in a listing?

It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting here with my cup of coffee, browsing the sits (as you do…). I scroll past ones in places I’m not interested in, and ones who’s dates don’t work, and - wait! there’s a Boxer. Quickly click on ad… Can I make it work? Oooh, can’t resist a Boxer…
So sitters - do your practicalities fly out the window when a pet’s pic catches your attention?
And HO’s - perhaps a pic of your pet would be more enticing than that shot of the view or the house :joy:


I honestly wouldn’t mind a pic of the pet being the default pic as I base my sits more on the pet than the house. There are just certain breeds I have no interest in sitting for so it would be nice to not waste my time. But there should def still be pics of the house. As for what attracts me, clean, non cluttered spaces, a great looking garden with comfey looking furniture, a great kitchen, a comfey looking couch, etc. those would all lure me in. a first pic of a cluttered house with fussy, uncomfortable looking furniture would have me passing by. As would pics of a place that look like a college dorm.


Yes, absolutely there must be pics of the house! It’s just that I noticed my interest is drawn by the pets, not the house…


What doesn’t interest me is the default photo being of the HOs grinning at me with not a pet in sight.
I cannot resist labradors so that draws me in


I didn’t realize this. Surely there must be a way to have a different default pic, whether you’re advertising as a sitter or owner. @Ben-Product ?

Couldn’t agree more. I’m much more likely to get pulled in and excited by a cute cat or dog than a kitchen!

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I didn’t realise this either!
that is a shame as I don’t tend to open up a listing if there is just a photo of the HO.
@Ben-Product , I agree with @Myhnabird , there should be a way to have a different default pic?


It is extremely relevant as the positions of HO and sitter are so different.
As you can see from my earlier remark, it can put the HO at a disadvantage


As a HO I decided to make my cover photo one of my 4 donkeys looking over my garden wall. This was a deliberate choice as I am guessing that most Sitters who really enjoy looking after larger more unusual animals like to see them before even thinking about the house! However, this also shows straightaway that this is a more time consuming and complex (not to mention muddy with big poo!) sit, and so allows those who wouldn’t like that to scroll on by without checking further!


I would 100% click on that sit. I would love to take care of donkeys!! :heart_eyes: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Sadly, as a solo woman, I find most sits with big animals only want couples. I understand it, but it’s a bummer as I miss being around horses and donkeys.


I’m sorry you feel that way. I think the challenge is that you normally only hear people talking about the bad, not the good. There are definitely owners out there that are like that, but I’ve had pretty much all great owners. Just like you really only hear about the sitters that mess things up even though most sitters probably do a great job. FWIW I would have no problem confirming my identity or showing my covid passport. But I don’t have liability insurance and I wouldn’t think most sitters would. If that’s a requirement, it should definitely be in your listing so no one is wasting time. And if you want the others confirmed, I would probably include that as well. Easier on everyone to just weed people out in advance than once expectations have been raised on either side.


The profile photo is the same for people who are both HOs and sitters. However, as a HO, we can change what shows as the primary photo on our listing as HO.

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I don’t think that the profile photo can be different

@Myhnabird posted a really good question about what attracts sitters to the pics on a sit and out of respect for her original question could we please keep on topic.

Many of us have lots of experience when it come to selecting sits to apply for and the images are a very important part … “A picture says a thousand words” is so true and it would be great to get your input even examples of pictures that have attracted you to a listing … start sharing!!

If anyone wants to have discussions outside of this topic please use the Direct Message option where you can debate and discuss anything and everything.


The pet is of primary importance when choosing a sit but when I see a pet as the profile pic (edit: actually referring to the first picture in the listing, not the tiny HO picture in the corner) it usually means there are insufficient or even no pictures of the home. If I can’t see where I’m going to stay, I usually pass the listing by. The exception would be if the pet(s) look irresistible and there are already several very favorable reviews from previous sitters. If this is the case and the location is good, I may apply and then ask for additional pictures.

I am drawn in when I see the outside of the home or a good picture of the apartment as the HO’s profile picture. Landscape pictures are beautiful but they, too, are often indications that there are insufficient photos of the house.

When I don’t see photos of the house or apartment, I usually take it mean the place is unappealing and the HO purposely omitted them so as not to put prospective sitters off.

And if people can’t even clean up their house for a photo, I can only imagine the actual condition of the home. I am put off by clutter and carelessly made beds. Two good clear pictures of each pet are sufficient for me.

As has been said many times before, I want to see where I would sleep, the bathroom, the kitchen, the room where the TV is (if there is one), and the outside of the house.


Do you mean that the pet should not be the primary photo in a HO listing? I use the term “profile photo” when referring to the photo of the sitter or HO, not the first photo of the listing.

I like to see a pet as the primary photo if the sit involves dogs. I’m not comfortable with large dogs, so if the first photo is a small/medium dog, I am more likely to consider the sit. I know to scroll past if it is a huge dog, or some other animal I dislike.

I wish HOs would clean their phone lenses before taking photos, tidy up the house, and increase the exposure if the photo is dark. Some photos are so dark as to be useless. I also don’t need 10 photos of the same animal.

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Sorry for the confusion. I’m referring to the first photo you see in the listing. The profile photo is so small it’s hard to make out who’s in that photo. I wish THS would allow it to be enlarged. That would be a welcome improvement—we’ve talked about this before.


I find it very difficult to answer this question ! What appeal me first ? Sometimes the pet / sometimes the house… there is no rule.
I think having a « nice » pic of the pet is the best : but it isn’t always so easy to have a nice pic of a pet, specially when they are black (technically it is difficult)…
As far as the house is concerned : sometimes it can be a detail which appeals me… a bush of flowers in the entrance, a colorful portal… Definitely it is hard for me to answer this question. My answer may doesn’t help ! Sorry :rofl::grimacing:


I’ve been on the lookout for a housesit with corgis! Also people-friendly rabbits, pigs, and goats! I love it when someone puts the dog breed in the title or a personality trait of their pet in the title.


You made me chuckle this morning as I am very like this. It’s so subjective and all sorts of things can attract me to a sit.

It is a fascinating topic though… I read a very insightful book some years ago called “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, all about how and why we make decisions in the first “blink of an eye” that we rarely change even after the brain tries to apply more rationalisation. It was an enlightening read that has led me to follow first impressions (along with some practical decisions) much more. It’s just those first impressions like you say could be almost anything :grin: Have a lovely day!