Hello @Blondce and welcome to TrustedHousesitters and the Forum. This is most definitely the place to come for resources to all things related to pets and travel.
There are many possible answers to your questions here. Just like we all have different personalities, people will vary on their responses and times depending on a number of factors. They might be at work, for example, and unable to reply in detail at that moment. Or they may be looking for something specific they haven’t seen yet.
I see you have 3 solid references which is a good start. I’m not sure if you’re applying for sits locally, but often times it’s a great way to earn your first review within the site. You and Pete seem to have a variety of qualities which a homeowner would desire. One additional item: I would add your listing to your Forum profile: How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile That way potential homeowners can easily access your details. If you need help doing this, please ask.
Don’t assume this - I’m surprised at the number of Home Owners who don’t read sitter’s profiles. The first thing my profile says is "** I currently have no availability for 2022 ** - yet I get requests to sit every week! So, based on this, when I do apply for sits, I repeat some of the information which can be seen in my profile.
On the other side of the coin, we were HO who needed sitters on 3 occasions last year. I could not believe the slap-dash applications I received. A one-line application saying: ‘please see my profile’. NO. You need to write an enticing application, like a cover letter for a job application, whereas your profile would be your CV/resume. Offer the information on a silver platter. Then I suddenly understood why we got nearly every sit we applied for (back in Australia in 2019/2020)…because our applications were very thorough.
I would mention the pets by name if you haven’t already when applying. And also something that I didn’t realise straight away is you have to actively state which dates you are available for them to show highlighted in turquoise on your profile. At the moment you don’t have any dates highlighted. Dates available should look like this:
No the dates will all be as they are now; all with white backgrounds, and you click on the first date you are available and then click again on the last date you are available. So in my case; a year from now.
I greet the whole names of anyone mentioned in their advertisement, family members, pets.
I also mention that we would care for their pets (individually named) and do what they ask of like go for two walks a day etc.
I always refer to my 100 % positive feedback and reviews highlighting my experience.
I always mention roughly the ETA of time I would arrive and when I would leave.
I also finish off with “Please feel free to ask any questions you have of me”.
I have noticed some house owners have specific requests with responding to them like “If you are interested, please respond by telling me your favourite book and why”.
I read the whole advertisement to make sure I meet what they are looking for. If there is opportunity for flexibility, I ask them to consider that too.
Hello, I posted on this topic yesterday through a different thread. For what it’s worth, I’ve copy/pasted it here:
The other “tips” I’d say is: go short on the application and long on the bio. Utilize humour. Show your personality. Tell a brief funny relatable pet story. Do you know something neat about their area? Do you have a good memory to share of having visited their area before or a humours reason why you want to? Never underestimate the attraction of possessing local knowledge.
In my humble opinion, I get the feeling that homeowners will invest time in a well crafted bio if your application is clean and to the point, friendly, and phrased more like an invitation to read more about you, rather than a laundry list of things you’ve done.
I guess that’s about all I can think of! (and I’m certainly no expert on the subject ; D
I really don’t understand this and have never done it! You have to “make” yourself available on there or the assumption is you’re not? We must have been lucky on booking sits for a full year…. #veryconfused
I don’t agree with this as many HO don’t read a sitter’s profile (bio). Put maximum effort & info in to both your application and profile. It’s ok if some info is repeated, as again, your profile isn’t always read. A HO will always read your application first and first impressions are what count.
Tailor each application to the sit by mentioning the pets names and how you will fulfill the responsibilities mentioned. Talk about your sitting experience, your professional background, any hobbies/interests and why you want to do that particular sit. Offer to have a video call with them to discuss the sit further to ensure you are a good fit for each other.
Have a look at some experienced sitters profiles for some ideas for your own profile. Happy, smiling photos of you with pets are crucial for your profile.
You are right in saying that by applying you are available so don’t worry about the availability calendar too much as many sitters don’t use it (there are many forum threads on that). The calendar will automatically block out any confirmed THS sits you have.
Don’t get disillusioned as it often takes several applications to get a confirmed sit. Try applying for some local sits to get you started.