What Features Would You Like to See on THS?

HI @Bluehorse - This is an anomaly between the App and the website.

As you say, on the website there is no way of knowing whether no review was left but on the App, it does show as a blank space.

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I have saved searches set up so that I receive notifications of new sits that are posted. I’d love to have an open-ended search capability (i.e., so that I can say, for example, all sits that are posted for xx city from yy date without an end date). Without this as an option, I have to re-create all of my broader searches periodically to extend the end date as far as it will go.

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Thanks for all these suggestions so far - more on that below.

One I didn’t notice is Homeowner Profiles. I would love to see homeowners have a profile of their own, even if they aren’t sitters as well. This way, they can have photos and information about them and the listing for the house sit can focus on the requirements and the pet, etc.

As for the other suggestions, I went through and liked the ones I am interested in - such as:

  • Rejecting sits
  • More details about number and size of animals (small, medium, large dogs)
  • Ability to select multiple locations (like Portugal and Spain or various states in the US)
  • Allowing Nomads to select current location (s). I often spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest, but can sit in Oregon, Washington or Northern California fairly easily.
  • Saving default settings (like newest first)
  • Improving notifications on favorites and saved searches - these seem just random, they vary between app and website, sometimes I get them, sometimes I don’t.
  • Make the filter on favorites available on both the app and the website and have it take out ‘reviewing applications’
  • Remove the 5 applicant limit and instead focus on response rates or timely response notifications.

Assistance Dog/Service Dog with Sitter:
It is imperative that I know how comfortable it is for us to stay.
I have sent 60 applications, and it is a lot of work, hours and hours of my focus, caring. reading, looking at every photo and steeping in other people’s needs, only to be rejected, because their dog is:
“nervous,
traumatized by past attacks,
unsociable to other dogs,
+/or
aggressive.”

It would be helpful to have Pet Owners include:
“Dogs welcome” or
“Dogs not suitable.”

I could have saved at least 50 hours of work, and spared Hosts having to explain their reason for rejecting my stellar services had this item been checked by host/pet owners. Please help.

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That is good!

This is crucial to me.

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Host just cancelled our confirmed sit, after no-showing for 2 Zoom calls, so yes, they can.

I often see the same listings posted from the daily “new” listings email. I search every day because I am looking for sits in large areas (Western U.S., British Columbia), and there are usually 30-50 so-called new listings each day. I guess there are repeats because home owners can repeat their listing as ‘new’ if they are not getting enough applications. But, as a searcher, it would be great if I could click on a box next to a listing to “de-list” it for me so that it’s not repeated to me, having already decided I’m not interested in that listing. If this could be done, it would make my daily search go much quicker. Is this technically possible?

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@Lisa3

“Allowing Nomads to select current location (s). I often spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest, but can sit in Oregon, Washington or Northern California fairly easily.”

Nomads CAN select current location. We are nomads and have started changing our location to wherever we are based. Its easy to change when you go on ‘edit profile’ it saves getting invitations to sit when we’re in the wrong part of the world!

I would like it if hosts were obliged to post a picture of themselves along with the rest of their listing pics. They almost never do! We’ve just completed a sit where we did not meet the hosts at either end of the sit and neither did we have a video call. We just had a couple of phone calls and lots of friendly messaging. The sit was lovely but we still don’t know what the hosts look like as (very unusually) there are no family pics around! Even their WhatsApp has no profile pic!

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Add the dates that you are not available to the availability calendar.

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Claireisamazing, maybe one of the moderators can confirm this but I do not think a home owner can cancel a sit without the sitter also pressing a cancel button once a sit has been confirmed by both parties. A sit was offered to me once after a sitter backed out and the owner could not send me an invite until the sitter had also cancelled on the site.
Sorry to hear about your situation, it is certainly more challenging looking for sits when you have a precious pup of your own also sitting.

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Sitters do not have the ability on the site to cancel a sit @Kootenaigirl. It’s only the HO who can press the Cancel button.

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temba, I realize sitters cannot initiate cancelling a sit but I think that they have to confirm the cancelation after the home owner has initiated it, do they not? Otherwise Homeowners could cancel a sit with no discussion or consent of the sitter.

@Kootenaigirl, that is correct.

Can I cancel a sit?

As part of the code of conduct that all TrustedHousesitters members agree to, a confirmed sit cannot be cancelled unless both pet parent and sitter agree or there are extraordinary circumstances.

You can find our cancellation policy in our Terms and Conditions. If you’d like to tell us about a sit cancellation that is not in line with this policy, please contact support@trustedhousesitters.com.

What happens if I need to cancel a sit?

If you have confirmed a sit but need to cancel, you must inform the other member immediately so that they can make any necessary alternative arrangements.

Remember, a sit must only be cancelled if both you and the other member agree, or if there are any extraordinary circumstances. If this is not the case and you cancel outside of these terms, an investigation may take place that could result in disciplinary action against your membership.

Cancelling during a sit

Both pet parents and sitters cannot cut a sit short, unless agreed by both members. This means you must not return home early and a sitter must not leave a sit before the agreed date. This policy is in place to keep all pets and people safe, and anyone risking this safety will receive disciplinary action against their membership.

If you are faced with an extraordinary circumstance that means you need to end a sit early, please contact the other member immediately and give them reasonable time to make alternative arrangements. Once this has been arranged, the next step is to contact support@trustedhousesitters.com to ensure we are aware of the situation. We will then update the sit to show the correct duration dates on both accounts.

@Kootenaigirl hopefully when either a sitter or a HO needs to cancel, it has been discussed between them before the HO officially cancels it as there is no button for sitters to confirm this cancellation as well.

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I would like THS so send a quarterly email to all members with all relevant updates to the app, works in progress and repeated invitations to members to join the forum. Members could always opt out of receiving emails, but it would be defaulted to “on” when signing up.

I would also like THS to send a survey to all members with questions that are relevant about latest app changes or potential areas for development; and for that information to be shared with members. (the five applicant rule, ideas on how to better the app, etc.)

I would like THS to become an openly communicative community from the top down, inclusivity and transparency so we can all, as a community, come together to make user experience and business success a win/win for everyone.

Creating repeated invitations to join the forum is necessary because many members likely forget it’s even there… or don’t pay attention to a button because they go on the site for a purpose.

It’s also THS responsibility to welcome all perspectives and create invitations for people to share, rather than blocking communication and saying people are afraid to post contrary opinions. It’s a forum, and it’s up to THS to make the forum a truly open and diverse discussion. I think this visibility of different perspectives, for example, of the new five applicant rule, will relieve tensions that exist in the community. Or it will reveal that no one actually likes this rule, and whatever need that rule is truly designed to meet can be creatively met in another way.

Lots of love here of us all,
20 sits and counting…
Ronit
aka The Butterfly Nomad

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Hmm, interesting question.

  • Blind reviews a la Airbnb - no one sees their review until both have been written

  • In a search list the ability to “hide” sits that I’ve decided aren’t right for us - the opposite of “favorite”

  • A list of required pix for the HO, especially the bedroom we’d be using and the kitchen

  • The ability to sort the inbox into folders - now that it’s one looong list it’s impossible to find “maybe” applicants since as HOs we’ve posted nearly 20 sits - I miss it being parsed by sit but I totally understand that’s a lot of data crunching overhead.

  • Alternatively add the sit dates or other bit of specific info to the screen - “23 days ago” isn’t particularly helpful…

  • The “currently seeking sitter” filter in “favorites” shows sits that are “currently reviewing” - right now none of the 4 that filter out have dates or are accepting applications

  • it would be great if the pix would auto-rotate to landscape when I turn my phone

  • The listing should tell what town it’s actually in addition to adjacencies, 2 examples:
    Many sits in our area say “San Francisco” when they’re actually SF adjacent/30+ miles away; I’d like to see “SF area, Mill Valley”
    We have a sit coming up where we need to stay in town the night before because we’re having dinner with the HO and we want to be sure we’re there on time the next morning. The sit is listed as being in a specific town, which is where I booked our room. I went back through the reviews looking for some info and saw a couple that mentioned a completely different town a few miles away! I had to rebook, and have now added “exactly where are you” to our list. Yes, that probably should have been in the list…

  • The ability to create a search by adding discreet countries, cities, etc., ie France/Italy/Portugal, San Francisco/LA/San Diego

Thanks for asking!!!

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@stephenia All fab suggestions. The filters on the favourites are my pet hate at the moment. I have over 4000 favourites (I know…Im just an enthusiast when it comes to seeing new places) if I search on ‘Currently seeking applications’ I average 260 to 280 a day. BUT… 85% of those are already reviewing applications. I usually have to scroll to number 50 or more to see the first listing with dates. The other day it took to almost 100 to find the first 5 with dates available. Day to day less than 20% are new listings. I could go on and on about how frustrating it is. I’m waiting on the outcome of the latest survey before I post the data I’ve gathered over the last month or more along with questions and conclusions. Im actually hoping they realize what a huge mistake it was and either reverse it or modify it to something more reasonable.

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It would be amazing to have a filter/feature that allows
Sitters with Assistance Dogs
to know where they might be welcome;
I am finding this a very wobbly, painful, possibly undoable process.

I have thoughtfully, and determinedly sent 60 applications, with inquiries about my staying with my highly trained Assistance Dog, Tarkina. I have received many kind replies, many declines, and mostly nothing at all, just “read.”

My joyful approach feels unrewarded, so far, considering how much effort, and how many hours I have spent here.

The host who told me she is cancelling, still has a Profile.

Having a Service Dog/Assistance Dog in UK, makes it a much more un-simple process, so this was a worthwhile experiment.

I was assured it could work before joining.
I will let you all know how it does.
First sit, 11 May 2023. Very happy for this.

I really appreciate all the experiences and guidance I’ve received here,
Claire + Tarkina, my girl-dog.

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