What’s going on with the lack of applicants?

We have been Trustedhousesitters members for many years and have never had trouble with a lack of applicants. The most recent sit was over spring break. Now I am seeing a bunch of high-quality sits in our area with a low application note, including ours. I updated our listing to make sure all the amenities are included, and I added a note about having an established vet with our credit card on file, As I understand from another topic that these have caused issues lately

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One reason could be because of the way sitters apply for sits now, because the rules changed so we can only apply if our dates are completely free during your period, so even if someone was short by 1 day whereby a neighbour could possibly help, then we have no way of applying or reaching out. I think that plays a huuuuge part in it nowadays.

Another reason may be if your home isn’t clean-clean, as sitters need to review HO’s on cleanliness nowadays, so I know personally I avoid any where I know from the photo’s that I would have to mark them down a little points-wise.

Add your link to your profile on here for some feedback on your listing, just in case it’s anything else.

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There are now more sits than sitters, so sitters can be more selective. What worked for you in the past might no longer. Check out the competition and see how you might improve your listing. And/or attach your listing to your forum profile and ask for constructive feedback so you might strengthen your listing.

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Yes, definitely more sits than sitters. Personally, I am booked up a year ahead. Lots of things changed after Covid, travel costs have escalated and lots of flights have been cut so people think twice about the costs involved. I am very choosy about the home and pet I apply to sit for.

It must look clean and tidy without lots of things piled everywhere. I don’t want to see the toilet in the first photo. I skip over a lot of ads if they doesn’t grab my attention straight away. I am afraid the overlapping dates hasn’t helped as that makes it restricting for many sitters. Post the best ad possible as it’s a tough market

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Travel has become more expensive. Pensions and wages have not kept up with inflation. I see even owners economising by contacting previous sitters to skip the THS fee. Fewer workplaces allow full-time distance work.

Sitters may be moving to other sites that are less expensive or free for them, where one even can get paid.

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As a sitter, I have become much more discerning about the sits I will apply for, due to the aforementioned reasons stated by other sitters. I have also been contacted, privately, by HOs whom I had previously sat for on THS.

I have, in particular, found the 5-application rule imposed by THS to be very damaging - and this is one of the main reasons I will not be renewing my membership this year, and HOs will lose me as a potential applicant. I will, at the very least, take a break from THS.

I also plan to look at signing up elsewhere. I am a former member of Mind My House, and will likely return there, as I always had fun doing those sits. It was a site, at least when I was a member, that was great value for money and had a nice relaxed vibe about it, and appeared to have a good understanding of the fair reciprocal nature of this type of pet/house-sitting.

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As a combined member, I will always have a plan b (&c) and would not soley rely on THS as solution since even confirmed sits/stays can get canceled on both ends.

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For me being sitter on THS for 2 years now the cost of air fares especially during peak season means I have to be more selective on where I sit and when.
I also agree there seems to have been a big push by THS to get more HO signed up and at the moment there’s an imbalance.

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well this is worrying, as a new member, and just moved into a bungalow that needs renovating, to see that in all probability I won’t get a sitter as my accommodation isn’t perfect.
I have 3 lovely dogs- will only need a sitter for 2, and am really disappointed to see that I’m going to struggle…. Wish I’d known this before spending my hard earned money!

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I skip profiles that say just “Wifi” for amenities. I need to know theres a clean bed for me to sleep in, a TV, AC if you live in extreme warm weather.

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There will be a bed, and the listing should have a photo of it.

Older listings have often not updated the amenity section after THS included all the obvious stuff.

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Don’t believe that you won’t get a sitter just yet @Carolyn1 - it depends on way more than a bungalow that needs some TLC. Great pets, a nice friendly HO, easy responsibilities & a good location all count for something. Glossy means very little for most seasoned sitters so get posting and see how you do. You can always add the listing to your profile for feedback once you have a first draft. #believeinyourself

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Totally agree with @cuttlefish - don’t give up before trying, just give it a go! Here’s some handy pointers to help with your listing! :blush:

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Thanks for the confidence building. I really am hopeful as they are such easy tolerant undemanding dogs to do, but I guess everyone says that about their dog!

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I wonder if THS sitters are far more aware now of the HO red flags they should be looking for? With an unofficial FB group sharing a multitude of stories and the long history of stories here too- I feel I was very ‘informed’ long before applying for my first sit here in THS. I felt well educated to avoid any iffy listings….the ‘problem’ stories shared really fast tracked me to becoming a hyper aware sit picker!

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For me personally:

  1. I see sits I would have applied for had it been posted a couple months in advance. I’m not willing to travel last minute by flight as the prices are super high. We sit as a family of 5 so you can imagine how expensive that might be
  2. I see sits I would like to apply for but I have a different petsit that overlaps by a day or two. Previously my husband and a child could finish up while the rest of us start the new one but now I cannot apply even though I want to
  3. I see sits I would have applied for in the past as a new member but now realize what our boundaries are: puppies, animals that wake us up in the middle of the night routinely, pet parents with too many missing reviews, too many responsibilities, and if there is a lot of listings in a certain area, I also now avoid new members with no reviews. Last thing I need is to do a super good job with the petsit and get a 4 Star review because the pet parent doesn’t believe in 5 Star reviews.
  4. I see sits I would like to apply to but it’s not listed as “Family Friendly”
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Hi @Carolyn1
That’s absolutely not the case. As long as your home is clean and tidy and any sitter has space in your fridge and wardrobe space you’ll be fine.
I did a sit last month for first time HO on THS that had recently bought a dated 70’s apartment and were open and honest they were doing it up but like you worried all sitters wanted a brand new place to sit. It’s not the case.

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Thanks, all for the replies. I think I know why I’m having trouble. We are returning on Monday, and most sitters need to have a sit that ends on Saturday or Sunday.

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I think your first point @IHeartAnimals is very valid. There’s been a few European last minute sits I would have applied for but upon checking flight costs had to sit down quickly! There was a 5 day sit in Southern Spain next month but the cheapest return airfare was over £500!

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I don’t think that the days make any difference to the majority of sitters.

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