When should a listing be posted?

Hi…I heard about Trusted House Sitters via Nextdoor app. I have not yet joined THS but definitely will once we know for sure that our trip is definite. We travel usually twice a year (had trips to Bhutan and Russian Arctic canceled in 2020 because of Covid) and now have a tentative trip planned for 3 weeks to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands for November 2021. Although we are vaccinated and definitely plan on going, the company (Lindblad expeditions) doesn’t know themselves whether their ships will sail as they sail from South America. They will probably make a decision in July when final payment is due. Before learning of THS, we would ask friends to pet sit but that has been increasingly difficult as they are now grandparents with new grand babies they don’t want to leave. And they are not pet owners themselves so not always a win for our 2 cats. We like the idea of THS but with all the Covid travel delays & cancellations when should a listing be posted? We don’t want to waste anyone’s time or have to cancel if the company cancels on us. Advice?

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Hi @trudzie!

It’s always a balance between the homeowners comfort level (how much planning in advance puts you at ease) and being cautious of volatility. Of course Covid has brought on a whole new level of uncertainty, but we as sitters understand that.

We’ve seen several listings posted before plans are 100% certain (or as close to that as they can be) and the homeowners explain the circumstances that could lead to a cancellation in the introduction, or just mention that Covid could affect the plans. We very much appreciate the transparency and think that’s a good way of going about it.

With that said, we’ve opted not to apply to sits that are unsure if the sit will happen or not. This is primarily because we house sit full time and having a sit cancelled at the last minute would be a challenge for us. However, if it’s feasible, you could always ease a sitter by offering them a few nights in your home even if your travel is cancelled.

Ultimately, do what you’re most comfortable with and of course, the best policy is to be honest and transparent.

Just a few thoughts. :slight_smile: Hope they help!

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Sorry, forgot to add a thought!

Less about when to post your dates, but about starting a conversation once you have a few sitters you want to speak with, or one that you’ve chosen. In our experience it’s a good idea to talk about Covid.

It’s a a new normal for us to ask about Covid and how it affects the sit. Everything from hand-off preferences, to how likely it is that their travel would be affected by it and subsequently how that would impact us. Opening that dialog in advance helps to level set expectations. :slight_smile:

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Hi @Trudzie, welcome to our TrustedHousesitters Forum it’s wonderful that you have found us, thank you for joining.

What an amazing trip you have planned, I do hope it comes to fruition. Finding sitters to care for your two furry family members will give you absolute travel peace of mind.

I was just about to answer your question but as usually happens in the forum, help was available from one of our community members. Thank you @ScrewTheAverage for your excellent answer.

Many sitters today are fully flexible with their plans knowing just how tentative travel still is, being totally transparent about any possible changes in your listing messaging and when community with potential sitters is always appreciated. You will have confirmation by July for November giving you plenty of time to create and post your listing … we do advise to list as soon as owners have confirmed travel dates.

With so much preparation time like many you could consider joining our community and engaging sitters while you enjoy a short domestic trip or two.

I hope we can welcome you and your kitties to TrustedHousesitters very soon, meanwhile enjoy the conversations and connecting with our community.

Angela & The Team

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Thanks for the replies! I’ve gained a lot of info reading the various posts in this forum. I will definitely be more prepared when I’m finally ready to put up my listing. I’m surprised to read that owners sometimes don’t post many pictures, I will be just the opposite. In fact being limited to 10 pictures will be difficult for me honestly. Yes I know I can show potential sitters pictures later, but I’d rather entice people with more pictures rather then less. After all a picture is worth a thousand words!

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Welcome to the THS family. If your sit is in November, you should have plenty of time to secure a sitter if you wait to post when your plans are more solid. There are many more sitters than house sits, so most owners get many applicants within days of posting, assuming that their location is attractive and home is neat and pets are not too difficult.

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Agree with @ScrewTheAverage - sitters know that it’s difficult right now to be 100% confident that your trip will go ahead. We personally are not booking in anything too far in advance as like everyone we’ve had lots of plans cancelled. I guess we aren’t really looking beyond 3 months in advance. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a sitter on the site, I think this year especially there will be an abundance of sitters looking for housesits - but just as a safety net, Trustedhousesitters now has a new membership tier where you can get money back if you don’t manage to find a housesitter.

Your trip sounds fantastic - would love to visit Antarctica! Fingers crossed that your trip goes ahead!

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Posting lots of pics is a great policy! As a sitter I love to know as much about the potential sit as possible before applying- from a welcoming description of pets/hosts/home & whats entailed to lots of pictures- including the bed where we’d sleep! The more info the better! Sometimes the owner writes very little or posts few pics which means more questions are required. Most sitters create detailed profiles of themselves to sell themselves to potential hosts and its great when hosts do the same- it works both ways when you are looking for a good match…

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