Where have all the experienced sitters gone?

Glad to see you’ve finally had some success. It seemed you were popping up in my alerts twice a day, so I figured you were still having issues. Hopefully our movements will align one day and we can put our hand up to look after your fur babies and home. We often return home via Sydney and stay a while to regroup before our next journey and certainly fit your requirements for experienced sitters.


When one is new here, most of one’s applications are declined. I made six unsuccessful applications before I was chosen for my first sit. That was a Christmas sit, so not too much competition. Also my age does not work against me here.

Now, with five references, I get most of the sits that I apply for.

So your statistic does not mean that most on THS are new members or that 76 % are young travellers. Those categories just need to send out many more applications.

By No Reviews they might mean also no external references either. When I joined in 2018 it was required to obtain at least 1 external ref (we got two) before the profile would go live but for a while now it has not been mandatory. So in some cases sitters really do have no reviews OR references. I can understand a hosts hesitancy if there are no reviews/refs at all. Its really a good idea to get as many good external refs as possible to get off to a good start! And then a fabulous profile that really sells yourself and ofcourse a winning application!


I would not rely on external references by friends etc. For a home owner, the LinkedIn link etc of a first-time sitter would probably be more important to generate some trust.

I am not really that much more experienced with animal care or with home maintenance than a year ago. The difference is that five other HOs on this site have vouched for me.


I feel the same way regarding your stats. I’m in a very popular location of NYC. I feel I spend all day and night unpausing and declining sitters to keep the application open.

Unfortunately, I’m not seeing qualified people the majority of the time. No reviews or no references mostly (I would even take an Airbnb profile). Yes, I know that everyone needs to start somewhere. I sympathize with that.

However, I have a senior dog. I can’t afford to take chances with her care and comfort in my absence.

I fear that the shift is people mostly looking at my location for a place stay and nothing else. I also get a lot of messages talking about how much they wanted to visit NYC since they were little. They mention nothing about my Pixie or their pet owner experience.

This is why I think I’m going to mostly rely on seeking out qualified sitters instead of waiting for them to come to me.


@Shasta - We have 2 regular sits in NYC, both which we have just recently completed. Would happily add Pixie as our 3rd!

Your don’t have your listing linked, so I am unable to take a closer look. One of our NYC sits was also with a senior dog (14) and prior to that, we had recently cared for a lovely 17 year old pooch.

You can access our Profile by clicking my profile name above and you will see our reviews and experience, quite a number with senior dogs.

Keep us in mind!

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I am an experienced single sitter, and I am now fully booked till the end of this year. There are 2 things I’ve noticed.

First of all, I get invitations with very short notice. I love doing sittings, but I have a full time remote job as well, so I have to plan travel days out of my holiday allowance. Then I have to book flights etc. So unless a pet owner contacts me several months in advance, there’s no way for me to plan it. For example, my last one of 2023 will be one month in The Netherlands and this was booked in May. The owners have peace of mind knowing I am coming and I have my travel arrangements sorted to make sure I get a cheap flight.

The second thing is that people are discussing THS online with very little interest in pets or knowledge about how it works. There’s a lot of “I want a cheap holiday” and people pile up with “oh, why don’t you pet sit?”. It really annoys me because those are the people who apply with little knowledge of what it really involves and they block up the 5 opportunities. A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of writing an application for a sitting in Paris, and when I submitted it, it was already full so I couldn’t submit it. A few days later, the owner opened it up again, as clearly she was not happy with the first 5 applicants. I am not sure who the 5 people rule helps. I have not heard anyone praising it yet


Maybe it was an unfortunate choice of words. House-sitting is potentially a service that one can charge for (outside of this site) and that extra income may be useful for sitters who previously did it for free.

Hello, @SalomeL I wanted to share a previous topic/post that hopefully explains what may have happened to your application. Normally as long as you keep an application open before it reaches the 5th one it will still send it through to the owner.

That also means that once the application is open as long as you do not navigate away you can take as long as you need to write the application.

I am glad that the owner reopened it so you could apply :slight_smile:

I completely agree with your two points. I saw a post recently on a local FB page where there was a need for accommodation for a family to visit relatives, and someones suggestion was housesitting. Now it could be that this was a suitable option but equally it’s not for everyone.

I think added to this and the reason for your first point is that HO membership is also increasing through articles about THS. I’ve seen so many sits from new members wanting a sitter, practically the next week or month, which in peak holiday season is unrealistic when most sitters are already booked.

Experienced sitters dont have availability as we are like you are booked months in advance.


Another aspect I’ve not seen mentioned yet in this thread is that a lot of sitters who traveled fulltime or nearly fulltime pre-pandemic settled down somewhere in 2020 to ride out the virus and haven’t gone back to traveling as much since then. I know quite a few sitters like this. Vanessa and @Angela_L are just two examples of the many I know. They still sit a few times a year, but not nearly as often as they used to.


There’s been an influx of new sitters as a result of THS expanding so I would expect to see a much greater portion of applicants to be new and inexperienced. I suspect the ratio of owner to sitter has skewed a little as well so I would not expect them to get experienced very soon.
Add to this the application limit and I think many experienced sitters are either relying on old connections to directly link-up (most of my sits are direct contact now not THS) and an inevitable churn as people only last a year and realise they either cannot get an application in or they get rejected for having no experience when they do get one in.

One of my first applications in THS got rejected with an apoplogetic note that as they had had a bad experience before they won’t ever accept anyone with less than 5 reviews. SO I started doing very local sits where I offered to meet up days before to go over everything and to assure then it would be ok.

I am curious as to why you want only couples though. My experience is most people want single sitters even specifying single women (which I find odd enough to red-flag it and never apply). Would an experienced single sitter not be good enough?

@Karen_E If that is the case why aren’t offering any incentives to old members to return or is it of no concern to THS to have so many people not returning to house sitting. It could be that while they have so many couch surfers/backpackers joining to see the world for free that it matters not so long as the spreadsheet is showing a similar figure each month.

post moderated due to posting terms

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

Those are three different catagories of people with different needs. While I feel like I must have offened you in some why I do appologize. But do some basic research for each of the group in the mind set of a property owner and see what catagory best suites your needs as an owner and what would make you feel secure about the choice you make. While you are at it make a few seprate lists that you can compare passport needs for your location from different locations, age of application, average monthly income for age and country of origin, avaiability short term versus long term, how many houses-sits have they had and were where those site, and frequency of global traveling. By default people will come to a reasonable conclusion of what works best form them.

@Karen_E Then there are others like my hubby & me who had a one year enforced break during the height of Covid and have done intensive sitting ever since, even more than pre -Covid!

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It’s true that as an experienced sitter, because I am selected for pretty much every sit I apply for, I have the luxury of planning well in advance and prefer when there’s plenty of notice. I realise that for an owner that can be a risk as people do sometimes cancel. I would still recommend posting earlier when experienced sitters have not yet been booked. All our/my HO ask to be repeat customers so you can imagine the demand on an experienced and qualified sitter. Best of luck.


For THS it’s all about revenue. Fair enough. There’s a better way to do that though… improve your features so we can connect in the ways that serve us (preferences for the number of applications included) and we won’t leave…you’ll get the rep for having the best listings bc you keep the best sitters. Currently, most Australians use Aussie House Sitter that’s why there are so few Sydney listings on here. Most of my sits in Sydney are secured there. I noticed very few from popular countries like Italy and that’s very strange. There’s room for improvement….


Thanks Ben on behalf of all the newbies. Obviously as the old saying goes, “Everyone has to start somewhere”. And yes so true, I would be hoping to get a great review when we do our first sit. Cheers Kev

I see the info that member services gave to me months ago. We are experienced sitters and we’re unable to apply for most of the favourite listing that we get dinged for on the mobile app.
Last Christmas, we lost 100% of our favourite European/Australian/New Zealand listings, because every single one came out when we were working or sleeping. Even now we receive mobile app notices for our saved Christmas sit search for this year. At least 50% of the time the notice has no new listings, since they closed before we were notified. A system failure all around.