Where have all the experienced sitters gone?

I agree, the 5 application rule has nothing going for it, in my opinion. If you are not in the same time zone, you have little or no chance.

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Agreed. We have 17 successful sits but have gotten stuck in the loop of near or timezone. I wish THS would listen to their users.

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An interesting option for TH to add would be to be able to block applicants from reapplying.

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As others have said, I really believe the answer to this question, the issues with an increase in the numbers of people canceling are related to the 5 application limit. People are being forced to apply before having a chance to thoroughly review posts and many are being shut out because of the time zone they are in.

I know THS has made up their minds and half of these comments will be relegated to the dump bin thread but they are related.

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Silver fox
We took some time off from sitting as we spent 2022- or the first 8+ months of it - on sits, traveling, visiting friends and relatives while waiting for our home to be finished building.
We begin a sit tomorrow within 90 min of our home in a new state. Your home country is one we would definitely be interested in seeing and sitting. However, airfare has become cost prohibitive and an ever increasing uncertainty. There are too many cancellations, delays, fights on board, etc.
Perhaps others outside Australia have run into this, too?

@Cyn Great insight. We would class ourselves as experienced sitters and although we have always budgeted for these costs, recently we have been having to factor in any rising costs in areas such as flights, car rentals, gas, and hotels on route or before/after a sit etc.

This might not be the case for other sitters, but it is something we are accounting for more at the moment. This has been discussed before in a couple of threads and may be relevant here as one of the reasons? :

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Maybe there needs to be better control on the app. For example if an applicant was declined why isnt there a way for the homeowner to either block the applicant for that listing or be able to permanently block the applicant.

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All of us who are highly recommended and very experienced used to not have any. Be the one who gives someone exceptional a start. You may end up working with the best possible person you have ever met. Get them before they are in demand.

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Changing the phrasing from “a couple of experiences sitters” to “an experienced sitter couple” would clarify this preference/requirement.

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@Star I started applying this year as a family and we have 14 sits confirmed this year. Out of everyone, I will never forget our Colorado pet parents who took a chance on us when we had no reviews. We gave their two dogs so much fun and love and one day, we hope to return to the area so that we can petsit for them again.

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I am finding just the same, not enough applicants because of this 5 rule. Also Ibam finding sitters not even reply to a message.
I ask tgem for a whatsapp call and boom nithing. As houseowners we are tokd to reply to new applicants asap but updoes not seem to be the other way round.
I am beginning to wonder if I will rejoin.

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@Laura28 , I am wondering at what point in the interaction you requested a video call? Usually, there have been a few back and forth emails following the receipt of the sitter’s application before arranging a video call. Then both the HO and I, the sitter, exchange phone numbers to set up the call.

I had one HO a while back who did not have much on his listing, he was new, but I had saved it. He contacted me and immediately asked me to call him. I was not ready at that point as I wanted more information. He didn’t seem to want to write and the whole thing fizzled out. Did you have much preliminary communication prior to sending the applicants your phone number?

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Hi

I have not given my number out. I just said that it is better to have a call so if they have any questions then I can answer them.

I have had a number of time wasters by communicating just through written communication.

Also a number of HS asked for one immediately.

Laura

I hear you. I don’t like jumping into a phone call straight away. I also like at least 2 rounds of emails. When a sitter messages me or they respond to my invite, I always ask if they have any questions about the neighborhood, my dog, or the apt.

I don’t know. I kinda feel that establishes some type of rapport. I only give out my number when they agree to want to do a discovery video chat.

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

@Gretch You just made me think…I have been wondering why for the life of me why the majority of my applicants are unqualified to do the sit…Now I read that you can’t even get your application in.

I’m not trying to start anything, but I really want to discuss…Are some sitters just applying willy-nilly to listing without any thought just to try to make it under the 5 applicant cap quickly?

With the applicants I described, it seems as if they didn’t read my listing at all.

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I think that’s exactly what’s happening. I had a saved search come up today and since it’s in a desirable place, I knew I’d better jump on it if I wanted it. I did take the time to read the entire listing, including the part about one of the dogs being incontinent and in diapers. I bet others apply just because they only saw the location and then the reality sinks in.

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Hello Shasta,

I don’t know if sitters are applying willy-nilly to listings to make it under the 5 applicant cut-off. That’s quite possivle. I do know that in order to make the cut-off, we have had to severely curtail the amount of time and care that we used to put into our applications. As well, we have nearly given up on overseas sits because, as many have mentioned, it’s almost impossible for us to make it into the first five applicants. (We’re on the west coast of Canada, which means a nine-hour time difference with Europe. Most of the European postings come up during our night, so by the time we check - even if it’s at 0500 or 0500 - we’re too late.)

We have always had to respond fairly quickly, but prior to the new policy if we managed to get our application in within the first 24 hours, we could at least be hopeful that our track record would give us a decent chance at becoming the chosen sitters. With the 5-application cut-off, we can’t even get our application considered in the first place. This has severely impacted our sitting.

For example: We’ve made several trips to Europe for sits. Because of the expense of the travel and health insurance, we always try to max out the three-months that we can stay without getting a long-term visa. In the past, we’ve not had a hard time filling the time. That changed last summer. Last June, before the policy came into effect, we lucked into a December dream sit in Venice, and then shortly thereafter we signed up for another sit in Brittany for late February. We then proceeded to try to fill in the ‘gap’ between the two sits. “TRY’” is the operative word. We checked day after day, and there was nothing. We joked that perhaps Europeans didn’t plan ahead. It was only after finding out about the then-new 5 application policy that we realized what was happening. (Note: THS did not inform its membership of the new policy. We found out by happenstance via the Forum.) In the end, we did find sits to fill in our time, but only after we had already arrived in Europe and were in the same time zone.

We also have found ourselves sometimes rushing into sits that we might not have taken before. But that’s a whole other story.

Good luck with finding good, experienced sitters. As you can see from the thread regarding the 5-application policy, many of us are totally fed up with THS’ ignoring the extensive negative feedback. We’re voting with our feet and going to other, more responsive sites. (We renewed only because our contract expired while we were in Europe.)

Cheers!

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Hi everyone. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this topic. We are temporarily closing this thread so we can discuss this with the Product team. We will come back after we’ve had those discussions. Thanks for your input and your patience.

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@Silverfox

Thanks for raising your concerns about experienced Sitters. Across the platform the proportion of applications by new and experienced sitters has been stable, with no significant changes.

It is frustrating to hear that these experienced sitters are not applying to your sit and you’re not finding sitters that meet your requirements.

Regarding new sitters, as you say everyone has to start somewhere. As an avid owner of the platform, I often choose new sitters as we often suggest they go to a local sit, and this means you can meet the sitter in person.

Also, the most recent sitter we had went above and beyond our expectations; with pet care, home cleanliness and communication, and this is often because they are very excited about being a new member and want to get a good review, so why not give one of them a go, or firstly meet before hand or do a video call to build up confidence and a relationship with a Sitter.

Many Thanks, Ben

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