Where have all the sitters gone to?

Welcome to the forum @WanderlustInCA. If you use the magnify glass and search key words you can find lots of relevant posts relating to how things have changed over the past two years. Currently there are complex world events causing constant change and we are all - owners & sitters - having to adjust. What worked yesterday may still need tweaking today.

I would suggest you embed a copy of your listing into your forum username/profile. Sometimes constructive feedback, or just the added exposure to members, can make all the difference. Here are the instructions:
How to add your listing to your forum profile

Francine,
Volunteer Forum Moderator

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Hi @ozymandyas your sit looks great. I suggest you add any information/support that can help a sitter save on transport costs. As someone said above, hire cars are not an option at present due to their high cost and anyone driving to your sit in their car will have high fuel costs. If you can supply a car then advertise this. You have explained where the nearest public tranport is but do you have any advice on how the sitter can get cheap fares? Do you have an Oyster Card they can use for instance, as an incentive. Can you offer to collect the sitter from the airport or station as they will have all their luggage. These type of sweetners will result in more applications. It’s tough times right now for everyone!

After being totally despondent about not being able to find a sitter I now have someone booked for my month in March. Thank you to the lady who suggested posting early as that has paid off. Although I had interest for my December dates I am having a friend looking after my cats. I’m really happy that I can now book my holiday!

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That’s great to learn @CambridgeAnnie. You can now enjoy both your December and March holidays and your cats will be happy too.

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Hello @Kelownagurl : I’m very curious about that as I’ve never seen this flag : where doest it appear ?

Thank you

Can’t remember off the top of my head but I believe there is a red icon or something by my name in the top right hand corner that tells me I have a new message on the THS website. I’ll have to confirm the next time a home owner sends me a THS message.

@Kelownagurl Thank you for your answer.
I recently missed and invitation as it seems I didn’t received (or missed) the notification and was very shamed not answering in a reasonable delay when I discovered it days later… I mainly use the App on my I phone and some functions are clearly not working (the map is not working at all for example).
Thank you

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I definitely get pinged and notified on my phone. Maybe you have notifications turned off?

I think I probably missed the notification : it is turned on though.
And I was surprised no to see it.
But just now : I just realize that the bell in the top right corner of the “message” page of my profile is red when I haven’t clear / read all the messages… I’ve never realized this bell could be grey !!! So this may be the “flag” you were talking about which was a bell in deed !
Thank you anyway for your message which makes me realize that !

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Yes, that’s the one! A red bell.

Am I the only one who thinks of this song every time I see the title of the OP?
Where have all the flowers gone?

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Hi, We joined this site about six weeks ago looking for a sitter to come to Worthing to keep are dog Herbie & cat Teddy company for a few weeks whilst we’re away however, we haven’t had any responses and its getting pretty close to are departure date (30th June) so getting abit worried. We have a sweet house & lovely garden with a wild pond full of fish, frogs & newts & we are only a short drive or bus ride to the town centre, seaside, or beautiful countryside.

Could the reason be because Herbie (dog) is a English bull terrier & not everyone likes that breed? he really is the most sweetest boy and just loves cuddles & company although fine being left on his own for a few hours. Karn, Brandon, Herbie & Ted

Hi @Karn and welcome to the forum and to TrustedHousesitters. I have taken a look at your listing, and suggest you take a look at this post: How to create the perfect listing

Having just viewed it quickly, I’d suggest:

  • Change your headline to mention whatever is the key feature of your sit. What you have currently we already know from what is shown when a sitter searches.
  • Change your first photo. Sitters are often drawn in by cute pet photos, so I would put the photo of both pets together as your first photo. By the way, your dog breed is unlikely to be the cause of no applicants.
  • As you’ve shown ‘family friendly’, you should indicate how many beds and the size of the beds, so that families can make sure they are a fit.
  • You need more details of the needs and routines of your pets. For example, is your cat indoors only? How much of a walk (time/distance/frequency) is usual for your dog? How long (hours) can they be left alone, and do they need to then be separated? Sitters need to assess whether they are a fit for your pets’ needs.

Francine,
Volunteer Forum Moderator

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Thanks so much. This was extremely helpful, as were various general suggestions I read in the forums. We got several new applications within a day of making some of the changes and are all set for our sits!

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Hi,
I have used THS a number of times over the years, and had 8 succesful sitters. However, my dates that I have posted for July this year have so far generalted no applicants at all! I have contacted a number of more local sitters directly, with no luck too. Any suggestions welcome. My dates are in July and my listing is in my forum profile.
Many thanks for your help, and suggestions

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Thanks for the feedback @WanderlustInCA and very pleased to hear that the suggestions from our members and team have helped. It really is a time where having the best possible listing does help - where it used to be sitters who needed to work hard on their profiles it’s now owners who are having to make the absolute best of their listings. Hopefully we will be back to a happy balance soon :slight_smile: In the meantime its just great news that in a couple of days you’ve seen a turnaround! Happy travels!!

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Clare,

A few suggestions:

  1. Use the photo of the two dogs together as the primary photo. That will get attention and show sitters immediately that the dogs are small (and therefore easy to care for).
  2. Remove the “sitters need a car” tag if a car is just preferable, rather than essential. If sitters can walk to shops, restaurants, bars, etc - or take public transport - then a car is not essential.
  3. Related to above, list public transport options. that are available.
  4. Minor point - divide your text into paragraphs to make it easier to read.
  5. Change your headline. Only the first few words show on a thumbnail, so the most important words should be first. I would start with “Family-friendly near Cambridge” maybe, or “tiny dogs…” if the dogs aren’t in your primary photo.

Good luck.

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Thank you so much, that’s really helpful.
Will make some changes as soon as I can.
Thanks again

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@ClareA As always, @Lassie gives great advice. I’ll just mention that if you use the photo of the two dogs, the photo will need to be cropped. The site is set to accommodate landscape layout and that one is portrait format. In searches, the top of portrait photos is often not viewable in the actual search. If you don’t have a similar photo to use in landscape layout, I’d crop the bottom from that photo and try it. It’s always best to then view your listing to make sure the photos display as you’d intended. Unfortunately I often see photos where this wasn’t checked. :slightly_frowning_face:

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Clare: You have gotten some great advice already. I would also suggest that you be more specific about how many hours the pups can be left at home. Many sitters want time to explore the area. Also, with a 4 bedroom home, could you offer a guest bedroom as private space for the sitter/sitters? I do understand that the pups like to sleep in the master/main, but many sitters do not like sleeping in the master and prefer to keep that space private for the owners, even if the pups will insist on sleeping in the guest space too. Also, I noticed that your last sitter did not leave you a review, even though you left them a very good review. You may want to contact them and ask them to please complete their review of the sit. Missing reviews are sometimes seen as a red flag that there were problems. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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