Where have all the sitters gone to?

Hi Pommiegran - I just took a peek at your listing to see if there was anything that would give me pause as a sitter.

At the bottom, you mention that Meg will need to be walked a few times a day, and then in parenthesis you put usually 50-90 minutes. Is that per walk or total in a day? Because an hour+ at a time is a huge difference from 20-30 minutes a few times a day, totaling 60-90 minutes.

Though we are pretty active sitters, committing to walking a dog multiple hours a day would make us second guess whether we sit there. If that isn’t the requirement, it could be worth clarifying.

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As a sitter and full-time traveler, I am not interested in applying for sits scheduled 2-3 months in advance no matter how attractive they are even at the best of times. Ideally, I would love to apply for my next sit during the current one - iow, the last-minute sit.

HO:s, on the other hand, like to secure sitters a long time in advance. Much too long. The idea of a last-minute sit makes them panic. Here (IMHO) lies the conflict.

In addition, we are not at the best of times. On the contrary, the times are very insecure. We may have a new lockdown or even war at any given moment. Many people are scared to travel. Planning for months ahead is simply not feasible right now.

I have also noticed that sits planned “well in advance” receive no applications. The applications begin to drop in once the dates draw nearer to being last minute.

Perhaps this is our new reality to which both sitters and HO:s need to adapt :wink:

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Hopefully, you will get responses soon. Because your sit is over Easter break, many sitters are already committed for this time. I did not see any pictures of your guest bedroom, only the master. Having pictures of a welcoming guest space may help you attract sitters. It looks like a very nice home, location and sweet kitty. Good luck in your search!

I don’t agree.
I have posted my listing for 3 weeks in July/August about 6 weeks ago, which was really early and I have more than 10 applications for it. The first ones were sent 1-2 days after posting and there are still more coming in.
However I am going to decide tomorrow or, if the video call we scheduled, isn’t positive, within the next days. I don’t want to keep anybody on hold and when things change they change anyway, no matter if the sit was confirmed early or last minute.

For a sitter it’s easy to say wait with posting. You don’t have problems finding a caretaker for the pets. I would never book a flight without knowing what to do with my cats. The twice a day popping in neighbors were the reason why I joined THS, because it didn’t work and the cats weren’t well.

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Perhaps if you had posted earlier? It doesn’t help now, I know, but I was looking for a sit like yours, New England, right time frame, sounds lovely, but I had to decide by March 16th. Didn’t see your sit by then. I’m scheduling a month and a half out. Sorry.

In my saved-search for London the number of sits shown me per day has jumped from something like 50 to 130 very quickly. Many of the sits are for the coming April holidays, but not all. I’ve been with TH since 2013 and wonder if numbers of new sitters are matching obvious new numbers of owners.

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Well said @anon39388349

As a sitter coming from Australia to the UK in December I’ve booked sits well in advance but my mantra is to be flexible & adaptable (& have refundable airfares). We are living in uncertain times now and have to roll with the punches. If you don’t like that you are right to not use THS and go with the certainty of a kennel or cattery, however your pets may not like that too much. We all have choices…

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Funny, when I joined only half a year ago, the complaints were exactly the other way round: too many sitters for not enough sits (and not only during the pandemic).
Actually I don’t think that there are not enough sitters. I think there are not enough active sitters at the moment, whysoever🤷🏼‍♀️. I am sure they haven’t just disappeared.
I know how disconcerting to not get any applications must be. Hopefully it will work out for you.

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Bummer, I posted one day after that, March 17; maybe next time! I’m not giving up.

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Thanks for your observation and suggestion. I do have a guest room but do not want my sitter to have guests, therefore I thought it best to omit that photo. My sitters use the main bedroom. I thought about the Easter break factor and actually have some flexibility with my dates but there’s no way to indicagte that easily or upfront in the listing. Perhaps that’s a feature THS might want to offer.

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Like many other people have said, I think the number of listings is far more than the number of sitters available. I have been sitting in the US mainly during Covid and where in the past, you might see a few hundred total listings any given day, you now see like 1500 or 1600.

I saw a posting the other day about the cancellation insurance when one of the moderators from the site noted the vast majority of sitters don’t sit more than 30 days out of the year so at any given time, most members aren’t actively looking for assignments.

I imagine there was a spike in sitters joining during Covid because they had the opportunity for remote working ,or other circumstances where they had extended time off. It is very likely many of these people are no longer doing it all or will only do so very infrequently moving forward.

When I was contacted by owners on other sites where there are far fewer sitters, I used to suggest this site because they might get more applicants. Interestingly now, some owners may find better luck on less busy sites where there are fewer options for sitters to choose from but may have a larger sitter pool now. I don’t know how many people made good on their threat to leave the site with the new background check rules, but I’m guessing there are many people who joined other sites ,or already belonged to them but got most of their sits through here, which is no longer an option.

While on the subject, It would be a good idea for the site to make it easier to zero in on broader search areas (central europe, New England, etc…) and being able to exclude countries. The US alone can have hundreds of new listings a day. While many people may be searching very specific locations and time frames, many people are very open with locations and dates and being able to more easily go through all all available listings would be great. I know the map feature can help in this regard but the zooming feature is buggy sometimes.

I recently went through the site on my laptop curious about how many new listings the site may get a day, and I was 44 pages in (12 listings a page) and the listings for ‘everywhere’ were still ‘new.’ I stopped after that but on that given day that means there was at least 528 sits added within a 24 hr. period. This means a listing of just a week could have thousands of assignments in front of it now.

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6 weeks ago travel restrictions began to ease and people were eager to resume their travels. There was optimism in the air. All that has changed 4 weeks ago.

I am a full-time traveler, have traveled through covid, and am traveling now. Surely my experience/observations differ substantially from sitters that do sits locally. This is not “one size fits all” scenario.

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Hear, hear!

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How long is too long? I mean, my travel plans are confirmed (booked and paid for, because it’s a trip postponed from 2020). Obviously I want to confirm a sitter to look after my lovely pets as soon as possible. My trip is two months away - I’ve had no interest from any potential sitters yet in the 10 days since I listed it. I’m exploring other options now because other pet-sitters will be booked up if I leave it to the last minute!

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I never said it was a one fits all scenario…your post actually did :wink:

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I’d put it in the title: “Quiet condo with sweet cat flexible dates” kind of thing.

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Please don’t think I’m criticising because everyone has to do things their own way but I’m afraid a 6 week decision making process is about 5 1/2 weeks too long for us. We tend to move on after a couple of days with no decision.
I’m sure we’re missing out on some great sits…

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No, I don’t think you’re criticizing :blush:
The first applicants weren’t exactly what I was hoping for so I left the listing online. I will decide today between the two, who just applied recently, because they fit much better.

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Hi, my partner and I are having exactly the same problem!! We posted our dates last week for mid April. We usually find a sitter in one or two days but we had NO applications at all and all the sitters I’m inviting are declining.
We live in a lovely old cottage in the Cotswolds and we have two lovely super fluffy cats…
It’s the perfect holiday and yet no one is available.
If we don’t find anyone we’ll have to pay someone to stay, which is going to cost a lot.
This is very annoying as we are paying THS for nothing… :frowning:

Hope you find someone soon and I hope the same for us…

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Ah, I see :relaxed:. That makes perfect sense.

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