Where have all the sitters gone to?

Having same issues- 3 applications, one dropped off radar, 2 had other offers whilst corresponding, so after a boost I am trying sitter invitations - Are the sitters ‘dates available’ highlighted (there is a pale green dot on the calander saying available dates) or just crossed out when not. Plus the filter location - is that where they live or where they want to sit? Looks like their home which is not as useful.
Also can we have some real feedback on these trends from THS rather than- ‘there are lots of lovely sitters waiting’- I have been doing this a long time without issues pre-covid!. I am away jubilee weekend which may not help but dorset is lovely in June.

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Unfortunately, the availability calendar is so user-unfriendly that many sitters don’t update it.

I hope you find someone

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We have used TH with great success in the past and now find that we get very few people contacting us…We have a comfortable home, near great parks and the beach and two fairly laid back border collies…Kiwi’s like us so they’re pretty chilled.
We hope someone will come forward soon and totally agree with the availability calendar, when we contact people they say they are not available, which is NOT reflected on their profile .

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Hi @fijabee and welcome to the forum. The dates with a black line across means that the sitter is booked for a THS sit. Once a sit is confirmed, that’s automatically marked by THS, not by the sitter or homeowner. The rest of the calendar is not used consistently. If you see sitters who have green marked, then you know they have marked their availability. The calendar automatically defaults to white, so those that are all white throughout may just be that the sitters doesn’t keep their calendar current.

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Welcome, Kiwis!

Sorry to say, I’m on of those folks that also can’t work with the current calendar availability setup.

The way I see it: if I don’t mark myself as available, I’ll never get an invite, and that’s logical.

But, since the calendar isn’t integrated with any 3rd party calendar, and stands alone, I have to go the illogical route: I just mark myself as “YES: available” from today until the end of time 1, so that if someone wants to send an invite, I’ll show up, and then I can decide if I am able to fit that into my schedule or not.

Everyone has their own criteria for accepting an offer, based on their own needs/expenses/availability.

For me, I will accept any 2 offer if it is local and I’m not otherwise booked!

Beyond that, it gets so complicated, I made my own spreadsheet so I can quickly determine if it’s ‘worth it’. For example, if it’s less than 4 days on a sit, then it has to be less than 2 hours drive to get there. So, I’ll drive to Chattanooga for 5 days but not to Knoxville. That would have to be 8+ days. Math!

1 Or two years from now whichever comes first :laughing:

2 With stipulations, like, I’m not sleeping in a damp dungeon (again), and each creature must have between 0 and 4 legs.

* I hope y’all are lighthearted enough to be entertained! :slight_smile:

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Does anyone else have messages that go unanswered? I’ve reached out to nearly 40 local sitters. Some have responded to let me know they are not willing or able to sit for me. A larger portion of those messages are left “unread”. A small few are “read” but with no response. Does anyone else have that same experience? I love the concept of this website, but I’m having the most difficult time securing a sitter.

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Hi Kristen,

I checked out your listing and have a few suggestions if you’re open to them.

You have really fabulous pictures of Ralphie, but all the “home” photos such as your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are all taken from weird angles and/or with the lights off, so they are not very enticing. Remember, taking care of Ralphie is part of the deal, but having a comfortable place to stay is the other part. If people aren’t enticed by your listing, they will likely pass it up.

Second, you start your listing off by saying you’ve joined the site because Ralphie has anxiety. There are ways to get your message across, but it a better light. For example, “I travel from time to time for XYZ reason and my sweet playful boy Ralphie really enjoys human companionship and doesn’t like to be alone.”

Look through your listing and see if there are any areas in which you can still tell the truth, but with a positive spin as you point out many of his negative flaws. Which, I understand you want to make sitters fully aware of the situation, but there needs to be a balance to attract sitters.

Another suggestion would be to look at other listings for inspiration on how you could word your listing. I do that from time to time looking at other sitters profiles to see what kind of information they are sharing and how they describe themselves.

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Ive had a similar experience, although I’ve ‘only’ contacted 8 sitters so far.

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I disagree also…I’m a planner. Especially if we want several sits in the same area. I don’t think 3-4 months ahead is unreasonable, especially for longer sits, which we like. And, if I were a HO I would want that part of my trip wrapped up and not have to worry about it again. If they are short weekend sits, of course we understand that much time is not necessary.

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Appreciate all that feedback! Sounds like you haven’t had any issues with people declining your invitations or not responding. So there’s hope. I’ll definitely reword the anxiety sentence. I’m someone who wants straight talk and I get turned off when people dance around a topic, but I can see why others may need that. I can also add more photos. The camera on my phone isn’t great and those were the best images that came through, even when the lights were on. I will add “angle” shots to accompany the straight-on shots I currently have posted. Perhaps I’ll borrow someone else’s phone to get a better outcome, too.

Thanks again for the suggestions,
Kristen

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I think your home photos are OK, but if you want to brighten them, there is probably a filter on your phone to increase exposure.

I’m a cat lover, but don’t need 15 photos of the same creature (although I know it is hard to delete any!)

Remember that your headline is a marketing tool, and is one of the first things
that sitters see when browsing listings. Make it appealing, and don’t waste words - e.g. no need to say “sitter needed”. We know you need a sitter. Maybe change it to “Young, loving cat in trendy, walkable, area” or whatever applies. Sitters will just see the first 7 words or so in a thumbnail, so make those words count.

Finally - have you tried canned pumpkin in his food for loose stools?

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Great advice! Thank you so much.

I did try pumpkin, but he doesn’t like it. I do use a pumpkin product called “firm up” that works a bit. So far, pate in small amounts seems to be working the best. Appreciate the suggestion!

We’ve been on a free house sitters site for a few years and never had any problems getting someone before. Sadly, our sitter that was booked months ago has now cancelled on us and with one month to go, we have no one applying (this is our first listing on Trusted). We’ve posted pictures, written a description but had no applicants.
Any advice would be gratefully received as we have a nice, clean home with two easy going felines to look after… what more can I do???
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Janine

Hello @meekmullett and welcome to the forum. It’s good to add a link to your listing in your forum username. I’ll add the instructions next:

adding a link to your listing in your forum username

This will allow potential sitters to view it, but also for forum members to give constructive feedback. Sometimes a simple tweak can make all the difference. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you’d prefer not to do that for some reason, add the location (city/country) as shown on your listing, and the date range.

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Just want to add – as a sitter, I prefer the guest room over the main bedroom. I do sleep in the main bedroom if necessary, of course, as not everyone has two available rooms . . . but given the choice, I go for the guest room every time, even if it’s modest by comparison.

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Homeowners, please be careful here. There’s a huge difference between a pet preferring companionship to being alone (don’t they all?), and genuine anxiety (read: separation anxiety). If your pet suffers from the latter, please don’t try to whitewash it in order to attract sitters - that’s not fair to the pet or the sitter. Genuine separation anxiety needs experience to deal with so please be honest.

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Hello @fijabee and welcome to the community. @Snowbird has answered your query about the calendar below, but to answer your other question, the Sitter Search is based on the members location - where they live/registered when joining the platform.

Sitters often want to travel overseas to a sit and are open to all sorts of destinations, so please don’t let that stop you from reaching out. Some of our own best sits have been as a result of someone coming to us with an opportunity in a country we hadn’t been considering at that time. Obviously the pandemic put some restriction on the flexibility we used to enjoy, but there’s a strong rebound now in overseas sits again where restrictions have eased.

I do understand your frustration, this past 2 years has thrown multiple challenges at both owners and sitters, as well as for TrustedHousesitters as a business trying to maintain a balanced ratio throughout all the twists and turns of the pandemic.

We have just posted a new topic that both feeds back about the current situation with the sitter/owner ratios, along with some tips that might help while this temporary imbalance stabilizes.

All the best, Vanessa and the team

Thanks- it would be more useful perhaps when searching sitters to be able to search their desired location- most seem to have the whole list!
regards Fiona

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Hi, we are in the same situation, we normally get quite a few replies, but at the moment, not received a single response. I know my dates are still a long time away, but I also need to organise a plan B if I can’t get sitters.

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ADMIN UPDATE - To address the concerns of members on this thread, we’ve opened a new topic which answers the questions around “Where have all the sitters gone?”

You’ll also find 10 valuable tips to help you as an owner if you are finding less sitters than usual applying to your sit listing. We encourage you to head over to this thread and have a read… sometimes it only takes a small adjustment to make a big difference to the outcome :slight_smile:

Here’s the link:

Thank-you to everyone who has contributed and given their valuable feedback.

All the best
Vanessa and the team

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