Why do some HO post so few photos?

As a sitter seeking some sits, I find it odd that some HO’s post very few, and sometimes no photos of the home and living space.
Doesn’t THS require a certain amount of photos of the property? Friends of mine recently registered as HO’s and she told me she was required to post several photos of the home including the kitchen and yet I see MANY posts with just a photo (or several) only of pets.
As a sitter, it is helpful to know where we’ll be “living” and sleeping.
As one poster reported a very “filthy” home as she stated, it seems having many photos of the entire home AND pets would be more than just helpful, but necessary.
Sadly, I immediately eliminate sits with almost no photos of the living space. Don’t both parties need to feel confident and comfortable with the arrangement?
Perhaps someone can inform me as to the regulations for HO’s posting for sits.
Thanks!

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Plenty of sitters especially first time sitters will accept an ad at face value with only one or two photos. I know I’ve read THS advice to HOs somewhere that as a minimum the HO should post photos of the sitter’s bedroom and other personal areas the sitter can be expected to access during the sit. Like you, without these photos, I bypass the ad. Ditto where the HO includes an excessive amount of street or town shots. I trust Mr Google to provide me with that!

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Hi there @carpediem16 and this is an important topic that has recently been addressed by the product and membership serivce teams. It is now required that any new member joining loads at least five images, and as your friend discovered, are also advised to add pictures, not just of the pets, but also of living spaces so that sitters can see where they will be cooking, sleeping etc.

However there are many thousands of members already signed up who have live listings from before this directive came into place, so it’s now a case of trying to get any older members to also update their listings with more images.

This is being done through emails, blogs and prompts, and of course the community here is great at letting us know by messaging if they spot a listing that has fewer images than would be expected, or if there are no internal pictures. Membership services do contact these owners to advise them to update their listings. Hope that helps.

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Thank you, good to know. I just saw a post today with literally only one photo of the dog. How does one alert THS when we encounter these?

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Ha, I’m with you! I feel that way about excessive photos of the area here and on Airbnb!

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@Vanessa-Admin , Wonderful that these HOs are being asked to update their listings. Where should I send the link to listings that need more photos? As a DM to you? In an email to membership services? Like @carpediem16 and @LTD , I usually pass these listings by. I have taken sits early on that had few pictures. One of them was as expected, badly in need of renovation (but I had a great time), and one was a first timer whose listing had only a pic of the kitchen and an apology that the house was being renovated in the description. In addition, one of the dogs was barking and looked a bit scary in her one photo. I took a chance because it filled a time slot I needed and was in the right location. The house turned out to be absolutely fine and the “ferocious “ dog turned out to be a sweetie who followed me around. I had a bad feeling about another place that had very few pictures. I met the HO in person to scope out the house and the animals and my gut feeling was right on the money. I didn’t take that sit.

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Isn’t it rude to show publicly on this forum some adverts with no kitchen, sitter room photos?
I 've met owners for a next door sit 2 days ago, due next october in St saturnin d’apt.
it was nice. But no indoor photos were shown on the advert The view and the gate let me think it would be lovely…it was.

I don’t think anyone was implying sharing anything publicly. At least, that’s not how I interpreted it. I understood it to mean we should alert THS admin about a particular ad that doesn’t have the necessary photos (how to do this, I’m not yet clear on). Since now 5 are required including the living space for the sitter, she suggested that if they know of ads lacking this they will contact them and ask them to add photos.
At least, that is what I understood.

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Send a DM to Angela or Vanessa with a screenshot of the advertised house sit.

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@mars @carpediem16 as @LTD says and thank you @LTD any listing needing attention please Direct Message the link to either Vanessa or myself and we will flag to Membership Services. Thank you

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I totally agree that as a sitter I definitely want to see where I’d be staying if chosen for the sit. I have on occasion applied for a sit that I was very interested in that only had pictures of the pets. When chosen I then asked the homeowners if they could send me photos of their home and we’ve done a repeat sit there since. I did a sit in another country when after getting the address of the sit I typed in the address just to get an idea of location, etc. and found a real estate listing with photos of the entire home! It wasn’t exactly as appeared in the listing but lovely nevertheless. That’s a tip :slight_smile:

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I, too, rarely consider a sit these days where no inside photos are taken or there’s not one of the pet/s. I’m wondering @Vanessa-Admin or @Angela-CommunityManager whether this topic could be merged so HO read our feedback. I think there are numerous issues raised on the Forum that would benefit if they were posted for both HO and HS to read and discuss.

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I found a slew of listings with inadequate photos just on pages one and two of my search results. Some people value their privacy and others may be embarrassed about the appearance of their homes.

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We have been HO on THS for a few years and when we joined there was no requirement for a certain number or type of photos. Our animals are very important to us so the majority of photos are of them with a couple of the outside area/house. The importance of inside photos never occurred to us then and we will try to add them when we next are seeking a sitter. However it is no easy task! We live in a rural area where mobile signal is very poor. We usually have to go up our back hill to receive a signal - hence we have old mobiles that don’t take photos. Our digital camera has problems up loading to our computer. PLEASE don’t just dismiss an ideal sit because of the lack of inside photos. We could take you on a skype tour of the house.

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Hi. If I see a listing with inadequate photos but multiple reviews from previous sitters where they are complimentary about the home, then I’m not too concerned. However, unfortunately from what we’re seeing on the forum, lack of photos can result in some negative outcomes. The appearance of the home is what it is, but with the photos at least the sitter can decide whether it meets their personal standards.

As for privacy, I’m sure THS can reassure them that even a basic photo of the sitter’s sleeping area and bathroom facilities would be helpful. They are not being asked to take photos as if it was being listed for sale. Homeowners will also benefit as otherwise they may have excellent sitters passing on the opportunity because of the unknown. Sitters have a need and a right to know that the sit will be a good fit for them.

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Hi @Margaret. I appreciate you sharing your situation, as that had not occurred to me. I am with the majority, where I am concerned if I cannot see the basic areas I would use. I don’t need to see the areas I would not be using. Although the pets would be my priority, having one photo of each, giving me a good idea of their size and build, is adequate. I would suggest that you add your reasoning into any future listing, along with your offer of a Skype tour to any who are short-listed. That should satisfy those who are truly interested and take away their concerns.

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Hi @Margaret Margaret and @mars and thanks for sharing your feedback. I understand Margaret about rural areas and how difficult it is with internet connections (we do mostly rural sits :slight_smile: ).

There are also situations where owners want to maintain privacy as Mars points out. In these and other unique cases the suggestion would be, as @Snowbird perfectly describes, to state somewhere close to the start of your listing that you’ll happily show the inside of the property on a video chat or can supply more internal photos on request.

It’s interesting that it has been found that owners with more photos have a better success rate when looking for sitters, and that of course is what we want to help achieve. As @temba mentions it’s a topic that’s come up often in the forum and we have just in the last couple of weeks created a new category so that Owners & Sitters can exchange information and share experiences. We are slowly moving some topics that would benefit from this exchange :slight_smile:

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As a HO it would never have occurred to me not to post pictures from inside the house. How can one expect people to want to sit for you if they don’t get the basic information about where they will spend their time?
I could understand why someone doesn’t want to show pictures from the outside, because with Google street view some properties are easy to find, especially when they are in a rural location, probably even free standing without neighbors. This might seem like a welcome to burglars with the dates posted when they are away.

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For those who pass sits by, we did that originally, but now, if everything else about the sit checks the boxes, we include at the end of our application a request to see photos of the areas the HS will use and offer that this could be handled with a tour during our video (Skype, Zoom, etc.) chat. Though we’re happier when the photos are in the posting, this allows for the different reasons HOs have for not including them (didn’t consider it would be important, newer HOs who are a bit hesitant about the process, or a home so incredible that the HO didn’t want it to be the reason HSs applied–yes, we got that one). Glad to hear that HOs are being guided about this topic now.

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3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Not tech savvy! How to send a direct message