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Can I say that this is our first foray into house sitting and your Website and any initial anxieties have been completely dispelled. The site is very intuitive and easy to use and provides a perfect forum for the two sides of house owners and sitters to interact. All extremely useful. Chris and Jean - Northamptonshire

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We have our first 'sit' in Sth Kensington, our first ever. As we had hoped that a London 'sit' might come up, again we are very pleased. Joan & Colin

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Endorsements: Shine!


There are many times you just want to say "This person is fantastic!". There are also times you want OTHERS to know just how wonderful YOU are.

So we've added a shiny new feature - "Endorsements".

Actually, this feature is an overhaul of the “Reviews” feature that we’ve had for a while - but we’ve made it much simpler and clearer. We've also folded in a couple of other upgrades we’ve been planning for a while; “Confirmed Sits” and 2-way endorsements (i.e. sitters can now endorse owners as well as owners endorsing sitters).

Endorsements

Like the reviews that this feature replaces, you are able to “endorse” another member with whom you have shared a great house sitting experience. The endorsement, once approved by the recipient, can be published on their profile page; adding depth, interest and credibility.

The endorsement appears with the first name of the endorser (and the suburb if they are a house owner) but provides no link to the endorser or any way to contact them.

And it goes both ways now; house sitters can now provide endorsements for the house owners as well, which we think is only fair. We know that there are plenty of sitters who would love to be able to recommend a house owner.

It is a great way to reward wonderful members - and there are lots of THEM . It should also make selecting sitters (or houses) a little easier, providing extra insight and confidence.

Simpler

To send an endorsement, or request one, the process is much simpler than it was for the reviews:

  • Make sure the other member is listed in your “Confirmed Sits” (this is a new feature).
  • Send / Request an endorsement.

Simple! And you can send and receive endorsements for any sit that was initiated through the messaging system, even if it was months ago (providing the other member is still an active member).

Clearer

Calling these "endorsements" also clears up a bit of ambiguity. With reviews, there is often an expectation that it is matched to a “rating”, that it is unmoderated, and that it allows negative reviews to be published - and none of these things are true about our implementation.

We believe that endorsements add a lot of value to this particular site. They certainly work well for sites like LinkedIn® providing some insight into a person’s strengths and adding considerable credibility to their profile.

As a side note, we have chosen endorsements in preference to a ratings system on this site as we don’t think ratings are a great fit (click here for more on our thoughts on ratings in our FAQs).

Confirmed Sits

We've added this new feature to create a robust logical structure for the Endorsements. The Confirmed Sits page displays every sit that you've personally confirmed, and creates the starting point for any endorsement i.e. you can only endorse people that you’ve either sat for, or had sitting for you.

The confirmed sits are chosen from the conversations in your “My Messages” section. Note that there is no implicit connection between the owner’s account and the sitter’s e.g. confirming a sit on one account does not change anything on the other member’s account.

New button: Confirm and De-activate

This button is a nice new addition for House Owners. Clicking the button does a number of things all at once:

  • It allows the house owner to “Confirm” a house sitter.
  • It automatically gives the owner the option to deactivate their House Ad.
  • It allows the house owner to send a “sitter found” email to all sitters they are currently in conversation with regarding the sit. This will be either a pro-forma response or personally typed.

Existing reviews

For anyone that already has "Reviews" on their profile, nothing really changes, except that the process is now a lot easier. All of the reviews that were already in your account will be transferred across and be called "endorsements".

Give it a go

If you’ve had a great house sitting experience, send an Endorsement and share the love.

Happy house-sitting!

 
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*FREE: House sitting is usually free, for both sitter and house owner, although this is completely up to the individuals. There are usually some costs that need to be covered by either the sitter or the house owner e.g. electricity, phone usage, vet fees etc. How these costs are handled needs to be agreed before the sit begins. House sitters pay a single annual membership fee, while house owners pay nothing to advertise their house or to contact sitters.