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MindMyHouse News

MindMyHouse News 09 Feburary 2014

by Susan Holtham

Happy new year to all our members 2014? Woah, when did that happen? It certainly snuck up on us here at MindMyHouse. We hope the previous year was good for you and of course, wish all our members the very best for the new year. And yes, we know! This newsletter has been too long […]

Happy new year to all our members

2014? Woah, when did that happen? It certainly snuck up on us here at MindMyHouse. We hope the previous year was good for you and of course, wish all our members the very best for the new year.

And yes, we know! This newsletter has been too long in coming! As the site grows busier, our cherished members require more of our time and it takes us longer to perform those routine tasks that keep the database functioning well.In fact, so busy are we at the help desk that our Facebook page has also been left to drift as well. But we know it’s no excuse.

A cry for help from our Helpdesk

We receive lots of emails everyday from our members on lots of topics. From help with registering to general questions about their account. We are of course happy to help with all of your queries as best we can.

We also get more panicky messages, such as “Are my messages getting through to home owners?” or “Your listings are out of date!”. We are of course happy to help with these types of queries as well, as best we can.

And then we get messages like these ones (details have been changed of course – we respect your privacy). And yes, they do arrive in caps:

Answer: Your email is marking our email as spam and deleting it, without telling you. Alas you will never receive this message, so we are really just whistling in the wind 🙁

Answer: Yes, this site is genuine, believe it or not. Only variable listings may be out of date, if the home owner hasn’t taken the listing down (ignore variable date listings if it’s a bother). And we do remind home owners to always reply, but hey, were not the police! And yes, these assignments do actually exist, believe it or not.

Answer: Hi there, when you registered, there was a typo in your email address! But now that you have written to us with the correct email address, we are happy to send it to you.
(Ed: we get lots of these, like:,,

Answer: “You need to create your alert yourself, sorry but we can’t do it for you.”
(Ed: We used to auto-create an alert but too many members complained, saying that we were spaming them! Ahh, we can’t win.)

Caretaking vs House sitting

Lately we have received quite a few listings on MindMyHouse of the caretaker sort. We try and keep an open mind about …
And many house sitters have been writing in quite a bit upset about this developement. If it’s not for you, then it’s not for you.

Attention all home owners

Dear home owners – we have received a number of emails from distraught house sitter members who were concerned that you weren’t receiving their applications. As we are confident that our internal contact form system is working I could only come to one conclusion: you are not always responding to house sitters’ applications made through our site.

We realise that some of your sitter wanted adverts are deluged with replies from eager house sitter members, which may seem a little overwhelming. However, if someone has taken the time to respond to your sitter wanted advert it is only good etiquette to reply to them in kind. To take care of this, you only need to draft a single polite message to send as a bulk email post out to your list of applicants. Your message could include a ‘thank you’ for their interest and add that you have kept their contact details on file should you need them in the future. Why not? – it’s a nice way to tie up the relationship.

If you don’t want your list of unsuccessful applicants to know your email address, you can send each of them a separate email using our blank contact form system. To access our contact form system, open their original message to you and click on the reply link contained within that message. Simply copy and paste your message to them into the blank contact form provided.

You may find it quicker and easier to send your list of unsuccessful applicants a single email from your personal account. (Keep in mind that these people will then have your email address and may try to contact you again.) When making this single email it is imperative to list these house sitters’ email addresses in the BCC field of your email browser only (so that their addresses are not revealed to each other). Their privacy is as important as yours! Include your own email address in the ‘to’ field (so that it will appear to everyone that you have sent yourself the email).

Attention house sitters – many of you don’t have a sitter available listing!

Four strikes and you are out! How you miss out four times over when you don’t create your own sitter available listing.

I touched on this topic ages ago (2006) but since then, due to changes in the way our site works, it is even more critical to your success as a house sitter that you create your own sitter available listing. People – without your own listing you are whistling in the wind!

Here are the four things that 55% of our house sitter members (that’s the very fabulous proportion of our new and renewing members who are currently advertising their services with us) have over the rest of you:

  • Home owners can contact our advertising members (shall we call them our ‘smart’ members) directly! A full 70% of home owners don’t advertise their assignment but choose to search our database of listings and contact our smart house sitters directly.
  • Home owners can find our smart members on a Google map when they search our site using our Local Sitter Search. This shows them house sitters who live nearest to their property on a map.
  • Home owners can click on a link contained within our smart members’ messages to them and view their photos, contact details and well-written biographies in an instant. So you see, our smart members have a massive advantage over the rest of you when they respond to sitter wanted listings as well!
  • Home owners can save our smart members’ listings to their personal online Shortlist. This is a list of saved favourites that the home owner can access from their account area.

See how our home owners really NEED to be able to read your listing online. To get started on this path to success, first choose ‘Create my listing’ from your account area. Good luck with it!

Attention house sitters – many of you don’t have an email alert!

Our email alert is the first thing (oh, OK, second thing!) you should do after registering with MindMyHouse. This is the best way to catch up with the latest (and up to date) house sitting opportunities.

We often receive emails from our members complaining about those ‘variable dates’ listings and whether they are current or old. But if you receive an email alert, your getting the listings that were posted that day. Fresh of the press!

Don’t forget to add our email address ‘’ to your list of email contacts, to prevent your email software from marking your email alerts as spam.

And for the record, all of our listings are current. We don’t make it a practice to publish house sitting listings that are out of date.

Posted in: MindMyHouse News
Susan Holtham

About the author: Susan Holtham

The editor at MindMyHouse is a fun gal, intrepid traveller (in a former life), holder of three passports and enthusiastic house sitter. A book editor by trade, she did a three-year stint with Lonely Planet Publications at the start of her career. During her time at LP she shepherded many titles through the production process. Baaaa-aaaa-aaaaaa! Now that two gorgeous little girls call her mummy she's a very busy woman tending to their needs and to the occasional cries for help from among our 5000+ membership. No really, she's always keen to help!