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Help with searching

The map is wrong

We are using the latest map technology to create maps to accompany our  listings. If there is an issue with your map not showing the right place, try a less specific address. For example, if your house is at "5 Johnsville Road, Wellington, New Zealand" and nothing comes up, try just searching for "Johnsville, Wellington, New Zealand" instead.

It may also be that the problem is not at your end - a map may have disappeared briefly due to a glitch in our geocoding service provider. Check in again a bit later to see whether it has been restored to its former glory on the site, or send us an email at help@mindmyhouse.com.

How do I apply for house sitting assignments on your site?

Only registered house sitter members can contact home owners in response to their sitter wanted listings on our site. Once you've logged into your house sitter account area, search for and click on the full view of the sitter wanted listing you would like to respond to. Choose the 'contact owner now' button to be taken to the blank contact form. Type or copy and paste your application letter into this form. This could be your one chance to convince a home owner that you're the right house sitter for the job so give it your best shot! (Avoid the common pitfalls of telling the home owner too much - or too little - about yourself.) It's a good idea to write your application letter in a word processing program before pasting it into the contact form. If you type directly into the contact form you run the risk of your session timing out after 20 minutes and you may lose all your hard work! Once you have pressed the 'send' button, the home owner will automatically receive an email at their private email address with your message. If you have your own sitter available listing on MindMyHouse (highly recommended), it will automatically be included in the message along with your contact details, so you don't need to add any extra information to your application letter. Feel free to include a URL link to your online photograph or personal homepage in your application. The onus is on the home owner to make contact with you by any of the ways that you've specified. Good luck!

What is an email alert? How I create/delete/edit my email alert?

Email alerts are an excellent way to be instantly notified (via email) that an listing has been posted to our site. If you set up your own email alert you'll get an email informing you when any new listings are posted in our database that match all of the search terms you used to create the alert (for example, United States, Washington DC).

Creating an alert
To set up an alert, first you need to do a search. We usually recommend that you don't use any keywords and just restrict your search to the country your interested in. Then once you've got some results, click the 'Save this search' link beneath the search box. 

Note that if you want to be informed of house sitting assignments in six countries worldwide you'll need to set up an alert for each of these countries. 

When your email alert arrives in your inbox, it will display a short version of the matching listing and contain a link back to the long version on the site. Note: to receive alerts in your email inbox, you need to confirm your email address. Don't worry, you only need to do this once. You should have received an email with the confirmation link when you setup your first email alert. If you can't see it, check your email spam folder. If you need to resend it, you can do that from the main alerts summary page.

Important note: please add help@mindmyhouse.com to your list of contacts in your email account - this greatly helps to combat spam and ensure that your messages don't get lost.

To view/edit your current alerts Click the Sitter or Owner tab from the main menu to navigate to your home page. Then click on the 'Email alerts' title to see a suumary of all your alerts. 

You can edit each alert (for example, you can change the frequency from daily to weekly) by clicking on the edit link. Make your changes then click 'Save'. Clicking on 'Delete' will remove the alert altogether.

To temporarily stop the alert from sending you daily or weekly emails, you can click on 'Pause' to pause the alert. No emails will be sent while the alert is paused. To restart the emails, click 'Restart'. 

Why can I see my sitter available listing in my account area but I can't see it in the search results?

There are two possible reasons for this. You may have inadvertently hidden your listing or we may have hidden your listing for you because the dates you listed in your sitter available listing had expired.

A week before your availability dates expire we will have sent you an email. This email asked that you either set your availability dates into the future or that you hide your listing from public view (you can do this from your account area) until you would like to advertise your house sitting services again. If you didn't act on this reminder, we will have hidden your listing from view for you.

If this happens and you would like to amend your availability dates after they've expired, simply edit your listing from your account area, taking care to choose dates that are current. To bring your listing back into public view choose the 'Save and publish' option from your listing.

My favourites/shortlist seems to be getting shorter. Where have all my saved listings gone?

If a member has deleted their account, their listing will be automatically hidden and removed from your shortlist. We've put this system in place to keep your shortlist of listings completely up-to-date.

What is RSS?

RSS - or 'Really Simple Syndication' - is an alternative means of accessing the vast amount of information that now exists on the web. Instead of the user browsing websites for information of interest, the information is sent directly to the user. You need to have an 'RSS reader' (this is just some software or another webpage (like Flipboard) to access this information. This is a program which collects raw content from the MindMyHouse website and displays it for you as links to the newest and latest listings. These are updated automatically, so as soon as you use this feature, you are seeing the latest listings from us.

Our RSS feeds are available as a link on our search pages. Enjoy!

Why do some of the sitter wanted listings only have the words ‘variable dates’ and other have a set of actual dates?

In response to feedback from our members we have given home owners a way to advertise for house sitters on our site without committing to a fixed set of dates. We call this a 'variable dates' listing and this can run for 30 days, before being hidden.

Home owners who make use of this site feature need to include some information in their listing about the sorts of occasions and time periods they may need the services of a house sitter.

Home owners please note, without a final fixed date for your assignment, your listing will be automatically hidden by our system after 30 days. The onus is on you to manage your listing.

Where is my listing exactly? Does it have its own website address (URL)? Can I use this URL elsewhere?

Your listing, once pubished, has its own unique web address (or URL) so you can use it anywhere.

For house sitters – consider your sitter available listing your personal web page on our site. If you are contributing to forums you can use your web page's URL as part of your biographical information so that other people can click on it and see your listing. Or you could include the URL as part of your personalized email tagline or print it out on a business card. Why not? It's a good way to get your sitter available listing out there! Once you have logged into your account area on our site, you can find the unique URL of your listing easily by clicking on 'Edit my listing'. Your web page address should look like this (but with a different number instead of the zeros):

http://www.mindmyhouse.com/owners/sitter_listing/000/

If you paste your unique URL into the address field of your web browser you will immediately see your sitter available listing as it appears on our website. Note that your name and other contact details have been hidden behind a password-protected area on our site so this information is not viewable in this version of your listing.

You can also choose to have your listing hidden from Google searches. Just look for the 'Hide from Google' checkbox on the 'Edit my listing' page, under the 'Miscellaneous' heading.

Why are there so few sitter wanted listings on your site?

A full 67% of our home owner members don't advertise their house sitting assignment. Instead, they search of our sitter available listings and contact house sitters directly. If you create your own listing on our site, there's every chance they could contact you!

How do you decide who goes at the top of your search results?

Search results are, by default, ordered randomly. We felt that this was the fairest way to present our listings to members. However, when we say 'random', it is randomly set on a per session basis. This means that if you do a search, it will be randomly ordered the first time you visit the site but then fixed for the duration of your session. If you come back on another day and do the same search, you will see a different set of results, or rather the same results, but ordered differently.

Also, there is the option for members to order listings by date.

For sitters searching for assignments
Look for a 'Sort' dropdown menu under the keyword search that members can use to sort by date submitted, or the start date.

For owners searching for sitters
Look for a checkbox under the keyword search that members can tick to display the latest listings.

How do I search for the house sitters that normally live closest to me?

To search for a house sitter that lives near to you, select the "Map (sitters who live nearby) button on the main search page. Simply select your country (and optionally add a city or town) with a distance from your house. You should then see a map with lots of icons representing house sitters who live nearest to the area you are searching for.

These icons contain links to house sitters' listings. You will need to login to your account area to access this feature. Please note that if you make a search for house sitters using this search function you will be searching from a much smaller pool of available house sitters than the large number that are currently advertising their services with us. This is because many house sitters do not want to house sit in their local area or they may not want their usual town/city/area of residence to be shown on a map, and thus they would not appear in this kind of search.

To improve your chances of finding a great house sitter in time for your departure it's a really good idea to search our database using the main search method (ie. List all sitters). That way you'll be able to add local house sitters to your Shortlist of potential candidates as well as those from further afield who have said they would like to house sit in your area.