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About my Listing

How do I add references to my listing?

To add references to your listings, you first need to upload you reference  to a third party site first as a PDF document eg.Dropbox, OneDrive, CloudMe- all of these services are free :). 

 Once you have uploaded you reference/s:

  1. Login to our account
  2. Go to the 'Edit my listing' page
  3. Scroll down to the 'References' section
  4. Add the URL for your PDF

A 'URL' is the link to the document. You can get that from wherever you uploaded the document, usually via a 'Share' button or function. We also advise you convert any Word documents to the PDF format, as many people may not have the Microsoft Word application installed.

Also, please note that there is a limit of five URLs.

Dropbox

To share a document, or folder via Dropbox:

  1. Login to Dropbox
  2. Upload your file
  3. Click on the 'Share' button to the right of your document
  4. Click on the 'Create a link' text
  5. Click the 'Copy link' text
  6. Navigate back to your MindMyHouse account
  7. In the References box, paste the URL you just copied into the References URL field.
  8. Click the 'Plus' icon if you want to add more URLs
  9. Save your listing

Microsoft OneDrive

To share a document, or folder via OneDrive:

  1. Login to OneDrive
  2. Upload your file
  3. Click on the file to view the file
  4. Click the 'Share' button (top left)
  5. Click the 'Get a link' button
  6. Click on the 'Copy' button to copy the URL
  7. Navigate back to your MindMyHouse account
  8. In the References box, paste the URL you just copied into the References URL field.
  9. Click the 'Plus' icon if you want to add more URLs
  10. Save your listing

CloudMe

To share a document, or folder via CloudMe:

  1. Login to CloudMe
  2. Upload your file
  3. Click on the file to select the file
  4. Click the 'Share' button
  5. Click the 'Copy link' button
  6. Navigate back to your MindMyHouse account
  7. In the References box, paste the URL you just copied into the References URL field.
  8. Click the 'Plus' icon if you want to add more URLs
  9. Save your listing

How do I request a testimonial

To request a testimonial/review from another member, following the steps below:

  • Make sure you are logged in to the site
  • Go the 'My testimonials > Request testimonial' section from your dashboard and enter the persons' first and last names into the search form
  • Click the 'Request testimonial' button to send your request

An email will go to the home owner/house sitter, notifying them that you have requested a testimonial from them. You will be emailed back when they write it. If you haven't heard back from them after a few days, it may be that they have ignored your request.

How do I add a testimonial/review?

To add your own testimonial/review for a home owner or house sitter, following the steps below:

  • Make sure you are logged in to the site
  • Go the 'My testimonials > Write testimonial' section from your dashboard and find them via the search form
  • Fill out the form and click the 'Add testimonial' button to submit it

An email will go to the person, notifying them that you have written a testimonial for them, which they have to approve.

Why is my listing still waiting for approval?

Approvals for home owner listigns should only take about 24 hours. If it is taking longer than that, we apologise for the delay. We have found that it's necessary to have a manual check in place, in case someone posts something that isn't appropriate for our service.

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.

Can I charge for my house and pet sitting services?

There are hundreds of other websites, magazines, classifieds and online directories where house and pet sitters can advertise their commercial services. Here at MindMyHouse.com we're trying to do something different by providing a forum for home owners and house sitters to meet for the free exchange of goods (accommodation) with services (house and pet sitting). Our house sitter members should be aware that every home owner they may contact through our site will be expecting their house and pet sitting services for free. However, home owners and house sitters are free to negotiate the exchange of money as suits their particular house sitting assignments. If you require fees for your house sitting services please state this clearly in your listing and in your first contact with the home owner.

Why can't I save my listing? I was trying to edit my listing but got kicked off the 'edit my listing' page and re-directed to the login page.

Any problems saving changes to your listing or your details will probably be due to your sessions 'timing out'. Every time you login to MindMyHouse you begin what's known in computer jargon as a 'session'. The computer starts a clock every time you click on a page or link; if forty minutes passes since your last mouse click, the computer automatically logs you out of that session. Annoying we know! This is done as part of our security protocol - if the computer thinks you have abandoned it, your session 'times out' and no one is able to access your password-protected account areas and information. Next time you login to edit or create your listing simply click on different parts of the site every so often and you'll be fine! If you still cannot save your listing or save changes to your listing or your details don't despair! We can make the changes or paste your information directly into the template for you. Please contact us directly at help@mindmyhouse.com or contact us via our support form.

I've given up trying to create and save my listing. Can I send you my information by email?

If you're having trouble creating and saving your listing using our online system don't despair! We are committed to providing the highest level of customer support to you our valued members. If you would like to send us your information by email we can paste your listing into the template for you. Send an email to us directly at help@mindmyhouse.com or contact us via our support form.

You'll need to provide all the information that you can see on the 'Edit my listing' page, for each of the fields.

Once you've sent your email to us your listing will be viewable (and searchable) online within 24 hours.

Do I need to provide references/testimonials to the home owner?

Many home owners are cautious about allowing house sitters move into their homes without checking their references/testimonials first. It is strongly recommended that you do provide references/testimonials. These can be from your estate agent or a former or current landlord. They could also be from previous satisfied home owners who have used and enjoyed your house sitting services. Basically the home owner just wants to have some idea of who you are to reassure them that you're not wanted in three states! Also, home owners can easily see which house sitters have references by doing a simple search, so it's a good idea to have references/testimonials to improve your chances of being contacted.

How do I organise a police background check on myself to show home owners?

To give home owners extra reassurance that you're not a member of the criminal fraternity, it's a good idea to commission a copy of your very own police check, or in other words, a statement from a government authority that proves your "lack of a criminal record". Having this available shows home owners that you're serious about presenting yourself as responsible and trustworthy and may put you ahead of the competition.

The process of commissioning a police check (known variously as a 'criminal record check' in Canada and a 'police certificate' in New Zealand) varies but is a fairly straightforward and inexpensive process.

Your criminal record check should be current (preferably less than one year old).

Can I suspend my sitter available listing if I don't want to be contacted by home owners for a time?

If you don't want your sitter available listing to be viewable online for a time, you can hide it from view by choosing 'Hide my listing' from the 'Edit my listing' option in your account area. However, please note that many home owners search our database for house sitters well in advance of the beginning of their house sitting assignment. If you keep your availability dates set into the future and your listing viewable online you increase your chances of securing future house sitting assignments.

How do I create, edit and delete my listing? Do I have to ask MindMyHouse to do it for me?

Unlike on some of our competitors' sites, our members have complete control over when and how their listings are viewed. Once you've logged into your personal member account area you can choose to create, edit, delete, hide or show your listing at any time by accessing "Edit my listing" from your account homepage. If you don't want to advertise your services or your assignment for a time we recommend you simply choose the 'hide' button at the top of your listing so that it is saved and can be 'shown' again when you next require it. While you don't need to ask us to create, edit or delete your listings for you, we're always on hand for advice if you need it.

How do I upload photographs to my listing?

Adding photos to your photo is now a snap! Sorry, bad pun. First, make sure you are logged in. Then click on the "Edit my listing" link from your Dashboard. If you haven't created your listing yet, it will be created for you.

On the edit listing page, you first need to go to 'Step 2 - Photos'. Once there, click the blue 'Upload' or 'Upload/edit photos' button. This will open our image editor. Then you can drop your pics anywhere to upload, or click the 'Select photos' button to choose images to upload. Works on mobile phones too!

Be patient – it may take a while to upload. When your done, select the 'Return to my listing' link and viola! 

Need more details?

You can choose which image to feature on the search results and as the main image in your listing. To do this, click the blue 'Upload/edit photos' button again from your listing, then click the 'star' icon on the thumbnail.

To delete an image, same as above, but click on the 'bin' or 'garbage can' icon instead.

You can also crop your image when it first get's uploaded (but not after, sorry). Please note that your image may appear differently, depending on whether it's viewed on a mobile device, tablet or desktop.

You can upload any image as long as it's a JPEG, PNG or GIF formatted image. For the technical minded, it needs to be less than 8Mb, or less than 4000 pixels across. Captions can be added when you upload an image, or click the 'edit' link under the thumbnail to bring up the caption edit screen.

If your having problems uploading a photo, please check the following in order to help resolve the problem:

1. Logout of MindMyHouse and login again.

2. Refresh your web browser by clicking on the 'Refresh' button in your web browser toolbar

3. Check that your image isn't too large

4. Check that your image has the correct filename (eg. jpg).

5. Ensure you have JavaScript enabled

6. If that doesn't work, try another web browser, or your phone (yes, we've tested this and it works nicely via your phone).

You are also welcome to send us your images as attachments to help@mindmyhouse.com. We can then try to upload your photos to your listing for you.

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.

For sitters: How do I customize my sitter available listing so that the maximum number of home owners find it?

When home owners search our database for house sitters they do so by choosing a country name and entering place names in up to two additional fields (city/town, region/state) in a search form. They may also narrow their search still further by typing one or more keywords into the form. If you want to be found by the largest number of home owners keep in mind the following tips when listing area names in your sitter available listing.

  • Keywords: These are the wildcards of the searching process. By adding one or more keywords to their search form home owners are considerably reducing the number of sitter available listings that they see. Our search engine will only find and display those listings that contain a match with the home owner's search terms. You can make searching by keyword your friend by trying to anticipate what terms home owners will be looking for and adding them to your listing where relevant. Popular keywords may include: non smoking, drivers lisence, dog lover, cat lover, gardener, companion, retired couple, veterinarian, security deposit, police check etc.
  • Region: We have several options to assist home owners when they search for house sitters by region. First, they can select a country to restrict their search to. This corresponds to the countries that you have selected to house sit in (ie. via your listing). Home owners can also search for house sitters who live near to them. This will try to find house sitters who live near them and  corresponds to the 'Do you also want to sit locally' option that you see on your 'Edit my listing' page (step 7). We recommend that you opt in to this search to improve your chances at being selected for a house sitting assignment.
  • Whole names: Using acronyms, abbreviations and local lingo in your sitter available listing will work just fine if everyone else is on your wavelength (using exact matches of your terms in their searches). However, many home owners may not be familiar, so please spell out any acronyms or abbreviations.

 

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.

How do I make myself available for house sitting in my local area?

If you are interested in house sitting in your local area, it's a really good idea to opt in to our new Local Sitter Search. This is a way of searching our site which allows home owners to see which of our house sitters normally live closest to them on a map (previously home owners could only see which country our house sitters normally lived in). To appear in our Local Sitter Search you need to create your own sitter available listing (if you haven't done so already) and choose the 'Local Sitter Search' option.

Please note that to appear on the right part of the relevant Search by location map you will need to ensure that you have filled out the address fields in your contact details correctly. For the database to include you on the right map, it is imperative that your address correct and that you type the name of your town/city into the town/city field of your registration form and not the name of your suburb! Note that your location on the map will only be shown to the nearest suburb. We will never reveal your street address or postcode!

Can I write my listing in a language other than English?

Please feel free to write your listing in as many languages as you want to. We just ask that you try your best to include an English version of your listing as well. We don't mean to be English-centric but in order to have a global service that is accessible to the greatest number of users we need to have a common language in use on the site. Plus, if you include an English-language version of your listing you'll have a great many more users reading your listing (and replying to it!). If you're not confident about your written English, email our editor an English-language version of your listing (you could put your text through Google's language translator at the following URL: http://www.google.co.uk/language_tools?hl=en to come up with a rough version in English). I'll do my best to correct your text for you while retaining the original meaning of your words. It's all part of the service!

I'm really interested in home exchanging. Should I say this in my sitter available listing?

Home exchanging, like house sitting worldwide, is a new(ish) global phenomena that has taken off with the advent of the Internet. Many websites now cater specifically for those who want to swap their homes (temporarily) with others around the planet. Here at MindMyHouse, we're focused on creating the world's best resource on all things house sitting. Of course, it doesn't hurt to mention your interest in home exchanging in your listing but if you are at all curious about home exchanging we recommend visiting our partners at http://www.digsville.com. Helen Bergstein of the US-based website Digsville is an expert on the subject of home exchanging worldwide. She has created a well-respected home exchanging website that undoubtedly has all the information you are looking for. It's free to search the listings on Digsville and free to contact home owners with a home exchange proposition. Note however, that home exchanging is all about mutuality, so to be successful as a home swapper it's a good idea to invest in Digsville's annual subscription (MindMyHouse members get a discount on a full membership package) and create your own online member profile to showcase your home and location (with photos of course!).

How do I write a good –house sitter available' listing?

Having gone to the effort and (maybe) the expense of registering with MindMyHouse.com as a house sitter member, consider these simple guidelines to help you create the kind of fabulous 'sitter available' listing that you deserve to have and that will attract home owners to you.

  1. Don't shortchange yourself. Less is not more when it comes to advertising your house sitting services. Home owners are busy people, but they are prepared to give you all the time that it takes to read your listing. So take more than a moment to craft an listing of around 150 words that really sells your house sitting services. Note that the first 400 characters of your blurb will be shown in the search results so start with your best stuff.
  2. Your title is your banner. Your title functions as the banner for your listing and thus needs to sum up what your listing is all about in a memorable kind of way. This may be your only chance to tempt someone to click onto your listing to read your lovingly crafted text so make it a good one!
  3. Why do you want to house sit? 'All the world is a stage' or so the saying goes. In your listing try and summarise the kind of person you are, provide a brief history of who you are, and, most importantly, tell home owners WHY you are seeking house sitting positions. It is never enough to say 'contact me for more information'. They won't.
  4. Are you experienced? Be honest. Tell home owners about how much previous experience of house sitting you have and if you do have referees, reassure them that they can be contacted to confirm your experience and trustworthiness.
  5. What do you have to offer home owners? Rack your brain to think of what attributes you may have to offer a home owner. You may be a dog lover who has done a pet first aid course, you may have an 'at home' lifestyle feeding a young baby or writing a novel, you may be a keen organic gardener or you may be a locksmith who can offer the home owner free advice on home security. Anything that encourages home owners to add you to their shortlist of potential house sitters should be included in your listing.
  6. You're trustworthy, right? You need to reassure home owners that their most valuable assets will be safe in your hands. It doesn't hurt to say just how responsible, mature and trustworthy you are.
  7. Punctuation, spelling, grammar. Yes, boring I know, but crucial in giving a good first impression (this is the only impression you have to give) to make it onto home owners' shortlists of house sitting candidates. Style is just as important as content so please follow the conventions of good written English. Spell check your listing in Word before pasting it into the site. Only use complete sentences in your listing. Use commas and full stops where required. Don't use any slang or abbreviations. A single 100-word sentence full of ellipses ...and unusual 'text talk' abbreviations will be passed over by every home owner from Anchorage to Zagreb.
  8. How's your English? If English isn't your first language or if writing is not your strongest skill, then ask someone more skilled at writing in English to help you with your listing. As long as it's factual and correct, there's no such thing as cheating when composing your sitter available listing, honest.
  9. Do you have a desirable address? Make sure that your email address gives home owners the right impression. If it's rude or crude (such as these gems: 'slackarse@lycos.com.au', 'el.loco.albino@shrooms.co.sa', 'lusciouslucy@paradise.co.nz') or if it includes your name and place of work you may want to use a more neutral address. A suitable email address both conveys what a respectable person you are and can preserve your anonymity for as long as you want it to.
  10. Maximise your chances of being found. Our search engine searches the database of sitter available listings in structured ways (trying to match ALL THE TERMS in the search with terms in your listing) to produce predictable search results. You can maximise the number of times your listing is found by loading your listing with relevant 'keywords'.
  11. Check out these samples. Lastly, check out our selection of sample 'house sitter available' listings. You may be inspired.

 

What happens to my sitter available listing when my availability dates have expired?

A week before the availability dates in your sitter available listing expire we will send you an email. This email will ask that you set your availability dates in your listing into the future or ask 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 don't act on this reminder, MindMyHouse.com will hide your listing from view for you. If this happens and you would like to amend your availability dates after they've expired, simply select 'Save and hide' from the 'Edit my listing' page in your account area.

The country I need to list in my listing isn't listed in the pull-down menu.

The vast majority of house sitting assignments are in the wealthy countries of the west: Canada and USA, New Zealand and Australia, UK and Europe and South Africa. Due to space reasons we've shortened our list of countries to reflect this fact. If you want to select a country such as Ghana or Brazil for your listing, simply choose Africa or South America from the pull-down menu. You can then include more detail in your listing about what you are specifically looking for.

How do I write a good 'house sitter wanted' listing?

Creating your own 'sitter wanted' listing is a great way of gathering offers from interested house sitters without having to do the hard work of searching MindMyHouse.com for a house sitter yourself. Consider these simple guidelines to writing a 'sitter wanted' listing that will provide potential house sitters with enough of the right type of information to know if they really should apply for your house sitting assignment.

  1. Don't shortchange yourself. Less is not more when it comes to advertising your house sitting assignment. House sitters are busy people, but they are prepared to give you all the time that it takes to read your listing. So take more than a moment to craft an listing of around 150 words that adequately describes your house sitting assignment.
  2. Your title is your banner. Your title functions as the banner for your listing and thus needs to sum up what your listing is all about in a memorable kind of way. This may be your only chance to tempt someone to click onto your listing to read your lovingly crafted text so make it a good one!
  3. Two bases to cover. 'All the world is a stage' or so the saying goes. In your listing you need to cover two bases simultaneously. Your first challenge is to adequately describe what you are looking for and expect from a house sitter. Your second challenge is to adequately describe what your house sitting assignment can offer to a house sitter.
  4. Give them enough to go on. Many 'sitter wanted' listings suffer from the same fault: lack of information. It is never enough to say 'contact me for more information'. Curious house sitters may be motivated to do this but you could end up repeating the same information endlessly to house sitters who quickly realize the assignment is unsuitable for them.
  5. Answer these questions. Try and answer the following questions in your listing: Where is my property located? What type and size is my property? What and how many animals will require care? What kind of maintenance will my property need? What are the good features of my property? What are the good features of my location? Is there anything a house sitter should know before they apply for the assignment?
  6. Punctuation, spelling, grammar. Yes, boring I know, but crucial in getting your message across. Style is just as important as content so please follow the conventions of good written English. Spell check your listing in Word before pasting it into the site. Only use complete sentences in your listing. Use commas and full stops where required. Don't use any slang or abbreviations.
  7. How's your English? If English isn't your first language or if writing is not your strongest skill, then ask someone more skilled at writing in English to help you with your listing. As long as it's factual and correct, there's no such thing as cheating when composing your 'sitter wanted' listing.
  8. Staying anonymous. MindMyHouse.com preserves your anonymity right up until the moment you respond to house sitters' emails. As your usual email address can give away all sorts of things about you such as your name and your place of work, you may want to retain your anonymity by creating a new email address to use on MindMyHouse.com.
  9. Check out these samples. Lastly, check out our selection of sample 'house sitter wanted' listings. You may be inspired.

 

How can I hide my listing from Google and other search engines?

You can choose to make your listing invisible to Google and other search engines at any time by ticking the 'hide from Google' checkbox on the 'Edit my listing' page, under the 'Miscellaneous' tab. Please note that your listing will still be searchable using the MindMyHouse search if you select this option. Also, it may take Google a while to take note of the changes - sorry but there isn't anything we can do about that.