Applicants not Reading Info in my Listing

Good afternoon all. Even though I have put a specific word to be quoted in any sit applied for, clearly not all potential sitters are reading all the information provided. So, how do you respond ??

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I would decline them.
Then I would answer their application by telling them that I feel they would not follow my instructions for my pets if they aren’t able to read everything in a listing. I guess next time they read a listing more thoroughly.
This doesn’t help you but maybe the next pet owners.

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I just read your listing. Even if I was hurrying through it, there’s no way I’d miss your word. I guess so long as you have more applicants, I would decline the ones who don’t use your word.

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Honestly, I find it really patronising when I see this in a listing so would never apply . It worked well when I was 7 at school but as a responsible adult, not so well.
If a potential sitter is not reading all the information you provide then you really don’t need this ‘trick’ to catch them out. It will be more than apparent by their response. If there is anything super urgent that they need to know then the best thing is to mention it to confirm it with them when you do a video chat.

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Thank you,

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For us this approach has worked so far. It is all well and good for a pet sitter to feel excited and want to be with our beloved pets. But as a responsible pet owner I need to make sure that all my information and instructions has been read.

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If that’s what makes you comfortable, as part of our due diligence if applying for your sit, I would have no problem quoting your word. It is a “test” of someone’s thoroughness and detailed reading of an entire listing.

If someone doesn’t comply, it would lead me to believe they hadn’t read the entire listing and I understand you would question if they would follow all instructions or miss something important.

I would respond as such if you were to decline an application, and not just hit “Decline”.

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If that is the case, to answer your original question - you should just be honest and respond " Thank you for your application but I am sorry I will not be accepting you as you did not pass my test"

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That’s exactly what I did, I didn’t just press ‘decline’. I clearly highlighted my reasoning behind my decision

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Exactly ! I feel so annoyed as I have tried to be as informative as possible on my profile, I just find it very rude for someone just a look at photos and apply.

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I have to admit if that was me I may miss the keyword.
Not because im not reading your application but because my concentration is on the characters & responsibilities towards the pets & whether it fits my skills and requirements. When i apply this is what i focus on.
If it works though as a way for yourself to sift applications, thats fine.
As others say just decine the ones that dont use the keyword.

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A sitter, who doesn’t read my listing, would not get as far as receiving an invitation to a video call.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a word, a phrase or anything else the pet owner wants to see in the application. If he wants it then these are his rules, period.

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I was curious about this post so read the listing and had no problem finding the important word to use if I was interested in applying. I may be in the minority with my opinion on here but I’d have no interest in applying for this sit. It would make me feel like what else is this homeowner going to “test” me on. We’re adults here so why should we have to undergo a “reading test” to apply for a sit!

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I read it too and I totally agree with you. I find it very condescending. Everybody has their own way though, and what works for some may not work for others.

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You are certainly always welcome to decline sitters for whatever reason that you choose. However, it is currently much more difficult to attract sitters than it has been in the past. Since your sit is less than a month away and if you are declining sitters with great experience and strong reviews who would normally be good fits because they neglected to use your test word in their application, you may want to re-think that strategy or you may possibly run the risk of not having confirmed sitters for your “urgent” dates. Personally, I would focus more on the rest of their application and less on if they used the test word. That said, if you are among the few homeowners who are still literally flooded with candidates, your tactics may help weed out the masses. Best of luck securing great sitters for your adorable pets and lovely home!

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I was referring to MnEM’s listing.

I’m not a “nomad” but I’m hardly a “vacationer”. If I was a vacationer, I wouldn’t be staying in people’s homes and looking after their pets. I’d be at a hotel or on a beach some place.

I think most sitters on THS love the pets they care for and only do it because they get enjoyment from it. We do some sight-seeing when we are on sits, but we definitely don’t feel like we’re on vacation.

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Hi @ MnEm

The main question is “how do you as the homeowner respond?” If you feel that potential sitters have not read your listing, by not using your “specific word to be quoted” in their application to you, how do you respond? In a way, I can relate to what you are saying because when we write something, we hope that others reading, will read what we have written in its entirety. In the same way when we are speaking to someone, we want others to not only hear us, but listen to what we have said. It keeps us from having to repeat what we have said.

Is it a dealbreaker if potential sitters do not use your “test word” in their application? Is that something you are willing to compromise if the potential sitters have outstanding listings and outstanding reviews?

This is your home and your 6 adorable pets. You are ultimately inviting a stranger or strangers into your home and entrusting your pets into their care.

You can receive 100 different responses in this thread; however, ultimately, it is your decision and you have to do what feels right for you.

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@QuasiSenior1 I’m not sure what you are referring to when you replied to me previously as I posted long before you and am only now reading what you wrote.

FYI if you click on the OP’s name, you can then click to their listing. You can do the same with your name either as a sitter, HO or both.

FWIW - THS is not about vacationing, it is about a mutual, fair exchange of pet and home sitting.

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I think it depends how many applicants you are getting so how picky you can afford to be on who you choose. It seems there are more sits than sitters so you may have to flex. How you vet is totally down to you but I’m with some of the other members, I don’t like the “test” idea as a recruitment style even though I’m detail driven. It seems unbalanced when this is a barter system and the HS & HO are equals in the exchange. Best of luck.

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Another question - have the applicants made some reference to your pets and home that suggest they’ve read most of the sit info? That’s the part I’d be more concerned about rather than if they included your word. If they have great references and have said things in their application than lead you to believe they are truly interested and capable, you might want to reconsider.

I was just thinking that I have a pre-written application that I tweak for every sit we apply for. I read the post carefully and included relevant details to show we are interested and capable of taking care of the pets and home. I wonder if they sitters are just so focused on getting the application wording just right that they forgot to add the word. I could see that happening too.

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