As an owner how to I reach out to sitters who have saved/favourited my listing?

Oh that’s an interesting point. TBH, I’m not sure if the dates they sent me were public or private. But that makes more sense. Thanks.

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I’m confused. I asked the question on this forum as to how to contact sitters. And a number of comments make it sound like it’s obvious, but I cannot find any place on a sitters profile to send a message or otherwise contact them.

As a home owner you can only contact a sitter if you have a live listing or if you have had a previous conversation with a sitter - if a sitter has already applied to you (in your mailbox) There is no way to just contact a sitter. See the comment a couple of posts above - you could create a “false” listing and privately contact a sitter by inviting them but remember to delete the date afterwards.

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Peter Mac, You say that I can even create a false listing which I don’t need to do. I have a live listing. But you have not told me how to contact the sitter. There is no way that I can find to contact the sitter. There’s only an invite button and I don’t want to invite somebody if I haven’t gotten more information about them or connected with them directly. Why doesn’t anyone answer my original question?

Hello @karenamelia and sorry you are finding the process of reaching out to sitters frustrating, so I’m going to try and help and if my answer isn’t sufficient then I will tag MS. Firstly I’m going to split this topic into a new one specifically for your query, as it’s a little different to the original title, which may be confusing those that answer. So I’ll be back with more info in a moment :slight_smile:

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Hi @karenamelia you can only communicate with the sitter by clicking on Invite Sitter on the sitter’s profile. In your message, you can explain you are not inviting them yet but rather you like their profile but would like to communicate a bit more with them if they were interested.

@temba thank you … in the space of me moving the question you’ve answered it :pray:

@karenamelia when you look at the sitters who have favourited your listing you can click on the sitter and read their profile, then use the INVITE button as temba says. The acceptance of a sit is a 3 part process … you invite, sitter accepts, you accept - so if someone does inadvertently select your sit after you’ve reached out you can still decide not to proceed.

I’m going to also tag @Therese-Moderator to make sure that we’ve all got this correct and that there aren’t any other options. She’s back online in the forum tomorrow morning. Part of the problem being that you have more answers here from us sitters, who don’t have access to the owner part of the system… so we’ll just make sure we’ve got it all correct. Thanks for your patience. All the best, Vanessa and the forum team.

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We were all doing our best to answer your question but we didn’t have the full information so it wasn’t easy. That’s why I asked the question about having a live listing or not. Hopefully now that the moderators have explained the full process, you will be able to contact the sitters you are interested in and have a conversation.

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Following up on Vanessa’s answer: maybe I’m misunderstanding the “invite” function. I assumed that would be the step I would take after getting a feeling for a sitter’s compatibility through further dialogue. But by inviting them, Is it that I’m inviting them to initiate a conversation?

I’m only a sitter but I do know that when I “apply” for a sit, it’s just an expression off interest and then if the home owner is interested in me, we have a conversation and we each ask questions before we decide if we’re a good fit.

I assume you are trying to contact a sitter who has “favourited” your sit with a heart, but has not actually applied for it?

If so, you can “invite” them to the sit and start a similar conversation. Tell them up front you are wondering if they are available for your dates, and that if so, you have some questions for them to see if they are a good match. There is no obligation to accept a sitter who isn’t a good match, nor is there an obligation for them to accept a sit if their questions aren’t answered to their satisfaction.

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Hi @karenamelia when you are inviting a sitter, you are “inviting them to apply” not to be your guaranteed sitter. I know the language can be hard to understand. Some homeowners will invite 20, 30, 40, or even more sitters to apply to their listing as there is no guarantee that the sitter is available and interested in sitting for you.

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I personally think that is going to become a big problem soon, especially in Cities, popular areas.

I have already seen a number of sitters “complaining” about the number of requests to sit they are receiving.

To start with a lot will politely decline with a short message, but even that takes time, eventually just ignoring and deleting requests.

If a sitter is based in, for example, London, they could be receiving several requests every day.

A lot of the sitters on the Forum are full time or sit a lot of the year, so may have their availability calendar marked as “green” for long periods, but will probably be looking for sits away from their local area.

I would guess that the majority of sitters are still working, so can only sit during annual leave/holidays/weekends so are actually very rarely available - and if they continually get requests to sit, may eventually just give up with THS - I know if I was getting emails every day I would eventually say enough is enough.

To start with I suggest THS use their monthly newsletter and other forms of communication to ask sitters to ensure they have kept their calendar up to date, to explain to owners how the calendar works, and to check it!

The whole house/pet sitting idea has almost been turned on its head recently due to the pandemic, and now it appears that more owners contact sitters rather than sitters applying for sits - the model has changed and THS need to recognise that and update as needed.

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Some very good points there, Peter. I agree.

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@karenamelia To confirm, as a Homeowner, once you have looked at a sitter’s profile and you would like to chat further, you would Invite the sitter (this is the only way to get in touch) This is not a confirmation by any means, just an open discussion to chat and see if you are both the right fit. Once you decide to confirm, you would confirm the sit on your side, and only once the sitter Accepts the sit on their side, will it be a confirmed sit that appears on your dashboard. You can then share your Welcome Guide with them.
I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any questions, as always happy to help.
Kind regards
Therese

Kelownagirl, that is such helpful advice. Thank you.

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Hi Therese, we recently received direct messages from HOs which were not an invitation. So somewhere somehow there is an option for HOs to contact sitters, without actually inviting them. We didn’t have any prior interactions with that particular HOs and they were from another state. We were actually pleasantly surprised since we didn’t need to decline another invitation. Feel free to dm us if would like to investigate further.

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Very interesting @BunnyCat

Was the direct message received here on the forum, or on the THS website/app directly to your inbox?

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@Joanne it was through the THS website. I did invite the HO to join the forum but they never did and I see now they have found a sitter.

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For THS Staff:

In our THS website Inbox I have tagged two exchanges with a yellow label for “THS Staff Review” These were not invitations but only inquiries. Feel free to look into them how were they send.

I also have had messages from HOs without an invite to sit so it can be done for sure.

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