I think sitters asking for consideration for future sittings is creating a disservice in the community. And it’s quite invasive.
Not only waste your time reading, but also waste the opportunity for someone else to apply, as THS suspends your listing as you get “enough” applicants.
This is a behavior that should be against the TOS and there is no way to report these messages.
How about just note in your listing that you won’t entertain such requests?
@Alessandro some homeowners welcome these approaches so they have a pool of people they can contact if they like the sound of their profile/references.
If you are not open to such messages just mention it in your listing and the majority of sitters will respect your decision.
I appreciate all the replies, thank you! I understand the reasoning this is done but it’s really distracting and I hope THS would consider creating additional tools (like a checkmark to invite the sitters to apply only when having compatible days). But yes, I’ll definitely start including in my listing title to apply only for the dates.
As a sitter, I’ve done this a few times and always had a very nice response back from the homeowners and did obtain a future sit after contacting a homeowner this way. In each instance, I did not “apply” on the listing. I merely emailed the homeowner to say I would be interested in a future date so I certainly didn’t prevent other sitters from obtaining the listing.
I have also written to introduce myself with an eye on the future. One of them stayed in touch and I am now booked for two weeks in the fall with awesome dogs in a very desirable location.
Good for you Mars! I personally don’t see anything wrong with this and not sure why a homeowner would be offended.
Yeah that’s what im talking about. I understand the reason you’re doing it but I firmly believe it’s best to have a different way to notify the people that are offering in a different way, than using a “slot” that needs to be reviewed and declined before allowing actual applicants to see the listing and apply.
I was ok with this practice back when the listing would stay up until you marked it as received enough applicants, but now the situation is different and once you receive 6/8 applicants the listing stops to be advertised until the owner reviews them.
If you receive 6/8 “consider me later” applications then all the slots are taken and this site serve no purpose.
I’m genuinely surprised this is somehow accepted behavior, when a different, simple solution could be integrated. In the meantime, I’ll continue to put that in the description.
A common approach used by sitters who reach out for future consideration is that they apply asking to be considered in the future and saying that they will immediately cancel their “application” so as to not take up one of the PP’s spots. Then, right after they hit send, they cancel the application. I’ve done this a few times, and, unless the app count was 4 prior to my applying, the count goes right back where it was before I “applied”. If 4 applications had already been submitted, I didn’t reach out to the PP.
I understand your frustration. I know many sitters do something like this and then cancel immediately so they don’t take up a spot–the application count will adjust if they cancel it. Even with this strategy, I imagine for many HO’s it may be frustrating to get messages from people who are not applying for the dates you listed. If it’s a really popular location, a HO may get a lot of these messages and I probably wouldn’t be thrilled about that either.
Even after all this time, there are probably a good number of sitters who may not be aware of the 5 applicant rule and are still sending messages like this, and are taking up spots since they are not cancelling the application.
I only sent a message like this for the first time the other day. The only reason was I saw a listing for a sit in a town where my family lives and we regularly go back to the state for extended periods. I figured it couldn’t hurt to make contact and let her know we would be very interested in helping her out in the future. It’s not a particularly in demand location and she may even be interested in planning trips around our availability.
But as for sits in other locations that I simply find desirable and would like to visit, I don’t send these sorts of messages. It seems some sitters have success doing this and that’s great, but I don’t feel compelled to do so. I just favorite these listings, figuring that maybe the HO could potentially reach out to us in the future–if they have the ability to see who favorites–or I will get notified of future dates and apply if we are available. If it’s somewhere I’m meant to go, I’ll end up there.
I understand your frustration, but I do it, but I remove my application within a day or two. It is the only way to reach out to a pet owner who is in my perfect location/s. There is no other way to contact an owner unless I’ve already applied for a sit before. I am pretty certain that if someone read our profile they would consider us for future sits, given there will be a real reason for us visiting that specific location (ie family). But I’ve had a great response from those I’ve reached out to, and ended up discussing future sit dates that aren’t advertised. We only do it with places that we return to over and over again, where a pet owner may have liked us to return time after time.
I would say it would depend if they are reaching out purely to get ‘anything’ (in which case just reject their application) or whether their particular advert in their particular location had a real significance for the sitter.
But I totally understand your frustration.
Wouldn’t it be best to cancel the application immediately? The message will remain regardless of how quickly the application gets cancelled. By waiting a day or two, it’s possible there could be 4 more applicants, which would put the listing in ‘review’ status. In this case, the person waiting so long to cancel could have prevented another person from applying who was able to do those dates. That is great the approach has seemed to work for you at times.
I’ve done it several times and for me it’s been a good experience and has led future agreed sits. I always cancel my application after but I do with there was another way.
I understand the unsolicited future inquiry feels like a nuisance but the competitive landscape created by the 5 application limit is causing many sitters to be creative with getting our (experienced) foot in the door. And it seems to bother you more because the future inquiry is taking up a limited spot. It feels like that is where our ire should be directed. I have done the future inquiry on just a few occasions and it has led to communication and then relationships. That is what THS is about.
@Alessandro I have suggested to THS several times that they set up a way in the system for members to opt-in to being able to communicate with each other without applying or having an active sit listed. The default would be not to allow communication, so it would not impact members who did not want to be contacted. We can private message the small amount of members who are on this forum, but there is no way of reaching out to members who are not on the forum without applying or sending invitations to apply- unless you have previously communicated with them. This suggestion would likely resolve the issue of folks applying for dates that don’t work for them in order to be given future consideration. Unfortunately, I have never gotten a response from THS regarding the suggestion, so it is unlikely to be implemented.
I understand that, but I don’t go for the places that fill up their 5 quickly, that’s the difference. They aren’t tourist destinations nor are they sought-after locations. If someone is new to THS, and they receive a message from me and I remove my application super quick, they may not realise there is a full message there. They may just think I’d removed my application.
As soon as they respond I remove it anyway. If I was applying for sought-after places it would be different I’d remove my application straight away, but I’m not, they’re aren’t the types of places that receive 5.
It’s still something that shouldn’t be at the discretion of the sitter, in my humble opinion.
It’s quite intrusive, like you open the door for your food to be delivered, and another restaurant is right at the door showing you the menu of their restaurant opening next month. Like, if you can’t give me food now
How are you finding their emails to email them - the only way I see to contact them is to apply?
I have usually received very nice replies from HO when I’ve sent a message as an introduction. Rather than withdrawing on my own, I often tell them to feel free to decline my application, as this shows me my letter has been read
Us too @mars and we’ve always had a positive response. One of them has just turned into two lovely Turkish sits for 2024