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
@Alessandro I understand your frustration especially if you happen to live in a popular spot where the 5 applicant quota fills up quickly. But the real problem is not the enthusiastic sitters who would love to sit for you in future but THS for pausing the listing at just 5 applicants at a time! The solution is to increase the quota to at least 10 or 15 to give space for enquiries OR to create a way for sitters to contact hosts directly, outside of any listed dates. I occasionally send a message with questions about the sit- telling them its not a formal application until my questions are answered. Something the questions are really needed to determine if the sit is a good match. I would prefer not to use an application spot for that purpose or for future dates enquiries but there is currently no other way.
From what I’ve read most sitters would only offer themselves for a sit they are truly interested in doing one day and where they feel they’d be well qualified for it. I don’t consider this to be time wasting. Every host wants the best possible sitter for their circumstances and maybe one of the sitters who enquires could be a perfect future match.
Consider also that hosts can- at any time- contact potential sitters to invite them to sit. We frequently get unsolicited invitations to sit, most of which we cannot, or don’t want, to do. I like to be polite and will respond to every enquiry which takes time and effort- So it works both ways.
I like the suggestion that has often been made for members to be able to opt in or opt out of private messaging. Then those who like to make/receive enquiries can happily do so and the same goes for inviting/being invited for a sit.
I think each HO should be able to set the limit for how many sitters apply…I really don’t like the 5 applications thing…it just means that I have to check the site several times a day…maybe that’s what TH had in mind?
Thank you for your insightful and understanding comment, the HO can’t rely on the sitter’s tact and consideration when introducing themselves for a future sitting. Hopefully this will be discussed soon at THS production and a new way will be made available to the users.
As a HO, I live in a “desired location” and unless it’s a last minute sit on a holiday weekend, usually get more than five applicants. I would probably be annoyed with such a solicitation. However, I have sometimes purused profiles of sitters who “favorited” me, so maybe THS could do a better job of letting sitters know that HOs know who has favorited them? I also think the problem isn’t that sitters are enthusiastic and want to reach out. The problem is the 5 application rule. As a HO, I like not being overwhelmed, but wish there was another way to sort this. The number seems arbituary, and sometimes I feel it’s keeping the sitter I would really want from ever having a chance to respond.
I understand the issue of being overwhelmed but as a sitter I have absolutely no way to contact a homeowner unless they post a listing. Then if it’s a “popular place” listing, I might have an hour-or less-to respond before the 5 applicants are reached and I again have absolutely no way to reach the HO. If I’m walking a dog, in the shower, or on the other side of the planet, I’m out of luck. I wake up every morning to messages of favorited sits that have already reached the limit. HO can review sitters and invite them on a sit, albeit a shot in the dark to see if the stars align.
The times I’ve used that approach has usually been time where someone states “we travel for a month a couple times a year” or something like that. If the timeframe is far enough out, I can adjust my availability and schedule to make a sit but have absolutely no way to start a discussion unless I hit the jackpot and I’m able to get the message immediately.
I feel it’s a direct result of the 5 application change as it wouldn’t be as much of a burden without it.
Bottom line, if a HO doesn’t want people to apply for future consideration, it’s easy to take care of by stating that in your listing.