Being first to apply to a new sit-advantage/disadvantage?

Hi all! Love the idea of this forum. Thank you!

I saw a new sit appear in a place I really wanted and knew it would be popular. I applied and I was definitely one of the first in there. I thought that would be an advantage as owners must get tired of reading mails if they get a gazillion replies.

A few days later I got a response saying thank you but they’d already found someone. This made me wonder: if the owner reads the emails from top to bottom (most recent mails first) then those who applied first are the last to be read and probably miss their chance? What do you think? Try to be happy in the middle?

Thank you!
Gillian

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Welcome @Gillian … thank you for being one of the very first members to join!

We do have a small number of great members already on the Forum who helped test the platform in readiness for the wider community and they have opened up interesting conversations and added excellent content, enjoy.

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@Gillian Hi. We’ve had exactly the same thing happen several times when we thought we would be one of the first to apply. Not sure there is a standard way that owners respond, seems to change from person to person. Just keep applying I suppose.

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@Gillian it seems to be hit and miss with us too. We have seen many sits where the owners say they took the “first to apply.” We just applied for a sit in NYC and had to have been in the top three and she never read our message before selecting someone else. In general, I feel if you are not in the top 10 you don’t have a chance. BUT we have been selected when they had over 30+ applications, so for us after four years of housesitting I really don’t know if there is an advantage, but I would lean to still wanting to apply as early as possible.

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Hello Gilian. Being an owner i have selected once the first applicant as he had good feedbacks and sounded perfect, what he was. I chose him after our first conversation. That very day.
But i only put 2ads in a year, so it’s not a valid statistic. The other one was chosen directly on the list of close sitters.

As a sitter i’ve been selected too the very day of the publishing of the ad. I gave my téléphone on my application and was called back immédiately.
But it happened to me only once, in dozens of applications.
I guess there is no law

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I’ve also wondered this! If waiting until later to try to be ‘top of the pile’, there is the risk of missing it if the owner wanted to sort it quickly. I have sadly heard several times ‘You sound amazing but we are going with someone else as they were first to reply’. So I don’t think you can predict it and just have to see how it goes - and cross your fingers if it looks a really wonderful sit. Sometimes I have already fallen in love with the pets and house and then don’t get it! :woman_facepalming: :smiley:

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Hi @Rosie , welcome to the forum. We’ve had the same response so many times. ‘You sound perfect but we chose the first person’ - always really disappointing.

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Hello @Rosie welcome to the Forum, thank you for joining, we already have a group of wonderful members who have been testing the platform and have built great connections. We hope you will enjoy being part of the conversations and community.

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Hi @Gillian and @Rosie , great to meet you both!

Just as @worldtraveler mentioned, we too have been selected for sits at the 30 or 40+ mark, but by in large we definitely see an advantage to applying right away. After 65+ house sits completed, and having applied to double or triple (or more?? :crazy_face:) than that over the last four years, it’s always been our impression that when we are in the first or second set of applicants (0-3 or 4-7), we have a much higher response rate from homeowners.

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Hello @Rosie @ScrewTheAverage @Provence @Angela-CommunityManager @Jon-JWalking @worldtraveler!

Thank you for the great comments! It’s a bit of a lottery by the sounds of it. I’ve been doing what TH recommend at first, going for the lesser popular ones which have been great experiences and helped me to get reviews. Every now and then I go for the more popular ones.

I’m going to try to be in the first 10 of each sit I apply for. Maybe they’ll get down to me, or, could TH organise it so that the applications appear in order from 1st downwards instead of date/time order? Just a thought.

Thank you again, everyone! Brilliant responses.
Gillian

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Hello @Rosie @Gillian @worldtraveler @ScrewTheAverage @Jon-JWalking @Provence

Of course applying sooner rather than later is preferable but owners are looking for the right sitter and many will diligently read all applications, it can be a difficult process, as the calibre is often exceptionally high and most owners don’t like disappointing anyone.

Over the years (14 of them) I have a applied for sits that had 100 + applications (ie 6 weeks in New York, 6 months in Spain) I was living in Vancouver, Canada at the time, I was successful both times, (my application was not within the first 20) two weeks ago I applied for a sit 30 mins away from where I’m staying, 12 applications mine was number 9, I was unsuccessful, the owner chose a sitter who had applied for previous dates.
Final note; I’ve also been first in the queue, with 60+ 5* reviews, years of experience and still “Not this time”

What we always need to keep in mind is the owner’s first impression is the sitter’s application, only from that will many choose to view a profile. It really is a very personal decision and as sitters our strength is in helping them know and feel that they are making the right one.

Great to have you all here, have an amazing day.
Angela

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It might be a bit of an aside but always remember to comment on the owner’s pet in your application. Some owners told us that if an applicant hadn’t even mentioned the animal/s in their blurb they went straight onto the reject pile. I’m not surprised!

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@Angela-CommunityManager.

Wise words indeed.

60 5* reviews! Heavens above. I’ve got 6. I’ve got a way to go! :smile:

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@Jane Hi Jane, yes, seems bizarre not to mention the pet! When I started I found the THS guidelines on how to write an application. They have been really useful.

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Excellent point @Jane

Crafting a personal, warm and professional response is so important. Some owners make it easier by providing a lot of detail in their listing others not so, that’s where creativity comes in which is easy for someone who has written a successful book :))

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Hi Gillian. In answer to your question it’s hard to know. When I get turned down for a sit I usually ask for feedback, saying it’s helpful to know why I missed out. Sometimes I get a response to that. I’ve certainly been turned down when my application has been left and marked ‘unread’. We’ve had discussions here where we think it’s quite discourteous of the owner not to even read let alone acknowledge an application as I’m sure we all spend some time personalising the application to fit the requirement. People are all different and some owners are very courteous. So who knows? All you can do is write the best applications you can and keep fingers crossed. Things are very different at the moment though.

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Me too, only 5 (in a year). Short sits, sometimes only 4days once but counted as références.

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@Smiley Yes, it makes sense.
I do get irritated when my application goes unread for weeks because I don’t know whether or not I should go ahead and apply for other sits in the meantime! Especially if it’s one that I’d really like. It means I’m stuck not knowing for ages. I guess there’s nothing we can do about that, just put up with it. Everyone’s different.

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@Gillian We tend to follow up with a second message after a week and start looking for alternatives at that stage. Always assume it’s a No if we don’t hear back in a couple of days.

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@Jon-JWalking Ahhhh, brilliant! Thank you for the advice.

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