Can't THS put a limit to applicants?

Is it relevant to let applicants answer when owners seem unable to make their choice ?

We often see ads with 20, 30 or more applicants. Generally owners don’t take time to read and answer so many proposals!

Can’t THS put a limit explaining to owners after 20 proposals they stop publishing?

An example today

I agree that there should be a limit. There are several sits in the US with over 50 applicants. It is hard to imagine that HOs could not find many excellent sitters among 20-30 candidates. Why would anyone even want that many applicants?

2 Likes

@Southernsitter @Provence Membership Services contact owners with a high response reminding them that they can pause applications and to respond to all message in their inbox.

We have and continue to look at sitter number applications to listings.

Thank you Provence, great question.

2 Likes

I don‘t think a limit or a stop is the best solutions. Once again, only the sitters would suffer because then they can not apply.
A more straightforward first solution could be an annoying pop up every time someone opens their inbox if there are a certain number of unanswered first contact emails. Something like “THS is a community build of trust and respect bla bla blah so please make sure bla bla blah”. But only for the first contact. In a second step, the invitation button could be blocked as long as the unprocessed first contacts mails exceeds a specific number. Both are very easy to implement software solutions.

1 Like

Why do you think "only the sitters would suffer because they cannot apply" ?

Would you apply when you see the owner has 35+ applicants ?
I would guess he has not taken time to make his choice (if he had chosen a sitter, automatically the listing would be closed), not answered to so many applicants. So i would drop that ad (it’s impossible not to find somebody who fits among 25 sitters or more. Unless special skills are required…°

The sitters who have already applied and who just want to check if there were more how many applicants have answered a week later or even a month later must be quite surprised to see the owner does not make his choice

1 Like

@Provence I would not apply, because I also think that an HO should be able to decide. But that is my personal decision.
But since I have learned from this forum that other sitters have been successful also with 30+ applicants, I don’t want to take that chance away from these sitters.

Whether an HO has to let it come to that at all is an entirely different question. But what is if the first 35 sitters just don’t fit and he even answered and rejected all of them within a reasonable period. Then maybe the 36 Sitter is not able to apply? Sometimes it is a bit more complicated to find a solution that fits all.

3 Likes

I have applied for lots of sits.

Some with very few applicants, some with 50+.
I would not put a limit on the number of applicants.

Everyone deserves a chance.
I worked out once that there are at least 40,000 members of THS.
A lot of the members of this forum who are sitters are full time or sit several times a year.
So they are on the website every day, checking sits.

I would imagine that most HO use the site less, maybe once or twice a year on average, so if they post a sit, unless it is short notice, are planning their vacation/travel well in advance, so there is no real rush to choose a sitter, in fact, are probably happy to get loads of applicants and then choose the most suitable closer to the date they are due to travel.

And then there are sitters who maybe only use the site once or twice a year, as their annual holiday - if there was a limit on applicants that would almost certainly rule them out.

4 Likes

so there is no real rush to choose a sitter, in fact, are probably happy to get loads of applicants and then choose the most suitable closer to the date they are due to travel.

It is ok for HO to want to choose from a large selection. It is also ok if he wants to take his time for it. That is not the point.
But nobody should tell me that the HO does not build a shortlist with every application. 45 out of 50 sitters have been eliminated as possible sitters long before the date. And to put a date for August online in January and then to take care of it again in July at the earliest I think is very selfish.

I don’t know any people who would agree that it can happen that you don’t find time to read emails for weeks. Especially not if you use a portal on the Internet from which you expect support. So it is tough for me to believe that someone is so busy that he has no time for respectful interaction.
The questions that are still open and for which a solution should be found are:
Why doesn’t some HO communicate on time?
How can that be changed?
And if they need help besides the one that already exists today, how can it be offered?

4 Likes

I know lots of people like that. Some who only check their email once a day, once a week and do not spend their life on their phone or pc - teachers, managers, parents. They use THS to get someone to look after their house and pets once a year, rather than using kennels, but wait until nearer the time before making a decision.

3 Likes

Another issue with limiting applicants is time: Remember THS is online 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. Right now there is not really a problem with this, although I have spotted one example - A house sit in Denver was posted last night and already has 12-15 applicants, so when sitters in the UK check in the morning that is what they see. In normal times if this sit was posted Denver time, say 6 in the evening, and the cut off was 20 applicants, sitters in the UK would never see it. Same if a HO posted a popular sit in London - Sitters in Australia, for example, 11 hours difference, would never see that sit if it was hidden after xx number of applicants.
OK, maybe extreme examples at this difficult time, but I have seen sits posted and getting dozens of applications the same day, and have appled for sits myself only to watch the number grow over the day- I would probably not have got my 1st sit on Bali if there had been a limit to applications.

5 Likes

OK @Petermac you’re right, so I was probably wrong. I still think THS would be inspired to create a rating rate, we would know if HO usually answer applicants or not.

2 Likes

Good points. I never apply for these sits, so I should not be annoyed by them.

2 Likes

I agree Peter. I have see many ads for house sits posted in January for Christmas that year. I understand that HO want to secure a sitter for their holiday, but then you see the same ad as a “last minute sit” since the original selection has now either found a better sit in the meantime or cannot make it now because their plans changed. It would be nice if THS only allowed postings to be put up no more than 4 months in advance. This way it’s a win-win for everyone.

4 Likes

I have said no to a limit of applicants or a forced pause of the offer. @Petermac has explained it perfectly.
And I also say no to a limit how long in advance a HO can put up a housesit online. As a sitter, I am ready to commit myself in January for a sit scheduled in December. Then I can easily arrange my vacation with my employer and with my colleagues. And for example, can then book me for England cheap early bird tickets for the ferry or the Eurotunnel.

And if I have agreed, I will also do everything to be there on time in December. I don’t just change my mind because another sit might be better. If I demand respect from an HO as a sitter, then I must give the same respect to the HO. A promise is a promise.
Not everyone can take a short term vacation, and for some people, four months can be short term.
I don’t see a win-win for anyone here. I see a possible loss for sitters and HOs who have or are willing to plan for the long term. It’s like everything else. It is a HO’s preference, and if it does not suit you, dont’ apply.

All this only applies if the HO also selects a sitter in a reasonable time. If he sets and assigns his sits according to setup-forget-pick-repeat, then this should, of course, be prevented.

1 Like

I would be afraid to take such decisions pne year or 6 months in advance.
It sounds risky. I can never tell where i shall be in a year. I prefer to improvise

For sure you find cheaper tickets but what would happen If the owner decides to leave 3 days earlier or cancel? So many things may happen in 6 months.

3 Likes

That not a good argument. Bad things can happen even a minute before one both sides.
We were once cancelled at short notice because the pet was surprisingly diagnosed with terminal cancer. Understandably, the HO then wanted to stay with their pet. But that is ok. Things like that happens, and you don’t know when. Whether I had committed there a year before or a week before, it wouldn’t have changed anything.

And if I really have to rebook and have to pay a rebooking fee or whatever causes costs, it doesn’t matter. Since I then still have to pay nothing for the stay, it normaly still pays off. And if you talk to the HO, you will always find a good solution. Perhaps the neighbour can step in for two days, or the HO will contribute to the additional costs because he is happy that you are flexible.

So I don’t see any difference in risk. But it is still a personal decision and is not generally valid. So no rules for limiting anything.

I’ve often wondered that if a homeowner receives for example 25 applicants and lets a week or so go by without even looking at any of them will they see the emails and applications from the most recent applicants instead of the sitters that applied first. Can someone answer this? Thanks.

1 Like

Hi @Annette.
Thanks for asking this. When owners receive a new message or application from a sitter they get an email telling them they have a new message.

Your inbox will show the most recent message sent at the top, just like it shows on your system.

Kind regards,
Katie - Membership Services

5 Likes

You don’t have to apply if there are a lot of applicants. My first sit ever was in Hawaii and I know I wasn’t one of the first 20 applicants and the homeowner told me she had more than 35 total before she shut it down. If there had been a limit I probably would never have been able to apply…but it turns out the sit and I were a good fit, I had a lot in common with the homeowner and she choose me out of the pool. I usually assume when I’m applying for a sit with that many I probably won’t hear back. I appreciate when I do. There was a sit on Maui earlier today. I got a notification and began typing in my application right away (0-3 applicants). By the time I finished typing and hit send there were 20+ applicants. I may not get it, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to at least apply.

4 Likes