Do you invite your house sitters privately?

Owners, we can choose a sitter directly using the private invitation mode rather than publishing an ad which may draw dozens of qpplicants.
Selecting ages, locations, amount of stars etc.

Did you use that possibility ? Have you found that way a nice sitter ?

Were you desappointed (no answers, no match etc )

Will you still use that mode of search ?

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May I answer this as a sitter as I have found my experience of this so different over the years.
I used to receive a few personal invitations in the early years and I was always flattered. It resulted in me accepting sittings that I would have not normally applied for and thoroughly enjoyed them.
When the site became busier, I was receiving up to a dozen a day, most of which did not include a message. If it did include a message it was not personalised. It was clear that some of the HOs had not read my profile. I was always careful to respond to these invitations and declined them all.
Then the site changed the sitters listings. Originally, the more reviews you received, the higher up the list you were. Now the listing is random, I imagine to give all sitters a chance. The result is that I receive about 2 invitations a year, if that.
My question is: how do you now filter your search? As I understand it, you cannot filter the amount of stars etc. Unless this is another of those features that are on the app rather than the website.
To summarise, yes I do like to receive invitations from a HO who has read my profile but I imagine that it rarely happens now as it is too onerous to search.

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Of course you may answer even If you are a sitter only. (I’m both)
It’s easy If you need somebody for a short period. I thought it could not be interesting for foreigners so i looked on siiers living in my région

  1. Many sitters declined, few did not answer. Although their calendar seemed to match
    2 since i understood all year round sitters operate, it may be interesting for sitters already in my country

I can see the amount of stars and sits made on the screen with all sitters selected in my région.

My expérience is new so no reiable statistics

Firstly I’ll say that I’m new on the site and have only advertised and booked one sit so far, but I will have another long weekend coming up later in the year, and my preference would always be to advertise it rather than private message, unless I was contacting someone who had already sat for me and expressed an interest in returning. My reasoning being that I would rather go for someone who applied following my advert as I believe that would show that they are interested in coming to my home, rather than me randomly suggesting it to someone who might prefer a very different property etc.

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As a Homeowner and new to THS, I have been working on my listing while I wait to hear if our Nov 2021 trip is a go or not. I enjoy reading the forums so I can provide as much info to the potential sitter. I also like reading the sitters profiles under “Find a pet sitter”. Which leads me to my question. I see that when you read a pet sitters profile that you can directly “invite” the sitter once my listing is active. Then I read the about the number of applications an owner can get and one of biggest pet peeve amongst the sitters is lack of responses back to their applications. So it made me wonder is there a way to reach out and “invite” someone without having others apply to your now active listing? At least until you know whether your invite has been accepted or not? Is it better to forget looking at sitters in advance and just deal with the applications that come? It seems a waste to have an owner reach out to a pet sitter while at the same time making the listing active to other applicants. Especially if the pet sitter you first reach out to, accepts the sit. Its seems a waste of time for other sitters to apply when I may already have a willing pet sitter. Am I understanding how this works correctly?

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From the sitters side, I always consider it such an honor when I’m invited!

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Hi @Trudzie
Variations of this theme are on other threads. If you use the search button on the top right of this page and key in Invitations it will show the other threads.
How do you intend to search for a sitter? I used to receive dozens when the list of sitters was laid out in order of the number of reviews I had but now that the system has changed I receive about one invitation a year. So I am interested to know how you would search from the thousands of sitters listed randomly.

Well I hadn’t thought about the fact that there are thousands of sitters. I tend to be one that reads a lot of reviews etc about anything I buy or do. I have read some sitters profiles and they seem like a perfect fit. But I realize there is something to be said for a sitter(s) applying because they really want the sit! So when I do make my listing active I will probably wait to see who applies rather than reach out by invite.

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I’m both a sitter and a house/dog owner. I think it’s fine to post the sit and to reach out. That’s how I went to Brighton, England. A petsitter reached out to me because where I lived, was where they wanted to visit (they have family here). It turned out I wasn’t leaving town at the time they needed, but we stayed in contact and a year later, they came here and I went to their home in Brighton.

Sometimes if my journey is more last minute, I reach out to people in nearby non-coastal towns. That way traveling to my home isn’t a potential issue and I figure there are a lot of people who would like to come to the coast, especially in the Summer and Fall.

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I’ve invited sitters twice, but only ones who’d been here before, and for particular reasons. Once was last minute and I knew she was flexible and eager to return, so that worked great. Recently I needed coverage for a 3 month sit and asked a couple who’d been here for a month last year. They couldn’t make the new dates work so I posted “live” and chose someone new the next day. I’m always eager to expand our network of potential sitters but it’s also awesome to have people you already know do a great job so I decide based on each situation. I don’t think I’d bother inviting a stranger, I’d rather choose from applicants. Luckily we have always had a good response to our listings.

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As a new sitter to the site six years ago I must say I was rather disappointed when I saw the sitters with the most reviews were listed at the top so I thought it was a great move on the part of THS to start rotating sitters based on the amount of reviews to give everyone more exposure.

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Sitter here. I’ve only been housesitting a year but I’ve had quite a few invitations the last month. I love getting them! It’s very flattering and I’ll look twice at a listing I may not have applied for otherwise. I accepted a listing in West Virginia due to this and I’m really looking forward to it.

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I have had nine invitations since April 2021. I also find it very flattering. Many times these are for local sits, five of them were from my home state. While I have wanted to help these homeowners out, my chief reason for signing on with THS is to experience new areas.

Maybe off the topic, but If I must fly to get to a sit, my preference is for a homeowner that offers use of their car. I have driven homeowner’s cars for local driving only. For longer trips, say an hour or more away, I have rented a car.

One thing I wish the website would change is the “Sorry you weren’t successful this time …” emails in response to an invitation that I did not accept. Likewise, I do not click on “decline” in response to the homeowner because I don’t want it to feel like an affront. I simply reply politely to them in a personal email.

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Thank you @mars that is really helpful feedback and thank you also for being a great communicator.

Hello.

As a sitter, I agree with the others commenting here that it is indeed very flattering.

I would add however to please bear in mind that not all sitters are full-time sitters (myself included). And are only looking for occasional sit/travel opportunities, when it suits them.

So if they do not respond, please do not get offended. They are maybe not even checking their inbox, and only logging on to the site when they are looking for opportunities that fit their specific criteria (specific date range, duration, location, kind of pets, etc).

And definitely please do give new sitters are chance. They should at least have ID checks and references I agree - because in my opinion that is simply lazy to not get those arranged for one’s sit profile. But indeed all 5* sitters have had to start on a sit once with no review under their belt. (And I am so grateful to the first owner who trusted me!) I would trust your judgement after speaking to the candidate sitter, asking questions, live on a video call.

All the best.

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