Do you read the prospective sitter’s profile

As a sitter, I often wonder how much information to include in my initial application. I want to sell all my most relevant points and tailor my letter to the sit, but I don’t want to make it overly lengthy so I don’t include several general facts which are in my profile. The pet owner often then asks questions which are in my profile suggesting that they haven’t looked at my profile.
As a HO do you prefer short, to the point applications or lengthy all encompassing ones? How much reading of previous reviews and person profile do you read?

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Length doesn’t matter so much as being thorough…in an application letter, I want to see:

  • you have thoroughly read through my entire listing and the responsibilities
  • you can demonstrate or reinforce that you are capable of caring for my dog and keeping my house clean
  • happy for you to share anecdotal experience that sets you apart from others based on my listing
  • you express a genuine interest in my particular sit and explain why
  • you provide additional references and links if you want to
  • you communicate clearly and provide what logistical next steps would look like for you, etc. showing (or at least giving the feeling that) you’re organised and responsive

If your message is clearly canned or you solely direct me to some outside page and make no effort to speak to me directly in your application, I will look but it comes across as a bit arrogant to me. We want someone who wants to be here to be the one who sits for our dog and home.

Re: your profile,

  • I read the whole thing
  • I look at your references and reviews
  • I look at your images
  • I look for wording to show that you have experience with my particular type of sit and are competent
  • if you are sitting with a partner, it’s clear that both of you are represented in the profile, not just one person
  • I will sometimes even look at the profiles of people you have sat for (connecting via your reviews) to see what types of sits you have done in the past.

I’m a sitter and tend to keep my applications short. My profile is robust, though, to save prospective hosts and me time. I know indirectly they tend to read (or at least skim) my profile, because they tend to ask me few questions when we chat by phone or video before offering me sits. Some don’t even ask to do a chat.

Some hosts have mentioned my LinkedIn profile / the work I do, so I know they’ve read well beyond my application and profile.

Hosts tend to look closely at reviews. Like with the most recent sit I accepted, the host in a popular, resort-like area said specifically that they were sold on my reviews and that they had an Airbnb rental for years and going by prospective renters’ reviews (those written by owners) had served them very well. With the sit I accepted right before that, the host of a waterfront home mentioned that my reviews were the best they’d seen.

Even when I was new to THS and had no reviews or references, having a robust profile (written with hosts’ POV in mind) was instrumental in getting me sits. Like I was offered an unsolicited six-week coastal sit in a nice home, with sweet dogs and a car. And separately was offered an unsolicited three-month waterfront sit in Hawaii for two cats. (I declined, though, because I don’t do long sits.) And in both of those cases, I live far away, so it wasn’t as if they offered me the sits out of proximity.


While, as a sitter, I would love to respond in the manner you outlined unfortunately the 2.7milliseconds we have to respond doesn’t allow us this luxury. Thanks to the draconian 5 application rule.


As an HS, this is actually how I do my responses. I’m on sits right now and have been able to secure 4 sits in and around London with that exact approach this month alone.

I customise the first part of my letter which is where I speak to the specifics of their listing and call out direct experience I will be relevant to them, excitement to meet their pets and come to their area, etc. so it’s only actually a paragraph of new text.

I copy paste my reason for being in the area, who is coming on the sit with me, etc.

I copy paste the standard parts of my messages…links to HO profile and dog training site that has my client testimonials for extra credibility.

I also copy paste logistics around communication, cleanliness and next steps to get in contact with me for video chat.

Throughout the letter, I make sure to refer to their pet(s) by name and use the correct genders where relevant.

This has allowed me to respond quite timely to listings and get in under the 5 app limit. I save searches for areas I want so I get the notifications immediately to my phone, then just go from there.

I also believe I come across as competent, attentive, and capable/responsible without seeming entitled/arrogant (at least that is what I strive for).

@Maggie8K also offered some great advice in another of her posts about how she creates urgency through language in her letters. I found that to be helpful in creating my template. X


If you ever get another offer for a 3 month sit in Hawaii, send them my way! :grin:


I read both the appliction and the profile. I not only look at the reviews, but I look at the reviews the sitter has left for homeowners. I don’t think application letters need to be long, but ideally they should show that they read the listing and are responding specifically to the listing. I don’t care if someone sends in the application first and then the email arrives a few minutes later.


:joy: The host was an academic who was taking a sabbatical, so maybe they’ll go again in the future.

Personally, I grew up on a tropical island, so I’m not as excited about months in Hawaii as many folks are. I much prefer cities with history and great museums.

Years ago, I had competing job offers and the Hawaii employer whom I declined asked instead whether I’d be willing to join for a year and train their folks. If I’d wanted to spend extended time in Hawaii, I would’ve done it then.

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Our application is very long, my theory is by the time the home host has finished reading it they will be ready for bed, probably lost the will to live and put off reading any more applications that come after. :grinning:


@Oztravels just another note to add to my former comment…

There was another thread on here recently that mentioned that sometimes, HS will just send a message across to get an app in and in the first message, they just say “I’d like to apply for your sit, so sending this initial message so as not to miss the application window. I will type out a thorough response momentarily.”

I don’t see anything wrong with that…the only issue I have is when an applicant sends a message like that and then takes hours as opposed to minutes to write that follow up.


Interesting strategy! Bore them into acceptance. :grinning:

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Logistically, copying and pasting is fine but how do you do that after applying without closing the application? Do you do it before applying? Often, I’m #5 and I’m wary of closing the application.

Open multiple windows on your computer or mobile device.

Personally, on my mobile devices, I have a saved keyword that automatically spits out my entire application letter, which I can then personalize for relevance to each sit.


@Colin great that you have lightened up this thread, sometimes reading the whole thing is like your applications process :rofl:

Such a shame the ridiculous five rule is even in place otherwise we wouldn’t have the need for this topic.


I never expected people to leave a very detailed application but I’m pretty new to this, so will give that more thought. I definitely look through the complete profile and all of the reviews… I do want someone who has spent some time looking at my info and have an openness to the video call and good questions and conversation. I appreciate the sitters that come and take care of my charming animals and I want them to demonstrate that is their priority not just coming to Southern California

Hey Ziggy, are you currently house sitting abroad? or in Aus ?

@Sladey hey Damian. Currently sitting in Australia and heading OS end March.


I have some bad news for you- it is highly likely that the priority of all your applicants will be to visit Southern California - if not, they would be applying to sits in a different area.

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I saw your sit and would’ve applied, because it sounded lovely, but I’m booked for conflicting dates. I’d be coming out of nostalgia, because I worked in the OC right out of college.

I’m not interested in typical tourist attractions, having been in Southern California many times over decades. Like I did a sit in Long Beach a few months ago and hung around locally even though I was just sitting one cat. I didn’t even rent a car, because so much was within easy distance of my sit home.

Well, I do play up our great weather and my proximity to cool things to see and do here in Costa Mesa in particular. I’ve been really lucky to get very nice animal lovers that seem to spend a lot of time looking out after the critters while enjoying SoCal