Does having 'applicants' on your listing put off other sitters applying?

Hi there,
I am new to THS and we are hoping to find a sitter for our 2 dogs over Christmas in the UK! I am conscious of the fact that our departure date is fast arriving and we have yet to find someone.
We have had two ‘applicants’ - one never got back to me when she requested to arrange a call and the other applicant was asking a couple of questions before making a decision closer to the time.
My questions are: does my listing with 2 ‘applicants’ put other fellow sitters off from applying as they might assume I have found someone?
Also, should I decline the applicant that went cold or leave open (perhaps they found a more suitable sit as they were travelling longhaul)?
Thanks for any guidance!

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We personally don’t even scroll down to older sits very often and would hesitate to apply if the listing was older and already had applicants. It might be good to boost your listing or at least reject the applicant who didn’t get back to you.

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I apply for sits based on area, date suitability, and my other personal criteria being met. Whether other people have applied isn’t ever a consideration at all! :slightly_smiling_face:

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It never bothers me when there are other applicants. I still apply. I’m a HO here also so I know that sometimes the best applicant is the 4th or 10th.

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Hi,

Just some thoughts as I look at your ad. To me as a sitter who is not local, it basically removes any interest due to the limited public transit and no car.

No problem with rural sits, in fact, sought after, however, on a three week sit, there needs to be some mobility provided. Otherwise, to me anyways, it appears we will be stuck in the immediate area unless we rent a costly car which will just sit at the house a majority of the time.

So perhaps add use of car included to help find someone and just be more selective based on interviews.

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Personally it wouldn’t concern me if a sit already had applicants. If it appealed I would still put forward a considered application when applying.
Your listing is great by the way.
Hope all goes well

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I am genuinely wondering why you wouldn’t apply to such a sit? As a sitter, I don’t see how the number of applicants is at all relevant. The number of reviews and photos are all I count. I have no idea why other people apply for certain sits over others, but i choose mine based on (1)animals and (2)location/date

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Yes, exactly the same for us.

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Hi Kirsty,
You have a very good listing with gorgeous pups. The answer to your question could go either way. It’s fairly recently that THS started showing the exact number of applicants on a listing. This was in response to them introducing automatic pausing of a listing after 5 applications were received in the hope that owners would make a decision more promptly. Sitters then knew how many others had applied before them before the cutoff happened. Owners are encouraged to decline those sitters not acceptable (like one of yours and possibly your second one too) then unpause their listing. In your case, it would revert back to 0.
The problem you are facing is that with SO many Christmas sits being advertised, yours is going further and further down the list, even though you did the right thing by advertising early. So as Timmy said, sitters tend not to look too far back at older listings because there are so many new ones coming through.
@Darkwing makes a good suggestion re adding “use of car included” if this was at all possible where public transport is limited and it is for a 3 week period. You are limiting your sitter base by assuming they’ll have a car. You could offer to pick sitters up from the local train station and take them grocery shopping. The other issue is should one of your dogs require an emergency visit to the vet, how would sitters get them there?
“Car Included” could be the first thing in your heading which would catch sitters’ attention. Your heading is so important and yours just repeats what is automatically provided by THS - eg 2 dogs, Cantebury and Christmas - so make that heading count with other appealing info. These changes should then see your listing become “New” again - I hope!
All the very best and enjoy your trip to Oz, my home country.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and feedback - very much appreciated. I am planning to ‘boost’ my listing today.

We have been giving some thought to the car idea and unfortunately, we are unable to leave a car for the sitter to use but we would be happy to collect from the train station and there are buses and taxis. We are about 10 minutes from a number of supermarkets (and guess UK base people can do online delivery?). We are in a village just outside of a city so not completely isolated. We would also get some food in for the sitters for their arrival.

Before I boost my listing and if there is no car available, I wonder what I shall change my heading to in order to not repeat and provide additional information?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and your feedback. This is helpful to think about regarding the provision of a car. Sadly, we are unable to leave our car on this occasion. Please see my reply below to @temba for more details. Thanks again!

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The number of applicants never puts me off. If it goes down to the wire I know it probably will be first come first served but you never know. If you apply you have a chance if you don’t you’ll never know.
We have just finalised our plans for next year and I have been doing lots of searches which includes older sits. I am very surprised at some of the fantastic sits with no applicants. Definitely worth a delve into.

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I’m not the best at catchy headings @kmj but maybe something like “Cuddly pups in comfy home”. If you haven’t done so already, I would put in your listing about your willingness to collect from train station and take to supermarket. Also have a Plan B if sitters don’t have a car for any emergency trips needed e.g a neighbour who will be home over the festive season. Good luck as it really is a lovely listing and do let us know how you get on, Kirsty.

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Another quick question (and maybe off-topic) but when I filter for ‘Christmas sit’, my listing does not come up? Do I need to change something in my listing for this to flag as the dates correspond to Christmas?

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Thanks, @temba ! I shall keep you posted with any updates!

I have now boosted and edited the title so anyone out there keen to spend Christmas in East Kent with our lovely dogs then please get in touch :wink:

Your heading needs to grab attention and tell sitters something they can’t tell from the thumbnail when scrolling through listings. Only the first few words will show, so these are the critical words. I would say “5-bed, family-friendly, poodle mixes…”.

You have the same 2 photos first on the profile, except one is cropped. I’d add more photos of the other bedrooms, and delete the photo of the glasses. One or two photos of each animal is enough.

Most sitters want to know more about the dogs - how long can they be left alone? How long is their walk - an hour? 10 minutes? a “decent walk” is subjective.

Good luck.

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I agree that there are a ton of sits out there that look fantastic, but have no, or few, applicants. But then I also wonder why some owners wait until the very last day before selecting someone? I’ve been watching a few that look very interesting. Two of them would start tomorrow, and they each have 2 or 3 applicants, but the owner hasn’t selected anyone yet. If I were an owner, I would want to have someone committed to the stay as far in advance as I can. I didn’t apply to these because our availability was tentative at the time the owner posted. If I were 100% certain that we could do it, I would have because the homes are in our dream location (although maybe a little obscure for other sitters) and the dogs are adorable in the pics.

Thank you so much - that is really helpful feedback! I shall add some more detail about the dogs routine and amend photos accordingly.

@Harris2 in our case, we currently have one ‘applicant’ who got in touch to ask a couple of questions but not apply per se. They were not in a position to commit/confirm so their ‘application’ continues to sit on my profile as they may come back again. So as a HO it is not necessarily because the HO hasn’t chosen anyone.
I agree that as a HO, you would want to confirm a sitter for the earlier the better!

@kmj I’m tagging @Therese-Moderator who will look into this for you when she’s next online. She’ll direct message or email you, so watch for that. Make sure your account is set to receive emails from TrustedHousesitters. :slightly_smiling_face: