Having good reviews and still getting my applications declined!?

I find it extremely annoying and weird to get my applications declined without the hosts giving me a chance to have an Interview or have a chat. I found a really good housesit and I was the first one to apply in hopes that I was going to get the sit. The next day, my application was declined without a reason. I had another host tell me that I don’t have enough experience when I had pets all my life and I have cat sat before which is very odd and stupid! Why is it so difficult to get the house sits I want? Anybody got any tips?

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Ahh, we have many, many great reviews and write lovely personalised messages and still get declined very frequently. Sometimes 9 of out 10 times! You’ll never know what puts them off. They might not like your application or your face or your attitude or your experience or your name or…list goes on and on. We’ll never know why we get declined, but I believe we get the sits we should be getting. In other words, if it’s meant to be, then it will be.

Don’t linger on the declines, keep faith and keep applying.


How are your applications? Do you personalise them? Have you messaged the owners who declined you to ask for feedback as to why you were declined? If not, then do so and say it will help you in future applications.
If you haven’t enough references then get more. Have you had a good read of the website & forum as to how to write a good application?
Apply for a few short, local sits so you can get more reviews. Don’t despair!


And, it might well be, that nothing put them off, @botvot , there might just have been someone the HO felt was even more suitable.

As a HO, I look for a sitter that would be a good match with our dog, and who preferably has some experience from Asia. That doesn’t mean they’d need to be like us, though! But it does mean, that we do decline (with a message, of course!) some experienced sitters with great reviews. No doubt they’re great sitters, but not necessarily the best match to do our sit.


hosts can often decline applications because they may have specific criteria or preferences that aren’t clearly communicated, what you can do is reaching out directly to hosts with personalized messages expressing your enthusiasm and qualifications which could make a difference. But if you still don’t get accepted then at least (if they communicated) now you know what to say to your next interview/application


Yep! I’ve had several good applicants, but you can only choose one.


You mention having pets, but maybe you don’t have the property experience/responsibility they need, or maybe you relay attitude in your profile? I’m sure you are only doing it on the forum out of frustration, but maybe just check through your profile. You can always add your profile to the forum and ask for feedback on it, that’s probably your best solution.

We have a very good success rate for getting sits, but I know a lot of others struggle.


Yet another reason could be that their views aren’t quite politically correct, or they are looking for a very specific type of sitter, which they cannot include in their listing for fear of facing backlash or public criticism.

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Honestly, because you are almost certainly not the only sitter wanting that particular sit.

Don’t be put off, do a few short sits that are not as desirable to you, or others to build your reviews. Keep applying, your first acceptance is always the hardest to secure, it will come eventually.


I concur, what is meant to be ours is ours.


I also recently had applied to a sit and was the first one. Fortunately the host was polite enough to respond. and informed me a repeat sitter had responded to their private message. She did however say if it went south she was impressed by my reviews , and experience and would contact me. I try to look at things for the pawsitive ( my little play on words) as what’s meant to be ours is ours. Interestingly another sit i had applied for yet a bit shorter contacted me and I ended up getting that one. Just keep on plugging :paw_prints::smiley_cat::black_cat::dog2::green_heart:


As a home-owner, it’s lovely to have more than one good applicant but unfortunately we can only confirm one :smiley:

Clearly it’s not polite to decline an application without a message but the THS system does not make that easy. For example, when the home-owner confirms with a sitter, THS automatically notifies the other applicants that their application has been declined. Even if you decline an applicant yourself, it’s not obvious to add a message* so often the ‘decline’ goes to the applicant without an accompanying message (*I think there are plans to change this).

If I have to decline an applicant I really like, I always send them a separate message to tell them how much I liked their profile/experience and that I hope they’ll consider us another time. I had to decline a sitter recently and then, unexpectedly, my sitter for a different date had to cancel [with good reason] so I immediately contacted the declined sitter to give them first refusal on the relisted dates.


It seems entitled to think that hosts owe us a chat or explanation just because we apply for a sit. And even if they get only one applicant, maybe they decide to pass and go with another form of care.

I figure if hosts pass on me for whatever reason, shrug. There are many more sits out there and the key thing is putting yourself in the shoes of hosts and essentially marketing yourself as a sitter. Similarly, hosts have to market their sits.

And I’ll bet many hosts wouldn’t want to explain their choices, because some people would be rude and try to argue about why they’re “qualified.” Sitting isn’t just about whether someone has pet experience — hosts are choosing whether they want specific sitters living in their homes.



Don’t sweat it!!! You are not alone…see the link.


I have over 70 5-star reviews and been doing this for 7 years. Since the pandemic, the site has ballooned, and I was getting declined 3x more than previously. So you’re not alone! And it took me over a year to get my first sit - and that is with over 300 5-star Airbnb reviews, professional site and reviews, life-long pet care experiences.


Hi there, home owner here :slight_smile: So firstly, I agree with others that it is rude to decline sitters without sending a note to explain. We ALWAYS send a note when declining an application. Although I did get caught out once though as I had not realised that when I confirm a sit, the other applicants automatically get declined. When I realised I was so embarassed, as my note came several days after they had been automatically declined. Now that I know of this quirk, I make sure I send notes to all applicants as soon as I confirm a sit. It is interesting though, whenever I send a note to explain why I declined the application, I very rarely get a response back from applicants… For example, we have politely declined sitters who want to bring their own dog, or have young children, or no transport of their own. Our profile clearly states that we would not consider these options, but I still write a polite note to explain. I have also felt disappointed that applicants do not bother responding. So there is probably a lesson for both HO and sitters here :slight_smile: I get put off when people are slow to respond, so if I don’t get a reply I am unlikely to consider a person for a future sit. My general experience so far is that there are lots of great sitters on this platform :slight_smile:


There are many reasons sitters are declined. It could be as simple they don’t like your profile picture or as complicated they want a 28 year old male plumber with experience of grass snakes. Or somewhere inbetween. Don’t take it personally or it will drive you up the wall. Rejection is part of the system. No one owes anyone any explanation. Yes, it would be good to know.


odds are if you want a sit, most people want it too: when i first started, i took a subway ride to the end of the line, and biked another forty miles on top of that to find someone who needed a no review guy. So are you willing to take short/unwanted stays to build your profile?
When you say you have good reviews, how many? and how good? bc i have thirty something perfect reviews and i still get turned down, more often than not, i’d say about 3/4 of the time. When you get a sit you like/want, try to go the extra mile, then they’ll want you again. Sometimes somebody else is simply what the hosts are looking for. Sometimes you think you’re applying first but there are people who apply instantly, and i do mean instantly with a preprepared text, while you’re type type typing away. Try to shift all you have to say to your profile and point the HO to your profile in your application, faster to type, faster to get in the door without abridging.
Place your wanted sits on your favored list and turn on notifications, maybe you’ll get the notification the second the listing comes on.
hope this helps

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interesting, didn’t take me that long, i suppose i must appreciate I got lucky the way i did it, also i live in a high sit city which makes it easier after the first few reviews.

Hopefully not too off topic, but just wanted to provide some feedback on this as a sitter. If HO has declined me and sent a bespoke note, I don’t always send them a further response, and have wondered if this could be considered rude. My primary reasons for not doing so though are:

  • My application already included a personalised note explaining why I’d like to be considered and why I think I’d be a good candidate for them. So I consider us now to be “balanced” in communication, for want of a better description.

*Time is important to everyone. Although not much, it takes time for a HO to open and read my response. They have made their decision, and I don’t want to take up any more of their time. Particularly if they might have multiple dates listed and are already contending with a busy inbox!

I’m new to THS though, so my approach may well change as I gain more experience!