Homeowners: when you get a lot of applicants

I have a question for homeowners. If you get a ton of applicants and send out a courtesy email saying that you have had a lot of interest, will review, and get back to the applicants, what do you want to happen next?

As a sitter, it feels impolite to not acknowledge the email and say ‘take your time’ or similar… but at the same time, you already know the inbox is over-burdened.

It’s happening more recently with the abundance of sitters to sits, so… would love some feedback! To respond or to wait???


We always respond with a ‘take your time, thanks for letting us know’ message. Seems polite.


I’ve never received “a ton of applicants” and i décide quickly. As i know sitters wait for quick answers (i’m a sitter too, not only an owner) as soon as i make my choice, i warn individually applicants.
I’ve never sent à message to à group asking to wait for my final décision !

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I live in Las Vegas and always receive a lot of applicants. I let them all know that I’m evaluating and will respond by a given date, usually within a week of the initial posting. I like it when an applicant responds to acknowledge my message.


Perfect - thanks for that feedback!

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Do you use the group answer to let the sitters know
you’ve chosen somebody else or do you answer individually ? Do you give your reasons. Why you did not select them ?


I typically respond to each applicant individually, although I confess I write out a general message and copy and paste from that. I generally say that I received many excellent applications, but one person had specific experience with my dog’s breed, and that set them apart from the rest. I shy away from “I didn’t pick you” and more toward “I chose someone else who had special qualifications.”


Hi @healium, thank you for a great response to the question, it’s so important to get a perspective from everyone in our community.

If we didn’t say it before welcome and we can’t wait to hear more about your TrustedHousesitters journey and life Las Vegas and Nevada.

Angela & #TeamTrusted

We live in London which always seems to generate a lot of responses from potential sitters. We can often get up to 30 or 40 applications for one sit. I feel it’s only right to email all applicants personally, whether it’s a yes or a no and like @healium, I do tend to copy and paste a basic general message but tweak it to reflect anything individual the applicant mentioned. I don’t expect an applicant to respond if it’s a no, but I’m often pleasantly surprised by how many do - and how many lovely sitters say “perhaps our paths will cross in the future” or a similar sentiment. That’s nice because it always feels a bit awkward rejecting applicants, to be honest! It can be tricky to decide sometimes.


@CW1972 it’s very true, owners don’t like disappointing anyone and with the calibre of sitters being so high often selecting one can be a difficult task.

Thank you for taking the time to reply to all of your applicants, it is always greatly appreciated … two way communication is so important after all everyone will have plans and schedules to put into place.

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@zoemac this is a great question and it is really interesting to hear from homeowners. I normally reply with a ‘thanks for letting us know’ so it is good to know that homeowners do read and appreciate a response :grinning:

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I do @Sp80.
Being on the 2 sides, i appreciate when an owner takes time to decline personnally (even If it is a formal message other candidates have received)

as an owner i keep in mind the sitters who thank me to have let them know i declined their proposai. I archives their mail

Mee too, i reply and thank owners who have taken time to be nice and courteous

Courtesy may sound old fashioned but it helps us not yo be vexed too much by a negative answer…

I feel insulted when i receive only THS “you’re not successful this time”
And i put the owner in a black list!

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As a full-time sitter, sometimes trying to fill a gap in my calendar, I will often ask the HO to give me a “yes, no, maybe” within a few days, letting them know I will apply for other sits if I don’t hear from them. I get a lot of “thank you but we have decided on…” but I would rather have that than no reply. I have had some sits confirmed in minutes and some weeks later. Sometimes I think HO forget sitters have to plan - travel, flights, costs…and sometimes a lot of costs…it is not just free accommodation / a holiday. I have completed over 40 sits now, and for me, looking after the pets always comes first, then I get to see different countries, explore historical sights, great food - but home in time for walkies.


How long do you plan to be a pet sitter @Petermac without a home ?? It’s not too hard sometimes when you don’t like the indoors, discover the pets are less nice than expected, not to speak about HO’s attitudes which are not very kind ?? On my side I would need to stay in peace sometimes, between 2 sits…
(My first sitting experience, I was badly treated by a HO, I would have never spoken to anybody working for me in my life, and it was not “working” but, to my point of view “helping” her)
Never I would have insisted upon a sitter to wait for his breakfast that the dog was walked and fed (very early in the morning) when the HO confessed she was getting up late (around 10), and her dog was staying in her bedroom
Problem was the owner stayd 2 days with me, in order to watch if i would follow her rules !
When I was scared she would slap me, I wanted to go back home, not giving a damn about paying another plane ticket, but as I’m a reliable person I remained. I wrote to the organisation (it was not THS) to tell them what I was facing… I did not get any support !

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Sorry to hear about your bad experience.
Fortunately, I haven’t had any sits like that. A few owners have asked me to arrive a day or so early, to get to know the routine of their pets, and I have always had positive times - a few have also let me stay a few days after the sit where possible if I had a few days between sits. This is not always possible, especially if the family have children, sometimes no extra bedroom. ( on a couple of sits where I have arrived early, I have been given the main bedroom and the owners slept on the couch !!)
Once the world opens up again I am planning to return to house and pet sitting full time, again in SE Asia. I find the homeowners there tend to be Europeans, Australians or Americans who are looking for experienced sitters when they travel -either home, which tends to be a month or more at a time or travel to see more of Asia. I normally talk to owners a few times before I arrive, either video or phone call, so by the time I arrive I feel I know them quite well.
Only once I think have I withdrawn from a sit when I felt all was not going to as expected, red flag. (withdrawn before the sit began)

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