HOs, please respond to apps timely

I am a sitter, so pardon my intrusion on this board. But this is also for “advice” to HOs, so I’ll offer some, fwiw: When a potential sitter takes the time to apply to your listing, a polite response within a day or so is appropriate, even if just a simple “thanks for applying, I’ll get back to you soon”.

Recently, my partner and I, who are very experienced sitters, applied for a sit with HO1. No response. The application had not even been read (yes, there is a read receipt function and we can see when you have read our app) for 8 days. This evening, we had a zoom call with HO2, whose dates overlapped HO1. HO2 offered us the sit on the call, and we accepted. Minutes after the call, the formal offer and acceptance with HO2 were made on the THS site, and we immediately withdrew our app from HO1.

Minutes after that, HO1 texts questioning our withdrawal, saying they “had difficulties with the app” and “thought” they had responded to our message. Then, even after we had withdrawn, and while we were drafting a polite note that we had accepted a sit with conflicting dates, HO1 extends us an invitation, which we had to decline. This was even more frustrating in that both sits were equally attractive, but HO1’s dates were slightly preferable, and we would have accepted that sit had there been any response to our application.

So the moral is, no offense intended, “you snooze you lose”. Sitters put effort into reviewing listings and drafting our messages of application, and a simple response, whether it is “we’d love to talk to you”, “thanks and we are evaluating” or “no thanks we’re going with another sitter” is better than silence. Even during the holidays, ignoring an application for a week plus is, frankly, impolite. And it happens often. I don’t mean this as a rant, but hopefully as helpful commentary. For the sake of your beloved pets, don’t let the good ones get away.

(It’s always obvious which HOs have never had to use a dating app :rofl:).

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A week is, frankly, nothing. I’ve had some that have not replied for months. Obviously I don’t wait for them and go elsewhere. I’m currently watching one I applied for who has been ‘reviewing applications’ for at least 4 months! I don’t believe he’s doing anything of the kind, it’s just automatically gone into that stage when he got 5 applications

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I kind of expect to get non-responders but the non-readers really do amaze me. Why would you create a listing, invite applications and then not even read them?! I know it’s been discussed a lot on here but if my message hasn’t been read within 72 hours, I just withdraw the application. If it’s read within 72 hours, I’ll then give up to a week for a reply depending how much I want to sit in their area. I do paid sitting locally so if I don’t hear back quickly for a THS sit, I’d rather just open my calendar for paid sits (through other sites, obviously).

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Completely agree with this. Also it’s a bit off putting when a HO treats the process like you are applying for a seat on the UN Security Council. Yes I know it’s their home, their rules but taking weeks going from a long short list to a medium short list to a short list followed by a shorter list blah blah blah……is a bit much.

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Out of curiosity, (I am a sitter), do owners receive reminder emails prompting them to respond to applications?

Thank you.

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We’ve just pulled out of an app precisely because of poor comms. Great sit, dates and location we want, no pets, just garden care in the spring time. Beautiful. And we are a great fit for them with own transport, local language, plant knowledge etc etc. However……a total waste of time if the HO doesn’t communicate well from the off as it bodes badly for the sit. 90% of the time we get the sits we apply for and 90% of those hosts respond within a few hours. For us, sixth sense says that as soon as it’s more than a day of silence then the HO is not committed or interested enough to make it worth pursuing. Caveat - if you need more time to review your whopping :wink: 5 apps then please just send a quick - “thanks for your message, we will be back to you soon” and problem solved #everyonesawinner :raised_hands:t3:

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We were considering that sit, but decided not to apply. We are always weary of when the HO adds 5-6 different dates at the same time. Now the HO is dealing with 30 different sitters and they have to be really organized to schedule and confirm their sitters. In 6 years of pet sitting I have met only 1 homeowner who was very successful of getting that done.

As I typed that post just now, we had a 4 day late “sorry for the delay, I had health issues”. Super sorry to hear that but as you say @BunnyCat, don’t set up 6 sets of dates at once and if you do set an auto reply to applicants of “give me a week please” :+1:t3:

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No, they clearly don’t. I have mentioned in a thread that kiwihousesitters, aussiehousesitters & their UK sister site penalise owners if they haven’t responded within 5 days. It would be good if THS did something similar but, so far, that hasn’t been taken up despite having a vote on it.

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@Cuttlefish I think we applied for the very same sit. Were there multiple sets of dates? I withdrew our application as well. Very frustrating but HOs should realize, if you snooze you lose.

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:joy: I’ve never use a dating app….they weren’t invented when I dated some 40+ years ago. However, I get what you mean. I’m a HO and always (only had 1 sitter and a booked sitter for later this yr)would and do reply as soon as a message pops up. Some people are busy at work but they have lunch breaks and evenings to respond so yes, rude and don’t deserve you. Have a great sit (holiday).

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Five or six of them but we were only free for one in May. It’s still spinning the review wheel of doom :rofl: @Knowmad #justlikemylaptop

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Thanks for replying @Smiley, sounds like a sensible idea, I shan’t hold my breath. :frowning::frowning:

Well said! :clap: I had a HO reach out to me desperately looking for last minute cover. I responded quickly to their enquiry and we started a dialogue. All was going well and then suddenly, the HO dropped all communication altogether.

I then suspected they were stringing me along keeping me in their back pocket whilst trying to lock in a ‘better’ deal in their eyes. Things can get pretty ruthless huh!

As you (all) say - they snooze, they lose.

There are plenty of home owners out there who do reply promptly [cough cough]. Move onto them.

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We just had a ‘slow responder’ HO1 with whom it eventually worked out! We applied for their sit and our application was read soon after but no response… We were no.2 applicant. We continued applying elsewhere and HO2 responded immediately saying how perfect we sounded so we suggested a video call and they said they’d message in the evening to set it up…no msg. Over 24 hours later they finally send a msg on Whatsapp with instructions/requests for the sit but no invitation to Sit or suggestion of call time. We wrote back with a couple of Qs but heard nothing more…!
Meanwhile we had sent a follow up to HO1 which went unread for 2/3 days…
We had also applied to HO3 and were their 5th app. They responded immediately- directly on Whatsapp and we scheduled a call later that day. Had the call and the host asked if we had a car and could drive the dog every day to the beach or the Downs as she needed VERY long walks and we could put her sleeping cage in our car to transport her!! There are big parks in walking distance (our preference) and this requirement was not in the listing. Also no offer of fuel money for this. Our car is full of our stuff whilst on-the-road & is a no dog zone. We said we’d be happy to drive the dog in their car if they wished. She said she’d check with the hubby & report back next day…
Meanwhile HO1 finally responded apologising for the delay but she’d been waiting 3 days to hear back from her first applicant ‘wanted to give her a chance’ and was going to give her another 24 hours despite the radio silence… and could we wait another day?! as our profile looked so great!!
We said we were still interested but could not promise to wait as we were already in dialogue with another host. She is new so we told her that 3/4 days no contact from the sitter was not a good sign and that she is not obliged to choose the first app! Should also have told her she should have at least acknowledged our app when she read it (3 days before!)
HO3 texted back to say their dog walker would do ‘most of the week’ and declined us! The listing is still live & open so that was probably a lie & they just didn’t want to lend their car!
Meanwhile HO1 texted back again that her hubby had said Don’t wait any longer- these people sound great!- Invite them immediately!!
So end of story. We had a lovely call that afternoon and confirmed the sit! Phew! Just before our call they’d finally made contact with the first app who was no longer interested…!
Sometimes its quite a challenging juggling act and you really start wondering where the cookie is going to crumble! We could have ended up with any of those 3 sits (same dates) but we’re happy with where we’ve landed!

Morals of the story-
Be polite & respectful and respond quickly to messages- both ways!
HOs please list all your important requirements in your listing!! Don’t waste people time!
HOs- please acknowledge applications straight away even if just to say- thank you for applying- we’ll get back to you.
Sitters- if you are no longer interested tell the HO and withdraw your application!
Happy housesitting everyone!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I’m loving the thought of your “game face” @Lokstar on the “please drive my dog to the beach or downs every day in your car” Errrrrrr…why?? :rofl::rofl::rofl: #sorrybutsobritish

It is indeed quite frustrating. I am definitely learning on the go. I joined the site in September, thinking that even though I was looking after a dog at my house until December, that I could perhaps view and book some dates in the future. I had a video interview with a HO October who said they were very happy with me and they think they would like me to do their sit. They then said they would contact me in the future as the sit wasn’t until Easter. At the time, I just thought that this was the norm. But it felt quite frustrating to hold those dates without knowing whether I would be sitting for them or not. After 3 months of not hearing anything further from them, I withdrew my application. I didn’t realise until recently that you can Un-tick your application and it would then be withdrawn. (Handy button to know about!) My thinking is that if you advertise your dates for a while in the future, then surely you want to lock a sitter in as soon as possible, so you have peace of mind? I realise now from reading different articles on the forum that if you snooze, you lose! While I was on my first sit, I realised that, although we had arranged what day I was needed until, I didn’t actually know what time the HO needed me until. This was easily clarified by message. However, one of my first questions in early conversations now is ‘what day & time am I needed from and until?’ I had one person message me saying my application was perfect, but because their dates were in May, they were going to leave applications open to see who else applies. I don’t know if it’s just me, but but that seemed a bit rude to me. Like, you’ll do if no one else applies! To be fair, I didn’t have any reviews at the time, but then neither did they. I had left that one open for three months but have just withdrawn because someone out outside of the platform has confirmed other dates with me. No matter how far in the future dates are, if I am locked-in then that is a commitment I’m going to honour. I thought that was the whole point; to lock people in as soon as possible for peace of mind.

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As a sitter, I usually reply to hosts as soon as I see a msg.

Whatever the reason for slowness among hosts, I happily leave the laggards to other sitters. I typically wait 24-36 hours after applying and withdraw if the host doesn’t reply, wanting to schedule a chat. I’ve not found it necessary to wait beyond that, because there are so many sits available and enough hosts who act quickly.

For instance, my current hosts offered me the sit right away, without a chat, and it’s a lovely, clean home in great city and neighborhood, with sweet pets. No weirdness or crazy expectations.

My next hosts scheduled a chat immediately and offered the sit at the end of it. I’ve also accepted one repeat sit so far this year. Those take only a few minutes to coordinate. Easy.

Like most sitters, I don’t sit full time and don’t need to stack sits, so can be extra selective. Even if I did only one sit a year, that would cover my THS membership fee. I’m not wedded to particular locations, so the world is my oyster. And I have loads of calendar flexibility, especially as a telecommuter. If I don’t sit at a particular time or place, shrug. I have a comfortable home and can afford to travel comfortably without sitting. It’s nice to have, not a must.

From my POV, hosts need me more than I need them. And that’s probably the case with many sitters.

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@Lokstar we did a sit last year with a “slow responder” that was a fantastic sit - one we’d return to.

We were looking to sit close to a particular location on certain dates. This sit was a perfect fit, but we didn’t get a response to our application for 11 days. If another sit that fit well had come up in that period, we would have applied and very likely not been available by the time the HO finally replied. Luckily for them, nothing did. Once they did reply, we arranged to chat and they confirmed us to sit. They were brand new to THS and quite nervous, which may have explained the delay. I’m glad we gave them a chance. I think I’d have felt quite differently about that sort of delay from a more experienced HO.

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