How do you apply for housesits

Do you apply for multiple sits over the same dates and choose the best one from any offers?

Or do you make a single application and wait for a response before searching for alternatives?

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Personally we consider our application to be a unique offer and never apply for others until we’ve had a response. We feel that we are saying ‘we are available to sit’ .

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We apply for anything and everything that we are interested in and can do. We have been too heartbroken in the past when we’ve put all of our eggs in one basket, that this works out better for us, and it’s not so disappointing if we don’t get a sit, because there may be others that could work for us, too. We have been in a couple of situations, actually our first housesit, where we had a couple of offers to choose from and interviewed both sets of homeowners to see which would be the best fit. It actually worked to our advantage because we seemed more desirable. It’s always very hard when this happens, as we fall in love with everyone and want to try to please all, but most people understand, as they’ve had to do the same when it comes to finding a sitter. In this present climate, the ball is definitely in the homeowners’ court, so we are finding we especially need to apply to a lot, as there are numerous applicants, and sometimes our messages aren’t even getting read, and/or we never even get responses. We are just always up front and honest with everyone and that’s always the best way to go.

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You are so right about it being an owners market currently. So many sitters are desperately applying for a small amount of sits. Seems more than acceptable to apply for everything.

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As a full time house sitter, we will apply for more than one at a time. There is no way to guess what the homeowner is looking for, plus most get multiple “excellent” applications. I also I will rarely apply for a sit that is more than 7, 8 or more months in advance. There are too many things that can go wrong on both sides - owner and sitter. If the sit is more than 4 or 5 months I may apply, but not for any short sits.

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It’s risky applying too far in advance isn’t it, especially at the moment when everyone’s travel plans are so flaky. We prefer 3 to 4 months in advance if possible.

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I do wait for an answer before applying for another sit, as I would feel miserable to say “no” to the owner who has chosen me (unless (s)he makes his/her choice very late.
Of course if don’t receive any answer in a week time, I feel free to apply somewhere else.
I do select listings
1/ looking at the type of animals (I don’t like reptiles, I can’t walk 2 heavy dogs if i sit alone, I’m not fond of poultry due to a bad experience last summer with a lot of mites in the hen house). I look at the dogs, I don’t like much some breeds, I don’t want to be afraid if they are agressive against dogs or humans.
2/ looking at the home (I need to like the decoration, to feel confortable) and I’m glad if they are books on photos…
3/ looking at the countries : I will never sit for a short time far away, the costs are too high (renting a car, transportation etc.)
4/ now i pay attention to the surroundings : a too remote house is a problem when you like to take a drink or do shopping. It may signify you need to rent a car

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As full timers, we apply to every sit that we are excited about and that fit our criteria for what we want/need in a house sit, even if dates overlap. We used to not do this, but so many people don’t respond, and a couple times we felt we’d potentially missed out on other opportunities by not keeping our options open. The way we see it, owners are choosing between multiple sitters, so sitters should feel free to do the same. And still, even in all our years of sitting (almost 6), it’s only happened two times where we had to decline when we’d already accepted another.

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I think you’re probably right that it’s fair to multi-apply especially at the moment when so many sitters apply for each sit and more owners appear not to select very quickly. We never used to multi-apply but definitely do now.

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How owners react when you declined after they had selected you ? Were they furious ? Did you explain why you had accepted another sit ? Do you choose the first who sélects you ? The nearest ?

Nope, they weren’t furious. Just like as house sitters, when we aren’t selected, we might be disappointed, but we’re in no way furious. The couple of times that this has happened, one home owner was taking quite a long time to get back, and so we went with the owner that was more communicative. We really value open and direct communication between both parties, and we truly believe it’s one of the key points of house sitting. We explained that we were offered another sit first, and hopefully people realize that they need to be more timely with correspondence in the future.

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i thought they could be “furious” (it sounds too strong, for sure) as they had selected you among many others. And finally you declined when they thought you were interested.

I did not know sitters (at least on this forum) send several applications for the same period, I may be wrong but I don’t apply for several sits, I dare send another application to another owner only when I get no answer after a week. Then of course you can explain you had no answer and in between another owner has reacted more quickly than him if he selects you after a few weeks !

I learnt on this forum you can be selected even when an owner has already received 35 + answers so it’s worth time waiting a little. Especially when the sit is months ahead.

As an owner, I would not feel pleased if somebody declined when I had spent time reading all offers, all profiles, all feed backs. I can understand when I try to contact directly sitters around me, for a short sit, as I never know if they are available. But believe me or not, the majority of the ones contactec answered me, but not all (again, I wait a little before contacting other sitters)

So sitters sometimes behave also non courteously…

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Seems to be personal preference, some apply to more than one, some don’t. Like I mentioned, we’ve only done it a couple of times. In the past, we only applied to one at a time, but then sometimes we never heard back, and missed out on applying to another that we were excited about. If everyone responded to applications, that might be one thing. But many don’t. And given that home owners are considering more than one applicant at the same time, we feel it’s only fair that house sitters can do the same.

The flip side of that coin is that there have been times when we have spent lots of time on a sit and even done a video interview, and then the owner chooses someone else. So yeah, we also don’t feel pleased in that situation, given that we’ve spent a lot of time, but again, we just want everyone to have the best fit. If we aren’t chosen, we trust that someone has found the best match for them. It really goes both ways.

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We apply for one at a time. The only caveat to that is if we haven’t heard back from an application and it’s been over a week at least and we see another sit we like. In those circumstances we will apply for another sit even if similar dates as we think the homeowners have had long enough to consider our application and if they haven’t got back to us they probably wont be choosing us.

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@PetsSit We do exactly the same. One application at a time, we feel it’s a commitment. After not hearing for a week we send a follow up message and start looking for alternatives.

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@alternativetravelers
Yes It makes sense to try and reply in a timely manner. I missed out on a sit because of this. Due to the length of time it took the HO to respond I thought I had been unsuccessful. Changed my holiday dates from work and booked an ordinary holiday. Then I got the invite to sit but all too late. :cry:

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We usually apply on one at a time unless we see two that are far apart in dates. On one occasion we applied for a sit in Ireland for July and a sit in Australia for November and were delighted to be accepted for both. I tacked on a holiday to Greece where we’d never been after the sit in Ireland and I planned a holiday of our own travelling around Australia after the sit. It was fun putting together two itineraries to Greece and Australia, both countries where we’d never been.

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We apply for as many as suit our criteria then if we get a definite confirmation from one we immediately contact any others that we have applied for with clashing dates to apologise and to withdraw our application.
I also think this helps to nudge homeowners to decide earlier in the future. Waiting for 50 plus applications before making a final decision I think is excessive and not helpful to anyone.

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The owners are very understanding. Some actually admit they should have been quicker with their choice. We are always gracious and always finish our reply with “we may see you sometime in the future” which has got us a house sit once in the future.
When we accept a sit I always inform the other potential sits o; these dates that we have to withdraw. I never wait to see who else may choose us, playing one against the other. All the sits I apply for I want. I would never apply for a sit I didn’t really want.
Elsie

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