How do you deal with HO who do not read or do not respond to applications?

Reaction to no response from HomeOwner
  • Cancel my application after a specific time and try it again next time
  • Cancel my application after a specific time and will not apply there again
  • Wait and if I don’t get the sit I try it again next time
  • Wait and if I don’t get the sit I will not apply there again
  • I don’t care
  • Others

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As a sitter, you are supposed to put effort into an application. It should be individual and unique. But even if you do all that, some applications go unread or unanswered. Then there are the housesit offers that run for weeks, the number of applicants increases each day, but the HO does not seem to react.

This is what we think and do. If any feedback, even if it is a rejection, is too much work for an HO, it shows us that we are probably not the right sitter for the HO. So we cancel the application after a while, put that HO on our personal blacklist and don’t apply there again.
I would love to hear how you handle that and let us know if you are full-time or part-time sitter. Maybe there is a difference between this two types of sitters.

This is not about why a HO does this, only about the “consequence” of this behaviour.

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i put the owner on a red list and more than that, twice I wrote before s/he took his/her decision, but after 3 or 4 weeks of waiting, that I did not want to apply anymore as s/he did not even answer me which I thought very rude. Courtesy is on both sides
What surprised me the most one of these owners asked me if I was still available one month later (she is still searching…) I answered she was astonishing, and invited her to read my former mails… Sometimes I 'm really cross against owners lack of politeness.

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We don’t tend to apply for sits too far in advance, we also only apply for one sit in a date range at a time. So if someone doesn’t reply to us and it has been at least a week/it is getting close to the dates we need to fill we will then apply for other sits around the dates. We don’t cancel the application, but if we don’t get any response we are unlikely to apply the next time it comes around.

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I happily re-apply to new adverts even if the HO didn’t reply in the past. This has sometimes resulted in great sits. Those HOs were apologetic that they hadn’t seen my previous application, or that they didn’t have time to reply individually to 40 applicants. I get that. Life is hectic! No need to take it personally or chalk it up to rudeness.

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@Rosie being an owner myself i find ridiculous to let your request for weeks open, getting 20 then 35+ applicants when you can select, invite privately; stop the publishing in order to make your choice.
Sitters are waiting for an answer and you can’t ignore it.
You can use a group answer. You can décline individually or collectively. But not answering for weeks is not polite. Leaving to THS the role to decline applications is rude. Sitters receive “you were not successful this time” and it is hard…

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This is why we don’t put all our eggs in one basket. Homeowners are getting a bunch of applicants to choose from, why should sitters not apply to multiple sits at a time if they’re interested in both? An application is in no way a commitment to sit. We treat them like job applications, because, in a sense, they are. No one would ever apply to one job at a time. Sure, it sucks to not hear back, but we’re not sitting around waiting and we don’t take it personally anymore. If we don’t hear back after a couple days, we assume either they probably found someone or it’s not the right sit for us. Communication is so important in house sitting (and life!) and it starts with timeliness of response to applications. Every house sit we’ve ever done (been house sitting with THS since 2016) has been arranged within a couple days. Just my two cents.

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Well you are less patient than I. I don’t dare apply to several sits for the same period. This is why I prefer to decline myself.in order to feel free to apply elsewhere.

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We’re full time sitters and we’ve been burned in the past by only applying to one at a time, waiting for someone who never got back, and missed out on other sits. I don’t see it as a lack of patience but just smart decision making. No one is harmed and if someone is going to take a super long time to get back, to be honest, that’s on them for missing out :wink:

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We now think and act just like @alternativetravelers. In the beginning, we thought we would give the HO time to decide, and it would not be fair to apply somewhere else at the same time. We were afraid that maybe both would invite us and then we have to reject one. But then we realised that the problem to find sits are not rejections. It can not always fit and that is ok. The main reason ist the response behaviour of some HO. Unfortunately we had to learn very quickly it is not predictable when or how an HO would responds. So waiting for it is not really useful and we wasted a lot of time. In the meantime, however, other HOs might have liked to invite us because we would have been a good fit. We decided we don’t have to be fair anymore if we get no response for a specific time.
Therefore we apply now to all sits in which we are interested and explain that we decide after the “first come first served” rule if we get no feedback. To be clear if we get the feedback that we are on the shortlist and the HO need time to decide, we reserve that time window in our calendar for that HO and he has priority. But also only for a short period.

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We even think one step further. It’s not that HO don’t need us. They might have flights booked or important appointments and could not stay at home when they get no sitter. Then you might be the right sitter for them, but blocked out of some loyal thinking for another HO who means he is not in charge to respond in anyway. And that is not fair to every other HO who really needs a sitter.

There must be a huge difference between occasional sitters (what I am) and full time ones who need to fill up their schedule

I told the story in another post but with my owner cap I made my choice the very first day I published a request for a sitter (as I had been chosen as a sitter by a British couple) and an applicant was furious against me reproaching me my attitude. “Nobody chooses the first day” (i had given him explanations )
the couple i had chosen, first to answer me, fit totally… so I stopped publishing 2 hours after having published my listing

So no rules…

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Yes no rules how to choose a sitter or sit. The only rule should be to treat the other with respect and talk to each other.
In your case @Provence the sitter was the rude one. Perfect candidate for a blacklist. It wouldn’t have done him any good if you had waited and read other applications and then stayed with the first sitter. If it fits then it fits. In the worst case the first sitter would have changed his mind and you would have lost the best match.

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I usually do one ‘chase up email’ and then forget it. I actually got my last sit from a ‘chase up email’ after a couple of days where there owner was busy and stressed and had not managed to get through all applicants. I also got another reply from a ‘chase up email’ but by then I had accepted another sit. I tend to apply for whichever attract me and sometimes they do overlap. This way I keep my options open. A polite reply to owners doesn’t go a miss for another future possibility.

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What is a chase up email ?? A hunt ?

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I think it is something like a reminder email

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I’m with you, I don’t read anything in to it and would apply again if I saw the sit.

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I usually send two to three messages and if none are read or if there is no reply I cancel the sit. I don’t want to waste my time. Especially, if the homeowner allows the number of applications just to continue to grow. I have had several owners contact me after I unapply, but that is more unusual than normal.

What drives me crazy is if I have a HO saved as a favorite and I get a notice that they posted a listing - I click on it immediately and the sit is already not available. I think HO’s need a little bit more training at times!

I have had an HO respond a month later, and have gotten the sit, it all depends on where the sit is and how it fits in our nomad life-style, we do HS full time.

I have to remind myself that the HO has a lot going on in their lives too, so if I can I give them some slack. But it is always sad when they don’t respond.

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I sent a message to an owner 4 months ago. Applying and writing again one month later to tell him I thought his attitude was rude not answering to applicants.

He was seeking some sitter close to me for 3 days in november

I’ received a mail… yesterday ! I guess it’s because he needs again a sitter for 3 days in february that he opened his mailbox. Probably a box created only for THS mails. So once he has made his choice he does not give a damn about new applications
This why he wrote

Obviously owners don’t read the THS help section in order to use the group answer or to stop the publishing in order to “have time” to read the messages they have received.

Will it be different if the rate answer was published?

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I am a full-time sitter, when that is possible, but seem to keep coming back on the HO side!

I have just looked back on my history on THS, I have applied for 90 sits in 3 years, successful on 20, so with repeats, I now have 31 sits via THS.

Of the 90 HO, 53 are “currently not active”, that’s almost 60%. Some will be due to current circumstances (covid), not renewing membership, but a lot I know only used THS once then didn’t renew for whatever reason (a few I know the pet passed, or they changed location)

However, my point is, a lot of HO only use THS once, or not on a regular basis, so don’t necessarily read all the “help” details, or are not aware of some of the processes.

They just want someone to look after their home and pet.

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I answered him he was forgiven and as he looks for somebody again i explained him how to make a pause and how to send a group message if he receives many applications again .
Group message sounds better than silence.
I don’t give up (but i did not apply )

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