How long should a sitter's response take?

How long should you expect sitters take to get back to you? It’s infuriating when you can see that they have read your invitation/message and don’t reply at all, or get back with a decline two weeks later.
I had one potential sitter who wanted to come for a sit in February, which didn’t go ahead, so I messaged them regarding the revised dates. All messages were read, but I never had the courtesy of a reply.
Am I old fashioned, surely a quick, “sorry, but can’t do” would be easy enough.
Also at the moment, it seems to be impossible to find a sitter, so plan B is a kennel booking. In that respect you can’t then mess the kennels around with late cancellations if a sitter turns up late. But with the cost of kennel fees for two dogs, and not managing to get any response from sitters for my two published dates (one of which has been shown for about 2 months now) I am seriously considering whether the annual membership cost, on top of kennel fees is a worthwhile expense.
I would be interested to hear other owners comments, thanks.

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I am not a homeowner, I am a sitter. I’m really sorry you have had such a poor experience.
I always reply to messages as soon as I get a notification, even if it only to say thank you, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I double check available flights. Even then I can usually check them within a couple of hours.
If I were a homeowner and didn’t get a response or an acknowledgement within 24 hours I would look for another sitter.
It happens both ways though, I recently applied for a sit and sent a message asking for more info on a couple of points. 10 days later the message hadn’t even been read. I retracted my application and removed that sit from my favourites. Good communication is essential and if I see no prospect of that I’m not interested.

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How long is a piece of string?
There are many reasons people don’t answer messages.
Bad manners.
Can’t be bothered.
Waiting to see if they get a better offer.
Not knowing how to.
Too busy.
And there will be tons more.
Don’t wait around for an answer. Keep on contacting potential people.

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We reply within the same day, usually within 1-3 hours. There’s no need to wait longer than 1-2 days, you are free to move on and talk to other people.

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I feel your pain but from the sitter’s side. I always respond quickly, and remain shocked at how long owners take to respond. Most messages go unread for hours/days. Why bother posting the sit? I don’t wait around - I move on. But I can see your frustration as a HO trying to find someone. And I agree that people should respond even if just to decline.

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We always end our application with " We would really appreciate a response within 2-3 days" and that has worked well. Setting some expectations about timely communication is a key for a successful sit. We generally avoid sits where the HO is slow to respond to messages or leaves us on read. Recently we had a HO who responded to an older message after 2 years.

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If sitters must decline an invite they should, imho, reply right away or as soon as it is only possible. A short sweet message before they hit the decline button. This is what I do.

If sitters like to accept an invite, they should also respond right away or as soon as they only can within a few hours, max 1 day

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Bear in mind time differences mean a short delay in responding for international sitters.

As a Sitter, if the HO does not respond within 48 hours, I cancel.

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I agree with all that has been previously said. However as a nomadic sitter I have recently been in the situation where I had no internet for several days and no way of accessing any. It’s not often that happens, but it has happened to me :-). Otherwise we always, always respond as soon as we see a message.

We’ve discussed this quite a lot on the Forum and, of course, it’s impossible to answer as everyone is different.
I’m a sitter and have had exactly the same scenarios as you with owners. Some people are discourteous, and the same happens when you apply for jobs….sometimes you just hear nothing at all. I always respond quickly.
I’m guessing you may have reached out to some sitters, is that right? They should of course reply but have you checked their calendars, before inviting them to sit, to see if they’re available for your dates? Calendars aren’t always up to date though as we can’t input other non- availability.
Hope this helps. Please don’t think ill of all sitters as it’s only a small minority of sitters and owners who forget their manners!

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Thanks for all the comments, I do ask that sitters respond as soon as possible to advise one way or the other, and if they decline, I always thank them for their prompt response.
I also check calendars, but as many have said in another post, calendars are regularly not updated, so on some occasions, if they are not scored out, then will enquire.
Looks like my two will be going into kennels for both my June and July trips, as I can’t keep the kennels hanging on, and feel bad if I cancel them close to the travel date if a sitter comes forward.
Which again brings me back to my other quandary, paying kennel fees and keeping membership where I am not getting the benefit of any sitters is expensive, especially at the moment when everything is costing so much more…

That’s such a shame if you’ve got to resort to kennels which will cost you way more than having sitters in your home, as you know. But, sadly, there’s no guarantee that you will find sitters although it looks like you’ve tried hard enough. So sorry for you

Hi @ellieh I would suggest you take advantage of getting constructive feedback from forum members by embedding a link to your listing in your forum username. Quite a few owners have recently come back to the forum, sharing their success stories and giving credit to the tweaks they made making all the difference. Members are here to support each other and share their tips. It’s a great sharing community, available to you. Please consider that option.

That would be hilarious if it wasn’t quite shocking. Are you going to share what was said. ? just being nosey. :blush:

Thanks, I have done that now (I think!) but assume I can only post one set of dates at a time this way…

This was the message:

SORRY I DID NOT CLOSE THIS OUT….Thanks for your application

I think the HO posted a new listing and realized they never closed their listing from 2 years ago.

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Hi @ellieh Your link wasn’t working properly but @Angela-HeadOfCommunity has fixed it. However, it shows as no sitter needed. Is that correct? If not, please direct message Angela and she will work with you to figure things out. In case you’re not familiar with direct messaging, click on her @ name and then click on the green message icon, that looks like the one below.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 10.59.17 AM

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ellieh, your sit sounds wonderful but I cannot see any house or pet pictures on the app?
It is unfortunate that your previous sitters have not left informative reviews as that also helps draw new applicants in.

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@Kootenaigirl I think the link in @ellieh profile was broken … it should be fixed now