How many applicants should I review before choosing one?

Brand new to THS and full of anxiety about the process. I have received 2 applications for our first listing which is a long stay sit, while we are overseas.
Both applicants are new sitters - one has 2 reviews, the other has none.
Planning long in advance so feel like I should wait for 5 applicants before we start vetting?
Thanks to all who can offer advice and feedback. :slight_smile:

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Pick one (two weeks out) that feels right to you. The one without reviews, well, people have to start somewhere, but I would chose a newbie for a shorter sit. If you want a person to walk your dog a lot, then get an outdoorsy person. Check out a sitter’s career choice and what pets they have on thier profile, it may tell you how responsible they are.

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Hi @SyleaAplonis , don’t forget that the two you have will probably have other applications pending so by making them wait too long you might end up missing out on them both!


I agree, the site has got so big, you need to grab someone whilst you can. My profile disappeared down the page within hours of posting. As I have horses I ended up reaching out to sitters to find someone. And don’t forget the sitter with no reviews has paid to join, so wants to do it. Good luck!


If neither of the two seem like a good fit for you, and, you have a long horizon before you need someone, I’d wait. In the past, I’ve stopped after one application, if they seemed the right fit. And, in some cases I’ve declined those that applied early because I just didn’t feel they were a good fit and waited til the right one came along.


If you have significant time till your sit and can afford to wait, it can be worth waiting to see what quality applicants you get, as well as how many. You might be able to get better sitters and you might be able to learn from demand (or lack of it) for your sit, for future reference.

Sits have differing variables and what kind of demand you’ll get will differ because of that. For instance, homes in popular locations tend to get plenty of applicants. If you have a beautiful home with a bunch amenities, that tends to help. The more complicated the sit, the fewer the applicants there will tend to be. The more similar your sit to others’ and the more they overlap time wise, the more you’ll have to compete. If you’re in a rural location and a sitter needs a car, it might be more challenging. And so on.

It also helps as you amass reviews from sitters who write nice things about you, your home and location, your pets, etc.

Every sit will attract certain sitters more than others. You can’t control things like your home’s location, but you can essentially “market” your sit well or not. Like how robustly you share info about nearby amenities and sights or such. Or specifics about your pets and your requests. Or the photos you share. Or even the headline you write.

Take a look at sits similar to yours, especially in the same area — they’re your competition for the best sitters of your cohort.

And in general, take a look at various sit descriptions — some homeowners convey warmth and welcome, as well as thoughtfulness in their sit descriptions. Those sits will tend to draw more applicants, all else equal.

Some sits are a turn-off for some sitters — even when the location, home and pets are good — because some HOs write their listings like they’re hiring help, or have unrealistic expectations and/or have bad or missing reviews. (Unlike the app, the website doesn’t show previous sitters who didn’t review a sit. Some sitters don’t review sits they found problematic.)

If you add the link to your sit in your profile in the forum, usually various folks will offer feedback that can help strengthen your listing. Here’s how to:

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I would suggest doing at least five interviews. So if you only like 2-3 of the first batch of 5 candidates, you just have to decline the ones you don’t like and open it up to more candidates.
The important thing is having peace of mind.
First time we used sitters we posted a month in advance for a 25 day sit (going to Europe) and got two dozen applicants before we shut it down (before the 5 applicants rule).
We picked a couple who came to our home, met our pets & we offered them the sit: they accepted. One week before our trip, they bailed via E-mail (which we easily could have missed!)
Thankfully, we’d also done an in-depth interview with another couple - we contacted them & they were still available.
Bottom line: you want to interview several possible sitters just in case…
That said, sitters who bail are VERY rare.

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@SyleaAplonis you are also a new home owner with no feedback from previous sitters so some sitters may be reluctant to apply for your sit.

The key is to do your due diligence checks, look out for the red flags (search this using the spy glass) and ultimately listen to your gut instinct and you will get the right sitter. Ensure you do a video call with your potential sitter before confirming them through THS. You could offer to do video calls with your 2 current applicants and see where that goes. Just be up front with them all that you will be speaking with other sitters before making your decision.


That seems excessive.

On THS, I am a sitter, but I have a home where I have hosted travellers using Couchsurfing, BeWelcome, etc. I have never had an interview before hosting them. These are generally younger people, and they were often staying for only a few days, but I have trusted them with the house keys and I have never had a real problem. (One girl drank my wine and was quite drunk when I returned, that is the only “incident”.)


You have good advice here but can I ask you please to respond to the two sitters straight away and not keep them hanging on until you get more? It’s so infuriating when owners ignore applications while they wait for more prospective sitters to pick from. As @Colin says, the sitters will likely be applying for other sits so you could miss out if you don’t act quickly.
Also, please give new sitters a chance, we’ve all been new sitters and just need that first break.
Good luck!


You just need one applicant with whom you feel comfortable. On our first posting we had 5 applicants and after a video chat with the first applicants (who just had a few reviews) they checked the boxes so we chose them. They’ve now sat with us 3 times going on 4. So we basically only interviewed 1 applicant since we joined THS. :hugs:


We’ve been hosts, and we’ve been sitters.
As hosts we only had one experience with an inconsiderate sitter.
As sitters we have had many HO’s tell us horror stories.
Almost inevitably they say, “There were red flags: we should have paid attention to them.”
I have found people in the 50+ countries I’ve been in are kind & generous no matter what culture, whether in Peru, Egypt, Denmark, Turkey, Hungary, Cambodia…
BUT there are always exceptions. And it’s good to be alert to “red flags” whether you are a HO, a sitter, or a traveler.

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I will agree that perhaps “interview” was the wrong word.
I think “consider” would have been more appropriate.
But def interview at least 2, perhaps 3: you may want to reach out to one of those people in future even if the current sit isn’t the right “fit” for all.

Good suggestions. Especially letting potential sitters know you’re talking to others.
I had one Host tell me they were going to talk to the other applicants before making a decision: my response was to praise them for being considerate.
Bottom line IMHO is that if you approach this as a win-win everyone is happier.

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Oh gosh, no! @SyleaAplonis If you already know that you don’t like these two, don’t bother with wasting your or their time.

(You’re not hiring them so it’s not the culture here to call it an interview)

I’ve always looked at the face to face conversation as kind of as the last step before confirming (from my perspective as the sitter). Especially if you are trying to choose between two people and you can’t pick a favorite.


I’m sorry but I strongly believe she needs to do a little due-diligence.
Wait and see who applies.
Even if all she does is wait for 5 people to apply, she’ll get a sense of who is available.
What happens if she chooses someone and shuts it down before anyone else can apply - and then her chosen sitter has to back out?
As a new HO in the system, it would be helpful for her to know who is interested in her sit.
Immediately choosing between the first wo applicants, both newbies, seems unnecessarily hasty.


If you’re new too @SyleaAplonis then I’d respond to the first two applicants, have a video call with both asap if they’re possibles (don’t leave them hanging) and rule them out if they’re a no and let the other three application slots fill up. You’ll learn from the meet & greet as will they and that whole process will give you another few days to see who else applies. The key thing is don’t do nothing! (Terrible English but you know what I mean) Best of luck :raised_hands:t3:


Please do not take this advice.

The sitters have populated profiles, they wrote a cover letter, they have associated air bnb profiles, linked in. This is just a waste of everyone’s time.

Send the 2 applicants a holding message to say thank you and you will be making a decision in a few days.

When you have a handful of applicants then just interview your favourite and go with them. If not move to the next one.

It changed the dynamic of the whole conversation if it’s all hypothetical and you’re speaking to other people.

Also remember this is not a job application. You are not interviewing people, you are video calling to see if you get on and are on the same page with things.

Best of luck


My thanks to everyone who has offered guidance and feedback, it’s much appreciated.
And for the few that mentioned it, I did immediately acknowledge both applicants and am feeling quite good about the 2nd one that applied. I will be following up with them in the next few days.
Just have to take the leap, I think!
Thanks again.


This happened to us last year and I ow think we missed out on a very good sitter. This year we have chosen newbies for September who had no reviews. We were anxious about this, but as their diary was full we chose them. I have kept checking and they now have quite a few excellent ones. It is equally difficult if you have five all good.