How to convince a HO to split the dates?

Just seen a nice long sit (22 days) in a very coveted city, but I have just accepted a sit that overlaps with the dates. I wonder if asking a HO to split the sit in half is an option? I know the chances of success are low but I guess it never hurts to try…? What can I say to convince HOs that splitting the dates can be a good idea for them? Perhaps they might prefer to have the sit covered by two very experienced sitters instead of a not very experienced sitter??
Thanks much for your help!

So many times I’ve wondered the same. Sometimes a three week sit is just too long in one place but a week would be perfect. I have been so tempted to try but never actually done it.
I suppose it depends on the location, the pet owners preference and if they get a good fit that is willing to do the complete sit.
The other problem is who takes the blame for things going wrong, broken items or things not being done properly? It’s your word against the other sitters. That could be a very large negative for me.
Tell us how you get on if you try.

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This is how I feel 80 percent of the time when I look at THS sittings lol. Many sits are just too long, it’s great for digital nomads, but for those who are still based somewhere and need to do stuff at home (like attending medical appointments), it’s just not very convenient.

I guess I might have a chance of success with sits in not so popular areas, but this sit I am applying for…don’t think I stand a chance :frowning: Still figuring out if I should do it, and how to word my request…anyone got any tips please :slight_smile:

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Hi @MissRien I think ‘long sit’ is still subjective, but I do understand your point. Given you’ve identified it as a ‘coveted city’, I think it’s less likely that a homeowner would entertain the idea. If they have many applicants, why would they?

I’ll add a link to a post where this topic was discussed: splitting sits. Maybe it will give you some ideas as to how to best present your idea.

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@MissRien I understand your logic and the reason from your perspective but I would be very reluctant to propose this to a new owner. It can be quite a daunting task arranging a first sitter finding the right sitter is key, I cannot imagine suggesting that they go through this process twice for the same dates and if it was suggested they may even expect the sitter proposing the split to recommend another sitter …

Bravo for thinking outside of the box, anything is possible given the right circumstances but when doing so we need to always wear the other person’s hat and consider all aspects from their POV and not just how it suits us.

A great recommendation from @Snowbird to look at the existing conversation

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I don’t think it hurts to ask! One of our first international sits was in a smaller town on the Gold Coast of Australia. The couple advertised wanting sitters for a month. We’d never been to Australia and I didn’t want to be away from home for more than a month and at the same time wanted to see other parts of Australia. The homeowners were going camping in their motorhome so accommodated us doing their sit for just two weeks so we could spend another two weeks exploring Australia. We visited three other cities in Australia and it was such a great experience. One of our best holidays ever so it’s definitely worth asking the homeowners if they will accommodate .

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The big worry for me would be if the Home host comes home to a mess/loss/breakage who gets the blame if none of the two sitters accept responsibility.

What if the home host notices something missing or damaged when they get home that was actually missing or damaged before they left - they mention it to the sitters and both blame each other ?

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We would probably not suggest it unless the HO is really struggling to find someone. It creates more work for the HO and a lot of them would like to meet the sitter in person on arrival. We are also more cautious now and I don’t know if I would accept a split sit again (as a sitter). There’s also a thread on what can happen on a split sit and I also shared my two experiences there (which range from fine to bad). The bad one was that the HO came to a mess of a house with all plants dead (one month after we finished our own sit there). We see lots of great sits pass by because the dates are just a little bit off, but it’s fine, we always find a great place + animal.

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As a homeowner, I would never split my dates, for the reasons mentioned already, about all the many things that could go wrong, and neither sitter taking responsibility. As a sitter, I am frequently declining invitations because they are too long (I am not a nomad sitter and don’t generally do sits longer than 10 days). Many times the homeowner comes back to me and offers to split the sit, but I again decline because of the many things that could go wrong.

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I used two sets of couples over Christmas, 12 days each. It was generally fine and my beloved cat was cared for which is the priority, of course. The first couple was new to me and I was able to meet the wife (she arrived the day before I left and she was great!); the second couple were people I knew.

When I arrived home, it took me several hours to find things and put them back where they belonged, and some personal effects were found in the oddest places, unusual to have been moved in the first place.

Since I knew the second couple personally, I was fine with the split, but in the future, I think I would find it stressful to have a second person/couple arrive without being able to meet them. And I realized that I’m more comfortable with a solo traveler as well.

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I just declined a sit in one of the most desirable cities in the world but it was for a month and I just felt it was too long. Going the distance, I would have preferred it be a two week sit and visited some other cities in the country. I didn’t approach the homeowner to ask to shorten the sit and I felt really bad declining it but my loss is someone else’s gain who I’m sure will love the sit.

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As a home owner who ALWAYS takes the time for an in-depth personal introduction, I would have to be really, really desperate to agree to a split.
I also don’t think my pets would be very happy to have new “owners” half way through.

I am fully aware that not everyone is a digital nomad these days and spends a good part of his or her vacation time on house sitting. However, if someone told me that he or she only wanted to only come for a week and then travel to other parts of my area, I would say I am not an Airbnb host and back off.

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Not long ago I was looking for a pet sitter for 3 months in Oakland, CA (close to San Francisco). I had very few applications. One of them was from a brand new sitter who asked to split the dates. I told him I would consider that and then added to the title a willingness to split the dates. That would be do-able for me because I am fine interviewing people by Zoom without needing to meet them in person and because my brother lives next door and can help acclimate the second sitter. In the end, I found one sitter for the entire stay, but I would have split the time. And that started with a request from an applicant. It’s worth a try. You never know who is having trouble finding the right sitter.

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I don’t feel this is a good idea. It seems an unprofessional thing to do. You accepted the first job so do that one. We are not supposed to be doing this just for free vacations. We sign up for jobs and are then responsible for what we signed up for. This is what the pet owners should expect and receive. I don’t think it’s your place to ask them to change just because you have seen another job that you like.

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Agreed.

If things were reversed and a HO sees a sitter they like better after confirming someone, and then asks if they would mind leaving a week or two early so they could get the more desirable sitter.

I’d think that was ridiculous to be honest.

It feels like a lot of the responses here are missing the fact that the OP has confirmed the sit and now wants to ask about splitting.

Asking before confirming the sit is way more acceptable IMHO.

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Not sure if my original post was misleading. I did NOT ask the HO of the sit I already accepted to split the dates. I wanted to ask the HO of another NEW sit to split the dates.

Ah, my mistake! I read it as if you wanted to split the confirmed sit not the coveted one!

I’m sorry :slightly_smiling_face: