Is there an option to not be asked for sits I haven’t applied for?

Hello! I do not want to sound unkind, but I get real anxiety from having to tell a homeowner we are uninterested in taking their sit. We have met amazing people and are grateful an owner has thought enough of us to request us, but for our schedule, we are very selective with the sits we are able to take. I know it’s my personal issue, but I truly struggle with having to say no to someone when my instinct is to want to help, and I wondered if there is an opt out of having homeowners request us? We have had 6 in the past 30 days, which is more than we had previously, getting one here and there, so I didn’t know if there is some algorithm that made us show up on a search or what was happening.

My advice is to put 10 $/€/£ in a jar every time you politely decline a request to sit and after 30 days donate the money to someone who is truly in need of help. That should calm your anxiety.:slightly_smiling_face:

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Hello
No, there is no way to opt out of homeowners contacting you for a private invitation. Putting something right at the beginning of your profile (which would be the ‘experience’ section now) might help if it is really bothering you that much.

You could write something along the lines of what you said here about your schedule, selectivity, etc…and how it is highly unlikely you would be able to do any sit offered by private invite. Sometimes people may not read it, and contact you anyway, but that is really the best you can do in this case.

Also, if it helps you feel any better,. I imagine the vast majority of people go the 'private invite 'route when they aren’t having a lot of luck with their listing, so it is highly likely they are reaching out to more than one sitter and aren’t pinning all their hopes on you!

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You can put it at the top of your written profile. Something like: “We are very selective about the sits we apply for so we do not consider unsolicited invitations.”
This way, those who invite you anyway clearly have not looked at your profile, so you don’t have to feel bad about hitting that decline button without a response.

We are open to invites but of course the ones we do get are never where we actually want to go (or need a car even though we say in our listing we don’t have one…) so we have a blanket response we send if the person actually wrote us something and their dates were within the updated availability we write at thd top of our profile:
Dear (name),
Thank you for reaching out, but we are unavailable. Best of luck in your search.

Anyone who sends a message-less invite gets a message-less decline.

Hope that helps.

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Short answer is no. Just reply with “sorry we are unable to do your sit”. You don’t need to explain why and owners don’t care why. They do appreciate that you reply quickly.

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Hi! You could simply write something like “no sit invites please” at the top of your profile, and it should work. I was getting heaps of invites - sometimes 1 per day - which was driving me slightly nuts, because every single invite was for a sit I would never choose, didn’t even fit my profile and availability, and was always in England (I’m not travelling England this year). I wrote no sit invites for England please - sitting abroad in Europe only as the first line of my profile, plus the dates I’m available, and it worked - I’ve stopped getting invites for England :+1:

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Thank you for taking the time to offer a kind reply. :heart:
debated asking the forum for input because I would get backlash but it is a genuine response I get of guilt and anxiety when I have to say no.
Take care.

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What a great idea!

Recently added “Sorry, but not looking for any more pet sits in 2024” to our profile.
We still get invites, just shows how some real pet lovers HO read profiles before trusting people to look after their pet!

It should stop a few though, you’re right.

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Oh thanks for this idea - I keep getting invites to sit locally and (apart from the potential of more 5* reviews :innocent:) can’t see the point of doing these. I too find it hard to say no, so I’ll update my profile & hope the invites stop.

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I state ‘Very limited availability ’ at the top of my listing.
I have no intention of even trying to use my availability calendar until at least a key/legend is introduced.

I still get unsolicited invites but sometimes they turn out to be a nice surprise. A few years ago I received a private invitation with a heart warming message as to why they would love us to sit for them. It was a sit I wouldn’t normally have applied for as it was in an unknown area with 3 dogs (we limit ourselves to two). It turned out to be one of the most amazing sits we have ever done.

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Some sitters have mentioned that they’ve changed their home location to somewhere that makes it unlikely for them to get invited as locals, like say Antarctica. Don’t know whether you might want to do that.

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Wow, I’d love to have that problem! We’ve only ever been invited once ; accepted, had a wonderful sit and are going back for a second visit shortly. Personally, I found it great to feel actively wanted!

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I wouldn’t mind either to get invited for sits, particularly if from HOs where I’ve previously expressed interest or favourited them! Doesn’t happen though - or very seldom

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You have 17 good reviews, that is probably why.

You don’t need to do anything, but it is of course better to just press the decline button so that they know. You don’t need to explain, there is no need to write anything at all.

But to get rid of this, you would need to “move”. To Antarctica, or to for example one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

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I recently got invited to a farm with at least 10 animals of different species. Normally I would reply and say no thanks, but that one feels too cheeky to even acknowledge.

I feel bad about saying no as well if it’s a nice sit. In that case I offer to stay in touch for future sits, but so far this hasn’t happened.

Changing the location is probably a great way to stop the invitations! I had my profile set to Oslo once (because I was there for 3 weeks pet sitting) and nobody invited me then!

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We did this too after reading the advice somebody wrote on another thread suggesting this idea, we’ve not had unsolicited invites since :+1:

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Sounds like they need to hire a paid farm hand, not a petsitter!

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This. I just say to them, “Thanks so much for the invite. Unfortunately I’m not available at that time. Good luck.” They don’t need to know any details about why you don’t want to accept the sit.

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