Messaging owners

Can I suggest we are able to msg an owner before applying for a sit ? Sometimes we need to ask questions before applying or may be able to do some of the requested sit. I cannot find a way of sending a message before the final application and I feel this is really needed.
Thanks

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It’s not currently possible @Melouise , you have to apply for the sit and ask those questions in your initial application. If they don’t fit what you’re looking for then you can pursue or withdraw from there.

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Yeah, but actually, it is a good idea. Hosts often complain that some sitters are not suitable for the sit they applied for, and because of the application limit, more potentially suitable sitters are unable to apply after that. So, actually, if we could message hosts before applying for a sit, it could solve the problem of limited applications in some way.

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It absolutely is a good idea @CatloverForever - totally agree, just not possible currently! It’s been raised many many times with HQ.

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Yes I agree

There is no final application. It is only after the sitter confirms that things are final.

So when I would need to know something, I just ask.

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As others have said, you have to apply then you may find it unsuitable after further questions, so in reality, a wasted process for HO and applicant.
I’m sure messaging owners is an easy addition to make by THS, but for some reason its not an option, despite many requests in the forums.
Let’s hope that changes and soon

Melodie

THS advice is to message them by tap ‘apply to sit’ -

There is no other way to contact them but it has been frequently suggested that it would be useful and that it should be provided as The Terms & Conditions do state under 3.2.5 that sitters are provided:

“the ability to communicate with Pet Parents via the Platform’s messaging service;”. Terms & Conditions | TrustedHousesitters.com

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There is no way that THS will introduce this as they will see it as a way to get round the 5 applications then pause rule.

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it used to be that you could. I think they changed it because people were messaging owners and saying, “I can’t do these dates, but if you need a sitter in the future, I’d be interested.” I think homeowners saw it as a nuisance to have to wade through these sorts of inquiries, and that’s when they added a rule that sitters aren’t allowed to do that. If I am pretty sure I’m interested in the sit, but I have a question, I will apply and in my message ask the question and let them know if it’s a potential dealbreaker. In a recent case, I saw the homeowner had no applicants yet for an upcoming, midweek sit. Midweek can be hard to fill, for both sitters and homeowners. I knew I couldn’t do the first day of the sit. But I reached out anyway and explained I could only do the last two nights of the sit, but if she knew someone who could do the first night, I’d be happy to do the others. She was glad I reached out and is currently investigating her options. We both agreed to keep each other posted if a better fit for either of us came up.

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There is no such rule that I know of.

Maybe when the guidelines were revised they took it out. But I’ve been sitting on here since 2016, and I know that rule existed at one time, because I had sent such inquiries, and I stopped.

Which rule is this @GillianWings ?

Sitters are discouraged from writing to hosts and asking about future dates that aren’t specified in the listing. Or, at least, they were at one time.

@GillianWings thank you. I have only been a member for just over a year so I wasn’t aware that previously contacting owners to ask questions about a sit was discouraged .

It is now suggested by THS in their Help section that you use the apply button to message an owner .

Yes, there is this kind of somewhat discouraging popups when you try to send a message:

Hi @GillianWings - I have been a sitter with THS for 11 years. To the best of my knowledge sitters have never been able to message a homeowner unless they have live dates or the sitter has been in contact with them before.

I occasionally send a speculative message when I cannot do the dates to open up a line of communication. It has worked for me in the past and the homeowner has appreciated my interest and offered future dates.

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@pietkuip where on earth did you find that! :thinking::face_with_monocle:

@ziggy That is what comes up when I send a message to someone who is in my inbox, so HOs that I had been in touch with before.

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Oh, now I get it :wink: