Multiple applications - how do you decide?

Hi, just wondering how HO decide which sitter to select if they’ve received a few applications when all the profiles and reviews look good. Do you follow your gut? Go with the person who is most engaging? First come, first to be selected?

Quite a few people have saved my listing and I invited a sitter, but I’ve been unable to set up a chat yet. In the meantime I’ve received an application from a sitter who seems perfect and is very engaging. Not sure what to do next?

Any help or advice would be really appreciated - thank you

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Hi @oludeniz - The first thing to be aware of is that you are far more likely to find a sitter from those that apply than those that have saved your listing. By saving your listing they will be made aware that you are looking so hopefully, will apply themselves if the dates are convenient for them.

From those that apply personally I am a believer in first come first served. That is not necessarily the first application, but the first application that fits all your criteria. Don’t collect too many applications before deciding as it becomes confusing and overwhelming. Plus the more you collect, the more you have to disappoint.

I say this as a sitter but if you have an application that, as you say, “seems perfect” - then, to me, it seems a pointless exercise waiting for something better to come along

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Fully agree. It’s best to keep it simple and efficient. Usually we apply within 24 hours, set up a a video chat within the same week and confirm the sit (if we’re picked).

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Hello @oludeniz
As a sitter I save sits that I’m attracted to, mostly it’s the pet and accommodation photos that will catch my eyes. Often I am invited to one of my saved sits, and find after a video call, I change my mind. Turns out everything was not as I thought. I’d go with your instinct - the applicant who appears perfect, but only after a video call.

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As usual, @Colin has given you great feedback. I will just add that, because of the pandemic, I would currently also consider the distance the sitter lives (or is currently) from your home. The further away, the more chances of complications, and I realize that’s a generalization.

I would also recommend a video chat, rather than basing your decision solely on what’s in writing. I’m not sure if you’ve done that when you say the person is engaging, but hopefully you did.

I hope all goes well for you.

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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies and feedback.

I have one sitter who is quite nearby, but I’m struggling to engage with them via THS email and am also struggling to confirm a date for a video chat - appreciate that its holiday time and people are busy. I then have another who seems perfect and would be happy to chat today, but I feel that I should give the first sitter a chance…but how long do I wait? I’ve asked them if they are still interested and they said yes…but nothing more :thinking:

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Go with the sitter who can chat today. If you really like them, go ahead and confirm. Or you can ask them to wait another day if you want to give the first sitter another chance, but don’t tarry. If you do, they may get another sit in the interim and not be available for you. If you have any reservations at all, listen to your gut and don’t choose them.

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Your use of ‘struggling’ twice creates a red flag for me. I’m not sure they deserve priority over someone who is ready and willing to video chat. I’d do the chat. Keep in mind that you can choose to not decide during the video chat, but I do think that person deserves a prompt answer.

In a situation like this, where you’re not video chatting with multiple people, I think next day with a definitive answer to that person is being respectful. Just my timeline, of course. Much will depend on how soon the sit is too, and whether you want to wait to see if you get more applications.

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Why should you wait for the first one? Only because he/she was a little faster to apply? If the one you can do the earlier video chat with feels right, go for it!

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Communication is so important. If you are struggling to engage with a sitter now, that would seem to be a red flag. They may have said they are interested, but having said nothing more, I get the impression that they may only be slightly interested? They don’t seem super keen!

The other sitter seems a much better option, I would arrange to chat with them.

As a sitter myself, I would want to chat with the home owner at the earliest opportunity, and I would likely have given you my phone number at this point. If a sitter isn’t respond to messages or not giving any indication of their availability to chat, they should expect the home owner to start contacting other applicants.

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In addition to what others have said, after/during a video call, it’s usually been the case that the HO says “Well, I’m happy to go ahead if you are. Please take a day or two if you need to decide” or similar. And I’ve usually confirmed just then or within a day.

The video call is key.

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Thanks everyone, your replies have been very helpful. I have decided to follow my gut and go proceed to a call with the other applicant as the red flags are too strong.

Cheers :slight_smile:

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I’m the odd one out here. As an HO, I prefer NOT to do a video call. In fact, I’ve invited many sitters and done it all via email ,or with a phone call. I’ve had enough sitters that I have enough reviews from THEM that it doesn’t seem a big issue. I usually get enough applicants that I close my posting after a couple days. I go with my gut, I’ve gotten gotten good at reading between the lines and also knowing what is a ‘rote’ query (not that those are necessarily bad). I select sitters, about 90% of the time who are experienced with lots of refs on the site though I’ve gone with newbies, also, always with great results.

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Thank-you for your positive feedback and it’s always good to hear different perspectives - sounds like you have a good system that works for you. As sitters we prefer a video call (particularly on a long sit) but we’ve also accepted sits after phone calls and occasionally after email discussions - in some areas of the world video has been out of the question.

I think “gut feeling” builds with experience, and after many years and sits we are rarely wrong in our assessment now and that gut instinct is a big part of our selection process. At the end of the day for us it’s about good open honest communication, and how that is facilitated can be via many different routes.

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Hello @Tourmalinequeen, you are definitely not the only one.
As sitters, we have been selected quite often only after e-mails contacts.
As @Vanessa-Admin says

For sure it may be different for very long sits, but we mainly apply for few days of few weeks sits so it is very often only with e-mails. As you we very much trust on the reviews and feed back we can read - this is why it is so important to have a fair review/feedback system. Thanks to this forum we learnt how to read in between the lines and detect any red flags ! It worked well so far :crossed_fingers: !

And I must add, as my mother tong is not english, it is sometimes easier for me to write than to speak. Though I must admit the video is much more confortable than the telephone : it helps seing people, not only listening. I always write to HO that I am fine with video chat should they need, but quite often it is ok without !

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Hi @Tourmalinequeen and @Françoise-et-Youn , I am also with you. I find video calls so unnatural. Also, I want to write down the answers to my many questions which breaks eye contact.
If a H O asks for a video call, I ask if we can have an old fashioned phone call. They all agree and I think some of them have been relieved

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Pen, paper and a phone call … “old fashioned” maybe but whatever works … works :clap: @Itchyfeet

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As a sitter, I’ve done numerous phone calls, 3 pre-sit visits to meet the home owners and pets and see the house, and 2 sits where the only communication was by the THS message system and text. I’ve yet to do a video call!

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As a sitter with many years and great reviews it makes me picky as a HO. When I receive applicants and I do try and hold off a few days so I have a bit to choose from. As a HO, I try and mention my requirements in the profile. I always receive many applicants that do not qualify (ugh). It really doesn’t matter if you apply first or last. I toss aside the ones that do not fit. I rate the ones with experience and great reviews. I give extra points to those who are driving in (especially during these covid restricted times). I will email back and forth once or twice. If I’m comfortable that may be enough, or a video or just a phone call can suffice. And if no one has applied that fits my criteria, then I go to Plan B which may be a known paid sitter I use now and then from my neighborhood. Acceptable applicant numbers drop in the summer months in Central Florida leaving me to remove the posting if I’m not thrilled with any of the applicants. i will never be that desperate to take someone into my home to care for my cat if they don’t check all the boxes.

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I go with my gut. I read all the reviews and profile of the sitters who apply and then go with my gut. The first time I did a video call was at the request of the sitter for the last sit we had. That was great but we haven’t felt the need before and have always had excellent sitters. I agree that it’s best to choose from say 10 profiles rather than anymore as it can get confusing and we hate disappointing applicants.

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