New York, like many expensive international cities, is a very desirable location for pet sitting. As a fellow Aussie who was hoping to sit in New York this northern hemisphere spring (but has since changed my mind as I’ll explain below) I can offer a few hints.
If you are new sitters in the system get some local sits and hence (hopefully 5 star) reviews on your record. Make your profile stand out. There are plenty of threads on the forum that will advise how to do that.
As you are in a different timezone to New York, many of the listings will be '‘reviewing applications’ before you wake up. Search for and favourite (heart) ALL the ones you are interested in even though they aren’t currently seeking applications. Research the logistics-pet care responsibilities (especially time the pet can be left alone if you are wanting to explore) transport, home owner preferences etc. before you favourite so you don’t have to waste your time getting alerts for unsuitable sits. You can also set up a saved search for your preferences and dates but these aren’t as useful as they used to be as they only come through once per hour and many NY sits will reach 5 apps within that time.
Prepare a template with your application text that you can quickly customise. I would make (only truthful) assurances that you will be there anyway and when, so the owner understands you are serious about being there and helping them take a stress free break and arent just just looking for free accommodation.
Set up your phone to alert you loudly when any of the listings post new dates. Many will come through during the night. Respond immediately. If you wait until the morning the listing will be gone 9 times out of 10… If the dates suit, hit the apply button immediately, paste in your application template and customise. Unfortunately, this may not even be enough to get you in the first 5 applicants but at least you have some chance. If you find for some reason it’s not a sit you want, withdraw your application asap to free up a place for someone else and save the homeowner the hassle of having to go through your application. Unfortunately, it’s a numbers game and a race atm ( more so than in the past) for those of us seeking to sit in other time zones. It is what it is, so adapt accordingly. I am travelling in South Asia atm, and its almost impossible (and too stressful) to apply so we have changed our plans.
@hettykrupka It didn’t used to be so difficult. Unless the homeowner had already chosen a sitter you used to be able at least send your application for consideration . Try to search for NYC sits outside of midnight and 6 am NYC time. Unfortunately looking for desired sits requires a lot more work and more time on the site. Best of luck , I hope you get to pet sit in NYC!
Do a search using your criteria -dates pets etc. Then you get a save option -top right. Name the search and save again. But to be quite honest, the favourites (hearts are more use nowadays due to the delay in search alerts getting sent.
Also. Make sure your favourites (hearts) are done on the app so you get push notifications as the dates get listed. You can also do them on your desktop but you will only get notified once per day feom these and there is NO WAY a NY sit will stay available for 24 hours unless its not particularly desirable. In other words, the app and the desktop behave quite differently for favourites.
Hi @hettykrupka , as others have said - it is a race to be among the first five people to apply - we have been assured by @Ben-ProductManager that as long as you are allowed to click on the date you are applying for and actually start to type then your application will definitely send when you press ‘send’ at the end. It is important that once you start to type you do not click away from the page to check anything as you will lose your space by doing this. - Good Luck!
I work online and spend a good deal of time on the computer throughout the day, so I look at the listings pretty frequently.
I agree with favoriting listings that you really like–I notice those notifications seem to be pretty quick relative to when the listing gets posted.
The saved searches aren’t as in ‘real time.’ I will notice a sit that meets my criteria but not see a notification for at least an hour or more so the listing has been up at least that long, probably longer.
I am not a fan of the 5 application limit like many others, but again, as someone who looks at the site pretty frequently, I notice a lot of those ‘popular’ listings getting reposted at least once more, often numerous times. This means a lot of owners are not finding suitable applicants within the first 5, or sometimes 10, 15 or more. I imagine they are getting lots of the usual ‘cant do these dates, but keep me in mind,’ people rushing to apply then realizing later it’s not suitable for one reason or another or an application that is probably rushed and doesn’t make a good first impression, in addition to people that are just not the best fit in general. So while many owners may be getting their best match in that first batch (We were recently offered 3 sits where we were one of the first 5) a lot aren’t. So not all hope is lost totally on more popular locations.
Of the three sits, only one was in a similar time zone (one hour difference) Two of the listings were for Asia and Europe and we were still in the US. While I definitely think the time zones has an impact on what listings you see, I also notice a lot of listings getting posted in what would seem to be ‘off hours’ Do new postings need to be approved first before going live? If so, they may get posted at different time than they were created.
Also, some people may do things on different hours–you have night owls, people who get up really early,etc…so they may be posting a listing at an odd time in their time zone but would be ‘typical business hours’ somewhere else. Also, in many cases , it is still possible to see listings during reasonable hours, even with a bigger time zone difference. For example, a listing posted 8 AM in Thailand would only be 5 in the afternoon in California.
Also, I think there is an element of ‘alignment’ to the whole thing-I’m big on energy and all that jazz. I know that while I may miss out on some opportunities that I would have normally applied for, I will still align with really good opportunities as I have already experienced. I’m a big believer in things happening as they should so if there are any sits I would be interested in, but I wasn’t able to apply, I wasn’t meant to do it.
And honestly, many of the interesting listings I see were for dates that wouldn’t have even worked for me anyway or I wouldn’t have wanted to apply anyway due to certain elements of the assignment. So I noticed that a lot of the times I found myself getting annoyed about the whole thing, it was more about the ‘principle’ of it all than it actually affecting me. Still, I would prefer obviously to have it how it was before.
Thank you so much for all this information everyone. I really appreciate how much depth you’ve all gone into. You’re all so sweet!
My trouble is that we can be flexible with the time we are in NYC, as in, we can come over anytime during October or November-ish and stay for 2-4 weeks but obviously there are no sits coming up for those dates yet.
I think then my only option is to apply for sits for the wrong dates and explain my situation, but I don’t want to waste the application spot for someone who is actually available for those dates. Is there a way to get in contact with a pet parent without using up a spot/making an application?
I can see that some pet parents travel quite regularly so it would be amazing to be able to contact them but it doesn’t seem like that is an option.
Thanks @ExploreDreamDiscover ! Yep, I’m finding it a little frustrating not to be able to chat with pet parents directly like in other apps. Oh well, I’ve got plenty of time so I’ll just have to be patient. Thanks again for your help
The only way to initiate contact with a homeowner is to apply for a sit that they list. You can later cancel the application to avoid using one of their precious 5 apps. Once you have initiated a dialogue, you can contact them in future even if they have no sit listed or their sit is paused.
Hi @hettykrupka. Welcome to TrustedHousesitters and our community here in the forum. I’m glad you joined us. One thing I’ve noticed about the listings for sits in the biggest, most sought-after cities (London, NYC, San Francisco, etc.) is that the sits tend to get listed very close to the start of the sit, not several months out. I’ve also noticed, in my non-scientific observations, that those pet parents tend to prefer sitters from within their region. Neither of these is a hard-and-fast rule, just my observations as a sitter who likes to plan ahead and loves big cities.
For people suggesting that a person contact the owner and then withdraw the application so as not to use the first 5 spots, based on my own experience of cancelling an application when being one of the first five (in these cases, the owner had not responded in at least several days so I typically cancel), the listing didn’t go live again, which seems to indicate that once five applications are received, the only way a listing gets unpaused is by the owner. So cancelling your application will not have the intended effect if it has already gone into the review stage. But I could be wrong about this. If you cancel an application and there still hasn’t been five yet, I wonder if the number of applicants automatically gets adjusted or the same thing happens and it counts towards the 5. Could be helpful to get some clarification on this. @Ben-ProductManager , could you let us know how that works?