No applications received for our first dates

I have had no applications for a house sit over Xmas but had many for our sit in February. Should I take the dates off and try again later?

There are likely several factors in play here: one could be that people are not planning that far ahead, and are waiting to see what plans they have with family and friends etc.

…or paradoxically, that they have already planned that far ahead… I have had Christmas and New Year’s booked for several months now. I even had Thanksgiving wrapped up but the HO canceled.

You might find that most experienced sitters have already booked, but that might also be to your favor, because sometimes plans fall through, and an experienced sitter might be searching again! So don’t lose hope!

There are lots of factors in play, such as where you are located, how long the sit is, how remote you are from being able to get to your place from public transportation, whether or not you offer use of your car if one is needed, even the number of pets is a consideration.

Somewhere in there is a magical formula, and the person looking for your sit just hasn’t found you yet!

You can search for how to add your profile here, and that would help us to get some insight, and be able to give you some advice. Your response rate might be improved by something as simple as adjusting your headline, or rearranging your photos!

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As @MissChef suggests, add your listing to your profile and members can have a look and give suggestions as to how you can improve it to make it more attractive if necessary. Here’s how:

Thanks, that’s very useful.

Thanks. I shall look into that.

I don’t see the link to your listing so can only guess… is it a short few days over the holidays? Are you wanting someone to arrive or depart on the 24th, 25th, 31st or 1st? These make holiday sits unattractive to me. I book most sits and definitely xmas way in advance so I do not think you are too early.

No, I had technical problems and too busy doing other things.
The details are similar to last year’s when we had several applicants. It is for 10 days straddling the Xmas break. The only difference is that we are advertising a few weeks earlier than last year so I am wondering if the answer is to withdrawal the listing for now and try again in a couple of weeks.

Various HOs have posted that they’re having a more challenging time landing sitters now vs. in years past. Given that, I’d suggest considering doing more marketing toward what the limited number of good sitters might value for a holiday sit. Many of the best have already made plans.

Personally, I won’t sit during holidays. I either celebrate with loved ones or take vacations without responsibilities during that time of year.

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To be honest with you, there are going to be thousands of listings around the world over Christmas time. It’s probably the only time of year when sitters are more in demand than houses. Sitters have the pick of the bunch. If your home isn’t a 10/10, you’re probably going to struggle a bit. I’m a sitter who does not celebrate Christmas, so I’m very much looking forward to finding a super cool sit for Christmas, but I feel your pain as a HO.

My Christmas sit, in Auckland, has been booked for several weeks. I don’t do Christmas and have housesat for the past 4

I think the first thing to do is think about the market of people who would be interested in doing a sit over Christmas. Many sitters (myself included) take this time of year off from sitting to go be with their family, so you are looking at quite a niche market. It will most likely be single travellers who don’t really celebrate Christmas, or someone (possibly a couple or small family) looking for a romantic or magical Christmas getaway. Both of these target audiences are looking for a Christmas retreat, so emphasise this in your title - for example - ‘a cosy Christmas retreat with (my pet) in (area).’
Secondly, what will your sit offer that would make somebody want to sit for you over the holiday period? Perhaps talk about how you could provide or make space for a tree and decorations for people who like to celebrate, and list local Christmas activities and experiences. Follow up by saying that of course, if you are also not into Christmas or don’t celebrate, our sit can provide you with the perfect cosy retreat over the busy season with activities such as… (list regular activities).

I think listing your sit sooner rather than later is the best way to go, as people usually know what they’re doing for Christmas months in advance. Sitters like myself who do regular or back-to-back sitting usually have their whole year planned out. I’ve known what I’m doing for Christmas since June. So I’d say definitely don’t wait!

Remember that the best profiles excite, attract and really sell themselves to the right market, just like a job add. I’m sure you can find the right sitter out there for you!
Best of luck :blush::+1:

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@Hobuck, I agree with the others - don’t wait any longer, make your listing more attractive (it possible). Competition around Christmas is fierce, and will only get fiercer closer to the time.

We’re sitters and we’ve had our Christmas/New Year sit agreed since Spring. Personally I’d prefer to sort things way ahead of time, but I know some others leave it until later.

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such useful advice. I shall do that.

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I have found that in Oz where I live, there are never enough sitters for the amount of sits available over the Christmas/New Year period. Sometimes, with only a few weeks left before Christmas, some HO’s are almost begging for sitters.

We have an extraordinary amount of annual leave and public holidays here (8 National holidays plus additional state holidays), far too many IMO. Four weeks fully paid annual leave, 10 days fully paid sick leave, maternity leave, compassionate leave, the list goes on - all on full pay.

Our Christmas falls in summer also so it’s HOT! So 6-8 weeks school holidays, a huge amount of people take their leave at this time. Probably irrelevant information for your personal situation but for us, HO’s need to secure a sitter far in advance so as to hopefully get “the right one/s”, if at all.

Best of luck to you, everything usually works out in the end :wink: