Reaching out to Sitters who have saved our listing

Hello everyone. My boyfriend and I are home owners new to the site. Although we have had around 24 sitters save our listing, we have not had many actual applicants for our Christmas and New Year’s dates in Orlando, Florida. We have had a total of 6 with 2 people revoking their application/ changing their mind, 3 no response and 1 from outside of the country. Has anyone seen much success when reaching out as home owner’s to the individuals that saved your listing? I have noticed that most of their calendars are blank or show slashes through the dates that we’re posted for. I’m not sure whether it’s worth reaching out to them anyway or just to those who show availability during our dates.
I realize that our dates are peak season for people to spend with their families. Due to this factor (and my type a personality), I am pretty anxious about not getting someone to take care of our pets and home. Unfortunately our travel arrangements do not allow for any flexibility and we do not have a back up plan. When should we get concerned about not filling the position? How often are people canceling and how likely is it that get someone else with little applicants to begin with?
Thanks in advance.

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I think it is definatley worth reaching out to sitters. I have done it and gotten good feedback, I started first to reach out to those who lived the closest to me, figuring it may be easier to get someone who can travel by car. If nothing else, it may interest people if in the future you have some different dates. Good luck!

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Hi,

You’ve touched on a lot of questions, but I’ll try to address some from personal experience. I’ve been a sitter with THS for 7 years, and things have changed a lot over that time. I now favourite all sits that may be of interest to me. That way, I’m bookmarking them, as a quick reminder for me, but also so that I’m notified when they post. I then get a notification that someone I’ve favourited has new dates. This works well for me. For example, if I found your current listing interesting, I may still favourite it, even though I’m booked for the Christmas holiday season. Hence the reason you may have many people who have saved your listing, but are not available.

As for calendars, if you use the forum search function you’ll see a lot of discussion on that topic. Let’s just say there’s lots of room for improvement, and so for now many sitters don’t use it. The slash marks through dates are generated by THS (not the sitter), when a sit is confirmed. This means for sure they will not be available, if the slashes are through your date range. Also keep in mind the green means they are available, and white means unavailable. Most people expect it to be the reverse.

You’ll also see posts on here about Christmas season, and many people do enjoy doing sits over the period. I’ll tag @Therese-MembershipService here, and she’ll take a look at your listing when she’s next online (probably tomorrow) and may give you feedback on your listing. Sometimes @Angela-CommunityManager does that too, but again that will likely be tomorrow as they’re on European time zones.

Hopefully some homeowners here will give you their experiences on reaching out to sitters. I hope all goes well for you. You’re certainly in a location that should be attractive to many people. Good luck.

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Wow, Today I Learned that HOs can see what I thought was private!

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Without seeing your listing, it’s hard to say why you’re not getting a lot of applications.

I will say that, for me, if it seems that the pets and/or the home require a lot of hours/work, I hesitate. For example, if dogs need to be walked 3x/day, you might include that you have a regular dog walker scheduled (e.g., for 5x/week or so). I had one sit that was practically a full-time job. HOs had a dog walker, but canceled her for all but “emergencies.”

For a holiday time like that, I would hope that a HO would explicitly state that it’s OK to leave the pet(s) for some time (5-7 hours) on occasion and/or to have friends or family over for dinner, and/or that it’s OK to have a guest for part of the time.

Flexibility, basically.

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@Katie - if you mean when you mark something as a favourite, it’s only the higher priced homeowner plans (standard & premium) that can see that. Those with the basic plan cannot. I only learned this on the forum too. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @cee.bee You really have a lovely listing so no wonder members have saved your listing for future dates. @Snowbird thanks for the good advice given.
As a premium member, you have the facility to boost your own listing from time to time. This then sends your listing out to available sitters again and puts it on top of the website. I have sent you an email giving you the steps of how to do this on your own account. I really do believe you will find the right sitters. Warm regards Therese

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I agree with everything that @Snowbird has said.
When I see a listing that I like but cannot do at that time then I save it for future listings.

Due to all of the uncertainty over the last 18+ months, I have booked an actual holiday over Christmas rather than a House-sitting to reduce the likelihood of cancellations.

Although I have tried many times, I cannot update my calendar manually to reflect that I am unavailable.

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I also agree with @Snowbird and @Itchyfeet. I save any listings that I like but maybe cannot do their current dates.

I have been contacted directly by a HO whose listing I had favourited. I could tell that they had read our profile, and this led to us applying and being accepted for a sit next August.

Not all sitters keep their calendars fully up to date. I think we are able to mark when we are available. We are mostly available in school holidays, so I often mark these as available time. However we could also sit on weekends. We could even do a local sit during term time. This wouldn’t be reflected on our calendar.

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Thank you so much for your thorough explanation!

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Thanks for the advice! I think that was an excellent point. We’re going to add those notes to our listing.

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Thank you for the clarification :slight_smile:

Thank you. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and going try boosting the post towards the end of the week.

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@Snowbird
and I just learned that, right this second. I didn’t know HOs could see my favorites, but that’s okay with me.

This exactly what I do.

@Rebecca_R One of the joys of the forum - learning from each other. :slightly_smiling_face:

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