Responding to sitter applications

Hi all,
I am new to Trusted Housesitters and just posted my first listing a couple of days ago. I have received a couple of applications, but am waiting to see if I get more. How long is it appropriate to wait for other applications before making a decision on the first applications? I have replied to all applicant thanking them but telling them I wanted to wait a bit before making a decision. I don’t want to keep them hanging, but would like wait to see if I get the perfect fit. I am also worried if I don’t accept an early application I may not get other applicants. Again, I am new to this. Thanks in advance.

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I’m relatively new here but here’s my experience so far: I sit as a hobby (to travel, to enjoy pets, for a change of scenery) not for the purpose of having a roof over my head.

I apply to every sit that interests me. Often the dates of the various sits overlap. I certainly don’t expect to do more than one sit at a time (!) and I accept the first homeowner that reaches out with an offer.

This has resulted in people reaching out to me after I’ve already made a commitment… and so, therefore, each day that passes, the homeowner now has a smaller pool of potential sitters who are available.

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Hello @Sher and welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters, I have moved your question to the Sitter Owner Exchange category to give you the opportunity to receive feedback from both owners and sitters.

One thing to bear in mind is that most sitters will apply for more than one sit at a time, they only ever accept and confirm one of course, this gives them more chances of getting a sit with the pet they want to share time with and in the location of their choice.

You can also add the link to your listing in your forum profile this will let members on the forum view your sit. Here’s the link which explains how to do this How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile

Responding in a timely way to applicants is important, letting them know the status of your sit and how you are managing applications. If you receive an application which you feel could be the right sitter for your home and pets then opening up a conversation is just that, communication is the key to a successful sit experience and not until both parties are 100% happy do your and the sitter commit.

AS for the perfect fit, yes it is about getting the right sitter and sometimes this wont become apparent until you start to communicate one to one. Profiles and applications are where you start and if you get a “I would like to know this person better” feeling then open up the conversation.

There are many helpful articles on the website blog and our members are incredibly helpful and so you have come to the right place for advice and guidance. This one is about asking questions prior to a sitter arriving. 10 questions to ask before your sitter arrives | TrustedHousesitters.com

Follow the process, tick the boxes, ask the questions and finally rely on your instinct … and have a great sit experience.

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Thank you so much for your input. I am trying to figure out the process and proper etiquette.

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Thank you very much for your suggestions and advice. I am sure the process will get easier with time, but as a first time user, I was uncertain as to the process. Your advice is helpful!

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Hi Sher
You’ve done the right thing by replying to your first applicants because some home owners don’t respond at all, believe it or not. In my experience when an owner is doing what you do they’ve given a date when they’ll make a decision by, rather than leave it open as you have. In the meantime, don’t be surprised if some of those applicants have found a sit elsewhere while you’re waiting for others. I’ve also had the experience where I’ve been the first applicant when a sit has just been posted and been chosen. You can put the ad on hold while you communicate with the applicants otherwise you could get a string of more applicants and get overwhelmed.

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Thanks Smiley for your thoughts on this.
As a newbie, I am unsure whether there is an average time period that interested sitters will apply after a listing is posted, if that makes sense. For example, is it reasonable to expect more applications a week after my listing is posted, or would they respond within a few days. Or two weeks? Etc.
Thank you!

HI @Sher response times can be a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, or until you close off the listing. There are no set rules, and no real norms. If a listing is open, it’s open for applications. I’ve seen listings that have 20 responses within hours, and also seen ones listed for weeks with the ‘0-3’ showing. Sometimes it also depends on how far away the date is. This community is as diverse as the sits that are listed.

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As a sitter, I only apply to newly listed sits (ie, they have a “new” tag on them), although I don’t know how long the “new” tag stays. This is because of the great number of HO who leave their listings up long after they have stopped even reading new applications.
I also don’t apply to sits that have a lot of applicants because, again, HO only seem to read the first few they get and then ignore the rest.
I’m sure all the HO participating on this forum are more conscientious than this, and the current process for confirming sits makes it more likely listings will be closed in a timely manner.
But to answer your question – if your listing is an attractive one, you should expect to get most of your applications within the first few days. Waiting a week or more to see who else applies risks losing good sitters who applied quickly. That said – I think housesitting is much like dating – it’s really a matter of chemistry. If you don’t feel any chemistry with the applicants you’ve gotten, you might choose to wait for “the one” to come along!

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Hi @teddypdx and thanks for your feedback on this thread. I’m just dipping in here to answer your question about how long the “new” tag stays. It’s just for 24 hours :slight_smile: Standard and premium owners are able to “boost” their sit listing once, so it may be that you’ll see a “new” listing repeated if they haven’t had many responses, and again it will show “new” for 24 hours.

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I posted our second listing for July/August about 3 weeks ago and I actually didn’t expect any applications already. I got three so far and as we will also be away in March we told all of them that we would like to wait until we’re back and that we completely understand, if another sit confirmation for them came along, not to worry about us and go for it. It’s our fault when there’s nobody left by the end of March…:roll_eyes:
But I don’t worry, because there’s still time.

Thanks, Vanessa – I’ve always wondered!

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Thanks to everyone for their sharing their experiences on this matter! It is good to know that some sitters, per teddypdx’s response, only respond to new listings. All the responses were helpful!

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I applied for a sit over 6 weeks ago where the owner was advertising several sits throughout the year. She replied after about 2 weeks saying she was very interested and was I still available, then I heard nothing for another 3 weeks. I have since sent a further 2 messages and she hasn’t even read them yet all the sits are still showing as available. Needless to say if she ever does contact me I will say I’m not interested. I find this very rude.

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I had two sit applications going for similar dates and could see one had read my application, but not bothered to reply, the other hadn’t read it at all and it remained open until the day it was due to start. I certainly won’t be applying to them in future. There really is no need for such rudeness.

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I agree with you and @Samaria3122 in that I would not apply for those sits in future. The exception might be if they contacted me directly and provided a valid explanation (without me asking) for why it happened. Having read some examples on the forum of how these situations might happen, I’m trying to be more tolerant and not make assumptions.

However, the underlying issue for me is that if they can’t be relied upon to send me timely responses, how might they be if I was on a sit for them and needed a response to a question? :thinking: That would be my concern, and that’s why I’d be unlikely to agree to a sit with someone who has apparently disrespected what I feel are common courtesies. We deserve better than that. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Welcome Cher,
When I apply for a sit, I always say “ if I have not heard from you within xx no of days, I will assume you have your sitter…etc” This way, No one is kept waiting. It is just a courtesy to respond saying thank you for your application but we have already found someone. If I get no response at all, I would assume that they are not well mannered and would be reluctant to deal with that owner again.

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After house sitting full-time for the past 4 years, my process is this. I only brouse for “new” sits and I send my application letter. If the HO has read my letter and not responded within 24-48 hours, even to say “thank you for your letter, but we will not be making a decision until X date”, I withdraw my application and move on. As this is a full-time lifestyle for us, laying out our house sitting schedule is like putting together a giant puzzle and making sure all of the pieces fit together, and that takes significant planning.

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Thanks for the great discussion! As a new HO, it is good to get the perspective of the sitters. I have replied to all my applicants and understand the sitters’ frustration with HO’s who don’t reply.
As I read the discussion trail, it seems more than one sitter only replies to new listings. My listing has been posted for 5 days, and I have received several applicants, with only one being a potential fit. If this sitter doesn’t fit, when is a good time to “boost” my listing to get it labeled as “new” for another 24 hours? Immediately, or is it better to wait a week or so? My listing is for a couple weeks in May.
I appreciate all the good advice!

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Hi @Sher I love your question as I would never restrict myself to just new sits, even though I do monitor my chosen areas and do get notifications on my phone and apply promptly. My guess is that the majority do not restrict themselves only to new sits.

I think you’ve identified the things to consider, being the timeframe between now and the sit. For some homeowners who have flights booked, it creates more anxiety to not have a sitter booked and so they might boost earlier.

I notice Angela has shared the link for how to embed your listing in your forum username. It’s one more avenue to reach possible sitters, so it’s a good idea to do it. If you’d prefer not to do that, I suggest you add your date range and location to this post (city/country), to make it easier for sitters to find your listing.

I suggest you have a conversation with the one you think is a possible. It is also polite to decline those who you have decided are not a good fit.

Sorry I didn’t give you any firm answer, but realistically there isn’t one.

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