Hi! I’m new here and I just posted my first sit listing yesterday. I’ve received a few applications (less than 5) so far.
I’d like to wait until I receive 5 applications to decide, but should I reply saying anything to each applicant right after I receive and read those new applications?
Also, when would be a good time for conducting a face-to-face video chat? Do owners have video chats with each applicants?
Welcome @izzym , it’s great that you already have a few applications for your first-time listing.
If you can tell from the application that an applicant isn’t going to be a good fit ; it’s best to decline them straight away rather than keep them waiting . You can send a personal message when you decline .
If you think some of the applicants you have already might be a good fit for you ; I suggest that arrange a video call asap that way you can rule them in or out .
As a sitter if I don’t hear back promptly I will apply for other sits. So if you wait too long you may loose a good sitter because they get snapped up by someone else .
As a sitter, I like to at least get an acknowledgment after applying. Obviously, I would expect that you would first have time to review my profile and reviews. After that, I believe you would be able to either decide I’m in the running or not. If not, notify me right away so I can move on and you can free up another application slot. If I’m still in the running, it’s real nice to get an acknowledgment and if you’re ready for a video call, the discussion can be right away or you can wait until you have more people to talk to. Keep in mind that as sitters, we do apply for multiple sits at the same time so if you believe someone is a good fit, the sooner you contact, discuss, and confirm the sit, the better. Don’t be rushed into a decubitus don’t delay needlessly, either.
Dan and Nan
I have completed 2 sits that went really well, and have just posted my third.
I respond to applicants right away, and set up video chats with the ones that stuck out as good matches immediately, and then just add on as needed. For applicants that didn’t seem like a good match (or those that did not respond to my invitation to a video call within 24 hours of having read my reply), I declined.
I do like the idea of getting to compare, but really, you just need to find one great sitter. For my last sit, I lost out on someone I think would have been amazing because they got another sit while I was working through applications - it worked out in the end (my eventual sitter was awesome!), but it made me realize that it would be better to choose and cancel a scheduled call if I know I have a great choice than to drag out the process.
I would not confirm a sitter without a video call first, but that is just an individual preference. Edit because I think I misunderstood your question: I don’t interview applicants that immediately seem like not a great fit, or anyone that seems like a copy & paste application.
One of the applications had good reviews but seemed like a copy & paste and the message wasn’t personalized at all, so I wasn’t sure what to respond.
I’ll try to respond to each in a timely manner.
I tend to drop a line to each new applicant saying that I’m going to wait a couple of days to allow a number of people to apply before making my decision. Then, for those whose applications/profiles/reviews/ that really get my attention, I drop a line asking if they’d like a quick video chat. Usually it is two of the five. Sometimes only one. I think you get a good initial impression of someone face to face and instinct of whether they would be good. If they are, I generally tell them at the end of the conversation that I’d like them to sit and will forward the official confirmation via the app.
It’s more of an art than science. I’d just say listen to your gut on it. My understanding is that a lot of great sitters are having a hard time getting in before the 5-applicants cutoff, so I’m sure there are more generic applications out there.
You can also prioritize - set up a video call right away with those who resonate immediately, maybe take a wait and see approach to those who are maybes (while sending a response letting them know a timeline so they aren’t left hanging).
You should definitely reply to all applicants and, if some don’t fit then decline them as someone else has said. Don’t expect them all to be there if you keep them hanging on though as they’ll likely be responding to other sits while you keep them waiting. If after video calls you’ve found your ideal sitter why wait for 5? It’s entirely up to you and a chance to take by waiting
As a sitter after I apply, I like to at least see an acknowledgement. I will wait patiently. But if I apply and do not get at least an acknowledgement, I will withdraw after a few days. I didn’t do that when I was new but I do this now. I withdrew from an application this summer and then immediately I get a message stating they wanted to confirm me. Nope too late
Hi @izzym, we decline sitters that we see as unsuitable right away and send a polite message along with our decision. The candidates that we do see as a potential fit we follow up with within 24hrs and try to arrange a video call…sometimes depending on their application I might ask a few follow up questions before asking to a call. Depending on their responses and discussing further than we would move forward with a video call. We try to schedule a call within 48hrs of receiving an application. If we are unable to get to them sooner we let them know. Sometimes arranging a video call can take up to a week later depending on each of our schedules and time difference. We do not do video calls with every applicant and not even every applicant that looks suitable just the applicants that seem like the best choice for us. We’ve had a few sitters have to re-schedule a video call…depending on how quickly we’re trying to secure a sitter we may or may not decide to pass on a sitter that has to re-schedule. For each sitter that we are considering we let them know as soon as we can that we are looking at other candidates and that we would completely understand if they need to remove their application while they wait to hear from us.
The sooner the better and ideally straight away. Sitters often apply for multiple sits so for us it tends to be first come first serve so by delaying you could miss out on great sitters. There is no reason to wait if you already have a nice match
Hi @izzym Welcome!
As a sitter I really appreciate an acknowledgment of my application as soon as read- even if its just to say ‘Thank you for applying- we are just going through applications and will get back to you as soon as possible’. If you know straight away an applicant is not right for you decline them right away -preferably with a polite message & you’ll free up an application space. Equally if you think your first applicant, or any applicant, is perfect- let them know right away and schedule a call asap. Don’t wait for more applicants! Best to arrange one call at a time so if no.1 is perfect you won’t have to cancel other calls. But if no.1 is not 100% for you only then schedule a second call. No sitter likes to feel they are in competion- even if we are!
@TinaG I actually would not really like to receive a message that you are waiting for more applicants. I’d be inclined to think we’re not a good match & you are waiting for someone better- that doesn’t give a good feeling-so we’d continue our search elsewhere. It would be better to say something more like my quoted comment above.
My favourite hosts are the ones who read our application within a short time, immediately acknowledge it, & us, show great interest, schedule a call/videocall, agree the sit during the call- if we are all happy- and send the Request to Sit message immediately after the call! We just had a scenario like that a couple of days ago- literally only a few hours from first contact to confirming the sit! Ofcourse that’s not going to happen every time! But we are not time wasters so we love it when hosts react quickly. Every day that passes without our msg being read or acknowledged reduces our interest in that sit.
Quick & efficient correspondance is ideal. Many sitters are busy planning travel schedules and many will apply for multiple sits to increase their chances of finding a good match so if you want a good sitter snap them up as soon as you can…because ‘If you snooze you lose’!!
@TinaG I’m sure that method has worked for you as there are many great sitters. When I receive a response like that, I now withdraw. I get very excited when I select a listing to apply to. When I get a sense that the HO is not that excited about my family where they tell me they are just going to wait and see if they get better applicants, it diminishes my mood to sit for them. This actually happened this week. I was super excited, ho wanted to see more applicants, I withdrew, and then the HO sent a response saying they had interest. Sorry, nope. Petsitting for me is not just about finances.
Welcome @izzym. I think the issue is that with the 5 applicant rules some sitters have a copy and paste application to go otherwise you can miss out. As a sitter I used to check air fares and costs and write a long personal application before applying for any sit but popular sits can be filled in minutes so you can’t risk that now. I’ll apply and withdraw if the costs are outside my budget.
I certainly don’t think pet sitting is about finances! I reply to new applicants straight away thanking them for their interest and with a personal comment about their application. It’s not a case of waiting to see if someone better comes along, it is making an informed decision from a broader range of people who I think k would be best for my cat/home. No one has ever withdrawn an application, but thanks for your feedback which I will take on board.
Every HO wants a great selection of sitters and to make an informed choice. But sits aren’t equal.
If you have a popular location and reasonable expectations, you can take more time and still get good applicants. If your location is not strong and you have higher expectations, you’ll get fewer applicants. Plus, you’re in competition for the best sitters and HOs who move faster than you stand a better chance of landing those sitters.
Personally, I don’t have a hard time landing sits. That means if a HO doesn’t review my application and reply within roughly 48 hours to schedule a video intw, I’m moving on.
Why: There are countless sits out there and as a telecommuting solo sitter, I can go wherever I like with a lot of time flexibility. I don’t need to wait on HOs to check the field. There are enough who can act quickly. I also don’t need a bunch of sits — I’ve already got three more booked and probably will take only one or two more this year. Most good sitters book up quickly.
Nomadic sitters will tend to be more willing to wait, because they do more sits than most sitters, but they often prefer longer sits. Don’t know whether that’s what you’re offering.
Thanks for your insight. Clearly I didn’t explain myself well in my email, as I essentially do exactly what you have described above. I reply to new applicants straight away thanking them for their interest and with a personal comment about their application. I decline those immediately who are unsuitable. And then from the remaining applications (usually five following my declines and immediate new applicants) make a face time call to whoever suits best, inviting them verbally to sit at the end of the call and following this up immediately with an invitation via the app. As you say, this process is usually all within one day of my sit dates being posted. It’s not a case of waiting to see if someone better comes along (you can get five applicants in minutes), it is making an informed decision from a broader range of people who I think would be best for my cat/home. (Conversely, I have unfortunately just had the situation where I had agreed a sit verbally following face time, formally invited via the app but then had the applicant ghost me and not confirm. Thankfully I reconnected with another one of the people who originally applied who was happy to accept.
Hi @TinaG - speaking as a sitter you sound like my kind of homeowner.
You shouldn’t feel rushed into choosing a sitter to care for your cherished pet(s) and home, it is a big decision. You may miss out on a sitter who has moved on but rather that than make the wrong choice.
Conversely sitters miss out on some great opportunities because they still prefer to study a listing and compose a thoughtful and personal application only to discover the homeowner is reviewing applications.
As a sitter, I would suggest to first send a quick copy/paste reply similar to ‘Thank you for applying- we are just going through applications and will get back to you as soon as possible’.
Then if you do initiate a process with a sitter, I would never advise to send them an invite without a prior video call. Even if you think the profile is marvellous. That has happened to us twice in the past and it sends the message that we all should be willing under any circumstances and that is definitely not the case. We all want to meet the owners on a video call first to see if we are compatible and we always have questions.
I would also advise to post sufficient photographs of the house and definitely a decent photo of the bedroom. In our case, we never apply to a sit if the house is not as cosy and neat as our own home and we have a right to do that. And we have a right to see the bedroom we will be sleeping in and the sofa we’ll be sitting on, and the kitchen we will be cooking in. I would also include bed measurements in the post. On the case of couples, not everyone is used to a 135cm.
If a HO is not courteous during the process, we immediately cancel our application. It’s obviously all about the furry family members, but we sitters have our rights too. So often HOs forget that.
If they don’t seem trusting with regards to leaving their house to us, we also decline. Trust is what this is all about.
And it’s always appropriate to send a polite personal reply when rejecting a sitter.
Hope this has been of some use.
All the best.
Looks like @izzym has chosen her sitter as the listing is marked ‘currently no sitter needed’.