Sitters, PLEASE read the listing before applying!

We have used TH very successfully in the past for eight sits. The site gives us plenty of options to provide details regarding our pet, our home and community, and what the sitter should expect in the way of accommodations, nearby amenities, responsibilities, etc. I add very detailed information to try to complete the picture, and tweak it each time based upon feedback from sitters.

However, I’m getting rather discouraged regarding our current listing, not because we have 0 applicants at this point (it’s still months away), but because I’ve had to decline 11 applicants so far, none of whom seem to have read any of the information… and in most cases, haven’t even read the title!

I did a video interview with a couple in which the husband asked after a few minutes, what kind of pet we have (it’s in the title). After a good half hour into the call, the wife asked what kind of cat (also in the title) because “she’s allergic to cats.” What??? The listing says we’re in a 55+ community now (also in the title) and we state in the listing that we want a couple that’s 45 or over so they’ll fit in better with the community and community activities, yet most of the applicants have been in their early 20s and number of them are traveling solo. When I reply telling them that we’re in a 55+ community I’ve gotten answers like, “Oh, my bad, I didn’t realize that” or “I guess I didn’t read that far down.” I’ve had some who have asked about our “apartment” (the house pic is in the listing, it’s obviously not an apartment), have asked about using our car (that info is in the listing), or who have provided a generic message about “your pets” (again, the listing title states that we have a Balinese cat).

Honestly, I have no faith in how much responsibility these sitters can take on if they don’t even take responsibility for reading the information I’ve taken the time to write up for them. Heck, it seems that most aren’t even reading the title! Note that this is not just people that throw the spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks during the initial listing opening (I know that some sitters’ response to the five-application limit is for them to do a quick cut-and-paste reply to any sit that opens up and then decide later whether they want to “politely withdraw” after they actually find out what the sit involves). I’m still getting these types of applications days later, when my sit actually shows 0-1 applicants because I’ve had to decline them all. It has me wondering why I took the time to be so detailed.

Sitters, I’m really trying to make things easier for you to know if our sit is a good fit for you so you can concentrate your efforts elsewhere if it’s not. PLEASE read the listing. You’ll find a lot of good info in there!

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@SiobhanFL - I understand where you are coming from and it must be very time consuming and frustrating.
I speak as a sitter and it never used to be this way. Unfortunately due to changes brought in by THS along with dubious marketing the whole landscape has changed - and not for the better in my opinion.
Due to the 5 application limit many sitters feel they don’t have time to read the whole listing to see if it is a good fit. They feel they need to get an application in immediately to be in with a chance to open up a dialogue with you. I would say there is absolutely no excuse not to have read the listing prior to a video call.

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Totally agree. It’s because of the ‘5 applicants & pause’ rule. Fasted finger first. No time to read the detail. Such a disastrous change and so detrimental to the experience of homeowners and sitters alike.

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@Siobhan Sorry you are having to deal with this. Are you in a highly sought-after location? It seems you are the victim of the dreaded 5 applicant rule, where the fastest sitters are just applying to locations without bothering to read your listing. Why they don’t bother to read the listing later and withdraw, I have no idea. While responsible sitters are tending to animals, working remotely, sleeping or just not tied to their phones 24/7, many sits are filled with these type of fast-fingered applicants. Good luck getting quality applicants. There are many wonderful sitters out there, they just may not be quick enough to apply.

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@SiobhanFL even though it is more work for you, being so detailed in the listing helps you weed out noncompatible thsitters hence the 11 declines…

Hopefully you’ll get support from our forum community along the way.
1000009709

My kitty says “hang in there…”

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If you haven’t done so already I would recommend putting the main requirements at the top of the listing. If you only consider couples over the age of 45, make that clear at the start so people who don’t meet those requirements can move on without having to read through the entire listing. I’m kind of curious why you require a couple for a cat sit. You certainly can have any preference you want, it’s all about finding the right fit, but keep in mind you limit your applicant pool by excluding solo sitters.

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Yes l totally agree. The 5 lusting rule has made it difficult to take time to read the sit requirements through. In my opinion it has ruined applying for sits. Wish THS would change this

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Just had a quick look at your listing and it is very comprehensive and looks lovely.
I would move the special notes to the first section and say only accepting applicants over 45 instead of ‘prefer’.
I would also move the photos of the community amenities to the end of the photos (or remove totally) as the unsuitable applicants could be choosing your sit based on those and that it is a longer sit. They appear to not even be reading your descriptions which is very unfortunate. Hope you get some suitable applicants as it looks like a great sit with your beautiful Balinese kitty.

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We’re sitters, and I don’t understand why all sitters don’t read before they apply. i feel for you.

We read an HO’s whole profile and at least the last half dozen reviews before applying, and sometimes more reviews if we feel we need to. We also write a personalised message so the HO knows we’ve read their profile. Now sometimes that means we may miss out because we haven’t been quick enough to hit the apply button, but I’d rather do what we do, than waste time applying for something that simply doesn’t suit us.

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@Kootenaigirl - how can you see the listing? I cannot see that it is linked to the forum profile?

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I’m not understanding why the five-applicant rule would lead to not reading. Even if you applied in a trigger happy way, you have time before a video chat to go back and read, if you’ve not already. Likewise, by the time you’re trading messages, you’re not operating on a buzzer.

More likely, people who don’t have a clue by the time they do a video chat (or are exchanging messages via inbox or otherwise) are just lazy or sloppy. This happens agnostic of sitting, too. Like if you do any hiring in the workplace, you’ll see that there are many applicants who apply for whatever they want to, regardless of job descriptions, requirements and such. And there’s no five-applicant rule in effect then.

BTW, you can’t tell if everyone’s not reading — folks could’ve read and opted out, especially if your listing was demanding. Like I searched for your sit and see that it requires the sitter to sign a contract. A number of good sitters would probably avoid such sits, because they can easily get sits with less demanding or more trusting hosts.

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Twitcher, just some detective work with their user name and description :smile:

@Kootenaigirl - I need to brush up on my detecting skills!

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@SiobhanFL I am not going to look for your listing but I would underscore what @Maggie8K points out; if experienced thsitters read your listing and see a contract, they probably move on.

As a home host, I have high standards but no contract.

As a quality THsitter, I would not apply, as I would not sign contract.

Good luck.

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That does sound frustrating. Off the topic question, I have seen listings that say 55+ community. I’m 49 so I figured I would have to wait several more years. Are these communities not very strict about the actual age? We normally sit as a family but you never know when I might feel like applying solo to take a break from my family.

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Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my original post. It’s not the sitters who are declining the sits, I am declining their applications since they’re not appropriate for the sit. It really blows my mind when it appears they haven’t even read the title!

I will move the special info up to the top as someone suggested, but I’m not sure it would help since most of them don’t seem to be reading ANYTHING. :frowning:

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I was referring to sitters who skip your listing once they’ve read it. They wouldn’t apply, so you’d never have the chance to reject them.

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I’m with @Maggie8K on this one. I’ve had a skim of your listing, and while I personally could fit all of the criteria, I would self-select out of this sit. Your kitty looks lovely, and low-maintenance, as you say, but even before getting to the contract (??), the tone is perhaps … less than welcoming?

I’m not sure why you couldn’t state the same things positively, i.e. you will need a car, either a rental or your own; equipment can be rented from x and y. Just say “mature couple needed for sit with low-maintenance cat in 55+ community” and streamline the remaining details.

I also wonder if your expectations are putting sitters off. What if I want to have some head-down time to myself? What if meeting strangers gives me massive social anxiety, and having to interact with hosts for a few days is more than enough for me? What if I just want to know the neighbors are available and how to get to the grocery store?

As others have already noted, asking for a couple is of course your prerogative, but if you have a tight-knit community, and trusted neighbors on all sides, do you really need two people there? A single sitter might be interested in being in your community as well. I personally would be extremely put off by this expectation. I’ve understood when people want couples for particular reasons (lots of animals, house in a foreign country, a high-maintenance garden), but a modern house in a gated American suburb doesn’t seem to merit it.

Just my two cents, and hope you locate a suitable pair!

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I read your listing.

There may be some reasons you’re not attracting sitters who are more experienced, who read the profiles, and who look for goodness of fit between the sit and sitter.

I’d never sign a contract for an unpaid sit. You sign a contract here when you accept the TOS for THS.

You make a lot of assumptions about your sitters needs. I wouldn’t want to know all of your neighbors right off the bat.

I would not apply for this sit because the overall tone is unwelcoming. Plus like many here I’m a solo sitter. Unusual for a single cat to require two people.

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I read your entire listing. I have lots of experience, taking care of cats and love, Balinese However, I am single. I am mature and would fit right into the community. I have traveled internationally from the states and taken care of houses and multiple pets by myself. Having a neighbor to contact if I have issues is very helpful. But with your contract I would have no interest in your sit.

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