Sitters who do not reply

Hi All, I’ve been looking for a house sitter for 2 weeks now (giving 7 weeks notice for the break) and have had no luck at all finding someone. I have seen a few comments about this lately. I have sent over 100 invites with around 40 replies to say they cannot make it but so many people read the message and just don’t reply. This is so frustrating but I am assuming they aren’t replying as they can’t sit for me. I wonder if there should be some kind of prompt from THS if a sitter does not respond to an invite? Any tips on increasing my chances of getting a sitter?!
Lacey x

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Welcome @lacey.mason to the forum. You’ve come to the right place for help and insight on your posting for a sitter. It sounds like you’ve been extremely diligent inviting so many potential sitters. Sorry to hear that less than 50% have responded. Have you considered adding a link in your forum profile, to your listing, so that other forum members can have a look and offer suggestions and tips to fine tune it? Linking profiles and listings to Forum Profile
Best of luck in your search!

It’s not great etiquette, but I think you’re right that they wouldn’t be interested to sit for you now or in the future. Quite a few HOs also don’t reply, even though they have an active listing. We just move on but wouldn’t consider sitting for that HO in the future.

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Hello, yes it’s bad form but as @Timmy says, it also happens to sitters all the time. So many HOs don’t even acknowledge applications even though they have read them. I wish there was a way that the system would flag non-diligent sitters and HOs who do this as good communication is part of how good you are as a member of this platform.

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Yes, on Nomador you can how responsive a HO is (I think HOs can also see the same regarding sitters). We don’t apply to sits if the HO doesn’t reply to at least the majority of applications.

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@lacey.mason Can I ask if you personalised the invitations to sitters or just clicked on ‘invite’. I do sometimes get the invitation to sit but with no message, which I think is discourteous, so just click on the decline button.

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Maybe THS could add a reply ratio to members profiles, this is on another site I’m on, it gives 5 days to respond before your ratio is affected.

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When there is no personalized message, I assume I am just one of many they have reached out too, particularly if it isn’t a home I haven’t saved. Mass messaging seems a bit rude IMHO.

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This seems like over reach. What if the sitter is on a family vacation not with THS and doesn’t want to take technology with them and check messages. Also for me I camp a lot in places with no cell service, those places do exist all over the western USA, so I do not check messages etc. or use my technology when I am away.

A better option would be an auto-reply stating I will check messages when I return on date this date and thank you for reaching out to me. I am on vacation etc. If it is a mass message not a personalized messages I do not feel a sense of obligation to reply with any urgency.

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Yes I have personalised them all, starting by saying ‘hello…’ and their name and mentioned something about their profile that attracts me.

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I agree this would be helpful - on homeexchange.com there is a percentage as to how quickly/often people reply.

This is related to issues that have been discussed in other threads–re the calendar functionality and suggestions for being able to remove or easily adjust one’s location. People here in the forum have made suggestions for changes to THS settings.

Basically, unless a sitter is a full-time or mostly full-time sitter, they’re less likely to be readily available for a sit, particularly if they’re not retired and/or have other time-consuming commitments. Plus what others have said about being offline.

Personally, I’d prefer to be able to tick a few boxes re sits I’d consider to be invited to, e.g., for when I travel east to visit friends and family, not multiple pets, only getting invited if a car is available, and so forth.

The calendar is difficult to keep updated, and only really applies to people who are very active sitters.

If THS were to establish and broadcast a “response rate” or similar for sitters, I don’t think that would go over well at all.

Is that site for paid services?

@Katie @DKNZ Kiwi Housesitters and Aussie Housesitters have a reply rating for both homeowners and sitters. Everyone starts with 5 dots and if you do not respond in 5 days you lose a dot and so on. You have an opportunity to regain those dots by more timely responses in the future. I love it because it gives you some idea of what you may be dealing with.

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OK, thanks. Reply to what, though? Do they have the same system as THS with the open invitations?

If THS were to institute something like this, it makes more sense for it to be on the HO’s end–as in, the HO is the one with an active listing, a sitter applies, and the HO should respond with X days. I don’t think it’s right to place that expectation on the sitter population to respond to what can be multiple invitations. It’s also a pain to have to log in to the site to read messages.

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@Katie replying to a first contact from either side. I think 5 days is a generous amount of time to respond.

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Like @Pets4me I am also not reachable at times, possibly for up to two weeks, except in case of emergency.

It would be helpful to have a way to set an auto-response, especially to unsolicited messages like invitations to sit. Or to be able to turn off invitations altogether.

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No it’s free services

But @Katie sitters pay a membership whereas owners do not.

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Whoa. Not true. Everyone pays a membership fee.

For example, I’m a dual member. My current Premium membership costs $319/year.

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