I have just listed my farm sit, and would like to be pro-active and invite some sitters whose profiles seem to match my sit. However, when I go to Find a Sitter I see pages upon pages of photos with a location attached. There doesn’t seem to be a way to filter for those sitters who might be most appropriate. Am I overlooking a way to sort through all these profiles?
In my case, I live on an isolated farm with some livestock. I’d like - but wouldn’t require - sitters with some farm experience, and definitely someone who would like to sit at a farm. People who want the city and neighbors wouldn’t be at all interested.
I’ve read on this Forum that inviting sitters has a lot success rate, but I’m willing to spend the time - but not if I have to open each and every profile.
Your question has interested me @MagicalFarm but I must confess I have no insights right now.
Last week we were invited to a sit, out of the blue & not an HO we had favourited (although we have now ). Trying not to give specifics in order to keep it anonymous, the owner has a pet with a specific medical issue (not included in the new pet-centric tagging, so the answer doesn’t lie there). We also had such a pet, so the HO said they had selected us to invite because of our experience in that area.
What interests me is how they knew about this coincidence? I have cheekily got back in touch to ask them how it happened, so if they reply I will share it in this thread…
“I’ve read on this Forum that inviting sitters has a lot success rate, but I’m willing to spend the time - but not if I have to open each and every profile”
Do you mean hasn’t had a lot of success rate? because it isn’t successful. It has been discussed a lot on the forum, the fact that a lot of sitters don’t update their calendars so you can’t go by those.
If I were you I would stick to your listing, make sure it’s a good one and carefully select your chosen sitter.
HO replied quickly & helpfully: They said that they just used the only available filters of date, pet type and previous experience and that it was pure coincidence/luck that we came up early in the results. They said more filters would be helpful and it is taking them a very long time to sift through for sitters they feel would fit.
So, it was only magical coincidence after all.
@Saltrams Interesting! It would be nice to have more transparency about the available filters so that Sitters know how to best increase their chances of appearing in a Search. We receive frequent invitations to Sit, and I always wonder how they found us! That being said, we have NEVER accepted a Sit to which we have been invited by an Owner. It just never worked out for us (location, dates).
This sounded exactly like the intended application of the new pet-centric tags and I had to go back to find this posting discussing them:
Anyway looking at the new answers, it seems like I was wrong and these tags are actually NOT searchable/filterable. I had assumed they would be and I’m deeply disappointed that they are not. Fingers crossed that the tags are just the first step of a searchable system!
Well anyway, back to the original question. Seems like some people have already suggested the animal type filtering, but if I may add: I’ve done my share of searching and inviting sitters and honestly, sometimes I do a CTRL+F search on the sitter’s page for keywords before committing to reading the entire profile. It’s not a perfect system and you do have to expand all the text fields first (why oh why on earth are they truncated??), but it helps speed things up a little bit because I’m looking for something very specific!
I think your best bet would be to look at those who have marked your sit as favorite. While it’s still a shot in the dark, that would be sitters who have already looked at the details of your sit and determined that they are good with the responsibilities and feel it would be a good sit.
That being said, I don’t know how much success home owners have inviting sitters. I’ve had several invites but it’s never worked out. Personally, I feel flattered when we’re invited because a person has looked at our profile and thought we’d be a good fit. However, the likelihood of us being available and in that part of the world is slim. When I mark a sit as favorite, it’s because I believe it would be a good fit and want to hear when they have future sits that arise.
Good luck on finding your sitter. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of applications.
I agree with all the other comments. As a sitter, over the past 4 years, I have received dozens of invitations, some from sits I have favorited, and some from “out of the blue”, and I can say that I have never once accepted any of the invitations. Therefore, as a homeowner, I never take the time to send invitations. I feel that if the right person is available for my dates, my location and my pets, then it will happen. And, so far, out of 14 advertised sits, I’ve had 14 fantastic sitters.
I was offered an unsolicited six-week sit on the West Coast when I first joined. I ended up negotiating it into a split sit — I did four+ weeks in two separate sits, bookending another sitter.
I haven’t accepted unsolicited invites since, either because the sit conflicted with another or because the sit wasn’t appealing. I’m open to invites, but timing and sit appeal would be challenging. I find that many HOs post sits pretty late and I’m booked up.