Speaking of Impersonal

In the sitter question area, there was a comment today about homeowners being impersonal with their cut and paste invitations to sit, with no personal comment in their invitation. Well, today I received a sitter’s application letter which was a complete cut and paste. She didn’t use my name, my pet’s name, my location, nothing. Her profile and reviews are good (she’s not a new sitter), but I was so turned off that she couldn’t take a few minutes to make her application letter even the slightest bit personal. In 5 years of being a homeowner, I’ve never received an application letter that at least didn’t use my name; I thought all sitters did that. I’m a sitter too and I would never think of sending a letter without using names of the homeowner and pets as well as my reasons for wanting the sit. Am I making too much of it, or would that be a turn off to other homeowners? Would you decline just because of that, or give her a chance with a video call?

That’s definitely impersonal @sledgejoyce! I’d actually respond to the applicant explaining just why you are declining their application, especially from someone who has good reviews and experience. Not good enough!


If I hosted, I’d expect some kind of personalization and would simply ignore them if not.


I’d decline that application. It’s just such a huge turn-off for me that no effort was made to acknowledge the needs of our sit.

I’ve had applicants that have built out an entire website as an application and they just drop the link in. My thing is, you could’ve the greatest sitter in the world but if you have taken zero time to understand and acknowledge our needs and the pet you’ll be caring for, you’re not the one.


I’d decline with the same amount of effort they took to send it


We do our very best to personalise every application but sometimes the five application limit makes it a bit of a rush and sometimes mistakes are made.


I always make my applications personal, however I can see the temptation to send a complete cut and paste in order to make the first 5 applicants That old chestnut I know…but I truly believe this has had a huge impact on applications for sits.


I declined 2 applications today for just this reason. The sitters had a one sentence application write up. I hate to be stereotyping, but they were youngsters. I declined them and wrote them a note that indicated their brevity in the write up made me not confident of their abilities. Maybe they will learn from this … or maybe just be angry at me for being a stodgy old lady.


I decline such applications in 1 second without any message.
I even don’t read the whole message if there is no name but for example just “hi”. A waste of time.


You might find that it’s due to the ‘5 application rule’. Some applicants (inc me) now rush to submit an application because the listing may go to ‘reviewing’ within minutes. It’s just not possible to personalise to do this because you don’t have time.

I take a different approach - I submit a ‘Hi’ to ‘save my place’ and then follow up as soon as I can with a personalised note, and explaining the brevity of my initial contact. However if you’re out somewhere it’s sometimes not possible to do that for a few hours.

I’m not saying this is the case with the scenario described, just that it might be good to keep an open mind, especially if the sitter has good reviews.


This is why I don’t use a copy/paste template that I amend. I don’t think I’d be able to alter it in the right way for each sit I apply for and I’d end up making mistakes. I know that in theory just opening the application page saves your space but I don’t trust it so usually write a short message saying that a full application is incoming. Then I start each one I write from a blank page although I do have a set way of usually writing it.

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It was my question in the Sitters forum and I always reject applications like that.
It takes a few minutes to write a message to the HO

@sledgejoyce Go with your gut on this.

We have a current listing published and a few days ago, a sitter sent a two or three sentence “application” with no specific mention of our pets, home, or our names.

(We are not in a high-demand area that gets 5 applications within minutes or hours.)

The sitter’s reviews were mostly good, but some were mixed.

So we responded with a few basic questions any homeowner might typically ask in order to draw them out a bit.

The sitter responded in an evasive way (didn’t respond to two of our three questions).

Based on these two very parsimonious messages from this prospective sitter, we declined the application.

What I’m trying to say is that, in our experience, early communications can show a prospective sister’s personality and communication style. This is how we decide whether to move ahead with a video chat or not. It’s okay to decline them. It’s your home, your pets.

Just our two cents!


This is interesting…. I always personalize my sitting applications, yet seldom feel it’s made a difference (which I’ve found disheartening).

I had lots of these no name and no pet name applications the last time that I posted dates. They’re an instant “no” for me.

Because politeness dictates that I should, I do always respond to say thanks for the application, but I don’t bother to explain why I’m rejecting them. It’s too basic.

You’re doing the right thing! Being polite and engaged makes a huge difference! :smiling_face:


Would you mind sharing the sort if questions you ask to find out a bit more about applicants.

@CoombeT We’ll send you a direct message. :slight_smile:

I would decline without a response. The quicker we reject these applicants the better. I hate the 5 app rule immensely, but I always send a heartfelt application-there is plenty of time once you get in. Every HO I meet HATES the 5 app rule because too many are horrible.


Thank you, that’s very reassuring! :blush: