Ah- that would be a good thing to be able to positively mark ourselves as unavailable eh? I have wasted soooo much time approaching people.
A lot of people might just try to be polite in saying that they’re not available when they’re perhaps looking for a sit that suits them better. We usually decline without giving any particular reason (in the rare cases that we’re actually available).
I have already stated on a previous thread that I always give the reason that I don’t want to take on a sitting.
In a polite way of course!!!
I’m afraid that I always say that I am unavailable if invited to sit in a location that does not appeal to me. Some homeowners have taken offence and been quite rude when I explained that as I live in London, a housesit in London does not interest me. One actually said that it was good to know that I was more interested in the location than in her dog!! Therefore it is easier to say that I am not available.
We belong to several other house sitting sites, so our calendar is getting planned for 2023. Perhaps a bit optimistic - we’ll see how 2022 plays out.
I’ll now use myself as an example. I received an invitation today to sit for dates on my calendar showing where I showed I was available. However, for various reasons that are irrelevant here, I declined the sit and included a reply (promoting the forum, of course ). I did not say I was unavailable, but rather only that I declined the sit. Even those who keep their calendar current, like me, will have reasons why they decline a sit.
I understand how it is disconcerting for homeowners who, in the past, have never had to consider actively seeking sitters. However, we have all seen how flexible we have had to become over the past two years. Sometimes so many things in life are not ideal but are also beyond our control.
After reading that you do, @Itchyfeet, I have also started offering a reason to HO when I am not able to accept their invitation. Sometimes it’s their location. For example, I try to avoid cold climates in the winter and popular beach spots in peak season. Having this info will help the HO should they decide to extend an invitation again.
naughty? far from it.
While I might be capable, it is still accurate and fair to say “I am not available” when I’m not able to fully accept a commitment. This isn’t a job, it’s supposed to be a mutually beneficial exchange.
I’m not available for your sit because I’m not comfortable caring for more than 3 pets at a time.
I’m not available for your sit because it is quite costly to travel the distance to & from your home for just a 3-day weekend.
I’m not available for your sit because I’m not interested in spending time in that area at that time of year.
All valid, none naughty.
Can’t argue with any of those, but in the position of a HO who contacts a green flagged sitter to just be told they are ‘unavailable’ it could suggest that they’ve got dates in they shouldn’t. If presented with the whole sentence I would imagine the HO would move on with more understanding.
But the reason could also be:
- I’m not available because I hate your breed of dog
- I’m not avaialble because your house looks like a hoarder lives in it
- I’m not available because you’re a smoker
- I’m not available because it’s clear you want a slave, not a pet sitter
- I’m not available because you give me the creeps
No is a complete sentence so HOs should just accept a “Sorry, I’m not available for your sit” and move on without needing to know why. Others have commented that when they’ve given a reason the HO then gets angry. So better, IMO, to just keep it generic.
People are obviously very confused about calendars, see the thread on that topic…
Nothing has been improved so far in spite of comments…
1/ sitters don’t always fill it
2/ only black arrows proove a sitter is not available for sure as ths has automatically registered a future sit, when he was chosen by an owner
Possibly, but why not be honest? You don’t know this person, you’ll probably never meet this person, what you say may help them.
To an invite I received the other day I said that they might get a better response if they didn’t sound quite so demanding. She didn’t reply, but she did change her listing!
If they get angry, you’ll still never meet them and you would know that you are the better person!
I appreciate that I’m not working so possibly have more time for this sort of thing!
I completed a house sit and was welcomed back to their next one but they have moved to a suburb that is less than desirable actually and I don’t feel safe there, especially with young kids and the high level of crime and reputation it has.
It is also far away from everything and wouldn’t be worth my time, even though we are off work and school during the time. They haven’t found a house sitter yet and haven’t changed the location on their profile either. That could be one reason…
I also don’t want to spend the whole time with a pet daily, especially when the home owner has listed in their advertisement their location, how close it is to tourist attractions while trying to attract selling points. If an animal cannot be left for a few hours, I wouldn’t bother applying. Why tell me about the location and go into great detail about what to do there, if I am expected to be at your house most of the time and not enjoy myself with local attractions. Please be specific if it is suited for a homebody and how long the pet needs human companionship which i have absolutely no problem if someone wants to do this but it is not for me. I like it when homeowners tell me the schedule with walks for a dog, special diets and how long they need human interaction. It helps me with planning the stay.
I also believe that some advertisements get overlooked because the homeowner hasn’t changed the dates/location.
I am sure there are a few reasons why there has been a sudden decrease. Cost of fuel, airfares, winter in some parts of the world. I have a flight voucher that expires in December but flights are so expensive with add ons including choosing seats, food and luggage. It has been sitting there since April 2020.
Yes I totally agree!
If I am expected to do too much for the pets in the short time I am there, I wouldn’t bother applying and especially with fuel the cost it is at the moment.
There are some less than desirable locations in the city I live in and some homeowners don’t exactly tell you where they are and choose the most desirable close location to attract applications.
I agree with suggesting how a HO could improve their listing, but being honest could offend the HO. If I am invited and am not interested because the sit is in a boring location, or has animals I don’t like, or the house is a mess, etc - I just say I am unable to do the sit. Their messy house, ugly animals, etc. might be perfect for someone else (and is obviously fine with those HOs)
Maybe it’s the dates that a number of sits were advertised have passed. For example, isn’t it the Queens Jubilee Soon? Perhaps this is a holiday (ignorant Aussie here).
For the dates I’m looking for - last two weeks in July in France / UK / Europe just keeping growing in number. I worry about all those unfilled amazing sits, especially in the UK.
We noticed the decrease as well. A week ago there over 4000 available sits in the UK, now that number is down to 3675.
What especially irritates me about the calendar is that I cannot strike through those dates when I know I am not available, but I am not on a house sit with THS.
For example, in early July I am on holiday OVERSEAS (nothing to do with THS) and am clearly not available to house sit. Yet I cannot block out those dates. .
Those dates, in the UK, are the start of the school holidays so I would think families will be posting lots of availability July 14th ff.
Hi @LTD What you’re asking can be done, and I think is worth doing when it’s a block of time. I recently did a similar one, for something outside of THS sits. In my opinion, it’s when it’s the odd date I’m unavailable in a range that it can be impractical.
I will be unavailable July 6-18, but I added a buffer either side for my convenience. Below is a screenshot of my calendar for July.
Before: Availability (end date for example only) June 3 - Sept 30
June 3 - July 2
July 22 - September 30
July 3 to July 21 show white (unavailable) against the green (available) dates
It only took a few minutes to update on my dashboard. Of course, every sitter decides whether they want to keep theirs current, but I just wanted to cover this, for your sake but also for other sitters who may be wondering how it can be done.