Unread applications and non responses

Newbie here. I’ve secured a couple of sits and have applied for two or three more. I’ve found that some home owners respond immediately but that some don’t appear to read the applications at all. I’m just wondering if anyone can shed any light on this, are the homeowners who don’t bother to read the applications waiting to hear from sitters that they’ve used before perhaps? Seems odd to me not to even read the application…


@MissisE You are SO right…odd indeed (not to mention infuriating)! Sadly in my recent experience, this is happening more and more. You take your time to write a very cordial and informative letter, only to never even have it looked at. I’ve usually waited two days and then wrote to kindly ask if I’m being considered for their pet sit (knowing that the application hasn’t even been opened!) and stating that if not I’d appreciate a reply so that I can move on to apply for other pet sits. AND YOU GUESSED IT, that letter never gets opened either. So it is a problem, but despite TH.com’s email/blog requests to HO to please be kind and reply to all applicants…it has often fallen on deaf ears. I guess that is just the way of the world, people are interested in their needs and often oblivious to others needs. I’ve learned to keep my initial letters either short (so as not to waste too much time writing them), or to have an “initial form letter” that I just quickly update with new HO and pet names, one personalized bit of reply and then send. That way when it never gets opened, I don’t get (as) upset :<


I have found that it often depends on how far in the future a sit is.

Most HO will use THS a few times a year, some only once or twice a year, so they will post the sit dates well in advance, and wait a week or so to see how many responses they get, rather than read them on the 1st or 2nd day and choose - it is not first come first served.

I have been lucky to get sits 5 minutes after applying, but also 2 months after applying.

As far as waiting until a previous sitter applies - HO can invite previous sitters without posting on the site.

HO who use the site once a year is probably not aware of all the “etiquette” expected from more seasoned sitters - all they want is someone to look after their house and pet for 2 weeks in the holidays once a year.

I think the same principle applies to reviews - they are just not aware of how important it is to a sitter to get a timely, good review.


I have run into this on a few occasions. Recently, when I did not receive a timely reply, I applied for another sit that happened to be in the same vicinity over the same dates. It happened that I was offered both sits and felt bad having to turn one of them down. If the HO does not send some kind of reply, they are at risk of losing the applicant.


Thanks for your advice and experience. I think I’m a bit impatient being new! I’ve lined up a couple of lovely looking sits so I’m excited about those.


@mars I often add in my initial application that as a full-time sitter I am looking to fill my calendar so if I don’t hear from you in the next week or so I will continue to look for suitable sits.


Good suggestion, @Petermac . Have been keeping a list on my phone of all the great ideas I have gleaned from this forum.


Now that advertised sits in England alone are numbering about 460, HO really can’t afford to be so impolite. When I KNOW that I do a pretty good job of looking after someone’s home and pet, I’m incensed when my application isn’t even read. I now have a master application and I tweak it to suit the advert. I have three lovely sits lined up between July 4th and July 21st! But recently I messaged a HO who had rejected me without reading my application ( I know that as soon as he/she accepts a sitter, the other applicants are automatically rejected). I Asked ‘ Can I just confirm that you have rejected me without having read my application?’. It was still not read several days later! Then they sent me a PM asking if I could, after all, sit. I made an excuse. Last weekend they messaged me again about further dates. I was tempted to tell them I was washing my hair, but I gave another excuse. I’m pretty principled and I really wouldn’t treat others like this.


Hi @MissisE welcome to our community forum and congratulations on getting your first sits and one thing to remember is even members with numerous sits to their credit were all “newbies” once upon a time. We can’t wait to get to know you better and share in your TrustedHousesitters journey.

I’ve been sitting for 14 years, with TrustedHousesitters since the very beginning, with over 200 sits to my credit. If I have learned one thing it’s that there are those who respond to messages in a timely manner and those who don’t and that applies to sitters and owners.

It can be incredibly frustrating and we do impress on our members to respond to all messages and constantly looking at ways to make it easier to do just that also we stress the importance of reading each and every message, after all they could miss the sitter that is right for their sit by not doing so.

Now that we have the forum and conversations like this are taking place members will be encouraged to look at how they manage their responses to applications and vice versa.

Thank you again for joining you’ll find great support, help and advice from your fellow TrustedHousesitter members and enjoy your first sit … first of many we are sure.

Angela and the Team

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Funny someone should bring this up as I just encountered my first experience with this today. I’m a sitter with five years experience and many glowing reviews. I’ve had my application declined on occasion with no personal reply but my application was “read”. Last night I applied on a local sit and I know I was perhaps the first applicant or within the 0-3 applicants. Later in the evening the sit had 4-7 applicants and no more. This morning I received the “application denied” but my application was “unread”. Never had this happen before. So I can only presume that the homeowner opened the most recent email and chose that person or no longer needed a house sitter. I belonged to another housesitting service where they rated the homeowners on their responses and replies to sitters and if they didn’t meet the response level expected from the organization, their membership wasn’t renewed. I’ve suggested this to THS and think it warrants looking into it. I think homeowners need to have more accountability and definitely courtesy instilled.


That’s an interesting concept. Perhaps if a HO hadn’t read all applications and / or hadn’t replied to them all, the system could stop the HO from actually accepting their chosen sitter.
Just a thought.


One for homeowners - can you read a sitters profile when they apply for a sit WITHOUT opening the email? For instance, can you click on the sitters’ photo to take you to the sitters’ profile from your inbox?

Just a thought, possibly some HO read the profiles without reading the application…

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Ah, interesting! Being a newbie, I’m only just learning about the systems. Got my first sit tomorrow, excited!


Another reason might be that someone who sat for them previously became available. Many homeowners would prefer someone who has sat for them before, and that makes sense to me.


That’s brilliant @MissisE … what pet(s) are you looking after and where is your sit? Do let us know how it goes.

I think once you click on the sitter’s profile from the application they sent you then it is automatically “read”.

Good point!

That’s understandable but it’s just the lack of courtesy when the homeowner doesn’t even acknowledge your application. The homeowner only needs to send one email and it will go all the sitter applicants who applied - not a lot of time and effort.


Yes that’s what should happen, and as a sitter when I click on the HO photo in my inbox it opens the mail, BUT, just wondering … we know that the app has some differences to the website… It just seems strange that there are a number of sitters now who have had sits declined without applications being read. Trying to think out of the box.


It hasn’t happened very often to me but if the owner does not reply I make a note of who they are and when they contact me later which they sometimes do I reply that I am busy on other house sits and what a shame that they didn’t reply.