I’ve had six applicants withdraw because they had a conflict come up with dates. These are not confirmed sitters, but I’m spending tons of time interviewing. So frustrating. I’ve started asking for feedback on if there is anything in particular making them withdraw - like can I offer shorter dates, is something else putting them off? They all say no. Any advice? My listing link is in my forum profile
As @Katie3 is a new forum member to view their home listing please click their user name and copy and paste it into the browser - Doscoure the platform that runs the forum asks you to build up your trust levels before it becomes a hyperlink.
Any questions let me know and a massive big welcome to @Katie3 - It is great to have you here and I am sure you will get the help and advice you need
Hi and welcome @Katie3!
I don’t know if this is the issue, but I’m just wondering if you are being timely with the screenings? Many sitters will withdraw their applications when HO’s don’t reply speedily, or when the process drags on, because they will have other sits to choose from when other HO’s act faster (everyone likes a decisive host).
I just read a really good comment from @belluca (a HO) on another thread:
“I do like the idea of getting to compare, but really, you just need to find one great sitter. For my last sit, I lost out on someone I think would have been amazing because they got another sit while I was working through applications - it worked out in the end (my eventual sitter was awesome!), but it made me realize that it would be better to choose and cancel a scheduled call if I know I have a great choice than to drag out the process.”
Most likely possibilities below (I don’t know your situation, but six withdrawals sound unusual, unlikely to be coincidental):
You let the review process drag out. Because when the sitters applied, they presumably didn’t have a conflict.
You share something during video chats that changes sitters’ minds about your sit. Maybe you need to be more transparent in your listing? Like I withdrew after a HO said she’d have to tell me during our video chat how “high maintenance” her pet was, which wasn’t mentioned in the listing. Most sitters aren’t looking to do high-maintenance sits. Or to meet unreasonable expectations for home care.
You waffle on your travel / sit dates. For instance, I withdrew after a HO told me during a video call that her sit dates were uncertain and she needed time to work that out. Many sitters expect a HO to know their travel dates, not waste sitters’ time figuring that out.
You come across during the video chats as if you’re hiring help. Many sitters will take offense at the wrong tone, because THS is supposed to be an exchange, not an employer-employee dynamic.
Personally, I don’t give a reason for withdrawing, because I don’t need to. Some sitters might make up excuses such as a conflicting schedule just because they might be uncomfortable telling you why they’re withdrawing.
@Katie3 you mention that your car has IBD and that you need to discuss what the care of your cat entails.
There is no way for a potential sitter to contact you and ask questions about this .The only way for them to make contact is to make an application .
I think it would help if you explain your cats care needs in more detail in your listing .
Then sitters who apply will already be fully aware of the responsibilities before applying.
I agree with @Silversitters in that even as an experienced cat sitter I’m not sure what the daily treatment for IBD is?
There are HO’s with pets that need pilling or injections on THS which is fine as there are experienced sitters for these situations but better be upfront about the treatment.
Absolutely @Silversitters. In the new regime, sitters have to take up one of the 5 slots just in order to ask something about the sit
We currently have 35 reviews, and as we evolve, we’re refining our selection process for finding pet sitting opportunities. Our preference is to work with homeowners who communicate promptly (by responding within 48 hours) and exhibit genuine enthusiasm for our application. In order to streamline our efforts, we generally opt to withdraw our application when homeowners provide any of the following reasons:
They are currently away from home, traveling, or on vacation, making it difficult for them to review applications.
Their intention is to interview all potential candidates.
They anticipate needing a week or more to reach a decision or are unsure when will they make a decision.
They’re waiting to see if more candidates apply before making a decision.
They plan to finalize their choice closer to the listing’s start date.
They have not engaged with or responded to our application within a span of 3 days.
They have not finalized their travel dates or have posted incorrect dates.
In the listing they did not fully disclose additional pet or household responsibilities or home information ( no spare bedroom, construction during sit etc.)
They make unreasonable requests for arrival or departure times e.g. 5 am
These criteria guide our selection process and ensure that we align with homeowners who are genuinely invested in finding the right pet sitter.
We are fairly new to the platform but currently on our 3rd sit with 4 more confirmed. I now withdraw our applications if we haven’t had a response from the HO within 72 hours(ish). I do this as I feel a quick reply “thank you for your application we are reviewing all applicants and hope to have a decision by x”. Is basic courtesy and reflects the HOs response time and investment in the sit. Alternately if we don’t get a response we feel ghosted and just move on.
Good criteria. After 18 months and 15 5 star reviews I too am refining the types of sits I’ll accept. There are a few from early on, I’d no longer accept due to a few reasons.
I’ve realised that if the sits starts off with a few possible ‘red flags’ it usually only go downhill once you accept and start the sit.
We are on the same page as you @BunnyCat. We have no time for HO as you describe. We value our self worth (& sanity) too much!
As othered have suggested, it sounds to me like it could be an issue of taking too long in the interview and deciding process. An old boss used to use the phrase “Paralysis by analysis” meaning that when you have sufficient information, act instead of continuing to analyze it. Either they are being accepted on other sits or just don’t want to wait around that long. I feel that good sitters know their worth and don’t necessarily want to wait around while a decision is dragged out.
Your sit sounds great and we would certainly consider it if we were available. Giving medication to your cat wouldn’t cause us concern but we’d want to know what all was involved in dealing with IBS. If it’s simply a medication issue, no problem. There are a lot of sitters like ourselves that are interested in longer sits planned well in advance.
Dan and Nan
@BunnyCat Very well said!!
Well yes, it’s not any different than applying for a job.
All questions and discussion happens during the interview process.
Almost agree @BunnyCat except that we have had three really terrific sits where the HO was away & opted to video call up to a week later! We sensed that we were the preferred candidates & we’re glad we agreed to wait. There will always be exceptions to your rules I expect.
This is my process. I screen the listing, what’s on offer, required, location, dates etc. if It fits the initial needs etc I apply but keep searching, screening other listings sometimes as often as twice a day.
If I get an invite to chat further, great. I accept first suitable offer and withdraw any other applications. If there has been some type of dialog, I will send a message, if not I don’t.
I won’t dilly dally waiting on someone else.
This works for me and I have had no problems with the big five or anything really.
I’m booked into August 2024 and I am turning down sit requests.
I feel the key is to be decisive quickly.
Crikey @Amparo, I hope it’s not like a job application. I last did one of those in 1987
Personally I like to get my 100% non-negotiable requirements out of the way before getting far with an application. I don’t wait to be a video call finalist. Non-smoking is a prime one and because of a recent unfortunate incident involving our large car and a very, very narrow driveway I also need access details at the property! The sit was absolutely fab but the scraped bumper wasn’t.
We also had 2 fantastic sits where we waited on owners who had various things going on in their lives. They were still communicative, it was just a bit slower than we are used to. But we had time and the sits looked good, so we just went along at a slower pace. Both were some of our favourites.
These have been fantastic suggestions!
I’ve made some changes to my listing to describe the elder cats care for IBD rather than saying we will chat about it. I’ve taken “flexible dates” out of my headline (my dates are firm, I just thought sitters might want a shorter period and I can hire someone to work around them.” I’m also going to add information regarding professional cleaners (I have them in every two weeks) and parking (street).
I contact sitters same day they apply and arrange chats as quickly as possible so that’s not it.
But those are things you can inquire in your initial application message and get the list of unsuitables done with quickly.
My thoughts are that if we keep searching for the “perfect one” on “first date” we are wasting time and missing out on wonderful potential opportunities.
We also have to remember that is short term, experience is the best teacher both as sitters and HO. Coming to a suitable agreement without compromising our own basic human needs of safety, health and such isn’t complicated. But those who are waiting to see if there is something better coming, (certainty) may miss out on some good stuff right in front of them.
My point is simple, sitters apply, apply apply, don’t miss the door of communication.
HO respond to your applicants quickly.