Asking back a sitter vs trying someone new

Earlier this year my husband and I went away for a month and we had a sitter from this service stay at our place and watch our dog. This sitter was absolutely phenomenal. We had a really great experience with her and she loved it too: she liked the house, the area (we’re near San Francisco) and really enjoyed taking care of our pup.
We will be going to Thailand next Feb for a month. I’m really torn between asking her back (if I do I want to do it early so she isn’t already booked) because it was such a positive experience, versus giving someone else a try and the opportunity to sit somewhere new to them.
What are other people’s thoghts on this? I’m really undecided and welcome any suggestions.

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Why not contact the phenomenal sitter and see if she’s available to do your February sit? If she isn’t, then you can post it.

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As a sitter, I am going to be doing my first repeat sit in a few weeks. I was in the UK in Feb-March and sat a really nice 10 days in a London suburb and then a few more UK sits. Was actually invited back as the first sit began - going back for 3 weeks and then 3 more UK sits to round out 2 months. The location is great - things to do in the area, good transportation, nice house (although I’ll be curious about how hot it will be in late July/early Aug).
Yesterday I got an invite to return to a semi-rural sit in Colorado for 2 weeks over Xmas/New Year. I really liked the dog and everything was quite comfortable but I’m inclined to try to find something a bit more urban and/or new. But being invited back is a real compliment and the standard poodle was a wonderful companion.

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That was the plan but I’m curious to hear what people say about just trying someone new altogether. I mean, I might have two phenomenal sitters in my contacts.
I don’t think there’s a right answer, but I’m interested in hearing other’s thoughts and maybe considering perspectives I’m missing.

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As a homeowner, I love to have a return sitter. They know the house, the pets – since she was so wonderful, I would definitely ask her back. I’m also a sitter, and I sometimes love returning to a previous home – it just depends on the location. My advice would be to ask her first and then, as @mars says, if she’s not available, then post your sit.

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Welcome @jaumais to the Community Forum. You have asked a great question that I am sure other owners ask themselves. First of all, let me say you have a beautiful home in a beautiful location, not to mention that precious Mochi (I had a beagle and loved him so very much). I am sure if you opened up the application, you would receive so many willing sitters, but inviting back a previous sitter is what all of us here at TrustedHousesitters hope for after we have done a sit. Since we are all members due to the love of animals, I think that is what we really strive to have happen. I know I asked back several of our sitters when our baby girl was alive, and from that, we developed many long lasting friendships which like-minded folks.

No matter which you choose, I am sure you are going to be happy with whomever stays with that precious Mochi!

Have a great day!

Debbie - Forum Moderator

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@jaumais I find your question and thought process interesting. I am a sitter and have done return sits. I did one recently where the owner has developed a bank of sitters, as she travels regularly. She first puts out a direct invite of her upcoming dates to those who she’d like to return. She fills what dates she can from that, and then lists any outstanding dates. She told me recently that it makes for far less work for her. She always does a video call with prospective sitters, and so this saves her time, plus involves less explaining before the sit.

I know of another owner who posted their listing and had applications, one of which was from a previous sitter. This gave some flexibility to consider both options - to have a returning sitter, but also have an opportunity to review other applications.

It’s kind of you to consider that you could also open up the opportunity for someone to try somewhere new. Keep in mind though that they may not be ‘absolutely phenomenal’. That sets the bar really high for other sitters. :slightly_smiling_face:

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We frequently get asked to go back and feel honored. If you feel that you found the perfect sitter, go for it and ask him/her back.

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I’ve been asked back to several sits on a few occasions, sometimes I can do them others not. I’m sure your ‘phenomenal sitter’ will be flattered to be asked. If she can’t do it then post it. The earlier you ask the sitter you know the better.

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I guess if it were me, I’d ask back the phenomenal sitter. You’ve got a rapport, she knows your pets and your home. We’ve done repeat sits and it’s always nice to go back and not have to learn everything from scratch again.

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This has been my experience too. Always nice to be asked back as it means you’ve done a good job.

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Hi @jaumais The decision-making process can be quite a conundrum, and one could ask…Should I, or shouldn’t I?

Inviting us sitters for a return house / pet sit is one of the highest compliments we can have. It means that the homeowners we pet / house sat for found value in the care we provided for their pets. It makes us feel appreciated and it can be quite flattering.

In your case, you had a wonderful experience with a ‘phenomenal’ sitter. You have developed a familiarity and comfort level with her that cannot be taken for granted, particularly, as it comes to the treatment / care of your dog.

Something that comes to mind that could factor into asking this ‘phenomenal’ sitter back is: How far would she have to travel? If she resides in another state or country, would you help defray her travel expense costs?

I have returned for repeat sits; however, they were within driving distance. If invited back for a sit where airline travel is involved and renting a car, that would be something I would have to ponder.

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The most important thing is your animals. That person was terrific to and for them, ask them back!

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Hi @jaumais I listed 3 sits earlier this year and purposely chose 3 different sitters. 2 out of the 3 sitters were interested in doing all 3 of the sits, but I want to build up a ‘pool’ of sitters that hopefully I can draw from. I will have another listing for the fall, and plan to use a different sitter then. The 2 sitters I’ve had so far have been great, and the 3rd sit is in a couple of weeks.

During my conversations with the applicants I informed them of my strategy. I am also fortunate to live in a desirable location, which certainly helps in attracting sitters. Also, all the sits to date have all been on the shorter side…5 to 6 days, but plan to do a couple of much longer vacations next year. At that point, will start to invite sitters back.

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‘A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush’ - it’s better to hold onto something one has already than to risk losing it by trying to attain something better!

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My dog literally cried when she left.

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With all the house sits I have done so far, the HO’s have asked me to return when they have put up new dates. I haven’t been available but it was a nice gesture all the same.

I guess it is just seeing if this person is available for the dates you have in mind and then you will know.
I do agree with what Snowbird mentioned about having a list of favourites and a bank of sitters. I haven’t tried the “group message” but maybe that will go out to those people?

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You raise an interesting point and one that I’ve pondered from the other side as a sitter.

We have absolutely loved every single one of our sits and would happily return to all of them – yet, we also enjoy caring for new animals and discovering different places.

So far, we haven’t been able to accept any invitations to do a repeat sit because our schedule was already booked for the HO’s required dates. The same may be true for your previous sitter. That’s one of the reasons why it makes sense for HOs to have a pool of sitters.

While I understand the temptation to go with a sitter who’s “tried and true”, it’s very generous of you to think that it would be nice to give someone else the opportunity to discover your area and meet your pup. The open-heartedness of its members is one of the things that we appreciate about THS.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to discuss your thoughts with your first sitter? That way there won’t be any misunderstandings if you post your listing and she sees it.

Have a wonderful time in Thailand! It’s a beautiful country.

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If I was you I would ask back your original sitter first but please don’t be disappointed if she refuses which she is highly likely to do. Even if she is not able to come back for a second sit she will be complimented that you asked.
We get asked back fairly regularly but have never been able to accept the offer so far either because we are already booked or because we had not planned to be in the area again at that specific time.
The good news is it’s a win-win situation for you. -
Ask and she says yes - a great result :heavy_check_mark:
Ask and she says no - she is complimented and you list again, ending up with another great sitter :heavy_check_mark:

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Sounds like doggo has made a choice. Ask her back, she may not even be available but how wonderful if she were.
I do many repeats , I would probably say most of my sits are now with people I have formed years long relationships in my desired countries. So it’s not a short trip down the street. I am very strategic about it all and I do it because not only does it benefit me but the owners love that their animals know me, I know them and it’s just love love love.
If not then find another.
All the best.

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