Newbie here! I searched the forum but couldn’t find any posts that addressed communicating with HOs before the sits starts. I have 5 sits scheduled between Mar - July. I plan to arrive to each sit beforehand to meet the owners. How often do you check-in with the owners before the sits? And is this done via THS, email, or phone? I just want to make sure I’m communicating enough prior to arriving on my sit. Thanks!
That depends on you and how your initial conversations have gone. Congratulations on your 5 sits!
Sometimes very little interaction happens until much closer to the sit time. Occasionally I will have an HO send a note about weather, or anything they want to add as a nicety or a question about preferences and such.
I’ve had HOs ask about what size boot I wear if snow is expected.
Do what feels comfortable, even if it’s to say “just checking in, how are your travel plans going?”
It’s a nice touch.
Are your sits local or international?
I have only had local sits and we decide on a preferred way to communicate once the sit is confirmed, usually call or text and then generally I use WhatsApp if they are abroad during the sit and have the app. I check in with them 3-5 days prior to make sure all is going ahead as planned. With last min gov rules still changing in each country there can be some late cancellations if the HO are flying internationally.
Congrats on your 5 sits
We have always chosen to stay in touch on the run up to a sit, especially now with all the possible travel changes. Depending on the communication to that point, it might be a chatty message or email, or a quick message… “just checking in to make sure plans are still all on track” type of thing. If the sit is a long way out, we usually do a monthly check-in (but we explain we’ll be doing that on our video or phone chat) and then within a month more regularly.
We have found many owners like to keep the messaging at this stage via THS so it’s easier to keep track of, but we always ask for an email in case of access problems. Even so sometimes we’ve reverted to Whatsapp or phone messaging or email. We go with whatever the h/o finds most convenient for them
But to quote Amparo…
Look forward to hearing how your sits go! Have a fabulous summer!!
My sits are all in the US (but not local as in the city I’m currently in). But one of them will be flying internationally. As it gets closer, definitely I plan to communicate more but since some are months away, I wasn’t sure. I will plan on monthly check-ins, and I will make a note during my initial zoom calls to mention this. Thanks!
Thanks! All good tips.
All good comments here. It is definitely sit specific. For example, I just contacted an HO for a sit 4 weeks out because we hadn’t set the actual date and time for a pre-sit walkthrough and it gave me an opportunity to update them on our now-confirmed travel plans. I’ve read on this forum where (especially) newer HOs and sitters can feel the stress of “radio silence,” which you want to alleviate. Coming from a customer service POV, I never wanted a client to have to ask for an update. I felt they should know when I would likely communicate (managing expectations), and then I would be sure to do so by then (meeting or exceeding expectations). If I haven’t set a communication schedule, I try to check in before anyone might start to be concerned.
Good points @lifephasenext! Thank you
Hi, I am new here and trying to learn the ropes. I have applied for a really lovely looking house-sit and the HO replied, giving me their email address and asking me to email them with my contact details. I am keen to know if this is common practice or not? Looking forward to getting some guidance from you here.
It depends, if they already confirmed you or you are their top choice, then that doesn’t sound unusual. We usually exchange Phone numbers ASAP after a confirmation, so we are able to contact them more quickly / reliably.
Thanks for your reply @Timmy - it was actually an initial response from the HO
to my application. We haven’t exchanged any other emails yet.
@FionaM if the owner is interested in you sitting for them, they may want to have a phone conversation or a video call before deciding on a sitter. So asking for a phone number at this stage isn’t unusual, although in my experience most HOs would say why.
Asking for other contact details like an address at this stage would be much more unusual and I’d be a little wary.
Hi @Debbie and @Petermac - I really appreciate your responses. Naturally, I am super keen to talk with the HO to see if we are a good fit for the house-sit (it’s early next year). I also think it would be a great idea to do a video call for us to catch up as part of the interview process to if we are a good fit. It helps to hear that this is not common practice.
Thank you again
@FionaM I did all initial communication via THS until a sit is confirmed. I then create a whatsapp group after exchanging phone and full address details. This seems to work well for me especially if a sit is confirmed a month or more in advance.
Hi @richten1 , thank you for that advice. I have one house sit confirmed already and would feel really comfy communicating with them prior to my arrival the way that you have recommended (assuming the HO does too). The other application just felt a bit odd with them asking me to contact them off this site straight away.