Yes, it does make sense explaining it like this.
Thank you so much for the compliment about my listing
But again, it’s all about communication. If you feel that new HOs don’t know the rules why not talk to them about it? I wouldn’t have known many things (like cameras in the house, which I don’t have, or a third party dropping by, which my relatives wouldn’t do) without this forum. Yes, there is a code of conduct, but I confess, I don’t like reading this stuff…
Both of these cases the homeowners knew the policies but did not warn me of or didn’t realize family members would not honor them. On all accounts I was startled.
On one, I knew a family member lived on the property in their own home. I did not know he had special needs and would likely not remember the rules when the caregiver went home at night. It was very remote and there was a heatwave. I was instructed to turn off the air at night and open all windows. The screen doors did not have locks and the house needed the ventilation to have a chance to cool off enough to sleep. I woke up in the morning with all the screen doors wide open. When I reported to the daughter what had happened, she told me to lock all doors because the family member will wander in when left alone. After that I advised the owners I would lock everything and keep the air conditioner running. At the same sit, I was in the swimming pool when their adult son decided to help himself to a beverage from the outside refrigerator. I knew he tended to his “garden” on the property but didn’t expect him to pop into the pool area for a cold drink.
The second sit, a husband refused to listen to his wife when she told him to not go to the house without notifying me. He rang the bell in the morning and I assumed he was a solicitor. They were on holiday 2.5 hours away so I had no reason to believe he would be popping home and I had never met him. I was staying in their bedroom and he wanted access to their computer in the bedroom. It was not only extremely disrespectful to just show up and knock but it got their wild dog all worked up as well. I couldn’t get dressed and take the dog for a walk since he was where my clothes were located. I eventually demanded he leave and come back after I could get dressed and get the dog out for its walk. However, I had to get very assertive and demanding. The wife profusely apologized. I couldn’t be upset with her. I felt really sorry for her to be married to such an idiot.
Homeowners need to be responsible to understand the rules. Your comment is one that is exactly my point. As a new pet sitter, you don’t always think to ask about certain things until it happens to you. Pet sitters put themselves into vulnerable positions. Homeowners need to put themselves into the shoes of who they are asking to care for their home and pets with no monetary exchange and usually expenses for travel.
But this still could happen even with more experienced HOs. You don’t change an idiot . If he didn’t know how to behave in the first place, he won’t later.
So I think, being an experienced sitter, you can make people aware or certain issues by asking questions. The same applies to experienced HOs and new sitters. Everybody has to start somewhere and needs the chance to make mistakes. I certainly also wouldn’t want them to make theirs in my home, but if they do, that’s life
Hi everyone… the original topic for tips to “help redress the balance” has today morphed into a separate discussion, still very valid, but now worthy of it’s own thread so as not to detract from the original post. Please feel free to continue the chat here and @claudinekent if you have a better idea for a title for this topic you are leading, please feel free to adjust accordingly. Thanks all.
I understand your concerns, but can personally say I have sat for three or four people now that I was their first THS sitter and they were some of the best sits I’ve had to date. The owners seem to have gone above and beyond to make sure the house was clean and comfortable, and leave me good directions which I really appreciated. It is definitely a red flag to me if I see an HO has had a number of past sitters and none of them have left reviews. Just like new sitters need to start somewhere, so do new homeowners. If there are good pictures, detailed descriptions of the home and pets, and I’m comfortable after the interview, I don’t have any concerns that I’m their first sitter.
Oops, I didn’t realize which headline this was posted under
I am a new sitter and just finished up my 2nd sit and will begin my 3rd sit next week. All of my sits have been first time for the HO’s and have been great! I did learn a bit from the first one and from reading this forum so now know the questions to ask and what to look for in a listing and follow up discussion with the HO. I’m so glad I gave the HO’s with no reviews and no previous experience a chance.
I left a reviews for both sits and requested reviews from both HO’s. Each time I do that I have to look up how! It’s not intuitive so that could be an issue too.
I think you might be putting too much faith in external references for sitters. The sitter just provides an email address, which could belong to anyone, including the sitter, and I assume a good chunk of them are fake.
I’ve sat for HOs without reviews before and it’s gone great. For me, if I do my due diligence and communicate beforehand, the risk has been no greater than with reviewed HOs.
I have avoided HOs without reviews who have completed sits, as that was always a red flag to me, but now that I’ve seen in this forum how many sitters didn’t even know they could/should review HOs, I might have to reconsider that as well.
What are the steps to provide feedback to a sitter’s review?
Post moderated - telephone number removed - please refer to forum guidelines - Thank you.
Agreed. As I have said, I just ask for full transparency from my pet sitters and home owners. I was dragged along with one pet sitter and I ultimately gave them a deadline. My gut was they were waiting to hear on a pet sit they were hoping to be invited and we were choice two.
I prefer for people to circle back to me if they have another meet and for whatever reason it doesn’t click. I love when people tell me someone beat me to the application but will let me know if their first interview doesn’t work.
I just informally told someone I am confident to have them sit without a virtual meet but am more than happy to schedule a virtual meet. I will send her a video tour since I’m out of the country. Her 3 reviews are outstanding and our pet sitters left very detailed feedback for future pet sitters. She is seeking what we have to offer. It is a clear win/win.
I sent the other applicants a note stating I believe I found someone so they all know before I have a confirmed sit. I offered a local sitter with no reviews another sit a couple of weeks later for a long weekend. It’s easy to do a copy and paste if too many to write individual notes. I try really hard to personalize each one. However, when I had over 50 applicants it just wasn’t feasible.
Even home owners with lots of reviews and amazing properties and/or in highly desirable areas have been struggling to get and keep pet sitters. Our Spain sit has had 3 pet sitters cancel in the last month. I was trying to jump through hoops to help them. We actually pieced together an emergency plan if he couldn’t get another one. As of now, one is in place.
I cannot emphasize enough to purchase the premium package and treat your pet sitters like gold. I have people ask me what I like to eat/drink and I do the same to name one simple tip. I will do anything I can to help my former families if they get stuck and I feel like my former pet sitters would do the same for me.
I have done 4 pet sits for one of my first sits. If I am available I will always happily help. I adore the cat and the owners are great. I only have one sit I would not return. We have been asked to do second sits with people before they have even returned from their first trip.
I thought I was responding directly to people. Apologies! Think I’ve beaten a dead horse to death.
Yes! , that’s exactly like we do it! We have heard from our former sitters “we feel like in a hotel”, because I prepare the bathroom with folded towels and little shampoo bottles, handmade (by myself) soap bars and face cleanser for them as well as a welcome basket with wine, red and white, snacks, chocolate, a voucher for the best café in town and whatever I stumble across in the weeks before they arrive.
When I receive applications, I either decline them right away if I instantly think NO, or I tell them I would like to wait a while until I decide. I only do this with those who are ok, but not exactly what I was looking for. But I also tell them that I understand if they move on if another HO wants to confirm them, because I don’t want to keep anybody on hold.
And then there are the “gems”! I usually already tend to say YES right after reading their application and so far a video call, scheduled as soon as possible, always proved me right.
I then cancel all other video calls, I might have scheduled, and tell everybody in a personalized message that this time it’s not going to be them.
If everything went good I leave a glowing review for them which says I would always welcome them back, and I really would.
Technically speaking, there are no steps to provide feedback to a sitters review. A sitter doesn’t leave a review, a sitter leaves feedback. However if you view a sitter’s feedback from your dashboard, using the dropdown menu I showed above, you get the option to reply to feedback, see an example below.
Similarly, a sitter can reply to an owner’s review the same way.
PLease note : This is a one time reply for both parties, it cannot develop into a long term conversation like mail and importantly cannot be edited or removed once posted - it is then posted to the owner and sitters profile for all to see.
Edit : I have now had a look at your listing, and what a wonderful feedback you have had from your first sitter, I can see why you want to reply, that feedback alone would be enough to make me apply if I was in your area.
I’ve been treated like gold dust by all my pet owners and I don’t think one of them was Premium Level.
In my world communication is everything and no matter what level a potential pet owner is if they won’t talk and answer questions I withdraw my application. A red flag ignored is me heading for an uncomfortable sit.
Premium membership gives owners insurance ($150 per day) to pay for pet care if a sitter cancels at the last minute. It gives pet sitters $150 a night for a hotel if an owner cancels at the last minute. The strong recommendation has nothing to do with whether it will be a good pet sit or not.
Do you really believe that the insurance will pay?
I rather have a plan B (neighbor or family step in) than rely on any insurance, which supposedly covers last minute cancellations worldwide.
I do have standard membership. The only two reasons are, that I can boost my listing in case no suitable sitter has applied yet and to see who has saved my listing, otherwise the basic membership would be sufficient.
I neither need insurance nor any airport lounges, so the premium membership plan would be wasted money to me.
I believe THS should address your doubt. I do not believe I am buying into a scam.
I don’t think it’s a scam, but I know about pitfalls of insurances, and if any insurance is to cover occurrences all over the world for members of various countries, I am very wary and wouldn’t rely on my specific circumstances to meet the requirements.
You implied sitters are treated like gold by premium level owners. I answered by saying I have been treated like gold by all my pet owners. Insurance was not mentioned. The membership level of an individual does not interest me. Pets, home and where the sit is is far more important to me. If someone wants to pay for insurance well and good. If they want a nice shiny banner or badge excellent. In the words of Shiana Twain “it doesn’t impress me”.
I am not interested in insurance. In my lifetime I have seen the twists and turns insurance companies make not to payout. I’d rather have contingency plans in place, which I do.
This is my own opinion. I’m sure there are others that will disagree.
Standard membership also gives home hosts owners insurance
The sitters insurance only pays for a hotel if the hotel is in the same area of the sit - so it only really applies if the home host cancels when you knock on the door - if you have not yet travelled to get to them then you are not covered.
As with all insurance policies, My strong recommendation would be to read the small print to be sure it is a fit for you - for most, I suspect the limited cover is not enough to be tempted to go onto the premium tier.
As a car/homeowner and world traveler, I have quite the contrary experience. When I am traveling abroad and money is invested, I buy travel insurance. I also do not want to have to foot the bill for a hotel in a foreign country because the owners test positive for Covid 24 hours prior to their flight.
I have been surprised at how many people are not aware of the insurance benefits so I wanted to get the word out to those who believe in the value of insurance. I do not think we need to debate if someone does believe in it. Everyone can make their own decisions once they understand the values of the different membership levels. As one homeowner suggested, it is the experienced pet sitters who should be educating newbies.
I have not seen posts from anyone else that is utilizing THS on both sides as much as me so I am sharing my knowledge and experiences to those who wish to read them.
This thread is sending me emails which look like they are from individuals. Therefore, I thought I was replying directly to people, not the masses. I no longer get emails when left a message in my Inbox or my saved searches so no idea why I am getting these.
After how much I advertise THS to everyone I meet and bring them revenue, I do not appreciate emails from admin. making false accusations regarding my intentions with THS. Anyone can click on our profiles and see how active we are on both sides. For the record, I offered to help a person in Portland if they were “desperate” when I believed I was communicating directly with them, not the masses. I tried to help people from the platform during the holiday to find paid pet sitters because they were desperate. I did this at no fee or for no other reason but to be helpful. I even offered people to bring their dogs to my home because I wanted to be home with my kids from out of town. I stand up for this community constantly when homeowners throw around concerns about having strangers in their home. I can read the difference in reviews and know the “star” petsitters/homeowners from the average one’s.
Please advise how I can discontinue this thread because I believe it has lost all value and is a waste of most readers’ time. It is beginning to remind me of too many other social networking sites. It was great when I first joined, but I do not believe it is serving me well at this juncture. I want to keep all of my wonderful feelings about THS and my experiences and this is having quite the opposite effect on me.