I’m new to THS and only just posted yesterday for someone to care for my pets and home in July. I have already had 5 people contacted me that are interested and all sound great!
I wondered if anyone can offer me advice on what type of questions I should be asking on our video meeting. Any advice at all will be great as I’m new to this,
My thing is complete transparency - I send people my LinkedIn link, and my last name, which, if you Google, you will find WAY more information about me from my articles at (this media outlet.)
Red flags would be:
*People demanding you make a decision about taking them on now, now, now
*Someone who can’t provide a single reference
*Basically, after that, if you have several great prospects, it’s a question of “eeny-meeny-miney-moe!”
Go with yer gut, in other words. There is a certain amount of risk and trust in this endeavor, both for the sitter and their host. Both understand this, and proceed.
Hi @Les52 and welcome. Your listing has already proved popular but please note that you do not have to choose from the first five applicants. Your listing will have automatically paused.
If any of the five applicants are unsuitable you can decline them (preferably with a short note and you don’t have to explain why). This will free up spaces for more sitters to apply who may be more suitable. I am not sure if you have to ‘unpause’ or if it happens automatically.
Once you have a shortlist of say 3, set up video or phone calls.
If the answers to your questions aren’t covered in the profile
I would ask about
experience of caring for pets
experience of caring for a home
are they able to prioritise your pets and keep to their routine
do they have transport?
how many people will be sitting?
do they plan to work from your property or hope to see the sites?
is there any flexibility in arrival and departure times in case of delays?
Hopefully this will give you some ideas but at the end of the day, as others have said, it does tend to be a gut feeling and trust.
Hope all goes well but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions- we are a helpful bunch!
Hi Les, welcome to THS.
If there are any particular things you want to ask, write them down before you do the calls. You will find that you will get a good or bad feeling by the flow of the conversation. The sitters will be trying to sell themselves so should be offering you the information without you having to prise it from them.
There is a good chance that there will be one or more that you think will be a good fit from these five, if not you can decline them, unpause your listing and accept 5 more - but do not get overwhelmed with choice by speaking to too many and when you have chosen the sitter that you want please don’t forget to decline all the others with a short message thanking them for applying.
On our first time away we had applicants ranging from almost no sits to 50+ sits. We wound up choosing a mother and daughter with not that many references but whom we found to be trustworthy. In their application they talked about our cat and how they would care for her, not just that they would like to visit our city. We then had a video chat and that sealed the deal. We trusted our instincts and they are currently house sitting for us as we speak, for a third time. After we confirmed them we found out we forgot to ask a lot of things so we messaged back and forth a few times. I don’t think there is a preset list of questions to ask. Just ask about the things that are the most important for you and there is no stupid question, especially when it’s the first time you have to experience the Trust in TrustedHousesitters.
Yes, all the below and also depending on your requirements; if they’re local, are they working from home, or are they not working, but need some site-seeing. IF they do, then arrange a dog-walker or someone local to take the dog for a walk as well as the sitter for a couple of hours so the dogs are not on their own for a long time if the sitter wants to see sites. It’s not really fair to expect them to stay at the house all time and they’ll need some time to explore each day. But, equally, it’s not fair on the pet to be left for hours on end each day either (unless it’s grazing livestock of course!) That’s a bit different.
This topic has been discussed often on the forum with lots of great advice provided. You can use the looking glass above to search “questions to ask sitters”. Here’s one thread I found to get you started.