Owners - do you 'meet' with a few potential sitters before accepting one?

Hello everyone,

Some context…
I have two young dogs that need caring for while I am overseas for about 2 weeks. Because I’ll be so far and one is a very anxious boy, I want to be really careful in choosing who watches them.

I’ve had about 5-8 applications, and some were very easy for me to say no to(i.e telling me to look at their profile and saying nothing else) and a few left personal, thoughtful messages where I felt they would be great sitters.

All of them also offered Zoom/Facetime chats before moving forward.

I scheduled 2 video chats and scheduled to host one potential sitter for brunch at my place to offer them a look at the place and to meet the pups.

Is this normal to field a few sitters before confirming/accepting one?

I’m wondering if any owners can share their experiences or ‘steps’ when choosing a sitter and also share what has worked best.

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Hi,

Yes, this is 10000%, normal & totally ok in my sitter view of the world. Do what you feel’s best, ask lots of questions, allow folk to give feedback if possible, discuss your expectations so you don’t have to panic once you’re away. Can your sitter go outside for a solo walk etc or at home 24hrs a day?

Be prepared (old girl guide & I always fall back on this in daily life)

May you find a lovely sitter :+1::slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @Water welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters and what a great question to ask, one that unless you have been through the process of choosing and engaging a sitter you could be unsure of what is “normal” and thank you @RunnerC for your excellent sitter feedback and advice.

Manage your sit arrangements in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable and 100% secure, that goes for owners and sitters as a successful sit is all about communication and choosing the right sit and sitter for pets and homes.

We advise always having a video call and when possible, some members like to meet in person before commiting to the arrangement.

There are some great article on the website blog to help you through the process Owners | TrustedHousesitters.com. and I’m sure you will get some more feedback from members here on the forum.

Welcome again and if you have any other questions please just ask … this is the right place to do just that.

Angela and the Team

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Do what feels best for you - A video call is very common - a house visit is not unheard of but less common due to practicalities of distance for many sitters.
The only caution I would say is not to take too long to choose. There is a very good chance that these sitters will have other applications out there and you risk missing out if they get accepted elsewhere.

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Definitely! If a sitter lives or is doing another sit nearby I would always prefer to meet in person over a phone or video call. Why not? You expect to house them in your home so it’s perfectly alright to want to use the best way to choose.
It’s not your brain alone that does the choosing but by meeting in person you also have the chance to feel and smell (to me this actually is very important) and then let your gut help the brain :wink:.

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Smell ?
Zoom is useless, then…

I know :rofl:
But if I have the chance to meet in person it’s important to me.
In Germany we have a saying that if you don’t like someone you don’t like his smell. This is very true even if it’s a really nice person.

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We ALWAYS met via ZOOM or Facetime any potential sitters. These are people coming into your home and not only caring for your pets but you home as well. It is so much easier to get a feel of what someone is like when you can observe their body language during interaction. There are people we thought would be a good fit but after speaking personally with them, found they might not necessarily be so. An indicator, in my opinion, is how they project themselves during that chat (are they dressed, hair combed, etc.). If they are messy with an interview, imagine what they might be like in your home. We always made ourselves presentable for the same reason.

Totally normal and a good idea. It is mutually beneficial to both HOs and sitters to feel comfortable with each other (and with the pets if it is possible to meet). This is your home and your pets. Do whatever you need to be happy with your decision. A good sitter will welcome your due diligence. Just be careful, as Colin says, not to leave a decision too long if you like a sitter as most of us have several applications for a given time frame/place.

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Great points! I make sure I’m dressed according to my environment but formal enough to be respectful and to earn respect. For instance, if I’m in a tropical location, I will not do a video chat with a potential HO sitting on the beach in a bathing suit. I will schedule it when I’m indoors, fully dressed, and in a clean environment. I think you should strive to put your best personality traits forward during the call.

Thank you for all the thoughtful replies.

I took a lot at the blog targeted at Owners and read a few articles. So, it’s nice to know I was on the right track with a few things and glad I read it as I didn’t think to clean out wardrobe space. I also thought it might be overkill to welcome them with food upon arrival, though now I will be sure to leave some essentials in the fridge!

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We are scheduled to do a trial sit in April. The HO’s have 2 very large dogs and want to be sure that we can handle them while they are gone. We are actually traveling to Spain from Lisbon for this sit. If we pass the audition, then we have 2 more sits with them later this Summer. This one is a little unusual but we have gone and meet potential HO’s prior to the sits many times if we are already in the area.