Pictures During a Sit

Hello everyone,

This is the second time that we have someone over our place to look after our cats and despite asking them to send pictures, this happens rarely.
I don’t want to keep asking them all the time, what could I do?

Thank you !

1 Like

I suggest, if you haven’t done so, including that in the responsibilities portion of your listing. This would emphasize it on the front end. You could also create a daily check list for each day that includes feeding, water, litter box, and photos… that would serve as a reminder of it’s importance to you during the sit. Good luck!

8 Likes

Thank you so much for the tips, I will implement those.
I usually tell them when they come to stay.

I always send pictures, maybe not every day. But, in my experience, some cats can be difficult - for me, some just don’t want to pose!

2 Likes

You might also want to discuss it in your interview process as well.

I think it’s the part of the sit that reinforces your capability as a house sitter. I am always very happy to send photos of their pets, it shows you are at one with the pets. Could I suggest you text them a day into the sit and tell them that you haven’t received any photos as you requested? It should nudge them into sending one to you.
It’s a real shame not to get photos as it gives you confidence that they - the sitters - are getting along with the pets.

2 Likes

I definitely agree with the other recommendations of including sending photos in your initial sit listing under “Responsibilities”. Also, make sure you mention it verbally during the interview process to gauge a sitter’s willingness. As a sitter, I always let the owner know our typical routine is to send end-of-day updates & photos (obviously, if something urgent arises, we contact them immediately), and then I ask the owner if they are comfortable with that frequency or want more/less. A majority of the time, this is what works best for everyone - it helps set expectations for the owner on when to anticipate communication as well. As owners, we adapt the same concept when discussing with our sitters - we let them know we appreciate a quick update and photos just to know everything is going smoothly. As owners, we have our Welcome Guide printed in a binder with a “cheat sheet” page on the cover that includes an overview of the daily routine - under the evening section I list “Photo + Update”. It’s a helpful visual reminder and emphasis on the importance of consistent communication.

For your current situation, I would just reach out and remind your sitters “I would appreciate (more frequent/daily) photos & videos. We miss our cats and it’s nice to see them happy at home while we are away”.

4 Likes

We find all home hosts are different, some wanting pics and updates twice daily, others say that they know what their pet looks like - no news is good news!
To get it right we always ask - we occasionally get over anxious home hosts beating us to it with a text - " Hi, we were just checking everything is OK? " -That usually makes me feel guilty and I am quicker with the pics the following day - you could try that method!

1 Like

I would say “compatibility” between HO and sitter, not capability as a house sitter. I feel it is up to the HO to be clear about their expectations regarding photos and overall frequency of communication.

Some ho don’t want any pictures and seem surprised and please when I send them some.some want pictures of their plants to make sure I’m watering them.instead of their pets.everyone is different.I’m learning all the time what’s important to house owners.

2 Likes

I send photos of the pets to the homeowners every day but I don’t overload them with texts or pictures during my stay. My profile indicates that that is what I will do if given an opportunity to look after their pets. Everyone so far, has appreciated that. Of course, not everyone wants that.

1 Like

Hi @Emanuela, I can certainly understand your frustration with not receiving pics of your babies on a regular basis. I was very fortunate to not have experienced that issue as all my sitters were very good about updating me regularly with pictures and just a quick text about how our little girl was doing. I agree with other members, and @BruceT with his idea of a daily checklist sounds like a perfect solution. This should be discussed during the initial phone/zoom meeting, then followed up in the Member Guide, then also a hard copy of that “checklist” left for the sitter so there is never a question as to what needs to be done on a daily basis…including those crucial updates.

Wishing you the best, and I assure you, not getting what you requested is far from the norm with TrustedHousesitters members. We all love our babies…whether our own or the ones we have been given the opportunity to visit and care for during their time away from their moms and dads.

Have a great day!

Debbie - Forum Team Moderator

So true! :joy::joy:

Lol, that’s true however even a picture from far away would be nice, I would like to have pictures twice a day and that’s what I told every time. We miss our cutiepies so seeing them just makes us happy :slight_smile:

Hi Debbie,
Yes I will definitely implement those tips as they are great.
My partner and I have a combined account on THS and I personally done 3 sittings, one with him. I send pictures twice a day because I know how important it is for the owner being one myself. If they want less they can always tell me but that was never the case so far.
It’s not THS standards I totally agree :slight_smile:

@Emanuela as sitters, we always appreciate written instructions as well as verbally communicated requests. There is so much that is discussed during an interview call, and at the time of the handover meeting. Perhaps the sitter misunderstood that specific request. We have found that requests can also change during the course of a sit, as new situations arise. An additional gentle reminder to your sitter, for pictures with more consistency during the sit, should never go unanswered. As always, communication is the key!!!

1 Like

Definitely. If a HO wants more frequent communication/pics, that seems like an easy thing to convey. Instead, it seems some people would prefer to fume and then “grade” the sitter for his/her/their failure.

I thoroughly appreciate this discussion. As a HO, I didn’t realize that receiving pics/communication during the sit was important to me until my last trip in June when I received virtually none! I realized that previously I’d just “lucked out” in choosing sitters who did this without my asking. This last time, I “struggled” with how to ask for more pics during the sit when I knew I had not specifically asked for/requested this up front, and didn’t want to “change the terms” on the sitter, who was doing a perfectly fine job and was diligent to follow all my instructions/requests otherwise. I’m pretty sure, my sitter would have been amenable had I asked, but I chose not to. I immediately recognized that this was my “failing” and made note to do it differently next time.

Sitters, like HOs, are all different, with different styles, experience, maturity, and communication skills. Finding a good fit or sit is the process of learning these differences during the interview phase, so that as much as possible both folks are as comfortable as can be with the arrangement before agreement.

HOs want to feel secure that our pets and homes are safe and well-cared for while we’re away, and Sitters want to have a clear understanding of what’s important to each HO to “do a good job.” I’m grateful to all the wonderful sitters I’ve found thru this network from all over the world. It’s brilliant to match lovers of pets and travel! Kindness and communication are key!

2 Likes

Hi @LauraNearBoston I’m so pleased to see that you took a glass-half-full approach to this recent experience, where you saw it as a learning experience. It’s ironic that I hadn’t read your post and yet just a few moments ago stressed that point to a new owner here, about sharing their communication preferences. For most of us we learn the omissions but making assumptions, or from past experiences.

As a sitter, I always forewarn my owners that they will hear from me within the first day of travels on all matters (eating & bathroom) concerning their pet. To me, if those are regular, it gives reassurance to the owners that the pet is not anxious at all. I have also encountered owners where the anxiety was far more on the owner’s side, and not the pet. :wink:

I also find that many owners share their travels with me during the sit, sending photos and texts about the new areas they’re discovering. Not always appropriate, of course, depending on the reason for travel. However, I find that as a sitter it tends to make me communicate more often, as it establishes it as a friendly interaction, rather than a reporting one. It’s something that might work for you in future too.

Francine
Volunteer moderator :canada:

5 Likes

I tell the homeowner that I will send them a text/picture update once a day and they can respond or not. I just make it part of my duties as a sitter. It makes me realize I will need to add that I expect that as a homeowner.

1 Like