We are new to THS and just placed our first listing. Included in the sit timing is the sitter arriving a day before we leave to get to know our pets and routines - an orientation of sorts. We don’t make mention of that in our listing. Is it assumed by sitters? Is it good to point that out in the Intro or Responsibilities area of the listing? Or can that just be discussed with prospective sitters during the interview?
We also see that we have many local sitters. We are thinking of “inviting” a couple to see how that response might go. If they live local, arriving a day before might not be necessary.
Welcome! You should definitely place that information in your listing. I would put it in the main first section. Are you going to house the Sitter for that first night, or are you going to pay for their hotel room?
Hello @Savuti94 and a very warm welcome to the Community Forum
Congratulations on placing your first listing and yes some homeowners include the additional day beforehand and some don’t in the dates listed but when you have, (preferably a video call), with your prospective sitter/s this can all be discussed then.
You can try inviting local sitters, especially if they are new, they will be looking for those all important first reviews but remember a lot of people travel to see new locations/countries so you might find you get quite a few rejections but it’s definitely worth a try. Some people do prefer sitting close to home for various reasons so it never harms to ask.
For reference as a member, you can also add your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your Forum profile by following the attached link, should you wish. This will then enable others to offer you helpful advice and feedback and will also give your listing extra exposure!
If you are unsure how to do this, or if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask, we are all more than happy to help.
Also, remember you can use the spyglass symbol at the top of the page next to the TrustedHousesitters logo and search for any questions that you may have as they have most likely already been answered on here and of course if not then please just ask!
@Samox24 With all due respect, I think the best advice is to indicate the dates that the Owner expects the Sitter to be involved with the Sit. Don’t put start date of July 28 when you KNOW that you want the Sitter to arrive on July 27.
Also, I think the best advice is to place this expectation clearly in the listing. Why wouldn’t you? Then Sitters who apply have a clear understanding of what to expect. Is the Sitter going to be staying at the home (with the Owners) on that first night? Is the Owner going to pay for a hotel night for the Sitter?
First of all @Savuti94 welcome to the forum where you are going to get some great help and answers to any and all of your questions, including this one. Can I just say all your pets are precious (if I weren’t allergic to cats I would be applying), home is great…and that pool…well, its a showstopper!
I would advise, in your profile, that the day you show listed to start would be stated as the “night before” as many sitters might plan on coming in even the day before that so they become acclimated to the area. This is a great time to show the sitter your home and anything special that might need to be done (where light switches are for particular areas, ac or heat info, etc.) and also most important is to let them and your pets get to know each other so there are no surprises for the pet when you leave.
As far as local sitters go, that can be a great way to not have to worry about a night before greeting as they could quite possibly come sometime prior to the start date and get to know your pet as well.
Hi @PVGemini yes that would certainly be ideal if homeowners could include the additional date/s in the actual sit dates and if you will be staying with the homeowners but in our experience as sitters this has not always been the case so I was trying to explain, in this instance, this can all be discussed in the video call or discussion prior to the sit being agreed.
No, it wouldn’t be assumed. All my sits have started the day the homeowners leave town.
If you say a sit starts on October 1, and don’t specify that you are leaving October 2, I will assume you are leaving October 1.
If you don’t leave until October 2, please also tell the sitters whether they need to find their own accommodation the night before or if you will arrange this (either letting them stay overnight at your house or paying for a hotel for them).
I always find it helpful if a host mentions in the listing if the dates include an overnight at the beginning and/or end. We often book sits back to back so precise dates/timings are very helpful for our planning. We have frequently had situations where the hosts have listed the arrival date as the same day they travel then realised they need to leave very early in the morning making a same day handover impractical. This is is no problem if we are close enough to pay a pre-sit visit/handover on an earlier day, then we just make a key arrangement on arrival day. Otherwise, if we are far away, they often then ask if we can arrive the night before instead.
Sometimes that no longer works with previous bookings so clarity of dates in the listing itself is super helpful.
We don’t assume an overnight, pre-sit, but we always accomodate hosts wishes where possible. If the host wants us to arrive one day before-but can’t host us- for whatever reason- we would expect them to cover the cost of an overnight elsewhere If we choose to arrive in the area earlier for our own reasons- e.g acclimatising on arrival for an international sit- we would not expect that. But so far, in our experience, especially on international sits, we have always been invited to stay with the host.
Thanks all for the opinions. There seems to be opinions on both sides as to whether or not to include the pre-arrival request in the dates of the sit.
We decided to have the dates in our listing be the actual dates of pet sitter duties. We have listed upfront in our intro that we request the sitter to arrive the day before the listed date to acclimate them to our pets and out home. We have invited the sitters to stay at our home for that night. Our area has over 750 local sitters listed. If the sitter is local, we are open to having an “orientation day” instead at both our convenience.
I’ve looked at your listing and it reads as if you need the sitter to arrive on the 14th … but a sitter who is available only from the 15th will have search listings by date and will get yours come up .
So If you want a sitter to arrive on the 14th you need to change the date of your listing .
You can simply add we are leaving on 15th but want our sitter to arrive on 14th and stay with us … the night before .
Bear in mind although many sitters will be ok with this arrangement, not all sitters will be comfortable with staying with you the night before .
@Savuti94 I agree with @Silversitters that you really need to think about this from the perspective of a Sitter who is searching for a Sit and trying to plan their travel. It would be great and more flexible for you if the Sitter is someone local, but I have never done a Sit near my hometown. I would love to see some statistics about Sits done by a local versus a visitor.
It seems like common sense to me that if you need a Sitter to arrive on the 14th, that you would put the 14th as the start date. You would make it clear in the listing that the Sitter can spend the night on the 14th, as you are leaving on the 15th.
If others think that the start date should be the 15th, I would like to understand the logic of this. Maybe I am missing something. Even though the actual pet/house responsibilities do not begin until the 15th, the orientation/learning obligation begins on the 14th. Both are important to the Owner.
@Savuti94 definitely have your sit start date as the date you want the sitters to arrive, even if you are leaving the next day.
Like others we do sit searches by dates to plan our travel arrangements. You should then say in your listing that you won’t be leaving until the next day but want the sitters to stay overnight in your home (if this is the case) to meet the pets and get a thorough handover before you leave. Some sitters don’t like to stay with the owners but many do, so by communicating this up front you will weed out unnecessarry applicants as they won’t apply.
It can be very awkward for both parties if arrival and departure dates are not accurate right from the beginning.
And those listings are very frustrating to encounter, as it may very well prevent me from applying OR encourage me to apply when, in fact, the dates don’t work for me.
This would be my preference:
If you leave late enough in the day on June 30 and have adequate time to give the sitter all the handover information and meet the pets, you might OFFER that they can stay the night before (29th or even 28th)… if it makes their travel easier or cheaper… but otherwise, START DATE: JUNE 30
If you want the sitter to be at your house on June 30 because you have to leave especially early on July 1st, that’s fine, but that’s going to mean you’ll offer to host them, whether you have a spare room or need to arrange a hotel or other accommodations. START DATE: JUNE 30
@Savuti94 as a sitter, I look at booking back to back sits. So if I have a sit that ends on the 15th, I will search the next set of dates that start on the 15th. If you really want someone to spend the night before, I agree with @Silversitters and @PVGemini that the listing should start with the 14th since that’s when the responsibility of date starts. Plus notate in the listing whether you’ll pay for the sitter’s hotel expense or if they can spend the night at your house. Honestly, the only time I’ve applied for local sits was when I first started, didn’t really have any experience as a sitter, and needed reviews so that I could apply for sits in other locations that I wanted to visit.
All of those arrangements are commonplace!
What is important is that you make your expectations clear early on so only people who are able & willing to do things as you wish respond! Remember, 1st round the system only allows 5 respondents before it locks it down. (After that if you disqualify someone or someone drops off, another sitter can apply.)
We have been invited to come early on the day when HOs were leaving late, and we’ve been asked to come a day early as well as stay a day late when the return was very late.
In other words - whatever you’re comfortable with, you can find sitters who are also comfortable with those arrangements.
And of course if a sitter is close enough for a drop-in ahead of the sit, that works too! In fact, it’s kind of nice because there is the comfort that if anything is forgotten, you can catch up on that later.
I think you’re being very smart in your approach on how to do things.
Best of luck in finding a perfect match!
@IHeartAnimals Arriving the day/night before a sit at the owner’s invitation is not when a sitter’s responsibility starts. It is only when the owners have left that this responsibility begins. It’s a difficult one when owners set dates and we’ll no doubt continue to see this confusion. It’s good when they include in their introduction whether their first date is the day they are leaving or the day before for “getting to know you and the pets”.
Well done on getting your first international sit too!