I’ve had multiple sitters apply who only have 1 photo. Is this important do you think? I really enjoy seeing photos of applicants in a variety of settings and with animals they’ve cared for to get a sense of their experience and vibe. Thoughts?
Yes very important as are images of homeowner’s properties showing where the sitter will stay i.e. kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Faults on both sides I feel.
I just recommended that a brand new sitter add photos of her with pets (there was just one photo, of her alone) and get external reviews. I have had a few rookies apply for my latest sit and I try to help them.
I think multiple photos can only help. That said, I can understand sitters having only one photo if they’re thinking it’s like FB/LI/Airbnb, where you usually have just the one profile photo.
You could simply send a canned response like, “I see you have only one photo in your profile. I’d love to see more photos of you and the animals you’ve cared for. Can you add them to your profile and let me know?”
If they won’t do at least that much in a timely manner, I’d pick another sitter.
@Infusedholistic I agree there should be a few pics of not only the sitter, but also the sitter with numerous furballs so one can see them interacting. Some people, when joining, really aren’t sure what they should or should not put on their profile, so hopefully, they will join the forum, ask questions, and become enlightened on how to make the most of their membership.
It’s funny you ask. My last sitter had a handful of random photos of himself, none actively engaging with an animal. The choices seemed a bit odd but he’s a nomadic sitter and so has no pets, and he sits alone, so who is going to take the photos, right? I could tell from his written profile he loved animals and his reviews were great so after a brief convo we went with him. He did an awesome job and kept all 8 of our animals alive! He paid extra attention to our newly adopted FIV kitty and helped stop his sneezing, and he walked the whole neighborhood looking for our missing hen (who was actually safe in the coop LOL). So what’s my point? I don’t know, I guess if I’ve learned anything from social media it’s that photos don’t mean much and not everyone is savvy online so I don’t put too much stake in that aspect of a sitter’s profile. HO photos seem much more critical. But maybe that’s just me.
I tend to agree with Shafofo. People are not going to add photos of themselves with animals unless they show them interacting in a positive manner. Whilst this can at least indicate the potential sitter has had some contact with animals how is anyone to know whether this was a photo taken when they popped in to visit a friend for a coffee and had a pic taken with their pet or whether it was during a time they had sole care of an animal? I am not sure they add a whole lot of solid information on a profile. In my view a video call is far better as a chance to get a more personal ‘feel’ for whether that sitter or sit is a good fit.
If a sitter doesn’t have enough photos that make you comfortable moving to the next step (video call etc…) … you can always decline them, but offer some ‘friendly feedback’ on why they were passed over. Something like “Thank you for applying. You look like a kind sitter, I liked your profile but I selected to move forward with other sitters that have more photos of them with happy pets. … or whatever you felt was lacking”
This way the sitter can decided if they should update their profile with images that would appeal to other HO’s like you. Offering them a positive about what you liked about their profile is a nice way to soften the rejection. Sitting is a journey and I’m sure they would appreciate feedback on how they can improve their profile to attract the next sit.
That’s a great suggestion! What surprises me is those seasoned sitters who have many good reviews but only 1 photo. The reviews are important to me, but so are photos to get an initial sense of the person on a virtual platform - they are the first impression for me, and convey an essence of the person. But I do understand that there are some who are not digitally inclined, and so the facetime chat is a great chance to get a vibe.
I recall a study about students’ dorm rooms, and how you can get to know someone surprisingly well in just 15 minutes by looking at their room. It was in the book “Blink” my Malcolm Gladwell.
Just something else to think about. Perhaps you can find a nice way to ask for photos of their room. =) You could ask me, at least; I strive to be uninsultable.
That is hilarious!!! I did read that book years back, it is good.
I agree with a lot of the comments, but I also feel as a newbie HO when I saw sitters with a variety of photos it gave a sense of how they seem to interact, but you have to take it as part of the whole. Their profile details, speaking to them, references and reviews and, even after all that they can turn out not as they seem. You jump in and trust hoping it will all be alright when you get back
As a solo sitter there is no one to take pictures of me with the pets I care for. So, I suppose if having pictures of me interacting with animals is critical to the HO, that’s fine, they can decline my application and find a sitter with pictures.
We’ve been sitters for 4 years now and when we joined we immediately followed all the guidelines of creating a winning profile and put up the maximum number of photos allowed to show us in various settings- with animals, in our respective home countries, on our travels together our hobbies- guitar playing (hubby) & yoga (me) etc and a fully descriptive profile. It took ages to create- months in fact! I think the first year membership was just about to expire before we finally got around to our first sit! Anyway 58 sits later and its probably time we updated our profile a bit but its worked a treat for us-to date- and we always get a lot of invitations - most of which we can’t do - but its always nice to be asked!
I’m always surprised by profiles- both sitter & HO- who show very few pics and write very little. The profile or listing page is the ‘first impression’ so to speak and it should be welcoming and draw the host/sitter in!
However as one commenter above mentioned- despite many pics and a detailed profile things can still not be as they seem and we still get caught out on occasion! You really have to go with your gut!
Yesterday I spotted a sitter’s profile that had many pictures but not one of the sitter. Furthermore, the sitter’s first name was only an initial. A mystery sitter, except the sitter also had many reviews on their profile.
I don’t think we had a picture with pets when we first started. But we did have a handful of us in various locations (including us working remotely as evidence of our lifestyle) But we have slowly but surely added more pics with pets as we get them. I think I’ve probably spent dozens of hours on our profile over the years, updating it reasonably frequently based on feedback from home-owners as to why they chose us. I think the pics have played at least some part in our success in securing sits.
A picture says a thousand words @Timshazz …
Imagery brings profiles and listings alive and just as sitters have a need to see "inside’ homes and the pets they might be caring for, pet parents want to see to “meet” their potential sitters.
From surveys of pet parents/owners we have established the number one preference on profile imagery selection is a lead image of the sitter(s) with a pet.
Your profile pics will have played a significant part in your success connecting with pet parents/owners when making an application.