Small tip for new-ish sitters to secure some confirmed sits

Hi all, I’m fairly new to TH. I’ve applied for some sits and have been getting pretty good responses. I applied for a sit on one of the beautiful Gulf Islands off the West coast of Vancouver. My profile indicated the neighbourhood I live in and unbeknownst to me, the HO’s main residence was 10 minutes away. They got in touch in less than an hour and asked if I could pop over quickly for a meet-up with them and their cat, because they were dashing to the airport. I said no b/c I was busy that afternoon. They said OK, they’d be in touch when they returned.

When I hung up I thought to myself…“you need to take this opportunity and not wait”. I quickly rearranged something and emailed back and said I could come by in 15 minutes for half an hour. Am I ever glad I did. I didn’t know it at the time, but they had many applicants and were in conversations with 5-6. They’d booked a video but hadn’t had any yet.

At our meet-up, I was offered the 3-week sit on the island in their spectacular waterfront property, on its own beach with use of their Jeep to explore the island and they are flying me in and out by seaplane. Pinch me. Best of all? I get the absolute joy of caring for the most incredible Main Coon I’ve ever seen. Giant golden orbes for eyes on a broad regal face (a.k.a. handsome, and he knows it : )

This leads to the advice part: for those who are new-ish and purr-haps (!) applying within their own town or city, in your application tell them why you are right for the sit as you normally would, etc., etc., but then why not suggest you meet at a local coffee shop (safe public space) that is handy to the HO? “Cafe XYZ is in your area, I’d love to meet-up today/this week or a brief chat.”

All I’m saying is just that the little effort it took to rearrange things and accept their meet-up offer was so worth it. I’m fairly certain if I hadn’t, I’d have been relegated to somewhere in the group of folks waiting for a Zoom invite. So why wait for the Zoom or to be invited if you are interested and close by? Make the suggestion yourself, the HO can always decline in favour of a Zoom meeting anyway…

Hope it helps, good luck!

Post Moderated

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What a fantastic sit, although I feel rather sorry for the people who had video chats already booked…
When I first joined I met up with most of the people I was housesitting for in person before I sat. Granted, it was different to your situation as I was already confirmed. However a few weeks ago a couple of owners who were new to THS were rather nervous about inviting in sitters for the first time. I applied and suggested I could go & meet them & their Dachshund to allay their fears & answer any questions. They were lovely, very grateful that I took the time & felt reassured. I got the sit.
However, none of my sits have flown me in yet! :joy:

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Boom boom swoosh!
Amazing what a little effort (and that gentle nudge from the inner voice)!can make happen.
A very super congratulations!:confetti_ball:
Winner!

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Why?
If a person wants something they have to go after it. There will always be someone who is unsuccessful. It’s not the chosen sitters concern.

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Wow! - a great story and well done for secuiring what sounds like an amazing sit.

The only thing I would say is that a home owner offering to meet in a cafe rather than at their home should be looked upon as a very big red flag.

Logistics mean that most meet and greets are done via video calls but if you are lucky enough to be close enough to be able to meet in person, then It is always best to visit the actual home to do the meet and greet.

Viewing the property that is going to be your temporary home and meeting the pets that are to be in your care are the two most important aspects of a meet and greet. No sitter want’s to agree to a sit over a coffee in a posh cafe then arrive to to start your sit to discover that the house is filthy and/or the pet is aggressive.

I can understand, as a single female you may be extra cautious about this, but you do have to go at some time so maybe ask a friend or relative to accompany you for your meet and greet to help you feel more comfortable in the situation.

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Congratulations - well done you!

Good point Colin. I went to all the homes so I could see the homes and meet the pets in their environment. It never occurred to me to be nervous as I’m a single female. I would hope that it would be safe meeting owners through THS but, you never know I suppose!

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I absolutely second this as a great way to start. A local sit where you can go & meet the home owners & pets 1st.
We did it & it absolutely worked for us too.
It sounds like a great sit too​:partying_face::partying_face:

Hey Colin,
Apologies if I wasn’t clear. I did meet them at their home. I thought it was implicit when i said they asked me to pop by. Although your points are well taken, my post was written from the understanding that in my mind, it was generally understood that TH members/sitters wouldn’t confirm a sit sight unseen so I wasn’t tyring to instruct anyone. Rather, I was only suggesting an additional method someone might employ in a spontaneous local situation - considering too, that not all homeowners would welcome a sitter (a stranger) offering to dash over to their home at the spur of the moment either. That could be met with a “no” so isn’t a cafe suggesion a safe bet? The HO can always decline in favour of a Zoom afterall.

Again, your points are well taken but this topic was never about nervousness or gender, so not sure why that was introduced into the conversation; it was merely offered as another perspective for anyone to look at things, take a different tact so to speak : )

Let’s say a local homeowner were to suggest a coffe shop as a first step, does that necessarily need to be perceived as a red flag? Sure, maybe I suppose, but you’d need to be a sitter who doesn’t care to see the place/pet. Having said this, should anyone (HO or sitter) feel tentative, why not make a public meet-up an acceptable first step for them. I disagree with you and feel that HOs should feel free to suggest this too, without the appearance of “big red flags”. Nothing dictates that either party has to agree to anything on the spot, they can agree to make the 2nd step a Zoom (meet the rest of the gang) or a home visit as they choose.

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Hi @Leftcoastofcanada leftcoast! This is so awesome that you found such a great sit…this is why we love what we do!

Your post reinforces what I have been saying, especially to new sitters, about trying to get local sits…even short notice sits. For many homeowners, it is a safety feature to meet someone face to face when wanting your furbaby and home securely maintained. Even seasoned sitters can quite often benefit by searching locally.

So glad you have found a dream sit…make sure you send some glorious pics.

Debbie - Forum Moderator

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Hi @Leftcoastofcanada
It seems you have edited your original post so my response now does not make entire sense.
Although I can not remember exactly what you first posted it gave the impression that you met at cafe rather than at their home.
I introduced nervousness and gender into the conversation as it seemed you were suggesting meeting in a cafe was a safe space alternative to meeting at their home.
I agree neither the home host nor sitter has to agree on anything on the spot but in my experience I would advise sealing the deal ASAP as there are often other great sitters applying for the sit and equally there will be other listings daily to tempt the sitter to reconsider their interest so by taking too long to decide is risking either sitter or home host to lose out

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Hi Colin,

In reply to your response, to be clear, I edited the post for grammatical errors and 2 typos. I removed one sentence about the owner having a Zoom meeting set up 2 days hence from when I spoke to them, as in hindsight, it seemed unnecessary/extraneous. HOs can do/set up whatever they wish.

To be honest, I’m unsure why you would suggest that I changed anything further such that your response now makes less sense, as you say. I had no motive to do so - nothing to defend. Your response was what it was and some folks even agreed with it. Nevertheless, it seems there’s simply been some assumptions made about the content and intention of my tip in general.

As to your recent reply, isn’t your advice to “seal the deal ASAP” the very definition of what the tip was about anyway?..such as suggesting a public meet-up right in the application (instead of waiting)?..not waiting was the essence of the tip and purpose of the post.

At any rate, all sitters and owners have different views and ways of managing themselves, I suppose we can just chalk this up to plain old-fashioned miscommunication : )

p.s. I’ve corrected one more typo here too!

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Hi @Leftcoastofcanada firstly being a Vancouver “girl” and having lived for 5 years on Vancouver Island I know the Gulf Islands and what an amazing place for a 3 week sit (or even a few days) congratulations, which Island is it?

So in your quest to get your first sit what other advice would you to give new sitters when applying … another couple of tips and perhaps upload your profile to your forum profile so that we may meet you properly? Here’s the info on how to do that

http://forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/how-to-add-a-listing-or-profile-link-to-your-forum-profile

Congratulations again and we look forward to sharing in your first adventure, perhaps some images taken as you drive the jeep around the island … I for one would love to join you on this adventure even remotely!!

istockphoto-532116389-612x612

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Thanks Angela, for being welcoming.

It’s Gabriola Island by the way : )

I completely get that this isn’t your typical sit. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity presented, and also b/c it’s an early-to-TH confirmed sit.

I’d just emphasize again to sitters that this particular circumstance was very situational. I truly believe that it had a lot to do with geography - I was closeby and that motivated the owner to take action. Remember, they contacted me less than an hour after I appIied. They liked my profile sure, but the major contributing factor was defiinitely proximity. So sitters, in my case the homeowner reached out spontaneously first, so consider making that same gesture right up front in your application, and not necessarily waiting for the homeowner. The worst that may happen is they pass on your offer, but you may still get a Zoom : )

The other “tips” I’d say is: go short on the application and long on the bio. Utilize humour. Show your personality. Tell a brief funny relatable pet story. Do you know something neat about their area? Do you have a good memory to share of having visited their area before? Never underestimate the attraction of possessing local knowledge.

In my humble opinion, I get the feeling that homeowners will invest time in a well crafted bio if your application is clean and to the point, friendly, and phrased more like an invitation to read more about you, rather than a laundry list of things you’ve done. I guess that’s about all I can think of! (and I’m certainly no expert on the subject ; D

I hadn’t thought of posting photos of my journey Angela, but will give that a go since you’ve suggested it…hopefully I’ll remember to, keeping in mind that it will still be another 8-9 weeks yet!

P.s pls excuse any typos!

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It always helps to have that very personal connection. When it works out and I know that I’ll be driving through their town on my way to another sit, I mention that and it’s has helped both of us - them to meet me and me to make sure that it’s a sit that I want.

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Congratulations on getting that sit - I saw that one advertised and it sounded great! Didn’t apply as wasn’t available but I do agree you need to seize the opportunity when applying for sits! We applied on an oceanfront sit last week and the homeowners were going away that weekend and so were we, so we agreed to meet in person the following morning and happy to say we got the sit!

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Colin.

I do not see the suggestion of meeting at a cafe as a red flag. The HO is apt to take precautions as to who they invite into their house, especially since that person will know when they will be away. To me, meeting in a cafe is a safer bet for a solo housesitter, though I would not necessarily be wary of going to someone’s house (I would google the address to check neighborhood maybe, and let someone know where i was heading.)

karen

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Hi Karen
We are all different. For me the sole purpose of a pre sit meet is for me to see the accommodation and pets. I presume the purpose of the pre sit meet for a home host is to meet me and get a feel for my character.
Meeting in a cafe may be a good idea for the home host but what am I getting out of it? If I want a plumber to come fix a leak then I invite them to my house so see the leak I want them to fix - the same rules apply to any home host wanting me to come house sit for them.

Personally, if I am interested in a sit I want to seal the deal ASAP and hence haven’t the time nor any interest in multiple meetings before the home host can come to their decision.
I’m sure this method will suit others, it just doesn’t suit me.

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