We are new here to THS. We just created our listing this week and entered our first sit dates for a November sit and had an applicant. Our candidate looks wonderful with many sits under her belt and excellent reviews. The video chat interview went really today. We offered the sit and the sitter has accepted. We entered our sit request well in advance just because we tend to plan our trips pretty far out.
That said, when do most owners offer additional contact details such as mobile and home numbers, street addresses, etc? I’ve done a search, and don’t see any time frames mentioned.
Another question. Are last names ever shared via THS? I don’t see our sitter’s last name displaying anywhere in her listing or our communication. I’m assuming she doesn’t see ours?? Just wondering.
Timeframes depend on your comfort level and preferences, along with the sitter’s.
Many of us share our LinkedIn profiles, which typically include full names. Personally, I’d think it odd to have someone sit and not even know their full name. Of course, you can ask.
As a sitter, I get the HO’s full name(s), contact info and address. The address is so I can look up stuff nearby before the sit.
Normally a sitter and I will exchange numbers within the first couple messages or during the video call. For other details about addresses, last names, etc, I leave all that in the Welcome Guide. I try to share it shortly after confirming a sitter, but there is no real timeline guidance. I think a week or so before a sit starts I do get an email reminding me to share the Welcome Guide but in my opinion that’s a little too short notice for a traveling sitter.
These are all really good and important questions and they will all vary by member. For us we find communicating by the sites messaging system infective - so if we are serious about a sitter we give out our cell phone numbers fairly early on in the process so that we can text and set up a video call. Most sitters lately have been giving us their numbers in their application message. Several of our sitters have had their profiles linked to their LinkedIn account and that is where we see their full name before a sit. Our sitters get our names and address from the site when you send the welcome guide.
The only time where I have actually seen THS share sitters full names with us is after the sit when we get an email that your sitter so and so has just left you feedback. It is in that email that the full name is given however I have never seen it given anywhere else to the HO’s before the sit on the site. However, during our conversations with the sitter we get full names before we both agree to the sit.
Handy to have the address so you know where to go too
We ask for full address before accepting a booking so that we can google to be sure there are no hidden surprises when we arrive (busy roads are a no-no for us!)
We give our phone number on our application and ask the home host to WhatsApp us for the video call so that we have theirs.
I’ve never been asked for our family name and have never asked for one from the home host although it is no secret and I would be more than happy to give it if they asked.
Welcome @Savuti94 . It’s great that you have already found a sitter . I suggest as a minimum phone numbers are exchanged as soon as sit is confirmed ( or before for the purpose of a video call) .
The THS platform is not always a reliable way to communicate so these are really important to have asap.
The address goes in the welcome guide ,but if a sitter is wants to plan to visit some nearby sight seeing locations or trips out they will need to know the address ahead of time . They will also need to plan their journey to you and work out where the nearest grocery store etc so it’s quite important that they have it soon.
All THS sitters have had an ID check as a minimum and if they also have good reviews from previous sits then you should have nothing to worry about .
Leaving these things until the last minute might mean that they get forgotten.
However if you have a key box with a code or similar you may want to wait until closer to the sit to reveal this code information for your peace of mind and in case you change the code between now and the sit.
Yup. I figured that went without saying, LOL.
If it hasn’t happened earlier, we share ours and ask for the HOs as soon as the sit is confirmed. We use WhatsApp alot since we sit internationally and so set up a group in there and connect. For general checking in before the sit we take it off the platform. But if there is anything significant (date changes, for example), that gets communicated and confirmed in THS. We have several sits on the books at any time so by getting contact info up front we can set up our records, calendar, maps, etc., right away and we’re not scrambling at the last minute.
I hadn’t realized last names aren’t displayed but since we look to our blog and reference page that info is available.
As a Sitter, I find it very helpful to know the Owner’s address. I also ask for their email address and mobile phone number. This way, communication before, during, and after the Sit are much easier.
The THS communication system is a bit clunky, and you never know if there might be a temporary outage. Most people can text on their mobile phone even when they are not on Wifi.
Please complete the Welcome Guide. Only 25% of my Sits have had a completed Welcome Guide. If you decide to create a Word document instead, please email a PDF to the Sitter asap. You really don’t want to be dealing with all of this while you are getting ready to leave on your vacation!
When I go though applications as a homeowner, I see some sitters will offer their phone numbers and or mention that they use facetime or whatsapp. It’s not a redflag if they don’t offer contact information, but it’s not bad to have it. I usually use the THS system for initial contact. Generally, I prefer to set up videos on WhatsApp or Skype. I don’t have facetime, and both Skype and WhatsApp are free and easy to use for video calls. If it has reached that point, I’m fine with the sitter having my “private” information. Post video, if I accept a sitter, I want them to have my phone number and all my contact info as I want them to be able to contact me quickly in an emergency. I believe the last name is in the Welcome Packet, certainly if they are trying to find my home, it is easier! If there is a vet emergency, they’ll need my last name.
As a sitter, I share my linkedin, so people have access to my last name from my profile. I don’t think homeowners need to see it, but there’s no rule that they can’t.
As a homeowner, it would be a definitate red flag for me if a sitter couldn’t provide at least a cell phone number so that I could text. I would probably ask a sitter who didn’t have WhatsApp or Skype to please add those apps if I was travelling outside of the U.S. in case there was an emergency and we needed to talk. I don’t think I know the last names of all my sitters. It’s not a big deal.
If people want to know, I think they can find me by Googling my first name and my location.
I honestly think last names should not be an issue for either party. If someone is staying in my home, I would like to know a little about them (name, phone #, email address) and the same for a pet parent. This is “TrustedHousesitters” and if we are trusting others to be in our home or going to their home, we should trust that any info given to us would be private and confidential.
When we have to use our key box, which has a 4-digit code, we ask the guest to give us a 4-digit code they will easily remember and then change it to their code. Later, we change it back to our code – no need to memorize a new one each time!
To the point of time frames varying: I applied for a sit a few hours ago and the HO replied and we already know each other’s last names and contact info. And we’ll talk this weekend.
If people are squirrelly on either side, I’d consider that a red flag.
BTW, maybe other sitters might find this useful:
My Google calendar is integrated with my Zoom account. And I use Calendly. That means when I send a Calendly link for a HO to schedule time for us to talk (it adjusts to whatever time zone the recipient is in), the Google calendar invite will auto-generate a Zoom link for us to use when we meet.
I also tell HOs my cell number / WhatsApp number, in case they want to do video through that. Various homeowners also like to msg via WhatsApp. That helps especially if you’re sitting abroad.
I provide my full name and phone number with my initial application message. I want them to feel comfortable inviting me, a stranger, into their home. I’m asking them to trust me with everything. They can feel free to look me up on Facebook, Google me, etc. Some of the things people have said to me when responding indicate to me that they have.
If you have ever used Rover, you can put your availability on Rover by attaching it to your Google calendar.
I have asked for this functionality many many times and I’ve always been promised, “It’s in the works” or “under consideration”
Thanks, but don’t use Rover.
Practically every other app I use, whether it’s for my online teaching or pet sitting or whatever I’ve always been able to use an integration with Google calendar. That was my point, but I don’t know why we don’t have that here.