Video call

Hi
This question is to home owners.
What do you look for in a sitter & what questions do you expect or like the potential sitter to ask during a video call?
I seem to get brain freeze when speaking on a video call.
Any advice welcome please

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As a single lady sitter I find it difficult when it’s a couple as everyone wants to speak at once .not sure what’s the answer to this. I’m more relaxed without the video maybe I’m just old fashioned.

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As a sitter, I also dislike video calls. I’ve only had to do one so far which went well but much prefer an old fashioned phone call. I feel like I’m being interviewed for a job on a video call.

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I’m fine with video calls (as a sitter) and happy to do whatever the HO prefers.

My suggestion is to write up a list of general questions that you want to ask any sitter and use that as your guide. It will help with the brain freeze.

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As a homeowner I can really appreciate this question!

Here are THREE main things I look for in a sitter.

  1. Will they be focused on my pets care as their primary priority? Will they follow the guidelines I have stated to ensure that he is taken care of and has a great experience while we’re gone? If there is an accident do they seem capable to deal with effectively? Will they send me daily updates/photos of my pet if requested?

  2. Will they take good care of my home? Do they seem trustworthy & honest if something doesn’t go right?

  3. Do they seem like the type of person I would want to care for my dog/home more than once?

Questions that I would expect would be:

questions in regards to my pets routine and care, small household tasks (like what day is trash day?), questions about our home and what sort of accommodations they would have, questions about the Wifi and wifi speed (especially if they work from home). Questions about having company over and how the HO feels about having anyone outside of the sitter in the home. Questions about activities/sites to see in the area. Many of these initial questions will be answered best once the homeowner selects an applicant and sends the homeowners manual/guide over. However, I still think it shows initiative to ask these questions.

I think a good question to ask a potential home owner would be

If a house/pet sit did not go well in the past, what about it went wrong?

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Those are great questions. As a HO and sitter, the questions would be very different if I was sitting for a weekend or sitting for 3 months.

@Crazydoglady - For sits more than a few days, as a HO I like having people that are familiar with basic home maintenance. I own my house, so if something goes wrong, there is no landlord or management company to call. I like having sitters that won’t panic if something minor goes wrong. This is often apparent from the sitter’s profile but if it is not, I would mention your experience in a call with HOs.

My first few sitters had to deal with an old cat that needed medication. I appreciated when sitters asked for more details, and even when they admitted that giving sub-cutaneous fluids might be challenging. I’d rather know that they were uncomfortable with this (and I had a paid pet sitter do that task every few days) than have them unable to give the meds.

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This is a great question. Thanks a lot. I’m adding it to my pre-sit interview questionnaire. The answer will tell you a lot about what is important to the HO and help both of you decide if you are a good fit.

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I would expect that a lot of the answers to these questions would be in your advertisement for a sitter.

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I understand but, being 10000km+ and multiple time zones away from a sit we just applied for in another hemisphere, Zoom/Skype etc works in this instance.

It’s been many moons since i’ve done a video call w a homeowner for my application but we’re ok with it as have nothing to hide & may end up being a really cool chat :+1:. I can show my licence but I look :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::scream::scream: as was unimpressed that day…

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Thanks for all your replies. I will make a list of questions to ask so I can take a quick look at it if I get brain freeze.
Wish me luck as the HO is calling me at 5pm tonight. I’m nervous as I really want this sit! Not done one for a couple of years

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@Crazydoglady We’ll all have our :hand_with_index_finger_and_thumb_crossed: for you and let us know how it goes! One little tip we used to use when first starting out was to break the ice (if needed) by asking the owners to tell us a little bit about their pets - a language that we all understand and that never failed to bring smiles and natural answers to many questions on our list :slight_smile: Hope this is a happy day ahead for you!!

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I am with @Genevere and @Globetrotter , I dislike video calls.
I think many members look at THS recommendations that a video call should take place. If a HO asks me for one I ask if we can carry out an old fashioned phone call.
As @Genevere says, everyone wants to speak at once and there is no way that Mr Itchyfeet will take part.
Also, I like to take notes and find that difficult whilst trying to maintain eye contact.
Good luck @Crazydoglady and hope that you get this sitting but remember, if you are not comfortable in the future, just ask for an ordinary call

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Thank you Itchyfeet
I’m dreading it & my husband refuse’s to be present. He’s great with pets not humans lol

I’ve done many including some overseas as a pet owner. I think it’s a great option for both sides. My wife is a little shy so it’s harder for her. It’s a great way for both sides to get a feel for the other person especially when they have say three different top candidates that tegu are having a difficult time choosing between. It doesn’t have to be too structured so that either party feels awkward like in the dreaded job interview. A lot can be learned in a simple conversation about another person. Prepare some simple questions ahead of time or if a person is totally qualified if you discuss their experiences through THS trust me most of your questions are going to be answered without you even asking them.

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Hi @Crazydoglady - hope all went well with the video call.
In the past we have managed to get by with an old fashioned telephone chat, but more recently HO prefer and request a video call. We are not all that comfortable with it but it always goes better than expected, though we do find that people speak over each other and then there may be a silence. I guess we are just not familiar with this method of communication. Especially since lockdown it seems to be the way to go.

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Hello! Im a house sitter and always do a video call with the potential home owner(s). I would advise you to write down all your questions, as we do, and have them at the ready when you video call. It gives the sitter reassurance that you are organized and know your all needs. I always leave room for follow-up questions after the call as well. Best of luck!

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Thanks for all the advice. I got through the dreaded video call. I wrote down my questions & told a funny story about a video call I once had to break the ice!
I can honestly say I didn’t enjoy it as the HO talked over each other & I have difficulties with my hearing at the best of times ( meniers)
I was asked why I took early retirement & if I do any kind of work now. Which I found a bit personal as I kept all my questions pet related.
I forgot to mention I volunteer at an animal rescue Center for sheep & goats
So they probably think I sit around all day doing nothing lol

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:sunglasses::+1:Thanks to a video call & being open to a good chat, we have secured our first US based sit.

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Congrats @RunnerC … well done.

Where, when and who will be your new best furry friend?

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Just be yourself and chat the sitter through your pets routine that covers all things ie food, any medicines, walks, playing, treats and snacks, what your pet likes eg sittting on knee or not,being picked up or not, sleeping arragements and timings. Maybe a little tour of room the sitter will stay in and bathroomand kitchen and garden,

Lastly ask any relevant questions you may like to ask the sitter and do your research ie check the sitters reviews, confiirm no smoking in house if that is important .

Lastly dont panic if you think of further queries phone or text the sitter afterwards. I guarantee the sitter will be feeling a bit nervous like yourself .

Hope this helps.
LINDA