Welcome Guide viewing

Our first sit is coming up in a few weeks. We are working on our Welcome Guide. What an endeavor!

Question though. As an owner, is there a way to see all completed sections in an expanded view to easily review what you have entered? It seems for most sections, you must click on edit to review what you have written. Not very user friendly.

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I have not found a way to do this but it would be a nice feature! I’ll pass this suggestion along to the appropriate team members.

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to be honest the welcome guide is a total pain to do and you can’t explain things in it either. I did do ours and it was useful in so far as I came across things I hadn’t thought about but user friendly?.. not at all.
I actually do a folder with information in a better format (more user and reader friendly IMO!) and this is in the house for the sitter, along with the cat’s ‘passports’ the Vets and info about the house and lots of info about the area including maps and tourist leaflets. Which reminds me… must update this before our next sitter arrives next month!

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We have a 14 pages PDF document that we send the sitters and we also leave a printed copy at home. We find it easier to maintain than going though the site version. It includes all the essential information as well as “nice to know” information.

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I’m almost afraid to ask what takes 14 pages.

I have a bilingual binder here.

The bulk of it is stuff from the tourist office. But there are also detailed plans of the garden and the watering instructions. So I was very happy with the rain this evening.

You can print the document as a pdf or rather you can create a PDF and view it as a whole that way. If you want to get fancy, you can take the PDF and convert it to word or google document and fix it up that way. The sitter cannot convert it to PDF form to print. Usually, HOs leave a printed copy in the home for the sitters.

Many homeowners (myself included) have eventually ditched the thing and written our own. I found it simpler to divide into sections – one is a kind of user’s guide to the apartment, plus shopping, neighborhood stuff, non-pet related clean up and responsibilities, exit guide. The other is pet care. We also use videos to make stuff easier and found this works great even with an in person handoff.

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:grinning: Contact information of family members with spare keys, utilities, emergency, landlord. Everything to know about the cats (habits, feeding, play). Everything to know about the house and main appliances. Information on the neighbourhood and stores and activities. We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of sitters and put down the information we would like to have.

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@largo Do you still send your HS a copy of all the information prior to the sit so if there are any queries, there is time for that to be sorted out before they arrive?

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Great to hear I’m not the only one with a lenghty welcome guide! We live in an older house in an Asian country, so these facts alone take some pages to explain @Maggie8K :woman_shrugging:Then there’s all the rest about our dog, stores etc. I have high lighted all the super important basic bits, so they are easy to spot.

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Finally just finished. Along with the guide not being user friendly to enter data, the print version of the guide is very clunky. Why does it waste spaces on headers for sections with no entries? That certainly lengthens the guide.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had just formulated my own guide. But, with so much time invested in filling it out, I am lacking energy to start over.

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@temba I actually let them access the welcome guide I’ve done on THS but also say that I have a printed folder as well. I have also emailed the stuff in the folder to sitters, not the maps etc just the info!

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The way I did it over was to turn it into a PDF so it was one document. Then to convert the document. Then cutting it down to size and rearranging things was easy!

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Well done @largo on doing all of that! Just what sitters like. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks it just seems sensible to make both our lives as easy as possible, I have to say though I’ve gotten more conscious of the issues with reading the forum posts!

This might be a new one. As the current sitters we’ve just written the welcome guide in the system for the next sitters, as we now know the property and animals and transport and restaurants and more……better than the actual HO who lives in a different country :joy::joy: #isthisafirst (they asked us to do it)

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@largo, my HOs say the same thing as you. Most refuse to do them and you only get their folder when you arrive. So if there are surprises or dealbreakers in the deets, that the HO declined to mention sooner, it is by then too late to do anything about it.

Plus HSs can’t print them off. And HOs say they can’t print it except for in teeny font they can’t read.

Would be great to overcome these things, as good info is key to a good and successful sit. Never met an HO who was happy with the WG process/format.

That’s why I do the actual guide on THS as well, so sitters can see it but then have a more user friendly ‘real’ one which I can email out before the sit. It also means that there is time to read and digest the information. Not that I think there are any surprises, in ours, (at least I hope not) but there is then the opportunity to ask for clarification either before the sit or when we meet as it’s a lot to take in when arriving somewhere for the first time.

I remember feeling that way. I sent the first version to the first sitter and then made my own version (with the same sections and mostly the same content, but more user-friendly) in the week before the sit.

After the first sit I went over my own version again and made it so it would still all apply for upcoming sits. It’s still a work in progress. There are just things that take up a lot of space to explain and I am afraid some sitters may not read all of it and miss some of the tasks they should be doing (like watering the plants) :see_no_evil:

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What really helps me to remember when to water which plants, plus other tasks (like garbage day) is to make a paper calendar which I keep on the kitchen counter (or taped to the refrigerator).

I look at this calendar each morning to remind myself if there are any “special” needs that day.

Other things on it might be:

Pool guy coming
Gardener coming
Housekeeper coming
Move car for street cleaning
Give dog their monthly medication
Dog walker coming
Owner’s return flight number and time

I typically make the calendar myself, but on our last Sit, the owner had created one! Woohoo!

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