We have our first sitters coming in a couple of weeks and was wondering how others do the welcome pack, firstly about the house, ie how stuff works, instructions for equipment etc, secondly about the area and driections for walks and places they can go. Do you just write a list on a note pad?
Also is it acceptable for someone to call in and see them? E.g my mum! She is intrigued by our upcoming sitters and wants to meet them! I’ve said no, but i will leave her number for them if they have a problem.
I have a Word document that I give to sitters instead of the THS Welcome Guide. I prefer my version to the Welcome Guide because it is easier to change, searchable (when I e-mail it to sitters) and better organized (IMO). I always ask sitters to tell me if they suggest changes - because I’ve been a sitter on the receiving end of confusing instructions - but nobody has suggested changes yet!
My guide includes a section with local recommendations that might not be obvious from Google or TripAdvisor.
Hello @BadgerandVixen and welcome to the forum. Your question(s) have been asked by many other folks, so don’t feel you are asking something out of the ordinary. I personally always had my own “welcome guide” I sent to the sitter prior to the sit as well as leaving a copy on the counter in case they forgot theirs. This would include address, emergency contacts (including vet and hospitals), wi-fi info, alarm info, location of grocery stores and other shopping, local attractions, etc. We also left local magazines for our City that listed many other attractions, restaurants around the City, along with any upcoming festivals, parades, etc.
As far as someone popping in…this should not be done without prior knowledge and approval by the sitter. It’s not that they might have something to hide, but it is a privacy issue. No one ever wants and unexpected guest showing up unannounced.
If you have any other questions, remember, we are all here to help.
Have a great day!
Debbie - Forum Team
We usually don’t require instructions for the equipment / house or the area, but we really appreciate detailed instructions for your pets! It’s better to have it printed out unless your handwriting is easy to read. We’d not appreciate your mother popping in, unless we have been introduced and the visit is announced and mutually agreed upon. We very much appreciate having emergency contacts, though. PS: If your mum really wants to meet the sitters you can arrange that during the handover and introduce your mum as the emergency contact. That would be alright for us.
Hi @BadgerandVixen . There is a blank welcome pack on your dashboard for you to fill in all relevant details about your home and pets. It is quite a job to do at first but is laid out in sections for you to go through methodically and once you have done it, it is there for all your future sitters. Sitters are really appreciative if you send this to them before they arrive. This gives them chance to read through and spot any omissions that they would like to ask you on arrival.
Many home hosts also provide a printed , condensed, copy on two or three A4 sheets that can be left in your home for easy access should your sitters need it.
As for your mum calling. It is not appreciated by sitters if family, friends or neighbours ‘pop in’ unexpectedly. It is often very inconvenient, awkward, and gives the sense that the sitter is being ‘spied’ on. However, I am sure most sitters would not object if you arranged one mutually convenient day during their sit that your mum would pop in to say hello and introduce herself if needs be.
Hi @BadgerandVixen welcome to our community forum and as @Colin says there is a Welcome Guide for you to complete for your sitter, this should contain all of the information they need to manage your home but more importantly all of your pet’s information including veterinary information and emergency contact details and @Debbie-Moderator has one she has created, which other owners have done, having a hard copy available is advisable too in case of problems with accessing a digital copy.
Regarding any visits from your Mum you need to discuss this with the sitter and manage accordingly. Successful sit experiences are all about communication and getting everything clear and mutually agreed.
Speaking of your pet family you have such gorgeous photos of them on your listing and as we all need extra pet love to brighten our day we couldn’t resist sharing …
@Colin how do you condense the welcome guide for printing? I printed mine yesterday and it’s 27 pages with the most horrendous layout imaginable. I could have wept when I saw it. Headings at the bottom of pages, with the relevant information on the next page. And it took out paragraph spacing so I have huge blocks of text with subheadings lost in the middle.
We recently did a sit where the home owners had printed off the THS Welcome Guide for us. The font was tiny and I could barely read it. I just used the online version 99% of the time. I like that I can access it even when we are away from the house.
If a home owner has emailed us a copy of a Word document instead of using the Welcome Guide, then I do appreciate them printing it off as well and left it in house for us to access during the sit.
Sorry,I did’t meant to literally condense the file. I meant creating your own taking the most relevant/important info from your THS welcome guide
We also prepare a Word document as a welcome guide and we include places of interest. We leave a paper copy in the kitchen and send the sitters an electronic version as well. I find it is easier to read and to update when necessary.
Hi @BadgerandVixen. As @Angela-HeadOfCommunity said, communication and mutual agreement between the owner and sitters before the sit begins is key to successful pet sits.
If your mum is really interested in learning more about pet sitting in general (and not just about these particular sitters) you might reach out to your sitters now, mention your mum’s interest in learning more about pet sitting, and ask if your sitters would be willing to meet your mum out somewhere for a chat over a drink during the sit. Many pet sitters love talking about pet sitting and how it’s enriched their lives. And your mum might be able to recommend restaurants and things that might make their stay even better.