As an owner, I pay a lot of attention to
1/ presentation (their love for animals, the fact they had one who died in the past for example, reason why they like to sit, not daring to take another one). I like when it sounds very personal, not the anonymous presentation made for all types of owners or animals.
I do understand a house + garden and pool in Provence in summer sound appealing, but I feel more confortable if they evoke their love for animals, their relationship with former owners, the fact they 'e been called back again, more than tourism they plan to do
If they give their phone number, I may check the very day I receive their application it’s true they could manage in my language. I begin to speak in french ! Although we may communicate in english if it’s easier for them later on.
Some sitters answer me directly in french, but I call them anyway before taking a decision : it’s easy to guess when they have used Google translation. Mistakes sound very strange !
After a first contact, I give the link of a web site I made to explain how is the house, the surroundings, the places of interest near by, what are the rules for the pets, it’s full of pictures and even videos of their room, kitchen, lounge etc. All descriptions are in french. So if they don’t understand, there is an obvious problem.
2/ profile: As I always ask sitters to speak more than a minimum french, in order to face any emergency (call the plumber, the vet whose assistant does not speak a word of english, ask anything to my neigbours who speak only french), I appreciate people who have indicated they spoke french in their profile ! Experience is appreciated, enthusiasm for traveling too.
3/ feed backs and previous experiences : 3 minimum . the length of the sit sounds important. Many events may occur in 3 months, not in a week end.
When an owner has written a long warm comment, hopes the sitter will come back in the future, I’m delighted, I feel safe (I’m the anxious type)
Everybody must begin one day but if they have no feed backs, I expect at least some references (friends, relatives who have let them take care of their pets is a minimum). When I look at sitters living in my country, before publishing an add, I’m sometimes surprised to see people without any star.
I do prefer THS feed backs. As on THS no bad comment can be deleted (on Nomador web site, critics can be wiped out by the sitters, so you don’t see many negative comments…)
4/ Photos of sitters with pets are quite instructive, their attitude : pets don’t lie…
5/ verifications : once I 've made a selection, I look again
I’ve found 5 couples of sitters on Nomador, from Norway, Belgium, France and 2 on THS (franco-sweedish, irish-french). Age range : 30 to 65. Length of the sit : 1 up to 5 weeks.
I was OK for a single, after one of my 2 dogs died (their weight was 44 + 32 kilos, too hard for one person.)
I usually make my choice in less than a week. I’ve done it once in 2 hours. But I still do not understand why some people answered me when they did not speak a word of french, wanted to come with their family, sometimes from far away (Thailand, Mexico) for a one week sit in winter !!!