What owners have forgotten to tell you?

As an owner, i try to give information i appreciate when i’m applying myself as a sitter. Nevertheless i may forget some important ones.

Full time sitters, could you tell owners what lack of info you face sometimes?what you would like more often precised?

Is it very different If you keep dogs or alpagas (finding a vet who knows them must be hard in Europe)

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I think if there’s a lack of info then we could ask…I would make a list of questions (once I’ve had a response from the owner) where info isn’t covered in their initial ad and take it from there

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We find that a listing very much speaks of a person’s personality, therefore we appreciate when there’s not only detail, but a bit about who they are.

When it comes to details, we’ve learned not only what’s important to know, but what’s often left out. So we do have a list of questions that we typically ask. here are a few of the top ones:

  • Since we’re not only full-time house sitters, but also digital nomads, internet speed it important. While the listings currently say “basic” or “high-speed” that’s rather subjective, so we ask what their speed is (or to do a speed test).
  • Are the pets on medication or supplements?
  • Knowing the quirks of a pet are important. We’ve had dogs who pull very hard on the leash, pets who can’t control their bladder, and cats who keep us up at night, etc. And sadly we aren’t always told this in advance. So, understanding not only the pet’s routine, but also their behavior, is helpful.
  • Apart from the standard responsibilities (bringing in the mail, taking in the trash, and pet care), is there anything else that’s expected of us?

(there seems to be a character limit now :frowning: @Angela-CommunityManager, so continuing on another comment)

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  • We very much appreciate knowing where a home is located. The THS site will add a marker on the city, but knowing the neighborhood or cross streets lets up see where grocery store and supermarkets are.
  • This rarely comes up, but we do appreciate it when a homeowner makes it very clear when their are cameras on the property.

Of course, we love it when the information is in the listing, however we often ask this in follow up conversations. It’s also a way to get to know the owner and them us. :slight_smile:

Hi @ScrewTheAverage … there is a character limit, a “tweak” made after analysing tester survey feedback.

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When you ask more questions, do you do that on your first message, or once you’ve been selected?
Are you afraid the owner reacts badly? Their answer to your concern has ever changed your decision? If the wifi is low, the owner confesses his cat pees etc.

That’s unfortunate because it seems like quite a low character limit, plus you aren’t aware of it until you attempt to submit the reply and then have to go back and edit, or post twice.

We ask once the owner engages with us after receiving our application. Most of the time owners are appreciative of our questions, but we’ve had a bad experience once where the homeowner did not want to answer them and choose someone else instead. But that said a lot to us and we knew that they sit wasn’t a good fit for us if she wasn’t willing to speak with us more.
Usually, there isn’t one answer that will change our decision on a sit. If there’s too many things that aren’t a good fit for us, then we’ll respectfully decline a sit, but honestly that is rare.

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@Angela-CommunityManager, i’ve faced a few times a limit. 1250 characters… i’m aware now i’m much often too long

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I’ve not experienced the character limit yet but my replies don’t tend to be more than a couple of sentences! In fact this answer appears to be the longest I have ever …

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Ah, the old character limit chestnut; I nearly threw all my toys out of the pram when the 250 limit came in, didn’t I?
Now that I see it is 1250, I wonder if that was a wee mistake & someone left off the 1 initially? :wink:

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The limit seems very low… espcially when it counts emoji’s and images as characters! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: counts as 32 characters!

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On topic though…

We turned up at housesit and found out the owners had forgotten to tell us that there was also Cows, sheep and Guinea fowl to feed. We had only applied for the sit because there was a pig, which we thought was a pet pig as it was the only animal other than dogs that were listed. Turns out it was more of a farm and as Suze is a vegetarian it was a bit uncomfortable when they told us about the piglets they used to have and were now in the freezer… :cry:

We now have a rather extensive question sheet which we fill in for each sit, with everything we need to know. We fill it in using a mixture of what information we get from the listing, phone call/messages and anything else we ask when we arrive at the sit.

Key things we like to know:
Daily routine of pets - how long walks, how much to feed
Good off lead
Any issues with other dogs
Any medication
Arrival/departure time

Important point - we would much rather know upfront if the pets have any issues. We can normally work around anything. But we have been deceived by owners; not telling us that they are aggressive towards other dogs etc.

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Hi @ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies, thank you and I have come up against the “editing needed” but just to let you know how we arrived at the count it was after analysing the post testing survey, across the board users expressed “Less is More”

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Public transportation, especially when we sit in a metropolitan city. We prefer to not rent a car (being green), so knowing where the bus/train stops are, timetables, and costs are important to know.

Grocery stores location and hours. On one housesit in a small village in the UK, the markets close on Sundays, something we didn’t know in advance. Fortunately we got by that first Sunday.

Vocabulary (name of things). This is more of a “it’d be really helpful” wish than anything. For example, our first UK housesit, the host left instructions on how to use the “hob.” We had no idea what a “hob” was (in America, it’s the stove cooktop).

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Hi @Ben-Jim-Travelers welcome to the community Forum so glad you’ve joined, we can’t wait to get to know you better. Enjoy the great conversations, we hope you will find them inspirational, informative and fun.

Thank you for being part of our amazing community.

Have an wonderful day
Angela and the team

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yes @ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies it was VERY unfair. How people can grow animals they will eat afterwards ??
My former border collie was very nice at home, hard on the lead, sometimes agressive with other dogs when out, I always warned my sitters as I fell once badly, in a bad meeting with another dog and you don’t want future sitters to face such situations, they need to be aware, to make a choice (come or not)
Did you mention on your feed back you were surprised by the amount of animals or were you silent ? I remember an ad with a huge pig, was it these owners ?

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@ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies, Angela does not forbid us to send a few posts on the same topic if we really want to write more than 1250 characters. I’ve learnt here to cut my posts. I’m too often long…

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Quite a few of our sits have been for homeowners who were experiencing their first time sit with Trusted Housesitters and were unsure of what information to leave for us. Therefore, I developed my own checklist of questions for the homeowners to answer and the homeowners found it very helpful.

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Agree completely @Annette! We have a list of questions we ask before finalizing a house sit and then another list we have for when we do a walk-through. Both, just to be sure we fully understand expectations and how to fulfill them. It only makes sense, we are after all caring for someone’s most loved possessions. :heart:

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