Don’t be a stranger: the importance of communicating before confirming

Annie Hearfield

Whether you’re an owner or a sitter, it’s important to take time to get to know other members before you confirm a sit. Getting to know one another at this stage will help you decide whether a potential sit is right for both parties.

Of course, it can be hard for both owners and sitters to know where to start, how soon or how long to speak with one another or the type of questions you need to ask. That’s why we’ve put together some of our top tips to consider before confirming a sit that will help you arrange and enjoy safe and successful sits. 

It’s ok to take your time 

There are thousands of great house sits and sitters to choose from; so don’t feel rushed into confirming a sit just because an application or invite has been made. Although it’s tempting to accept the first invite or application to a sit, take your time! 

Spend time reviewing profiles or listings, and don’t rush into confirming anything if you’re not sure. Simply respond to sit invites or applications with a friendly ‘thank you’ and keep your fellow members updated on your decision-making process, so no one is left not knowing what’s going on.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Once you’ve found a sitter or a sit that you think may be right for you, it’s time to communicate. This is key when it comes to deciding on a potential sitter or house sit, as it is at this point you can begin asking questions as many questions as you need to. For owners, this might be asking for more information on their pet sitting experience, whereas sitters may want to know more about the pets, home and responsibilities before the sit is confirmed. 

Be sure to ask whatever you feel is necessary before confirming anything, and don’t worry if the process takes a little time or if you’ve got lots of questions to ask – it’s important that you’re as comfortable as possible before anything is confirmed. At this stage, there’s no need to exchange personal information, such as phone numbers, as all communication can be made through the website or app

Have a video call, or meet face-to-face

It’s always recommended that members meet in person, or arrange a video call to speak to one another. This way, you can really get to know one another and introduce the pets before confirming the sit. 

Only confirm when you’re absolutely sure

Both owner and sitter members are under no obligation to confirm a sit unless both sides are absolutely sure that the sitter, or sit, is right. Even if you have spoken to them face-to-face, it’s important that both parties feel that the sit is right for them, so be honest and most importantly, communicate your decision. 

Remember, owners and sitters must both  confirm the sit individually on the platform for it to be considered official. This double-confirmation proves that both parties are committed to the sit. Also, you are only able to leave a review for a sitter, or receive feedback, if a sit has been confirmed by both parties on the platform.

Even once you’ve found ‘the one’, keep on talking...

It’s great when you reach the point that both sides are comfortable and ready to commit to the sit, but don’t let that be the end of your communication. Keep on speaking. There’s still plenty to discuss to ensure that you’re both on track for the perfect sit to take place. Now’s the time to speak about exactly what is expected from both party to ensure a smooth handover and sit.

And remember, unexpected things can happen — communicate when they do!

By agreeing to the Code of Conduct, all members promise not to cancel a confirmed sit unless faced with extraordinary circumstances. So if something does occur that may affect the sit taking place, make sure you let the other party know, even if you’re almost at the point of confirming – or already have. 

You’ll need to do this as soon as you can, so that they can make alternative arrangements or continue their search process. It’s important to be understanding if this occurs; no one likes to cancel or let anybody down, but sometimes these things happen. Should this be the case for you, don’t let there be any hard feelings – even if you felt they were the perfect pet sitter or it was the perfect sit. 

Sometimes it’s hard to speak to someone you’ve never met before, but it will help you  establish whether the sit will work for you both and avoid any problems further down the line. The likelihood is you’ll have more in common than you think, and before you know it the conversation will be flowing – you could even meet a new friend for life. You’re fellow pet lovers after all!

We have plenty of information on the next steps once both sides have committed, such as on how to prepare for your sit or how to prepare for your sitter. Alternatively, you can always contact us if you have any other queries about planning and preparing the perfect sit.  

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