Selling yourself as a pet sitter
If you are a pet sitter, trust and responsibility are key, and pet owners should be able to tell that their pet is in safe hands with you. But how do you let the world see that you are that reliable sitter? How do you increase the likelihood that pet owners will book you? Read our tips on how you sell yourself as a pet sitter and how to communicate with pet owners.
Your 'shop window'
Your pet sitter profile gives that important first impression. In your profile, you should share plenty of detailed, reassuring information - think, what would you want to know if you were a pet owner employing a sitter? Describe clearly why you want to be a pet sitter, what your experience with pet care is and what exactly you have to offer - for instance, if you offer pet boarding: what would you do with the dog when it came to stay? How much time will you be spending with the dog? Where will you be walking it? What is the space like where the dog will be staying?
Pet owners are also curious about you as a person, so write a little bit about yourself and what your average day looks like, including your availability. Read here how to make an irresistible pet sitter profile
Communication before the booking starts
When owners start looking for a pet sitter, they're usually looking for a solution for their holiday or business trip fairly urgently. Also, it can be pretty exciting to search online for a sitter you haven't met before! This is why it's very important to respond to messages quickly, even if you have to reject the inquiry. A pet owner just wants to know if you might be available. Aren't you sure yet whether you can meet the request? Accept the message anyway, because then you can communicate with each other, ask questions and discover what the pet owner is looking for exactly. If there is no match after all, you can both move on.
The essential meet & greet
Communicating clearly doesn't just mean sharing information, it's also important to ask a lot of questions. If you ask loads of stuff about the guest pet, you show that you take your job seriously. Ask for as much information as possible about the character, needs and habits of the pet. This is important because during the reservation, you will be the one solely responsible for the guest pet. You want to make sure you know his or her habits and personality and to be able to recognise unusual behavior, illness or other problems.
During the meet & greet, don't forget to be honest and upfront if you do not know certain things or if you are not used to something, such as administering medication or dealing with a big, strong dog. It's fine if some things are new to you or you are lacking in experience in some areas, but it is important that the owner knows about this. He or she then can then give you the right information you need, or in any case, decide to find another pet sitter. This is very common and you really don't need to be ashamed about this. It's the same the other way around: you are always free to say 'no' after a meet & greet.
During the reservation, we recommend sending a photo update at least once a day. For pet owners, it is really nice and reassuring to see how things are going with their dog, cat or other pet. Via the Pawshake App, you can easily take photos and tag the pet. Dinnertime, playtime or during a nice walk is a great time to take a snap. This gives a good impression of the situation at home and makes the difference between an average pet sitter and a really great one. So: don't wait until the owner asks you how things are going, but make sure you inform them proactively.
>In your photo-updates, you can show how much fun you and your furry guest have together!
Questions and concerns
During the reservation, it might happen that you notice something strange about the pet. Maybe the dog or cat behaves differently, eats a lot or very little, is scared or stressed or shows signs of separation anxiety - something that might worry you. It is important to communicate honestly and openly with the owner, without causing unnecessary panic. Transparent communication ensures that the owner is informed and this gives peace of mind, even when there are concerns. Is there something you want to discuss with the pet owner? You can message them with the Pawshake App. Explain the situation to the owner and ask for his/her feedback. In most cases, the owner will be able to give you useful advice. After all, he or she knows their dog or cat best!
Can't you reach the pet owner at their holiday address? Before the booking starts, always ask for a back-up contact and emergency numbers such as those of their regular veterinarian. It's also a good idea to send a final message to the pet owner in which you summarize how the reservation went and what your follow-up agreements are - for example, the key exchange or pick-up and drop-off of the pet. Do you offer home visits? Then, preferably, agree to not leave the key in the house on your last visit, but keep the key with you until the owner is back at home with the pet. By doing this, you can drop over in case the owner experiences a delayed flight or car problems.
Become a pet sitter?
Winter holidays are coming up, so there will be a lot of pet owners heading away on holidays and their pets deserve loving, personal care. Can you offer these pets a warm comfy home? As a pet sitter at Pawshake you decide which services you offer, which pets you take in and what price you ask for! Sign up as a pet sitter for free!