A dog owner sent you a stay request! Feel free to take a second and do a happy dance before you respond. We’ll wait.
Okay. So, now what? How should you respond? And why is how you respond so important anyway?
Since about half of dog owners send a request to more than one sitter, we recommend:
- Responding within an hour.
- Including compelling reasons why the dog owner should book with you (your sales pitch). Don’t worry—we’ll walk you through how to write your sales pitch so it captures what makes you an awesome sitter or dog walker.
Respond Within an Hour
Download the Rover.com app for iOS or Android, and you’ll get notifications when you get a message from a dog owner. You can also respond directly from the app. That way, you can easily respond to dog owners when you’re on the go.
Include Your Sales Pitch and Ask for Missing Info
Dog owners want to make sure they’re leaving their dog with a sitter or dog walker who’s a good match. They liked your profile, but they probably still have more questions—and you probably have questions too! Make the dog owner more comfortable and give them the info they need to decide if you’re the right fit. Here’s how you can do that in your first message:
- Thank them for reaching out to you.
- Compliment their dog. They want to know that you’ll love their dog as much as they do.
- Say what makes you a great Rover sitter or dog walker. We know that they liked you enough to send a request, but it’s possible that they didn’t read through everything on your profile. Here are some great selling points owners love: Do you…
- Stay home full-time?
- Have a great back yard?
- Live close to a dog park?
- Have several years of experience with dog care?
- Have any special skills, like dog training or first-aid certifications?
- Stay positive and ask for clarifying information. Instead of asking, “Is your dog aggressive?” ask, “What kind of experience does he have with other dogs? Does he have any quirks that I should be aware of?” It’ll put the dog owner at ease, and it’ll help you both get the info you need quickly.
- You don’t need to do this right away, but if you’re ready to schedule a Meet & Greet, ask for one! It’ll show the dog owner you’re serious and excited to meet their dog.
We’ve included an example of a good response. Notice how the tone is friendly yet professional.
Thanks for reaching out to me! Roger looks so cute and happy, and I’m excited to learn more about them.
I know you saw my profile, but I want to say why I think I’m a great match for your dog. I work from home, so your dog will never be left alone for longer than a couple of hours. I also have a small fenced backyard that I think they’ll love, and I’ll take them on long walks at least twice a day.
What kind of experience does your dog have other dogs? I’m asking because I have a dog on my own, and I want to make sure Roger will be comfortable during his stay.
If you’re interested, I would love to schedule a Meet & Greet. Let me know a couple of times that work for you—I’m free Tuesday and Thursday evening this week and would love for you and Roger to come by.
Pro tip: Offer a Discount or Trial Stay/Walk
Some sitters and dog walkers offer a first-time client discount. Others offer a free or discounted trial stay that’s anywhere from one hour to overnight. A trial stay or walk can be great for you too because it can help you decide if you’d be comfortable caring for the dog later on. Of course, don’t offer anything you’re not comfortable with.
If a Dog Owner Doesn’t Respond
If you don’t hear back from a dog owner, don’t worry. Wait a day and then send them a short message. Ask if they have been able to find a sitter or dog walker for their dog. A lot of dog owners appreciate the follow-up—it shows you’re excited to learn more about their dog. Something short like this works best:
I wanted to follow up and see if you’re still looking for a sitter for Roger. I’m still interested in scheduling a Meet & Greet and learning more about them!
Hope to hear from you soon,
If they don’t book with you, try to not take it personally. Sometimes another sitter or dog walker responded first or seemed like a better fit for their dog. Other times, dog owners change their minds and decide to ask a friend or family member to watch their dog instead. A dog owner may think you seem like a great sitter, but they’ll end up choosing an option that is a better fit for what they need.
Stay in Touch and Earn that 5-Star Review
Writing a timely and friendly sales pitch is a great first step when you’re communicating with dog owners. Even after you’ve talked at the Meet & Greet or booked the stay or walk, stay in touch. After all, dog owners choose Rover because they want a personalized experience. And if you deliver 5-star service, you’re much more likely to get that 5-star review. We think a 5-star review’s the perfect occasion for another happy dance, don’t you?