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Is it necessary to stay overnight for House Sitting?

asked 2016-05-29 19:57:53 -0500

I feel like I have been recieving less requets after switching from offering "House Sitting" to "Visits." Prior to the Visit feature being offered, I clearly stated that I do not stay overnight and this was fine 90% of the time when I received House Sitting requests. I was curious if I would be falsely advertising if I again offered House Sitting or if this is something that other sitters also do? When looking at the page after clicking on "Search Sitters," I think that a lot of clients would go for House Sitting rather than Visits, because it encompasses more than just popping in to feed/water/potty their pets. If a client is on vacation, I generally bring in the mail, set the garbage cans out for trash day, water plants, etc. I just think that perhaps Visits seem like something that is only needed when a client is at work for a long period of time, for example, and those clients that are actually going on vacation would naturally look under House Sitting. I would hate to have to frequently turn down requests becuase I am expected to stay overnight, but I would like to offer the concept of House Sitting in addition to Visits. Thank you in advance for your input!

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Comments

What is the "concept" of house sitting vs actual house sitting?

Karen R.'s profile imageKaren R. ( 2016-05-30 11:16:00 -0500 )edit

The concept being doing everything that House Sitting entails, minus staying at the house overnight. I am willing to stay at the house for hours at a time, but based on a couple of past experiences when spending the night, I no longer want to offer that portion.

Hillary H.'s profile imageHillary H. ( 2016-05-30 19:00:21 -0500 )edit

8 Answers

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answered 2016-05-30 11:09:56 -0500

Rover defines house sitting as staying overnight in a client's home:

https://support.rover.com/hc/en-us/ar...

People are essentially hiring you to not only take care of their pet(s) but also their home while they are away. That is why the service should be priced higher--not only are you doing more but you have to uproot yourself with all your supplies/creature comforts and travel to the destination.

IMO, this isn't interpretation. If you are babysitting, you stay with the baby. if you are house sitting, you stay with the house. If you are pet sitting, you either stay with the pet or the pet stays with you.

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answered 2016-05-31 11:17:19 -0500

I would agree with Karen R., in that house sitting would entail staying overnight. In any context, Rover or otherwise, when one "house sits" they generally stay and watch the house in place of the owners, which would arguably be most important at night when there is greater risk of mishaps (e.g. robbery, fire, etc.). You are essentially being paid to act in place of the owner while they're away, so that their house isn't sitting empty and unwatched.

If you don't want to stay overnight, then I would think that, that is where a "drop-in visit" comes in, serving as something in-between a walk and full-on house/pet sitting.

I can understand that many potential clients may want more than a walk, so they may automatically hire for "house sitting" when in reality, a "drop-in" visit would suffice, but they're simply unfamiliar with what that even entails. In this case, it would make sense that you'd receive fewer requests.

I think it would be fine to offer house sitting, as long as you fully disclaim that you do not intend on staying in the house overnight and you make sure that the client is fully aware and okay with that. It would be one thing if you offered the service and they hired you with the expectation that you would be staying overnight and you did not, but as long as you are upfront and communicate what your interpretation of the service is, then that is fair and they can choose to hire you or look into hiring someone else, based on that.

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answered 2017-07-08 11:19:35 -0500

Housesitting, staying over night, I feel clients feel better with this option you are in the house taking care of it and the pets. Pets can get lonely at night and miss their humans, thats when we Rover sitters go the extra miles to say I am here ,do you want a treat, do you need to go out or do you just want to some attention in the middle of the night. I am there to offer that security to the pets no matter what it may be, and I think clients aprreciate that.

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answered 2016-05-30 10:56:07 -0500

I believe the requirement is overnight. Look under Help-Owners-Finding a Sitter-What Services Does Rover Offer. It's described as overnight care.

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answered 2016-05-30 09:16:47 -0500

I think it would be okay to offer "House Sitting." I feel the term encompasses both staying overnight and not. I had to put instructions in my profile for potential clients to specify which they needed, because I was getting requests for both, but they weren't saying which they wanted until I asked them.

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answered 2016-05-30 10:19:00 -0500

I've always assumed that 'housesitting' meant I was staying overnight, but a recent inquiry told me that not everyone is clear about that, as she asked "what does housesitting entail?" I'm still new as a Rover sitter, but already have several weeks booked for overnight stays this summer. I haven't offered plant watering or taking trash cans out to the curb, but maybe I should consider those as additional services? Just thinking out loud here, folks....

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Comments

You could charge for that, as long as its reasonable (like no more than $10 for a week long stay) but most of us just do them as a courtesy.

Jennifer M.'s profile imageJennifer M. ( 2017-07-09 09:29:56 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-05-31 17:21:02 -0500

I found that staying overnight at the pet's home is better for the overall stay. Animals tend to act out, not all of course, when their owners leave and it's best to give the dog the best care while you stay overnight hence why you increase your rate. I have done stays both ways, overnight and several check-ins throughout the day, overall I see more success when I stay there. I am able to be confident when tell the owner that their pets are doing well, rather guessing what is happening at the house when I am not there. Gives you a peace of mind as well.

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answered 2016-05-31 16:38:50 -0500

I think you can offer whatever service you are comfortable offering to your client, as long as the expectations are clear on both ends.

You could, offer house-sitting as an overnight service. Especially for bookings of more than one night, I would ask the owner what, if any, additional work needs to be done to maintain the house during the stay. I always make sure to take out trash, wash any dishes I use, etc. But I also have clients that need my help watering the plants or cleaning out their pool skimmers. You can always decline to provide any service you think is too much.

Then, pets that don't need overnight care would be booked as drop-in visits. They would book a certain number of 30-minute stays per day. They might still need certain house-care items attended to for longer visits, so be sure to cover this during a meet and greet.

For me, I offer house-sitting to clients that need over-night care. However, I also offer that service to clients that want me to drop in/out occasionally throughout the day, as if I lived there (without staying the night). These visits aren't always a full 30 minutes, sometimes they're longer/shorter. The owner might want me to stop in for two quick meals in the AM/PM and then a longer 30 minute walk around midday. I always get information about the dogs' regular schedules and stick as closely to that as possible. This is often more cost efficient for clients that have very low-maintenance dogs but need to be out of town for a bit.

If an owner wants exactly X number of visits per day, each 30 minutes long, and at specific times, then I do drop-in care bookings. This allows me to guarantee full 30 minute visits at the requested times.

You can do what's most comfortable for you. Just try to get as much information from the client as possible so that there are no miscommunications about what is expected of you/them.

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