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New Rover Sitter

asked 2015-04-21 07:55:52 -0500

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica - I am a new Rover sitter! I would love to hear some of your experiences and if you have any tips/advice for a newbie like me to help me get my business up and rolling.

I do have lots of experiences sitting for various animals and I absolutely enjoy doing it. I found Rover through a random link and decided to give it a shot.

Also, am I reading correctly that Rover takes out 15% of your booking fees per client? Just wanted to clarify that up.

Looking forward to hearing from all the Rover sitters! :)

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answered 2015-07-09 01:09:03 -0500

Hi Jessica! I'm fairly new to Rover (joined a few months ago) but have learned A LOT in just a short amount of time. One of the most valuable lesson I've learned is to be prepared and always get(and write down) as much information as you can from the pup parent before a visit. I now have a check list I go through with every pup parent upon drop off (even if I've gotten info at the meet and greet.) It includes feeding amounts/times, allergy/diet restrictions, behavioral issues or concerns and any other information about the pup's routine that the owner can think of. Not only does this come in handy during the stay, but it also assures owners that you care about following their instructions and making their pup's stay comfortable.

Additionally, I've learned to always specify pick-up and drop-off times... or have the client text you on their way over. This just makes things a lot easier for you and your dogs if you have any. I've also found myself waiting until 1am for a client who didn't specify a drop-off time and in the end didn't show up.

Being professional and firm with clients on your rates is also important. I've had clients who tried to negotiate lower (like way lower) rates for their pup's stay. After I finally refused to watch their dog (basically) for free, they turned me down and had a family member watch their pet instead. I realized that as much as I loved dogs, I would never make a reasonable amount of money if I didn't present myself as a professional.

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this advice is great as I have my first week long stay now and they did talk me down as I didn't want to say no to my first request and I sorry I did as many requests have since followed and I had to not take as don't want 2 puppies at same time and this puppy is costing me almost as charging as has chewed thur 2 beds lol...and they are a day late and I am still waiting for the pick up time a day later.. they did send me a text asking if could come a day late however text was several hours after pick up should have happened

Kim O.'s profile image Kim O.  ( 2015-07-09 08:52:05 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2015-04-21 19:32:18 -0500

Hi Jessica -

I've been sitting through Rover for a little over a year now. I've had mostly good experiences, though each new client and dog teaches me a little bit more about how to ensure successful stays. ALWAYS do a meet and greet. Skipping this step is the best way to make yourself (and potentially the dogs in your care) miserable. As a boarder with dogs of my own, it's critical to make sure our guests are going to get along well with my dogs. Beyond that, I need to know how they're going to behave around my partner and I, and whether or not they'll be comfortable in our house. The most benign things, like a scary ceiling fan or skylight, the type of flooring, or the presence of neighbor dogs may be a deal-breaker for some dogs. The only time I've foregone a M&G and not regretted it at least a little was for a daycare client coming in from out of town. He got along well with everyone and we had a blast, but I was also fully prepared to keep him separated and entertained in the event he wasn't a great fit. If I'm not prepared for that outcome, I will not skip a M&G.

Also, stick to your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about a stay, decline it. You don't have to have a great reason; I've declined stays when I've had a period of being really busy just because I know that I need a bit of down time. My dogs also need a rest sometimes. They're sharing their space, too, and eventually it wears on them, especially with higher energy dogs or dogs they don't know well. While they might be fine with one of our regulars, I'm not going to ask them to accept a bouncy new dog when they've already spent the past couple weeks sharing their space because I know they won't be on their best behavior, and honestly, neither will I. But really, anything that gives you pause is reason enough to listen to your gut. You want to establish a good client base with dogs you love to watch, and accepting stays you aren't totally comfortable with is a surefire way to burn out.

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Thank you for your tips/advice Laura! I am now requesting Meet & Greets before a stay. We might have our first stay tomorrow night depending on how this Meet & Greet goes tonight!

Jessica P.'s profile image Jessica P.  ( 2015-04-23 15:42:17 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2015-04-23 10:48:29 -0500

I have only had a few jobs, but I have learned something each time. One thing I would like to incorporate is a spreadsheet. One doggy parent with 4 dogs and a cat gave me a spreadsheet which outlined each dog with a photo, each dogs' behavior/quirks, when and where they eat, favorite toys, which ones do and don't get along with the cat, which one loves being inside/outside, etc. It was really handy! Keeping in touch is essential! I had an incident when I had to take a dog tot he vet. They didn't have a vet. I had to pick one. They sent me money via pay-pal for the vet visit. These are all things that I hadn't thought of! Hope this helps!

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Yes! I've got an intake eval that I have each owner fill out before their dog's first stay, which gives me all the info I need about their likes/dislikes, food and activity restrictions, etc. I also have a vet release the owners sign which gives me permission to request vaccination records and seek care, and places the financial responsibility on the client.

Laura R.'s profile image Laura R.  ( 2015-04-23 14:22:25 -0500 ) edit

That's a great idea Cassandra! I will definitely work on doing a spreadsheet. Laura - would you be willing to share your intake eval with me? I'd love to see it!

Jessica P.'s profile image Jessica P.  ( 2015-04-23 15:43:46 -0500 ) edit

Yes, I would be interested in that, as well!

Cassandra M.'s profile image Cassandra M.  ( 2015-07-17 12:12:47 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2015-04-21 11:59:09 -0500

Welcome to Rover! I myself am still working on getting things going. My best advice though would be advertise, advertise, advertise!! Social media-Facebook, Twitter, Google+- all free! Craigslist is VERY important as well to reach people outside your circles- also FREE! Then you can go to the Rover store and order business cards, postcards, etc. for when you meet people while you are out and about. Pet stores and veterinary offices are a great place to ask if you can leave your information with them. I am now looking to go full time here so That is my game plan!

Good Luck and Happy Tails for you! Jenn M

P.S. yes Rover will take out 15% to help cover all their overhead, but they also run specials, contests, and giveaways for us sitter's!

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Wonderful! Thank you for your tips Jenn! Advertising like crazy now! I'm determined to get this ball rolling!

Jessica P.'s profile image Jessica P.  ( 2015-04-23 15:42:56 -0500 ) edit

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