Booking: How Far in Advance?

asked 2014-11-17 20:37:40 -0600

Hello, fellow Rovers! How far in advance do you allow clients to book? I prefer to take one household at a time, and the increasing number of requests I receive means telling more people no. Is it fair to allow bookings months and months ahead of time? I suppose I could clearly state my policy and then recommend booking as soon as possible. For example, I've got a new client who knows her travel dates for the entire 2015 year and wants to book now. Aside from the fair--not--fair thing, I'm hesitant to book that far out because it limits my "freedom" to be involved in last minute activities (and by last minute I mean several weeks or months out). Furthermore, I'd hate to book someone and then have something else come up that I need to participate in but prevents my sitting (thus creating a cancellation).
So far, I've told clients I will tentatively put them down and then confirm, a) within the same calendar year, and b) no more than three months out. Thoughts?

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I have had the same situation. I don't book more than 2 mos in advance. I have the owner put in a request on Rover.com, so can see the request and the date. I tell them I will let them know 4-6 wks before whether or not I will be available. Essentially, they are reserving their spot for first dibs.

Kelley and Jeff D.'s profile image Kelley and Jeff D.  ( 2014-11-19 11:37:54 -0600 ) edit

Thanks! I guess I need to let my current clients know they need to get on the ball about booking! :)

Leighann H.'s profile image Leighann H.  ( 2014-11-19 14:28:30 -0600 ) edit

I am so glad you posted this! I never thought of this but as I am quickly gaining new clients and I have some repeat clients that travel frequently I will need to consider this as a possible issue in the future.

Cori C.'s profile image Cori C.  ( 2014-12-06 19:36:28 -0600 ) edit

Now that I've gotten a bit more familiar with Rover, I'm wondering about Kelley and Jeff D's suggestion. Doesn't Rover force you to either Accept or Decline a request within a certain amount of time? I think Pending Requests also impacts your profile's performance in an owner search.

Leighann H.'s profile image Leighann H.  ( 2014-12-25 20:40:09 -0600 ) edit

I think 3 months out would be a MAX limit for me, and possibly only 2 months for new clients. That way your "regulars" would still get first chance to book and stay with their favorite sitter.

Jennifer M.'s profile image Jennifer M.  ( 2015-02-27 19:48:55 -0600 ) edit

Getting to know other nearby Rover sitters is something I would like to do in addition to booking in advance. Similar price range and area back up is good to have for when you just can't accomodate all requests. I'm sure clients, and sitters, would appreciate the help!

Jennifer M.'s profile image Jennifer M.  ( 2015-02-27 19:52:38 -0600 ) edit

My goal is to eventually have all repeat clients. I have several clients that do a lot of business travel. They give me their dates anywhere from weeks to months in advance and I put it on my personal calendar if their dates are to far out. If they put a request on http://rover.com they must pay at that time. I have found that if dates change it can get complicated to make adjustments with payment. My repeat customers and I keep in contact and agree on the date to submit the Booking to rover. On your rover calendar you put in how many spaces you have available. With 2 of my clients I have agreed to keep spaces available with them and it has worked very well for me and them. It has taken time, but I rarely get a "day off" in the business lingo but... (more)

Kathleen D.'s profile image Kathleen D.  ( 2015-08-27 13:06:09 -0600 ) edit

5 Answers

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answered 2014-12-03 14:20:11 -0600

I allow bookings far in advance. It gives the owners peace of mind knowing that's one less thing to worry about as big travel plans approach, and it allows me to plan my calender in advance. It also grandfathers them in to lower rates if you raise your nightly fee during that time, so planning in advance is definitely beneficial to your client.

From my perspective, I'd rather have a few responsible clients and guaranteed income. Also, it's good for my dogs to have repeat guests that I know get along well in our household. I'll prioritize tried and true clients over new clients any day.

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answered 2014-11-19 09:30:45 -0600

I think you have the perfect answer ... Pencil them in on your calendar and let them book closer to to the stay date. Even 2 months gives them time to find a replacement. And, unless I'm mistaken, you might also explain (after double-checking) that they will be paying interest on those booking charges they want to do a year in advance. That will show you're thinking of their best interests also.

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That's exactly what I do ... and they ARE paying interest on their credit card until the stay.

Nancy C.'s profile image Nancy C.  ( 2014-12-16 12:14:27 -0600 ) edit
answered 2015-08-30 13:55:55 -0600

I want to keep and add to my repeat customer base. I tell my repeat clients to let me know asap when their next pet sit dates will be. I have a couple of clients that give them to me the same day they pick up for several months down the road so I put them on my personal calendar. They let me know if the dates need to shift or extend as soon as they know but I haven't had anyone back out. If a dog or 2 overlap other pets by one or 2 days I will still take them. I have had up to 6 or 7 dogs even though I prefer only 4 "guests" at a time. I know my repeats and this is like their 2nd home.

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answered 2015-03-24 16:18:38 -0600
Hi Laura- 
          Thanks for the information. I'm new to the bookings and Rover as well all this


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answered 2015-08-30 20:30:33 -0600

Great Question! A few weeks ago (In early August!), I did a Meet and Greet for Thanksgiving! They are really planners. They already reserved it last week! I didn't think about it already being charged on their credit card, collecting interest...Oops! So far, most of my jobs have been a week or two in advance. Although, with the Holidays coming, we are sure to get busier and have more advance bookings! Thank you for this post.

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