What is a Meet and Greet?
A Meet and Greet is exactly what it sounds like. It's a chance for a Pet Sitter and a Pet Owner to meet before either commits to the booking.
Why should I conduct a Meet and Greet?
Speaking to the Owner face-to-face is a brilliant way to decide whether you're happy to approve a booking request. It also gives you the chance to get to know their furry friend! Beyond that, a Meet and Greet can help to ensure there are no surprises during a booking. If you have any pets, it's also a great opportunity to make sure the Pet Owner's pet and yours get along. For the Pet Owner, they can see if you place is suitable for their pet if you are Pet Hosting. Vice versa, you can see if you're happy to stay at their place if you're Pet Sitting.
When should I conduct a Meet and Greet?
You should try to conduct a Meet and Greet before you approve a booking request. Once you've met the Owner and feel 100% comfortable to accept the booking, feel free to click that Approve button! Don't be afraid to suggest a Meet and Greet as soon as you receive a booking request. It shows you are a professional and that you're really keen to get to know more about the booking.
Where should I hold a Meet and Greet?
In a public place - Your safety is the top priority, so feel free to suggest a public place for your first Meet and Greet. Dog parks or pet-friendly cafes are some great options. If you feel comfortable with your first Meet and Greet, feel free to organise a follow up one at your place or theirs, depending on where the booking will be happening.
In the Pet Owner's home - This will depend on where you'll conduct the booking. If you'll be staying at their home, it's a good idea to go to their place to discuss the details.
- Be on time. The more professional you are, the higher your chances are of securing that booking. In other words, turning up on time is a must!
- Don't forget to discuss the small details such as doors locking, where the food is kept, where you'll be sleeping, which plants may need watering etc.
- We've included a handy Checklist in this article. It features details you can ask the Pet Owner during your Meet and Greet regarding their home.
- It's always good to ask them to show you around their home. This way, you can get familiar with where the food is kept, where the pet sleeps, and where you'll sleep.
In your home - If you will be hosting the pet, then meeting at your home is a great idea. That way, the Pet Owner can get an idea of where their pet will be staying and whether it'll be suitable.
- Don't forget to thoroughly clean and tidy your home.
- Here is a handy Property Walkthrough Guide. It will help you prepare your home so that it's purrrfect for your Meet and Greet and your bookings.
- Let the Pet Owner know if their pet will be around other pets, such as other Mad Paws clients. They may then request to meet these pets to ensure they all get on well. Remember: never take on more bookings than you can handle. It's also important to not have more pet's than you have advertised on your Mad Paws profile.
- Give a tour of your home. Show the Pet Owner all the places to which the pet will have access, including where it will be sleeping and spending most of it's time.
What happens during a Meet and Greet?
- Make sure you introduce yourself to the Owner first, then to their pet. This is a really good greeting etiquette to follow.
- It's a great time to ask lots of questions such as "Do you want to organise a trial stay before the real booking to make sure everything runs smoothly?".
- Make sure you take some time to bond with the pet. In fact, why not practice the pet's recall? Make sure you bring some treats, and with the permission of the Owner, you can also practice some simple commands.
- Meet and Greets are also a great way to ensure you and the Pet Owner are on the same page. Managing expectations is one of the most difficult parts of being a Pet Sitter. With this in mind, we'd suggest discussing topics like how long their pet can be left alone at one time. Other relevant questions include: "Do they have any special quirks?" and "If the pet were to need vet attention would the vet invoice the Pet Owner? If not, is the Pet Sitter expected to pay and wait to be reimbursed by the Pet Owner?" We have included a great downloadable Meet and Greet Information Sheet which helps you know what questions to ask. It also give you space in which to note their answers.
- You could even run a quick test to see if the pet suffers any separation anxiety. To achieve this, you could ask the Owner to leave the room for a few minutes. While they're gone, observe the pet to see if they react, and if so, how severely. By doing so, you can judge whether you think this pet will be suitable for you and whether you'll be able to cater for it's needs.
What are the next steps?
- If you feel you'll be a purrrfect match, let the Owner know you'd be happy to take on the booking. Don't forget: it's perfectly acceptable to ask for another longer Meet and Greet, or even a trial booking. If you're 100% happy to approve the booking, you can let the Pet Owner know. Once you've approved the booking via the platform, the Owner will be prompted to pay via the platform.
- If the Pet Owner asks to pay you in cash or via bank transfer, just say “No” . By accepting cash, you will not be covered by the Mad Paws insurance, or have access to our Customer Success team and your Pet Sitter profile will be removed! (Click here to learn why this is bad for you) Please report any offers of offline payments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you don't feel like you're quite the right fit for the pet and their Owner, we recommend you be upfront and honest. You can always thank them for taking the time to meet you but let them know that you don't feel like you'd be able to provide the special care they deserve. You can also let them know if you have any other Pet Sitter recommendations in their area. This will show that you're professional and willing to help them.