A couple of days in the past, I were given an electronic mail from a “Community Marketing Manager” with Rover.com. It used to be a generic pitch that I’m certain a host of non-public finance bloggers were given.
I were given a laugh once I learn, “Did you know that being a dog sitter or dog walker on Rover.com is a great way to make extra income?” I’ve been writing about my canine sitting gig for awhile now. I come with it in all my per 30 days reviews. It’s a little bit like asking LeBron James if he knew about this basketball recreation. Okay, that’s an over-exaggeration. I don’t be expecting advertising and marketing folks to learn via dozens of articles on masses of blogs.
So we talked and she requested if I’d be keen to jot down about my enjoy with Rover. It perceived to me that this used to be obviously a subsidized put up state of affairs, as a result of I’d be doing the promoting for them. However, as a result of I really like the canine sitting industry, I requested for a tiny fraction of what I’d typically rate. So sure, it is a subsidized put up, however those are my very own ideas after 2 years of enjoy.
What is Rover?
I describe Rover as AirBnB for canine. For a few years, when households went on holiday they introduced their canine to a kennel. A kennel may have a only a small house for him/her. There also are puppy motels that provide a greater enjoy, however the cost for them can cross method up. A couple of years again, DogVacay.com and Rover introduced another… folks providing their very own properties via a web based market.
When we moved from San Francisco to Boston and Rhode Island, we discovered that there have been no cheap puppy motels. I believe where in San Francisco charged round $40/evening. In the Boston space it used to be $80/evening as it priced in line with canine pound. (It used to be an actual “meat market.”) After a little analysis we discovered DogVacay, the place the costs the place round $35/evening. We learn all of the remarkable evaluations and determined to provide it a shot.
We slightly were given again within the automobile sooner than we have been being despatched photos. It used to be significantly better than our enjoy with the canine motels.
And that used to be the top of my DogVacay tale for a very long time.
Changing From Sittee to Sitter
While making plans one of our holidays, my opinion modified. The army circle of relatives who had taken my canine previously were given transferred to San Diego. We had a mishap with the following closest individual. Finally there used to be nice sitter 45 mins away. The simplest drawback used to be the site. If we have been getting in some other path, it used to be so much to head 1.five hours out of your method.
I assumed, “Why weren’t there any dog sitters near me!” The solution hit me within the face, “Because I’m not a dog sitter myself.” I’m an excellent sitter. As I wrote in my About web page, I’m referred to as the native canine whisper on the native canine parks. However, we actually have a sizable fenced-in backyard that could be a uncommon commodity. For some explanation why folks have a tendency to make use of electrical fences in my space.
Lastly, I make money working from home. So 90% of the time folks know there will probably be any person with their canine. That sounds elementary, however there are a selection of sitters who aren’t there all over the day. It might paintings for some canine (together with mine), however certainly any person who’s round extra is extra fascinating.
I created profiles on each DogVacay and Rover and folks began to touch me. It trickled in to start with in 2015, however as I were given extra evaluations, my location, and providing stood out from the pack. In 2016, we had 566 “dog days”, which is set 1.five canine in line with day. So a ways in 2017, we’ve 236 “dog days.” It’s a little of a drop-off. I believe some of that can be because of DogVacay and Rover merging to grow to be simply Rover. Instead of being in two marketplaces, I’m now in a single. Sure some of the DogVacay shoppers moved over, however perhaps no longer all. And now I’m competing in a single pool the place I don’t stand out as a lot. Rover persistently places folks with five evaluations forward of me with my 100 evaluations even supposing that individual lives farther away or has decrease evaluations.
Pros and Cons of Being a Rover Dog Sitter
I didn’t intend for the advent to head goodbye, however after all we get the purpose I sought after to hide within the article. Many persons are questioning if canine sitting is correct for them. Perhaps they’ve had the considered Uber or AirBnb. I’m going to presume that in case you are asking this query, you’re comfy with canine. No one says, “I think I should be an Uber driver, but first, I need to get a car and learn how to drive. Plus I am afraid of cars.”
The simple solution is whether or not you will have to be a canine sitter is: NO!!! I don’t want any longer pageant! (I’m hoping everybody sees that because the funny story it used to be supposed to be).
The explanation why solution is much more nuanced.
Pros of being a Rover canine sitter
There’s the most obvious cash side. I’m no longer going to enter my particular numbers, however from what I’ve written you’ll arise with a ballpark determine. I’m extra high-volume than maximum canine sitters. (I write that having had just one canine for at some point up to now this week.) It could be exhausting to make profession cash out of it, however I all the time say it beats the heck out of promoting MLM crap like DoTerra, Beachbody Shakeology, and Le-Vel Thrive. With MLM, greater than 99% of folks lose cash. With Rover I used to be extra winning at the first day than they’ll ever be.
There’s the most obvious canine side. If you like canine, it’s candy to receives a commission to be round them. Some folks receives a commission tens of millions to play a sport of baseball. I am getting paid a lot, a lot, a lot to play with canine. Much much less. But taking part in with canine.
Lastly, I will mix it with my different make money working from home. Most of the time canine want somewhat little upkeep. It permits me to earn two, albeit small, earning on the similar time.
Those are 3 very large execs.
However, it’s no longer all domestic dogs and rainbows (or rainbows in any respect).
Cons of being a Rover canine sitter
There are occasions the place being a canine sitter is demanding. If you have got a couple of canine, feeding them can take a little time. You need to stay all of them separate and simplest consuming their very own meals. Dogs are in all probability to combat over meals. Also that is across the time the place I’m seeking to feed our three and four 12 months outdated. Their child desk is the very best top for a canine to devour off of. So I organize a pair of other rooms. If I’ve spare time, I make my spouse and myself dinner as smartly. (We devour various things than the children, as a result of our meals isn’t “kid-friendly.”) This isn’t a canine sitting drawback, however it’s some other degree complexity.
We discovered early on that after one canine pees on a rug, some other canine will as smartly. It’s very tough to scrub the rug to the purpose the place some other canine gained’t pick out up the smell and get started the cycle in all places. Poop isn’t as dangerous because it normally sits on best and will also be picked up. We ended up tearing up our carpet downstairs and placing some water-proof vinyl composite floor from Home Depot. We were given a a brand new leather-based sofa that used to be more uncomplicated to scrub from muddy paws.
We have every kind of minor harm to the home. There used to be the canine that scraped at our cupboards. There used to be the canine that scraped on the door. Our garden isn’t in the most efficient form because of all of the poop, pee, and occasional digging. At any given time, I may assemble 4 Great Danes out of the spare hair on our flooring.
So identical to an Uber driving force may believe the wear and tear and tear on his/her automobile, it’s possible you’ll believe the wear and tear and tear on your house.
The subsequent con could be your time. Dog sitting is in call for all over the summer time, at the weekends, and all over vacations. Do you find irresistible to do issues with your circle of relatives all over the ones occasions? Or do you need to be to be had as a canine sitter? It might sound simple to mention, “Oh I’ll take family every time.” I’ve discovered that being to be had for main vacations might be value as much as $1000. It’s no longer simply that at some point, however folks cross away for a complete week and vacation charges follow. It’s simple for me to have five or extra canine all over the ones busy occasions.
Giving up a weekend to head discuss with circle of relatives may imply the loss of a pair hundred greenbacks in bookings as smartly. The final couple of months, I wrote in my source of revenue document that we’ve taken a pair of holidays. That’s a large explanation why we’ve had fewer canine this 12 months.
One extra con is dealing with the canine house owners. A overwhelming majority of them are nice. However, identical to anyplace else in existence, there are all the time a couple of who’re a little bit off. I believe maximum animal running shoes will inform you that the true trick is coaching the house owners. Again, it is a very small proportion. To be truthful, I’ve met some attention-grabbing canine house owners together with a purse CEO, a New England Patriot, and a area flipper.
The final con is the “false hustle” lure. Someone initiates a reserving with you. You give an explanation for why the canine will probably be a just right are compatible and settle for the canine. Then they are saying, “Oh, I booked with someone else.” This occurs so much with Rover as a result of they straight away display competing canine sitters after any person creates a request. In an excessive case like this previous Saturday, I had it occur to me three times in a span of 30 mins. One of them even thanked me for my fast reaction… whilst they went with some other sitter. That’s so much of productiveness for 0 cash.
It will also be worse with Meet and Greets. These are when canine house owners time table a discuss with to peer where sooner than reserving. Being a blogger, I’m no longer very large on scheduling issues. However, I perceive the will and do the similar for my very own canine. It doesn’t occur very ceaselessly, however once in a while I’ll spend 30 mins with a Meet and Greet and the individual gained’t e book. Usually as it’s their plans modified (or a minimum of that’s what they inform me to be great).
Sometimes I do freelance writing and I do know so much of different bloggers who do as smartly. They bake into their value such things as invoicing, purchasing their very own well being care, and issues of that nature. When canine sitting charges are round $40/day (in my space), it’s simple to peer how dropping an hour to “false hustle” lure generally is a drawback.
On the opposite hand, you by no means know if the following request goes to be an ordinary shopper. Regular shoppers are super as a result of their canine extraordinarily smartly and the house owners smartly. I will settle for reserving in lower than 15 seconds with a one-liner of “Happy to have Fluffy back again!”
Do you suppose canine sitting might be best for you? Maybe it isn’t a just right are compatible to your specific existence instances now, however what if you happen to have been in a position to perform a little make money working from home, freelance, or do it as a 2nd act in “retirement”? Let me know what you suppose within the feedback.