So if you go to the professional pet sitters, sometimes they don’t have the most glowing things to say about the Rover.com folks and if you take a gander into the rover.com groups… sometimes they don’t have too many nice things to say about the Professional Pet Sitters.
Can’t we just all get along?
Why the divide?
Both groups have two things in common, they have a business that loves on pets and they both make money off doing something they love.
So what is it about these two groups that have them disliking each other like cats and dogs?
Our Economy is Shifting.
Since the invention and popularity of Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and Handlr, our economy is shifting. We are entering a whole new era of anyone can make some side money and consumers can literally have things on demand, at their fingertips.
Britt Alwerud from Founder of Handlr and app that makes it easy for pet sitting clients to book and chat with their sitter says,”On-demand service apps not only give customers what they want right away, it also gives them peace of mind. With trust-based service businesses, people want to see ratings, see exactly whose coming to their house and be able to track their food order, dog or driver.”
So why is this a good thing?
Well, it is obviously great for those looking to make a little extra side cash. Those who want to save for their wedding, add to their retirement, or just have a little more spending money.
It is also great for the professional pet sitting companies that want to take on the world, make themselves different, and stand apart.
I am never quite sure why professional pet sitters get their feathers ruffled when they see the likes of the rover.com pet sitters starting up in their area. If you ask me, if their potential clients are comparing the two of them, the professional pet sitters haven’t done enough through their marketing and branding to make themselves stand apart.
All Professional Pet Sitters Used to be Rover.com Sitters.
No, really! At one point, we were all hobby sitters. Doing it all on our own.
I will use my own story as an example. Before I had a 14 year long business that was nationally and locally award-winning, I was in college. Trying to get out of my parents house, by sleeping at someone else’s house for $25 a night. At that point, I would have paid HER to stay at her house. It was a great gig and serviced my personal needs at the time. I enjoyed it so much, I attracted more and more clients by placing classified advertisements in community newsletters. If rover.com were around back then, you bet your bottom dollar I would have been all over it!
It’s just at that time, there wasn’t an app for that! *smile*
Think about it – most of these rover.com pet sitters are doing it for their love for animals. Sure there is a bad story every now and again, but there are also some bad stories about professional pet sitters that I can recall as well!
I think both sides should just bark less and wag more. It is more fun that way anyways, right?
To The Rover.com Pet Sitters
I encourage you to seek out the answers to your questions. Know that you can get seriously hurt on the job and know what a “redirect bite” is. Do everything to make your business legit by getting your own bonding, insurance, and registering with your state. In fact, if you really want to work more in the industry, if you do that, you are the glowing definition of an independent contractor and you can not only list yourself on rover.com and the likes of others, but find out which professional pet sitting companies in your area hire ICs and apply!
To The Professional Pet Sitters
Make some room! Move over and allow the rover.com to come into the world. It is only going to give you the chance to develop your brand and shine brighter becasue there are more options for consumers in the marketplace now. The more “competition” or “options” for consumers, the stronger of an opportunity you have to set yourself a part. Branding, websites, policies, procedures, customer experience and customer service… it is all your time to shine now that you have all the professional pillars to make you strong. You have dedicated your livelihood to your business, now make it shine!
My fellow colleague agrees. Cara Armour Product Manager at ProPetHero says this:
“As pet ownership increases year after year, so does the demand for care for them when we can’t be there. While a professional pet sitter may look down upon a rover.com sitter, step back and think, maybe that rover sitter is looking up to that professional?
As a professional pet sitter I can’t make the industry better if I don’t set an example. Set aside your animosity and help make the industry better for the pets, there’s room for both types of businesses.”
We all need to start getting along and fostering relationships. We all have to start somewhere.
NOTE: For sake of this article, when you see rover.com I also mean dogvacay.com, care.com, wag.com, and all the other instant, at your service, pet care apps. 🙂