The Key To The Keys For Pet Sitters And Dog Walkers
One of the many challenges about running a dog walking and pet sitting business is that there are just so many different moving parts. And there’s no better example of that than managing the inventory of keys for our Buckhead Paws Atlanta-area clients.
Whenever a new client wants to use our services – whether for a dog walker or pet sitter – we always ask for two working copies of their house key. One is for the primary dog walker, the other is for contingencies and goes into a key safe in our Buckhead office. That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
But we have nearly 300 active pet sitting clients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Midtown, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Decatur. Some use our services seven days a week, some call only when they travel, and that may be only once a year. In the meantime, we have team members move on to other jobs, and we have new team members join us; clients move to a new location within our service area, or change locks on their home, or install keypad entry — any one of a variety of things might happen to affect the client’s key.
Oftentimes, we’ll hear from a client at the last minute, asking if we could have someone, “just drop by to give Fluffy a quick dog walk or play visit”. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Except . . . we need to look at which dog walker currently has that client’s key, and, if that person isn’t available, start figuring out how we can (a) find a team member who has availability, and (b) get a key to that person, and (c) if that team member has never been there before, can we really send them in “cold turkey?” We don’t like to do that . . . but we’ve done it occasionally to meet an urgent need for a client.
And the responsibility for keeping track of all these keys falls squarely on the shoulders of our incredibly capable Office Manager, Robin (see her 30-second introductory video here). Robin retired from the State of Georgia after 30 years of implementing all sorts of systems for doing and tracking things, so when it comes to keeping up with keys for hundreds of pet sitting clients, there’s no one better; she’s like a pit bull staying on top of it. All so we can keep things running smoothly and safely.
Hats off to Robin for her amazing efforts keeping up with the keys! If you haven’t used our pet sitting or dog walking services in a while but plan to in the future, do we have a current copy of your key?
Mark Shaver has owned Buckhead Paws since 2012, and is an active member of Pet Sitters International. Previously, he was a senior executive with three multinational corporations.