Suppose you’re new in town, and you’ve been invited to a “meet the neighbors” cocktail party. Or maybe your spouse is out of town on business, and you still have to pick up your regular shift. Or (gasp) your usual babysitter had to cancel.
What do you do?
Thanks to the miracle of modern parenting resources, a reliable sitter is just a click away. UrbanSitter coordinates full- and part-time nanny services, date-night sitters, and coverage for those last-minute appointments. Here to tell us more is the CEO and co-founder of UrbanSitter, Lynn Perkins.
- Convenience aside, what makes UrbanSitter a go-to resource for parents? How does it differ from neighborhood word-of-mouth?
Trust. UrbanSitter leverages social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) and parenting organizations like moms groups and schools to help parents easily find babysitters used by parents they trust. You can see how you’re connected to the sitter and read reviews from parents you know. It’s like the traditional word-of-mouth without the legwork. For busy parents, this means more options and less time wasted searching for a trustworthy sitter.
- UrbanSitter has gotten plenty of positive press; does it seem like people have been waiting for a service like this? Were they quick to take advantage of such an opportunity?
Absolutely. I think the biggest compliment I get is when somebody says, “How is it that a service like this didn’t already exist,” or, “Why didn’t I think of that?” One of the areas where we saw immediate demand was from working moms when the nanny called in sick, and we have a lot of moms and dads who use UrbanSitter to cover when they have project-based work or doctor’s appointments. Many parents need flexibility in their lives to make it all work, and our service is nicely aligned to support that.
- In addition to offering background checks, what steps do you take to reassure parents?
What parents love about UrbanSitter is that we show a lot of data about a sitter’s reputation and performance, including their star rating, reviews, average response time and “repeat families,” meaning the number of families that have booked her/him more than once. If a sitter has twenty reviews and fifteen families have repeatedly hired her, you’re going to feel reassured.
- What is it about this job that gets you out of bed in the mornings? What would you say to a potential sitter or parent client right now?
I love that we’re pioneering a service that helps busy parents—myself included. I’m inspired when a sitter tells me that UrbanSitter is helping her pay for college tuition or allowing her to start saving money. To the potential sitter or parent customer, I’d say, “Give UrbanSitter a try. I think you’ll find it useful. I was a babysitter throughout college and it was hard to find new families to sit for. I am now a full-time working parent and UrbanSitter comes to my rescue with quality sitters time and time again.”
Sounds like a sweet deal for both sides of the stroller! A digital support structure with real-time reassurance is just what the busy parent ordered. Have you ever been in need of an “instant sitter?” Tell us your story in the comment section.