My fellow yoga teachers, plumbers, massage therapists, anyone who does house calls, how do you ensure that before going to a client's house, that you are not walking into a dangerous situation?
In my profession as a private yoga instructor, I've had a few interesting encounters that left me feeling nothing short of absolute discomfort. Lucky for me, I have never been harmed, but I wonder if anyone else has had any bad experiences and how you typically go about screening your clients?
Note I have not had any trouble with any TT clients. other then just normal , "no that was not in the bid we're not doing that or free", type stuff. I've done appointment sales in-home for years before TT I've been in 100s of people homes. I've never had a truly bad experience, really the worst thing that ever happened was the nice couple who served germany chocolate cake with coke a cola.
Firstly, I try to speak with each client before going to their homes. It's a bit more difficult to be completely dishonest in voice.
Secondly, I don't use apps/internet as first contact in high crime/slow police response time areas. Not that I won't go to a "bad neighborhood" I will but only when referred by an existing client or a source that vets more then TT.
Thirdly, I don't disclose if I will be alone in my field "helpers" and "teams" are reasonable so "It will be me or me and a helper"
Forth, I check peoples phone numbers and names. I'm not going to your house alone if you wont share a phone number with me. I wont always find something but I know when I asboutly should find something e.g "I'm realtor Jonh Smith with Keller Williams north" I should be able to find that person.
Fifth I'm not a beautiful woman in my profile pic. I know I know everyone wants to see a person in the profile but I'm coming to your house , well a house it may not be your house, sometimes alone at night based on what is essentially an email and I don't even have the email address. It's really easy to make an email. I understand that a yoga instructor needs some photos of themselves.
Sixth If you're uncomfortable check in with someone right in front of the client. "Nice to meet you. I'll just need 1 moment to check in with .... so they know I've arrived here. And hey let's take a before photo *smile*" related have a friend to check in with and a code word means "send help" and one that means "this is kinda off if I don't text call you in 10 minutes call me if I don't answer send help"
I'm a server and bartender, and I always make sure I speak to the customer before I agree to do a job. Sometimes, people just email back and forth, like on Thumbtack for example. And I always say to the customer "please give me a call so we can talk in more detail about your job", if they don't do this, then I usually will just pass on their job. I feel more comfortable talking with people on the phone, or even meeting people in person (if they live close). For example, this one customer I'm currently speaking with, she keeps giving me short answers. She needs a bartender for her wedding. I'd like to help her. But I can't help her if she won't give me more details. I find it weird if people don't want to talk on the phone. But real legit clients will want to talk to you and hash out all the details. If they don't, then they are not worth it.
I'm sorry you are going through this. Are you talking with people on the phone before going to their homes?
If after conversing with a Thumbtack customer you feel uneasy about the interaction, please let us know. You can follow these steps here to report suspicious activity. Let me know if you have any questions!
I agree with the other comments about a phone call before a house call (although I am guilty of violating that... I'm an older male, and just not that many predators find me attractive)
I would suggest: A standardized, very polite and tactful message that you need to protect yourself from predators. Your (manager, real spouse, pretend spouse, etc) will have all the details of your appointment and have been instructed to call the police if you don't check in with a code word within (for example) 30 minutes of the expected end of the appointment.
I would think that most, rationale, legitimate customers would say "oh sure, that makes perfect sense". AND, that most predators would say..."I'm going to move on, and search for dumber prey". my two cents, --- Reese