Declining a sit after a video chat

I’m curious to know - have any sitters declined a sit after a video chat? I always get the impression that a video chat is for the homeowners to choose a suitable sitter but not necessarily for the sitter to choose the homeowner. I personally don’t like video chats. I’ve done over 30 house sits without having to do so but now have done three in a row. I recently did one that I wasn’t successful on but I think I would have declined on it based on the video chat with the homeowner. Just curious other sitters perspective on this.

1 Like

We have, twice I think.

A couple of times, after our conversation with the home owner, we told them we would discuss it further and get back to them right away. If we decide against accepting the sit, we let them know right away and tell them why (unless it would be rude to say why.)
In both cases, the house was too rural for us (that’s another reason why I wish I knew exactly where a house was located before I even applied but that’s another story…)

Also, I have the words “yes”, “no”, and “maybe” written on a piece of paper, and during a video chat, my husband and I usually point to one of the words (almost always “yes”) to confirm that we are both on the same page and we let the home owners know right then if we are ready to commit.

10 Likes

The video chat is so both parties can decide if the sit is a good fit for them. For the homeowner, it’s so they can decide if the sitter is a good fit for their home, pets, and needs. For the sitter, it’s so they can decide if the sit is a good fit for their lifestyle, comfort level and experience level. It’s also a place where all parties involved can suss each other out and see if it works on a personality level too.

We’ve declined three sits after doing video chats. All because we found out more information in the chat that told us we weren’t a good fit for the sit. We’ve always sent through a message as soon as we decided (usually 1-2 hours later) letting them know we’ve decided to withdraw. We do usually give a reason as well so they aren’t wondering why we declined.

Video chats can be awkward, but there are a few times we didn’t do them and wished we had, so we power on.

3 Likes

That’s a great idea re the yes, no and maybe!

4 Likes

It’s funny - we’ve never had problems at all with the sits we’ve done without the video chats but I would have declined this last sit just based on the video chat. So it just reinforces my feeling that I prefer not to do them.

2 Likes

We usually do video chats but only once did we decline. It was a little awkward as there were numerous things that we felt weren’t a match and the home owner hadn’t mentioned in her listing. We ended up letting her know within thirty minutes but just said we didn’t feel we were a good match.

1 Like

Ha, that’s interesting. For me, it would have reinforced my feeling that I should probably start doing them.

1 Like

I guess we all have different personalities and opinions on here so good to get feedback and that’s why there’s the forum :slight_smile:

1 Like

The video chat is equally as important for the sitter to assess the home host as it is for the home host to assess the sitter.

We have an off camera thumbs up, thumbs down code when video chatting.

Twice we have given the thumbs down during the call. Once the two large dogs were jumping all over the home host during the call and she was constantly wiping slobber from their mouths. On another occasion the home host told us that she had had ‘quite a few’ bad experiences with sitters but she was ‘giving it a go again as she was desperate’

1- Thank you but not for us , and 2, thank you but not a chance!

7 Likes

@Colin prime example of how equally important a video chat is, and how it allows the sitters the opportunity to see the pets in action.

2 Likes

I’ve turned down sits after video chats. Mainly about timing, but once when the match didn’t seem right.

We always do video chats or meet beforehand, both for our own as well as the owner’s + the pet’s sake. Only once we felt like we should actually not go ahead with the sit (the HO wanted a 20+ page contract + our IDs in the mail ASAP, which she didn’t mention in the listing). It’s also a bit about supply and demand. In the past we have had HOs who would interview several sitters over a prolonged period of time, but right now I can’t imagine almost anyone doing that.

Hi Globetrotter, we always do a video
chat, whether we’re applying for a sit or choosing someone to sit in our home. Body language is important, as is the free flow of topics that can only occur when “face to face.” We highly recommend it. A good way to notice red flags.

4 Likes

I guess it depends how comfortable you are doing video chats but I do then most days for work so no issues for me. I find a good way to see the homeowner, the pets and the home. I’ve not turned any sits down after a video chat but there was one sit I would have if the HO had offered me the sit. This was due to the fact she didn’t seem to like males and ultimately went for a female sitter. Just felt uncomfortable during our chat. So better she found a female that was a fit for her.

I’d never sit without a video chat. And I want pictures of the living room, kitchen and bed and bath I will be using.

4 Likes

Hi @Globetrotter! This is a really great question for both pet parents and sitters. I was on the pet parent side of TrustedHousesitters for almost three years and I always felt I was being “interviewed” as much as a sitter was. Trust and comfort are both so important when entrusting your babies and your home to a stranger. Sitters have many, many questions as well, and it is just as important for them to feel comfortable with the potential sit as the pet parent(s) are. If you are a neat and tidy person, it is a good opportunity to look at the background in the video, which can tell you if they are on the same page as you.

We became sitters last year and the same has held true while talking to potential pet parents and their babies. Most have been great, but there are times I was glad to have had the opportunity to visit with them first.

I haven’t so far but agree that it’s for both sides to decide. I would have no qualms about turning a sit down if I wasn’t happy during a video chat.

I prefer doing a video chat so I can see whether the home owners and I are on the same wavelength, whether we click. It’s great to see the animals too!
So far I have always met people or done a video call. In September I’ll do two sits that I arranged without video calls, but they feel right.

1 Like

We have declined 1 sit so far after having a video call, the host lit a cigarette in her home during the call, which we did later give as our reason for declining because we only want to visit nonsmoking homes and she was nice about it too. It happened at the start of the call and to be polite we went through the motions for another 10-15min and even discussed just between us afterwards if it’s really a dealbreaker, I think next time I would end the call immediately to respect everyone’s time and it’s good to be clear on your own boundaries to yourself, it can be hard to say no after meeting someone “face to face”.

Sometimes, and especially in the beginning, we had just a phone call instead and those sits turned out fine too, if you prefer no video. You can ask for a video walkthrough recording of the home to accompany the no video phone call.

Occasionally only after confirming a sit, I feel the communication from the host is lacking, either unresponsive for week+ and/or not answering follow up questions completely and I wonder if I should cancel the sit in advance before it becomes a bigger problem once we’re actually ensconced in their home - I’m curious if anyone has declined after confirming due to, not complete ghosting, but just poor communication.

2 Likes

Agree–video chats are imperative for me.

1 Like