I am a newish to THS HO (5 sits in the past six months) and a long-time in-home Airbnb host. It’s been interesting to observe differences & similarities in hosting from each perspective. Airbnb uses a “double blind” system where you can’t see the other’s review until both have been left. Also, with Airbnb, both the host and the guest leave reviews that include categories such as cleanliness and location.
I want useful feedback, and also want prospective sitters & Airbnb guests to have a realistic, accurate view of what to expect.
Early on in my Airbnb career, I described my home as “quiet” - I live on a quiet street, I live alone, don’t usually listen to music at home, don’t have a TV, etc. In a review, a guest warned prospective guests that they should know that my house is loud. After a moment of righteous indignation, I realized that I live around the corner from a firehouse, and also that I have creaky old stairs that I go up and down many times a day and a loud coffee grinder that I use every morning. As a result of that review, I removed the word “quiet” from my description and bought a white noise machine for the guest room.
I think that Americans tend to leave 5 star reviews more often than not - anything less than five stars is seen as terrible. So there’s often no basis for comparison when ALL listings (and guests and sitters) are rated 5 stars.
And most of us think we are very good hosts, have great homes, and also that we are excellent guests (and sitters, I would think.) But just as I was not aware of my home’s noisiness, a lot of us aren’t aware of our own HO/guest/sitter peculiarities. So, balancing flexibility, generosity of spirit, and also honesty helps everyone.
Another example: I find my cat super easy to pill, and described that as such in my THS listing. And then, I had a sitter who found it very difficult. I hadn’t been dishonest when I said she was very easy to pill, I just didn’t know yet that it wouldn’t be easy for everyone. I am glad to know this, now, and glad that the sitter mentioned it in feedback - both for my benefit and for that of perspective sitters.