Ingredients for a helpful review?

Hello fellow sitters, When it comes to the feedback about a sit, what specific information is most helpful to you?

I looked to see if there was a rubric or set of feedback best practices that sitters could reference to make our commentary truly helpful and informative. Finding none, I thought to start a thread. To kick things off, here are a few of the details from other sitters that have helped me or have impacted what I ask a prospective host.

-A sense of the homeowner personality (warm, friendly, welcoming…)
-Kind actions or gestures that go above or beyond (welcome meal, goodie basket, notes…)
-Home environment (style–modern, lived-in, cozy, dated, orderly vs. cluttered, bright/airy, conducive to work, strong wifi for streaming/video calls, stocked kitchen for cooking…)
-Pet (obedience, often underfoot, sits nearby, naps a lot, sloppy dog kisses, cat that scratches, “talks” a lot, early riser, active at night, needs to warm up…)
-Community (interactions with neighbors, street noise from cars or sirens, lighting…)
-Location (proximity to transit, parking availability, bus vs tram vs train and availability of transit cards or tickets…)


As a fellow sitter, I think you’ve covered everything I mention when I give a review of a sit. Re location, I always mention the proximity of the home to shops and restaurants. I tend to look for nearby community centres when I sit as I like going to group fitness classes so if I engage in any of those, I will mention that as well in my review.


Great thread, very useful - we are new to THS and have been unsure what to include and
how long our review should be .

In addition to your list - we always comment on these points that we think will be helpful to any future sitters considering the sit .

•communication with HO (e.g provided a welcome pack with with all the information we needed / responded promptly when we had a question during our stay )
• honest comment on impact of pet routine ( e.g we enjoyed the dogs long early morning walks because the countryside is beautiful/ feeding the hens was not at all onerous)
• mobile reception/ wi-fi ( mobile phone coverage was poor / Wi-Fi was good enabling us to work from home without any interruptions )
• we have also commented on a local attraction we visited and enjoyed .

All of our sits so far have been great and so we have concluded with the sentence - we can thoroughly recommend this sit .


I usually specifically mention the location of the sit in my review. Many homeowners don’t say in what part of a city they live in their listing, and I always want a more specific location… I will say “I had a great sit in John’s house in Lakewood, Denver” or “The house is a few blocks from Hudson park, Chicago”. This also helps if the homeowners move after your sit. I did one sit in NYC and the HOs later moved to California, and now it looks like I sat for them in CA.


Good list developing. Adding:

  • How easy dogs are to handle on and off (if applicable) lead in addition to general behavior.

One comment on special kindness. I trust to be very vague in my feedback on HO generosity. Not that we don’t take appreciate welcome gifts or meals, but we don’t want the HO feeling obligated to provide same to all, nor do we want them to be judged negatively if they don’t. We might comment on being early welcomed, feeling appreciated, generous HOs, but not that they left us a discuss gift. Interested to hear thoughts on this approach as part of this discussion. Are we getting too careful?


Good point. I didn’t think of that. On one hand, I really appreciate what some homeowners have done for us but at the same time, they may not do the same for another sitter for whatever reason and that could be an issue for them. I’ll have to rethink what I say about that. In one case, the HO left us gift cards from a local grocery store but I didn’t specify what they did, just that they were generous and left us with a gift.
Dan and Nan


We’re the same @lifephasenext - never mention any gifts we are given as they then may feel obligated the next time. Good advice :raised_hands:


Agree that this is so helpful as when I’ve looked to travel being far from an airport makes such a difference to the cost of traveling there and getting to the sit on time


@Danandnan That’s what I do. I try not to be too “coded” in my feedback but if I say that they were super generous, it usually means a gift bag or some money left.


I tend to do a narrow-to-broad in scope approach to my reviews. First the pets, then the home and owners, then the broader location and things to do. I feel like my reviews are usually much longer than other people’s - I want to be helpful!


We always ackowledge generosity in our feedback- but not specifics- if its wine/gifts etc. We do mention being warmly welcomed (if we were, otherwise not!) And if we’ve been taken out for dinner or cooked for we include that too. If the host does not leave anything for us and/or does not do anything special for us - then obviously there’s nothing to mention there (as they are in no way obligated) I think its still possible to be polite and respectful in the feedback as there is (almost!) always something positive about the sit even if just the pets! Most sitters are perfectly capable of reading between the lines and no one needs to be offended.
If everything is fab we say we highly recommend the sit and if we genuinely would like to return we say we’d be delighted to be invited back…


Thanks to everyone who have contributed so far. It has helped me broaden my scope for providing feedback in the future. One thing I always look for is comfort - how comfortable is the bed and are basic needs like dishwashing liquid, cleaning products and a reasonable amount of washing powder left. It can make a big difference to the enjoyment of our stay. Cleanliness is also something I look for.


Thank you sitters, for all of the interesting and helpful comments, suggestions and remarks. As a homeowner, I appreciate your input regarding how our sitters are feeling about the sit. It definitely gives me and other homeowners goals to shoot for and ways to see what sitters see and feel.