Should personality affect rating?

Recently had a sitter for an extended stay. The only thing I found off putting was their aloof manner. Most of our sitters shared info on what they were doing, whether they were enjoying their stay, even some who texted interesting things about things they enjoyed. I enjoy this part of TH, you get to know difference people. It makes us much more comfortable leaving our pets and home i their care as well.

This past sitter answered my texts very briefly, sometimes not answering questions. Sometimes not responding to non urgent texts for days. Maybe it’s a generational thing? We are retired, they were in their thirties/early fourties? I don’t know if it’s fair to ding them on review if all else went well. I think I’m answering my own question here! Haha!

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Whatever someone’s generation, prompt communications are basic parts of sits. But that might also depend on the frequency or quantity of your messages, like if you kept bugging them. Or maybe your tone came across as demanding, rude or such. Sometimes sits go wrong when sitters feel like their hosts act as if they’re employers, rather than equals in a bartering exchange.

Some folks also aren’t necessarily looking to make friends via sits. They might see it transactionally. As long as your pets and home were taken care of, they don’t owe you friendship.

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@Maggie8K has some wise words, many of which I’d echo.
I must say that, likewise, I’ve met a few (a very few) aloof owners. We’re all different fortunately.
Did you have a discussion with the sitter as to how often you’d like messages? Maybe you misinterpreted aloofness for shyness, privacy.
Anyway, the main thing is that she did a good job with looking after your home and pets

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Your title asks about personality, which I would say no, you aren’t rating people on whether their personality is a good match with yours. It’s great that you like to get to know people, but not everyone is looking for that in this exchange.

But, it sounds like that actual issue here is about poor communication, not personality. It’s very reasonable to expect prompt responses from a sitter. If you ask a question, they should get back to you in a reasonable time frame. If they are out or working or something, that might be a few hours, but days is not acceptable. You could knock off a star or two for communication if you think the communication was poor enough to warrant a lower rating. But I would look at the overall sit, was everything else good? You mention this was an extended sit. Was there a clear agreement in terms of frequency of communication?

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It really all comes down to the specific questions you asked them and the frequency of your messages: were you asking them what they did today today? Did they visit a museum? Did they try this lovely restaurant you recommended?
What do you mean by non urgent texts?
If you give us a few examples of the questions you asked, we pet sitters, that are used to being sent messages about pets and homes (and not necessarily our whereabouts and activities during the sit) might be able to tell you if the communication was poor on your sitter’s side or if you might have crossed some boundaries, which would explain their lack of responsiveness.
Responding briefly is a good thing as you’re busy on your holidays and they might be busy working from home while watching your pets!

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@Sadiejane You’re not rating them on personality. It would be very unfair to rate someone down because they aren’t as open and bubbly as you.

What type of non urgent questions are you talking about? Mostly we prefer to keep to ourselves and keep all conversations with HOs professional. I don’t really like all the pitter patter conversations, where have you been, what have you been doing on a personal level. I’d try to avoid that by not really answering or being pretty vague and hope you got the message.

It’s not a dating platform or a find a friend, it’s a petsitting platform and from the sound of it they petsat perfectly. I think sometimes people can overstep boundaries because of the personal nature of the sit exchange.

I think you also need to realise that the sitter is on holiday too. That is why they are sitting in lieu of payment and around caretaking your pets they are enjoying their time away.

Did they look after your home and pet appropriately? If yes it’s 5* otherwise you’ll do yourself a disservice. We never sit for HOs who give nitpicking reviews and ding stars without good reason. Not being overly eager to share the entirety of their personal life to you when you ask is a very poor reason indeed.

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As a sitter I answer all communication within hours if not minutes. So that feels questionable. However expecting folks to share personal details about their day isn’t reasonable – beyond good pet and home care. While I am always willing to tell folks how I spent my day and how I am enjoying my time, others may not. I dont offer until asked because it feels a little self centered.

I always try to see another possible perspective. Perhaps your sitter had over protective parents or a controlling partner. Maybe they define private, polite or boundaries differently from you.

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I do understand where you’re coming from. But I also have to say, sometimes I feel like we are the most boring housesitters and don’t always have exciting things to report on. We are home most of the time, mostly working, and in the evenings watching TV with the pets. However, in saying that, I feel like a rockstar while sitting, because the pets watch my every move, as if I’m the most interesting person on earth :grinning: I do like snacks, though, so maybe that’s why…
When we do something nice, or attend something that the owners suggested, then I would definitely write to them and thank them for the suggestion.

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@Sadiejane
The categories to rate your sitter on are:

Organised
Reliable
Self-sufficient
Clean and Tidy and
Petcare

As long as your sitters provided updates on your pets as frequently as you had agreed with them I don’t think it’s fair to rate them negatively for not messaging you about what they personally had been up to each day.

Whilst some sitters may voluntarily share this type of information - it isn’t something that THS require a sitter to do - and some sitters may find requests to update on non urgent matters or information about their own schedule to be overbearing, controlling or micromanaging.

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We had sitters recently for our cats (might be different for dogs…?) who intimated that on previous sits it was expected to send pics often. I’m not really bothered. They’re on their hols (yes, they look after our home/pets but essentially, a sitter is on their hols) as are we. I just said that as long as there’s no probs, not to worry. We texted a couple of times just to check, but essentially, I’m not worried if I don’t get pics.

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I hope not. My wife calls me (lovingly) a social s#lut.

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That’s not always the case. We petsit as a couple and we both work full time. We were on a long-term pet sit where our working hours were from 2 am to 11 am. Our original plan was to explore the local area on the weekends. Unfortunately, after just a week, one of the cats fell seriously ill. As a result, almost daily, as soon as we wrapped up work at 11 am we had to rush the cat to the vet for treatment. Despite this, the homeowners seemed unfazed by the cat’s illness, repeatedly asking if we had time to explore local attractions. Their inquiries felt somewhat disconnected from our reality, as we’ve had little to no opportunity for any leisure activities. How do you reply politely that we are eagerly anticipating the end of the sit?

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@BunnyCat :face_with_peeking_eye::cold_sweat: that’s awful and so stressful for you. It’s a shame they didn’t really grasp the gravity of the situation especially concerning their own beloved pet.

I agree actually we petsit full time and work remotely too so it’s not all holidays but the overall point I was making was we are just getting on with our own lives and trying to enjoy our time for whatever reason we chose to visit a certain place. I don’t really fancy filling our precious free time with polite conversation to an overbearing host.

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In my over 30 sits, I’ve had every type of communication and pet owner. No, I do not think it’s a generational thing. I’m retired too, currently on a sit, we are the same age and they have been one of the least communicative and friendly I’ve had. Do I think they are unkind? No. Does their communication style bother me? No. I hope they are having a great time. To me, no news is good news. I am assuming they have peace of mind since they aren’t reaching out to me often.
For me personally, I don’t usually share what I’m doing each day unless it involves their pets. I’m not being aloof, but I don’t usually share all I’m doing with my husband either when I’m away. He’s doing his thing and I’m doing mine. Just like the pet owners and sitters are. I think I would feel some of your questions a bit intrusive too.

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I send updates on the pets with pictures. Some pp want updates every day and some ask for every few days. I do not include what I have been upto, as, the pets are my primary focus. I do not want the pp thinking I’m off galavanting and not giving their animals the attention they deserve.

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In my own experience its rare that HOs check in with us spontaneously unless its to notify us of something like a parcel delivery or window cleaner coming etc. They usually just respond to our daily messages but otherwise leave us to get on with it. We communicate mostly only about the pet and always send pics. HOs rarely ask how, or what, we are doing but will thank us for the updates and might wish us a good day or mention a local event we might be interested in etc We always try to make our updates friendly and reassuring and our approach seems to work. We tend to adapt our msg style as we go depending in the level of interest an HO shows in our updates.
I’m always surprised to hear of hosts initiating contact and asking questions. I guess maybe the level and type of contact required has not been properly discussed prior. We always do clarify that beforehand.
We always aim to be 5* sitters but do not expect to become friends with HOs. If we do its an extra!
I think unless the sitter (or host) are actually rude or unfriendly in some way then a simple personality clash/difference should not be used against them in a review

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It can come down to cultural differences. I was browsing the sitters on Nomador out of curiosity once and read the review of a German-Swiss sitter couple by a French HO. The HO was put off by mannerisms that I recognised as typically Swiss but as I live in France I understood why the French person was offended. However, the HO gave them 5 stars.

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@Sadiejane as long as your pets were well cared for - happy, healthy, fed and your home was left tidy whether or not the sitter wanted to engage in casual chit chat with you is irrelevant.

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Hi @Sadiejane I think an agreed upon communication frequency is the way to go for future, if that was not the case.

So perhaps a “note to self” going forward when talking with future sitters.

I like a daily/EOD brief text just so I know things are ok. I’d like the sitter to iniate it at a time that works for them.

Time difference is also a consideration to keep in mind…

But no…no dings for personality unless its was a real issue to the sit success.

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This is interesting this topic was posted because of something I experienced the other day. I saw a listing for a HO I had done a sit for awhile back, and I clicked on it. We loved this sit and we found this person to be very nice and we got along well.

I read a review from a recent sitter and one part of the feedback did come across like he was ‘dinging’ them for personal attributes that I don’t think are relevant. He mentioned something about different ‘world views’ and stated that some people may resonate with her while he did not. I suspect he was referencing political beliefs or something of that nature.

While it is certainly true that personal characteristics of the sitter and HO can affect how they perceive each other and how they interact, I don’t think this sort of feedback is appropriate or relevant in most cases, as I imagine it had no real material impact on the experience. Now if the person was undoubtedly rude, disrespectful, etc…that is a different story.

The thing you said about communication not being great is definitely relevant however, and would be appropriate to mention.

If I saw a HO review of a sitter that appeared to ‘ding’ them in a similar way as this sitter seemed to do to this HO, it would give me pause in applying.

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