Six years after beginning our housesitting adventure, we’ve taken a moment to think about our web start up HouseSit Match and all that we’ve experienced on this journey. No doubt, we’ve been fortunate to launch a business that serves a collaborative community. As a housesitting platform HouseSitMatch.com has benefited from our housesitters’ and homeowners’ contributions in stories, photos and videos. And naturally we rely on the homeowners posting housesitting assignments to offer us opportunities all over the world and our housesitters to apply and complete successful assignments.
As any start-up entrepreneur will tell you, the end product is far bigger than the sum of the parts. We are a business but we are primarily a network driven by a wonderfully supportive and collaborative community.
This blog offers our readers a reflection on our short history at the turn of the decade. As founder, I also share some of the reflections offered by our own team, our community and to say thank you to one and all for joining us on this adventure.
My Personal Housesitting Adventure
As some of you will know, I am a firm believer in a business owner doing the business experiencing the service from all angles to keep it real and working. So I housesit and I have housesitters in my home as some of you can attest. This is in order to fully appreciate all aspects of the experience you have to live it. Therefore when I have housesitters in my home I ask them for feedback on my briefing and communications. This way I can improve each time and make it easier for all of us. It also helps me prepare new homeowners to our network.
As a housesitter I also like to experience the full range of benefits of housesitting from living in a new environment, and sometimes a new country to caring for a range of pets and properties. Yes, I’ve cared for hens, cockerels, cats, dogs, donkeys, sheep and goats, and I can clean a swimming pool and weed a driveway!
My Personal Housesitting Adventure
I like housesitting so much that I go and housesit and petsit for a couple of homeowners every year. We are a small virtual team and the way we are structured, means I can do this and can get to meet some of our members every year. I love the challenges of travelling to a new destination and caring for a surprising range of pets with each housesit. I have travelled across the UK, France, Australia and Spain for HouseSitMatch, and every year I relish the chance to meet new members whenever and wherever I can. It’s a great life!
Here are some of my personal highlights
What our team has learned on our housesitting Journey
Before writing this piece, I asked our whole team to reflect on their favourite experience of launching and running HouseSit Match and they came up with a number of pretty cool experiences. I share the following directly from our team.
Learning from our HouseSitMatch Members
Many of our long term housesitters have told us that they love ‘being of service’ especially if it means they develop long term relationships with the homeowners, the pets, and it means they can secure free accommodation in exchange for free housesitting.
Many of our homeowners tell us that they appreciate our support and our diligent ID and background checking, it helps them to feel safe.
Housesitting Adventure – Our Team Shares Their Favourite Experience
Dave – Team Member
Stepping away from the analysis and finance reports Dave says he loves to take care of dogs in our local network. After all it’s all about the pets. This is Louie, who belongs to homeowner members local to us in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Deborah – Team Member
Debs has worked with us on social media and our newsletter. She says her favourite memory happened last Summer when she did a housesit in Spain with her family. CLICK HERE TO WATCH HER FULL INTERVIEW BY THE POOL
Ellie – Team Member
Ellie was our student intern on half day release twice a week, she worked for us in her final year, and then she blogged for us when she went on her travels after graduating! She says her day with us at the World Travel Market in London was one of her favourite memories. One of mine too Ellie!
Karen – Team Member
‘Honestly, I love working at HouseSitMatch, and I’ve had various roles, but that’s life in a start up for you! It’s been fabulous to see the network develop and grow, while keeping its’ service personable.
I also love learning the stories behind each housesit, and how the house and pet sitter was able to provide a great service. Sometimes the members agree to record videos that we keep on our YouTube Channel. Bragi is one of our long term housesitters and I really love the video of him saying goodbye to the three of dogs at one particular housesit. They really did love him and it is lovely to see how trusted he felt too. it’s always reassuring for the pet owner.
Attending the World Travel Market with Ellie and Lamia was a real highlight. The event was a treasure trove of exotic destinations and fun services, we made some important connections. It was good to hear from other female travel business start-ups and be able to offer support and be supported in return.
The Sharing Economy
Though we are still young, it felt like HouseSitMatch had really established itself when we attended the Financial Times Sharing Economy Summit. We chatted with some fabulous new businesses. There were representatives of BlaBlaCar, Uber, Liftshare and Hooyu whom we now use for our detailed ID verification. And I even received a like and share from The Financial Times to one of my tweets!
Helping to run the fun competitions has been part of my role. I was delighted to contact one particular competition winner of the funny pet photo competition. Louis, the Winner, was travelling around the world by housesitting with his Mum (Exploramum Ruth Johnson). He is an accomplished house/pet sitter with years of experience despite still only being a teenager. It was wonderful to be able to tell him he had won. This was the first Prize he’d ever won, and what a brilliantly taken photograph!’
Simon – Team Member
‘I’ve had the pleasure of working with HouseSitMatch for a while now and have helped develop video content for their brand. What struck me is the integrity, honesty, hard-work and care that goes into this company; which is very rare in the world of business.’
Whether you are a housesitter or a homeowner, we hope to continue serving you for many years to come. Thank you for joining us on our journey.
Lamia and the HouseSitMatch team
To start your long-term travel journey join a housesitting network like HouseSitMatch.com
As a housesitter you’ll benefit from a vast range of housesitting assignments in a range of countries across the world.