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1. Background

HouseSit Match was launched in 2013 as an online network for house-sitters, home and pet owners operating in the UK and internationally. Run as a Subscription-based membership HouseSit Match allows homeowners and house-sitters to meet in a secure space online. Exclusive specialist resources are available to facilitate matching between house-sitters and homeowners; they meet online and make collaborative housesitting and petsitting arrangements. The business was founded by Lamia Walker, marketing professional and keen traveller, seeing an opportunity to create affordable travel options for home/pet owners as well as house-sitters.

2. Fact Sheet

Some housesitters can even make money by housesitting, although that is not the HouseSitMatch model. There are house-sitters who live in millionaire homes that are not their own, and by simply maintaining the properties they earn thousands of pounds per annum.

Housesitters believe it is cheaper to travel & house-sit full time around the world, than it is to live in a fixed location. To our amazement, our world travels have only cost us one third of an ‘average’ year of paying rent! And that’s with visiting 8 countries and staying somewhere between 10 days and 4 months at each one. To discover we have only ‘paid out’ a third of our normal yearly rental in our international flights has blown our socks off! Just think, if you were house-sitting in a more general region (or even the same country) how much you would save!

Case Study - Housesitting in the UK

3. Research – Housesit match Press centre

  • House-sitter cost depends on where the housesit is located and how long the service is required. If payment is involved, daily rates start as low as £10/$15 and go up from there. Most house-sitters charge extra for pet-sitting services, particularly for dogs needing daily walks or farm animals that need more work. Source: Senior Travel
  • According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), Americans spent approximately $47.7 billion on pet products and services in 2010, an increase of 4.8% over 2009. Since 1988, pet ownership has expanded from 56% of households to 62%. That’s 71.4 million homes. Source: Franchise Help
  • Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s leading educational association for professional pet-sitters. Since 1994 PSI has educated and supported thousands of animal lovers and entrepreneurs, with a desire to turn their passion for pets in to profit. The 2014 survey found that PSI member pet-sitting businesses provided pet care services for more than 720,000 households and generated more than $332 million in pet-sitting revenues last year. PSI has one of the biggest social media groups.  Source: Pet Sitters Intl
  • There are a small number of international house-sitting and pet-sitting networks online, including Caretakers Gazette, Housecarers, Trusted Housesitters and Mind My House. What distinguishes HouseSit Match from the competition is the legal templates we offer for members, written and prepared by lawyers in each country and the personal care we offer new members and Premium members if requested.

4. Past Press Coverage – HouseSitMatch Press centre

Euro Weekly News – Free Petsitters – Cut the cost of pet care (January 2018)

Huffington Post – How to travel long in Retirement (June 2017)

Bucks Free Press – HouseSitMatch in High Wycombe leads the way in home and petsitting (May 2016)

Huffington Post – How to Score Free Travel Accommodation (March 2016).

French Entrée – Homeownership and Absenteeism – Practical Solutions (March 2016).

French Entrée – Top Tips – for Homeowners when Securing House-Sitters (March 2016).

Bucks & Berks Life – Finding the perfect match – Pets and Homesitters (March 2016).

The Telegraph – Rental Prices worldwide – How to find the cheapest properties (Dec 2015)

Mail Online – Fancy staying in a Scottish Castle, French chateau or Costa Rican retreat for FREE..? (Dec 2015).

The London Economic – Housesitting – The ultimate sharing economy (March 2015).

The London Economic – Plans to escape London, or entrenched in pet-sitting arrangements Dec (2014).

LinkedIn – Three keys to unlocking the sharing economy (July 2014).

The Guardian – Small Business Network – short listed for Start-up, and Efficiency categories – Dec 2013.

French Property News

– HouseSitMatch.com named the ‘Website of the Month’ – May 2014.

– Feature ‘Sitting Pretty’ published – February 2015.

Your Home Magazine – HouseSit Match was featured in Consumer News section – August 2014.

Telefonica Innovation Hub – Featured in ‘Only 3% of Startups are Founded by Women’ – August 2014.

Forbes Magazine – Featured in ‘A Fun Way to Travel the World on a Dime’ – September 2014.

IRE Listings – Guest Blog – ‘Safe as Houses’ – November 2014.

Media contact information

HouseSit Match Press centre

Lamia Walker at HouseSit Match:

Press centre contact email for HouseSitMatch      

Website: www.housesitmatch.com

5. Biography 

Lamia Walker is the Founder of HouseSit Match. Her career spans 25 years plus, with quite a few spent in marketing for some wonderful organisations. In 2012 the idea for HouseSitMatch became a thing, over a good curry shared with an Australian friend. The friend had been house-sitting for a year and had saved a huge sum of money by not paying any rent in Perth, Western Australia. This legal arrangement is popular in Australia, the friend said. She had been housesitting, exchanging her services for free accommodation for a whole year! The two friends mulled over the opportunity and considered starting an online agency.

The idea so inspired Lamia that she soon left a senior role in publishing, with a reliable salary, to start an online venture that would turn her virtual quest into an international network reality. Now she runs HouseSitMatch and through this enterprise has made lots of friends all around the world who also enjoy housesitting.

 

The rest is as they say history, though the ink has yet to dry on this story. Want to learn more? Get in touch !
To learn more about the origins of HouseSit Match go to the About Us page on the website.

6. Awards

2018 – Nomination – Sue Ryder Southern Women of Achievement

2016 – The Guardian Small Business Network Award

 

7. Events & Presentations

2017 – Digital Gum Workshop – Starting a Business – Green Park, Reading

2016 – World Travel Market – Women in Travel

2015 – World Travel Market – Women in Travel


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