Press Information

What we do in 56 seconds… Take a quick look.

1. Background

HouseSit Match has been established since March 2013 and is an online social network for house-sitters, home and pet owners. It's currently operational in the UK, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the Ukraine, USA and is managed from the UK. Subscription-based, the house-sitting social network allows homeowners and house-sitters to meet online in a dedicated space. With exclusive specialist resources, HouseSit Match facilitates matching between the two types of customer. Whether they are house-sitters or homeowners based on their profile requirements (e.g. length of house-sit, experience with pets, home chores, etc.). The business is set to roll out further to other countries shortly. The business was founded by Lamia Walker, marketing consultant and keen traveller, seeing an opportunity to create affordable travel options for home/pet owners as well as house-sitters.

2. Fact Sheet

For some huge and immaculate house owners the sitters can even make up to £1,000 per week. There are house-sitters who live like millionaires making £10,000 per annum.

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!

The house-sitter cost depends on where the house is located and how long the sitting service is required for and what work the house-sitter is expected to do. Daily rates start as low as £10/$15 and go up from there. Most house-sitters charge extra for pet-sitting services, particularly if you have dogs that need daily walks.

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.

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.

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.

3. Biography

Lamia Walker is the Founder of HouseSit Match. Her career spans 25 years plus in marketing, working in a range of B2C and B2B industries. In 2012 an idea emerged from a conversation with a friend who had been house-sitting for a year and had saved a huge sum of money by not paying any rent in Perth, Western Australia, legally! It was an idea that so inspired her that it would cause her to leave a senior role in education publishing and with it a reliable salary, to start an online venture that would turn her internet quest into an international network of homeowners and house-sitters all seeking an affordable means of travel.

Prior to HouseSit Match, Lamia was Regional Director EMEA for GMAC (education publishers). A previous role at London Business School was to launch and co-Direct the Centre for Women in Business with Professor Lynda Gratton. In addition she worked with academics like Professor Elisabeth Kelan and Professor Judy Wajcman to build a portfolio or academic and corporate research about gender in the workplace, and then to promote the findings across academic and corporate networks. During this time Lamia was invited to Chair a Women’s Forum at the United Nations, called the Focal Point for Women. The Focal Point was a group of academics and practitioners gathered to capture the world’s leading research and best practices concerning gender in the workplace, in order to align organisational best practice throughout the agencies of the UN.

Marketing roles prior to London Business School were mainly in professional services (KPMG), retail (Staples) in international marketing roles and publishing (Centaur). She has also worked in direct marketing and advertising agencies where she cut her teeth devising direct marketing strategies and writing copy about ICI paint drying, BP fuel cards charging you less money, and Tiffany jewellery enriching one’s life.

Some of her favourite clients at the time were Portland Holidays, a direct package holiday provider, Air New Zealand and Air Lingus. All three were focused on creating a compulsion for people to travel, convincing them that travel is affordable. Such experiences helped ignite her own love of travel enabling Lamia to find a way to make HouseSit Match happen, making travel and home care really affordable, not just for herself but for anyone willing to collaborate and join an online network.

To learn more about the origins of HouseSit Match go to the About Us page on the website.

4. Past Press Coverage

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).

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

The London Economic - Rental prices worldwide, how to fund the cheapest spots.

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 (latest).

French Property News

- 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.


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