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MindMyHouse News 18 Sept 2006 (for home owners)

by Susan Holtham, 18th September 2006

Something big is happening at MindMyHouse! This blockbuster 14th edition of our little community e-newsletter showcases an important new additional way of searching our site (called the Local Sitter Search) that has all sorts of implications for the way you use your memberships.

Posted in: MindMyHouse News2006

Dear MindMyHousies,

Something big is happening at MindMyHouse! This blockbuster 14th edition of our little community e-newsletter showcases an important new additional way of searching our site (called the Local Sitter Search) that has all sorts of implications for the way you use your memberships. 

We noticed that some house sitting websites that cater for a single country only are doing roaring business, with many thousands of home owner members seeming to register with these services every year. How can we get some of that action we thought? The answer we came up with was to ‘go local’ in a sense, providing home owners with a way to restrict their search of our database of sitter available adverts to those people who have said they want to house sit locally and who normally live closest to them.

It’s all a bit complicated because (for example) there are house sitters in the UK who only want to house sit in Spain and then there are house sitters in New York State who only want to house sit in the hundred mile radius around where they usually work and study. That’s why there are now two distinct ways for home owners to search our database of sitter available adverts. Both are good – depending on what you are looking for in a house sitter. The great thing is, home owners now have the choice of how to search our database – and house sitters can make their choices too by remaining in or opting out of our Local Sitter Search. So everyone wins…we’ll see.

Read on to have all of the following questions answered: What is the new Local Sitter Search (search function B)?; What kind of house sitter will I find using your Local Sitter Search?; Why do I need two ways of searching your database?; How do I get started?; What’s the best way to successfully search your site?; Should I create my own sitter wanted advert?

What is the new Local Sitter Search (search function B)?

We have created a second way for home owner members to search our database of sitter available adverts. This new way of searching is called our ‘Local Sitter Search’ (also known as search function B) and can show home owners looking for local house sitters where they live on a map (to the nearest suburb in your town/city or area). Once home owners have put their postcode (zipcode) into the search field and clicked on the search button they will get a search return very different from the current clickable list that is returned in our original search. Instead they will see a lovely Google map of their area with markers pinpointing the nearest 26 house sitters to them down to the nearest suburb. An accompanying list of house sitters (from nearest to furthest away) will contain links to the long version of house sitters’ adverts.

Home owners can still search our database of sitter available adverts in the usual way too (with a search return based on where house sitters have said they would be interested in house sitting – this is called search function A), so don’t worry about things changing too much. But if you want to choose from a pool of house sitters who live close to you then please try this new way of searching our database.

Try out the Local Sitter Search now

What kind of house sitter will I find using your Local Sitter Search?

To appear in our Local Sitter Search, house sitters must choose to remain in to the Local Sitter Search database. They also must have created their own sitter available adverts. You can be assured that every house sitter that is returned in a search using our Local Sitter Search not only lives near you but has said they are interested in house sitting locally.

Why do I need two ways of searching your database?

We thought our home owner members would appreciate having two ways to search our database. We asked a batch of our more responsive home owners if they would like to be able to search on a map for house sitters that normally live near them. They all said ‘yes please’. Previously when you searched for house sitters on our site, you could only tell what their usual country of residence was. With this new way of searching, you can easily see on a map the towns, cities and country areas where our house sitters normally live. Choice is never a bad thing is it?

How do I get started?

To get started on a Local Sitter Search, simply type in your postcode (zipcode) and the name of the city the code belongs to on the Local Sitter Search page. You should then see a map with lots of markers representing house sitters who live nearest to the area you are searching for. These icons contain links to the long versions of house sitters’ adverts. It’s just as easy to add potential candidates to your Shortlist from here as it is with results from our standard search. Note that you will need to login to your account area to access this feature. Currently only North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a few other countries are supported by this technology. More areas coming soon.

What’s the best way to successfully search your site?

To improve your chances of finding a great house sitter in time for your departure it’s a really good idea to search our database using both of the methods available. That way you’ll be able to add local house sitters to your shortlist of potential candidates as well as those from further afield who have said they would like to house sit in your area.

Please note that if you make a search for house sitters using this new search function you will be searching from a smaller pool of available house sitters than the 600 plus that are currently advertising their services with us. This is because many house sitters do not want to house sit in their local area or they may not want their usual town/city/area of residence to be shown on a map, and thus they would not appear in this kind of search.

Should I create my own sitter wanted advert?

Don’t forget that the best way to find that perfect person in time for your departure is still to create your own sitter wanted advert. Once you have published your advert live to our site, an email alert is sent out to our entire membership (almost 1900 registered house sitters in October 2006) directing them to your advert. That’s a lot of enthusiastic potential candidates!

Happy travels and best of luck with your sitters!

Susan Holtham
aka the team at MindMyHouse

About the author: Susan Holtham

Susan Holtham

The editor at MindMyHouse is a fun gal, intrepid traveller (in a former life), holder of three passports and enthusiastic house sitter. A book editor by trade, she did a three-year stint with Lonely Planet Publications at the start of her career. During her time at LP she shepherded many titles through the production process. Baaaa-aaaa-aaaaaa! Now that two gorgeous little girls call her mummy she's a very busy woman tending to their needs and to the occasional cries for help from among our 5000+ membership. No really, she's always keen to help!