Skip to Content Skip to Navigation Skip to Sitemap

MindMyHouse News 18 Sept 2006 (for house sitters)

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 sites 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 home owners 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…but we’ll see how it goes.

Read on to have all of the following questions answered: what is the new Local Sitter Search?; should I remain in or opt out of the Local Sitter Search?; how does it work?; how has the Privacy Policy changed to accommodate this new way of searching the database?; what will happen the next time I try and login to my account area?; and do I need to create my own sitter available advert to be considered for assignments in my area?

What is the new Local Sitter Search?

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’ and can show home owners looking for local house sitters where you live on a map (to the nearest suburb in your town/city or area). Previously home owners could only see which country our house sitters normally lived in.

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 your adverts.

Home owners will still be searching our database of sitter available adverts in the usual way too (with a search return based on where you have said you would be interested in house sitting), so don’t worry about things changing too much. But if you want to house sit locally it would be very wise to make yourself available for our Local Sitter Search.

Should I remain in or opt out of the Local Sitter Search?

If you are interested in house sitting in your local area, it’s a really good idea to remain in our new Local Sitter Search. If you already have a sitter available advert, you will be automatically opted in to this new way of searching our site. If you don’t have an advert, you’ll need to create one to be included in this new way of searching the database.

Don’t want to house sit locally? Don’t panic – you can opt out as soon as you next login to the site.

When deciding whether or not to make yourself available for the Local Sitter Search database, you only need to ask yourself three simple questions: Do I want to house sit close to where I usually live? Do I want home owners to know where I usually live (to the nearest suburb)? And do I want to be ahead of the pack and be contacted more often by home owners?

Appearing at the top of the search return accompanying a sparkling Google map of your area could give you a serious advantage over your fellow house sitters!

How does it work?

To appear in our Local Sitter Search you need to create your own sitter available advert (if you haven’t done so already) and ensure the ‘Local Sitter Search’ box is checked at the bottom of the form (as shown below). If you have already created your own sitter available advert, you have automatically been opted in to the Local Sitter Search and don’t have to do a thing!

Please note that to appear on the right part of the relevant Local Sitter Search map you will need to ensure that you have filled out the address fields in your contact details correctly. For the database to include you on the right map, it is imperative that your postcode (zipcode) is correct and that you type the name of your town/city into the town/city field of your registration form and not the name of your suburb!

We have noticed that some of you entered fake postcodes (zipcodes) into the address field when you registered with our service. Oooops – if you want to be found by home owners using our new Local Sitter Search, you need to ensure these details are correct.

How has the Privacy Policy changed to accommodate this new way of searching the database?

We have had to update our Privacy Policy to take account of this change on our site. Our Privacy Policy now includes a description of our new Local Sitter Search and its implications on the privacy of your information. Note that you can choose to remain in or opt out of our Local Sitter Search. Be assured that if you do feature on one of our nifty new maps, your location will only be shown to the nearest suburb. We will never reveal your street address or postcode. We will always strive to protect your personal information!

What will happen the next time I try to login to my account area?

The next time you login to your house sitter account area a popup message will appear, asking you to agree to the revised version of our new Privacy Policy. (This is our way of making sure you know that we remain committed to the principles of good data management.) Once you have clicked on the ‘I agree’ link (as shown below), it’s at this point that you can also easily opt out of our Local Sitter Search. No matter what you choose, this is a one-time process which you won’t have to go through again.

Do I need to create my own sitter available advert to be considered for assignments in my area?

The answer to this question is: absolutely! Nothing has changed here. If you don’t create your own sitter available advert on our site you will still not be included in a return for either our Local Sitter Search or our original search and home owners will never be able to find you!

Happy house sitting (or 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!