We know that our members are a curious bunch of folk, so we thought we would indulge you and create this whole new page to tell you about ourselves and our site ethos.
MindMyHouse is something of a different creature to those other house sitting matching services you will find on the Internet. For a start, in 'online years' we are pretty old now! We launched our service from a tiny flat in London, UK in February 2005 when we were one of only four online house sitting matching sites with a global userbase.
Initially we were a completely free service and, predictably, our database was soon jam-packed with around 30,000 aspiring house sitter members from around the world. This was good - and bad - and we knew that we needed to put a little financial hurdle in place to sort out serious aspiring house sitters from the many 'blow-ins' who had joined our site for a fun glimpse into what was a fairly new phenomenon. So, in mid 2007, from our much roomier flat in Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, we switched on a fairly modest payments system that required all new house sitter members to pay a flat rate of US$20 to own their very own house sitter account area in our database for a year at a time. We held our breaths to see what would happen. In an unsettling turn of events, our first membership was taken out in error by a home owner member. Doh!
Anyhoo, the rest is history! Now at 18 years on in our evolution as an online community, we would like to say that we feel we have remained true to our original site ethos. We are still a little 'mom and pop' business of web editor (mom) and web developer (pop). MindMyHouse is open on both of our desktops for 16 hours per day. We can see you and feel you as you whirr and buzz in your communications and dealings with each other. We are proud of you all and feel privileged in our role as the managers of the online facility that allows you all to find each other. As we have always said, when you take the commerce out of human interaction and install trust and generosity instead, that's when the magic happens!
Our business practices are rock solid: we remain completely transparent, whereby anyone online can see all of our listings at any time. It's obvious who our people are: our member statistics update in real time on our homepage. Wondering where our home owners come from? Check out the statistics we have made showing you what countries their ISP addresses say they live in. Financially, we think we are rock solid too: Our home owners will always use our service for free. And in our opinion, US$29 (originally $20) for an annual membership with us is a great price for the promise of adventure!
You may have noticed that we aren't busy on YouTube, FaceBook or Twitter encouraging more folk to take out paid house sitter memberships with us. Neither do we have an affiliate program or marketing and promotional drives flogging the dream of house sitting worldwide. Instead our members come to us; due, in part, to our consistently excellent search engine rankings.
Surprisingly, while we are physically based DownUnder, MindMyHouse is particularly favoured by English-speaking home owners in Europe. We think this is a wonderful thing! And, judging by your feedback on our service, so do you : D.
So let's keep on keeping on! You wonderful, hopeful online community of more than 23,000 souls worldwide... Exchanging free services for free accommodation around the world, one brave leap of faith and investment of trust at a time.
Your editor and web developer, Susan and Alan xo