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MindMyHouse News

MindMyHouse News 18 October 2005

by Susan Holtham

The fourth issue of MindMyHouse News (18 October 2005) is a cracker! In it we introduce our new partner website,, which is a fabulous US-based global website for all your home exchange needs. If you’re at all curious about home exchanging, the migratory patterns of Canadian and North American retirees, the many uses of your sitter available advert’s unique URL and our latest poll results (discussed at length by leading sociologists – not really) then tune in here!

Well, autumn is upon us already – if you live in the northern part of the northern hemisphere like we do. And if you don’t – phooey! – continue to enjoy your subtropical sunshiney lifestyles. To those Kiwis, South Africans and south-of-Queensland Aussies who call MindMyHouse home we hope you’re enjoying a nice spot of spring weather.

This fourth edition of our little community newsletter contains a few semi-pecious gems that you may want to check out: we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with the very well-respected home exchange site, Digsville; we tell you how to use your advert’s unique URL elsewhere on the Internet; poll results from the last edition are in; snowbirders are about to leave their nests at the start of the northern hemisphere big freeze (so you may want to fly in and help them out); and finally, we ask you to send us your tips for successful house sitting.

We’re pleased to announce a partnership with sister site Digsville – for all your home exchange needs.

Digsville (Ed: update, the Digsville site is now inactive, sorry)

The following message is from Digsville’s founder and president, Helen Bergstein.

Dear MindMyHouse members,
welcome to the Digsville Home Exchange Club! I know that you’re all keen and enthusiastic house sitters – but who minds your home and animals while you’re away house sitting for someone else? Have you ever considered exchanging your home with another home owner as a way to achieve your goals?I am very pleased to introduce you to the world of home exchanging. It’s an exciting way for you to see the world not only at a fraction of the cost of the usual vacation and with all the comforts of home, but you’ll also be an invited guest, traveling the inside track wherever you choose to visit.

Why should I try Digsville?
Let’s face it: we’re all tired of taking the same vacation or long weekend. Even the best of these trips tend to be cumbersome (and expensive): the accommodations are tight, privacy is minimal, there’s never enough bathrooms, and the scene is overly ‘tourist’ with rarely the opportunity to enjoy the destination as a local.

Digsville is the place where you can take advantage of the many benefits of home exchange, vacation home rental, or hospitality among a group of people you connect with, your fellow Digsville members.

And if you have a home to exchange you don’t need to wait for a house sitting opportunity to arise, simply search our listings and start propositioning people from anywhere on the planet that takes your fancy.

How much does it cost?
It’s FREE to search, save, and CONTACT your favourite home listings! If you’d like to post your own listing and enjoy many more benefits of membership you’ll need to take up an annual Digsville membership. MindMyHouse folks pay only US$34.95 for a full membership (that’s a $10 discount on the usual rate).

To visit Digsville simply follow the link below. (To take advantage of the discount offered to MindMyHouse members type ‘mindmyhouse’ into the ‘invitation code’ box when you join.)

Helen Bergstein
Founder and President
The Digsville Home Exchange Club

How to use your personal MindMyHouse URL elsewhere on the Internet.

Every sitter available advert on our site has its own unique URL (webpage address) that you can use in a variety of ways to advertise your house and pet sitting services across the Internet. You are welcome to use your own URL anywhere that you would like people to be able to see your sitter available advert in one click. If you are contributing to forums you can use this URL as part of your biographical information so that other people can click on it to view your advert. Or you could include the URL as part of your personalized email tagline. Why not? It’s a good way to get your sitter available advert out there! For much more information on how to make use of your unique MindMyHouse URL see the following FAQ:

Poll results are in!

In the last edition of MindMyHouse News we asked you to cast your vote on a couple of subjects dear to our hearts (as web administrators we care about this stuff). We could almost hear the banging and clattering out there in cyberspace as you sought to make your views known to us. Thanks! We asked home owners if they prefer to advertise their house sitting assignments (43% said yes) or approach house sitters directly (56% said yes). So, to the very experienced house sitter, Jim, that I’ve been hotly debating this issue with – we were both right in a roundabout way. And we asked our house sitter members whether they wanted to include photos in their adverts (78% said yes). Our members have spoken! We will be including this functionality on MindMyHouse sometime in the future (when the webmaster can draw breath between his real job and fathering duties).

Snowbirders are preparing to leave their nests – fancy wintering in Canada?

October is here and Christmas seems to be rocketing toward us. Yes, it’s that time of year when those infamous Snowbirders (Canadian and North American retirees) start to think about packing up their nests and moving south for the winter. And why not? We’ve already had a few new sitter wanted adverts for more northerly assignments posted to our site and there has been something of a rush of Canadian residents taking up new home owner memberships. If you fancy shovelling snow and spending lots of quality time indoors with the family dog then consider making yourself available to this large mobile group of home owners. To flag down a home owner who is searching for a house sitter to winter in their home you could add some choice text to your advert’s title such as ‘attention snowbirders!’. Tell us how you get on.

Send us your tips for house sitting success.

I know I pretend to be the expert on all things house sitting but really you – our collective membership – are the experts on the subject. Exactly how many days, months, years our members have clocked up on house sitting assignments it is impossible to know. (Lots!) We’d love to hear some of your words of wisdom on how you’ve made a success of your house sitting endeavours. Even if you’ve only got a single sentence to contribute on the topic we’d love to include it in our next newsletter alongside others’ ‘pearls of great price’.

Cheers everyone and happy house sitting! (or good luck with your sitters)

Susan Holtham
aka the team at MindMyHouse

Posted in: MindMyHouse News
Susan Holtham

About the author: 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!