Just Like Airbnb, But Free
Coined 'just like Airbnb, but free, the Your Home My Home site is utilising the rise of the sharing economy to help people live rent-free in exchange for pet and house-sitting.
Interview with Rebecca Nankervis
Question: Where did the idea for Your Home My Home come from?
Rebecca Nankervis: My husband and I were renovating our home and had several people suggest we would be the perfect candidates to housesit as a way to avoid costly rent. We thought we'd give it a try and we were astounded by the demand for sitters were. After sitting for 18 months, we decided to share the love by creating Your Home My Home, along with co-Founder Mikaeli Loughrey.
Question: How is Your Home My Home similar to AirBnB?
Rebecca Nankervis: We're like AirBnB but free! We like to make travel accessible for those who want to holiday minus the expense of accomodation, and also provide a trustworthy service for those who need Fido minded while they travel. Your Home My Home is a community of like-minded people who love travel as much as they love their four-legged family members. YHMH is free for home owners to list their homes, and just $8.95 per month for housesitters.
More importantly, how is Your Home My Home different to AirBnB?
Rebecca Nankervis: Your Home My Home connects travel-loving homeowners with caring and reliable house and pet-sitters. As a sitter, you'll enjoy the comforts of the home you're minding and as a homeowner, you can truly immerse yourself in your travels knowing that your home, pets and plants are well cared for.
Question: What's involved in the Your Home My Home process?
Rebecca Nankervis: Backed by premium technology, Your Home My Home is designed to make finding the right carer for your home and pets a hassle free transaction. And who knows, you might even make new friends along the way! As a sitter, for as little as an $8.95 per month subscription, you have the opportunity to apply for housesits across Australia in exchange for minding someones home, pet and plants. Imagine travelling or living rent free! As a home owner you simply list your home and requirements and await our database of pet-loving sitters to apply. From there, the owner shortlists and interviews the applicants because, after all, no one can make a better decision on who should care for your pets and home than you!
Question: What was involved in beginning Your Home My Home?
Rebecca Nankervis: I think, like any entrepreneur, it's very challenging in the initial stages of bringing an idea to life. It's one thing to have a great concept, but there is so much work involved in bringing it to fruition. I never imagined we would need to consult with so many lawyers, accountants, insurers, developers, SEO specialists or designers before we even started building the product. I think we naively thought, then, once the site was built, our work would be done. Of course, that's when the hard work began!
Question: Can you share your advice for beginning a business?
Rebecca Nankervis: My advice is try and be as fluid as possible. Ideas morph, the landscape changes and sometimes, speaking with other people can shake up your thinking. Be prepared to adapt constantly to an ever-changing market. And always remember how lucky you are to be doing something interesting and new.
Question: How do you ensure you create a work/life balance?
Rebecca Nankervis: One thing I must say both Mikaeli and I are pretty good at is a stable work/life balance – not always, but most of the time. We're also so lucky that Your Home My Home really is a -hobby' to us. We joke about how we never watch TV at night, we'd rather tinker with the website!
Question: Who do you admire in the business-world?
Rebecca Nankervis: Our generation is lucky - there are so many wonderful women to aspire to. Mostly, I admire women who do more than just their -actual' job. What Samantha Wills is doing with her Foundation, for example, will truly impact the lives of so many young women. I admire Sheryl Sandberg for publicly sharing her grief at losing her husband to help other women navigate their way through difficult times. I admire female leaders in our country, like Julie Bishop who is, paving the way for future generations of women to succeed in leadership positions. I also admire any person who has ever taken the time to give us advice about our work – and there have been so many people who have done this, with absolutely nothing to gain.
Interview by Brooke Hunter