Nomador.com matches houses with sitters
By Steffi Porter
There are countless options when it comes to places to stay when traveling abroad.
From the more luxurious hotels to Couchsurfing, hostels, and camping outdoors, travelers find all sorts of ways to save money and make their stay one to remember.
Travelers now have another way to crash while on vacation, and this one is free of charge.
Nomador.com is an international house-sitting community founded by Mariannig Ferrari, of the French house-sitting website ilidor.com, which she founded seven years ago.
It works by offering travelers the chance to stay in other travelers’ houses while they are away, and vice versa.
Welcome to Nomador
Nomador helps homeowners get in contact with house-sitters and make arrangements for their homes to be “sat” while they travel. With what is called “a trust-based community platform,” house sitting opportunities have become more available to the general public.
This is because Nomador is different from other sites of its kind. Ferrari took what was already working with her existing house sitting agency, which she had created with a team of people, and fashioned another resource, different in some key ways. For starters, it is what is called a peer-to-peer site, taking out the middle man and allowing people to communicate directly with potential house sitters and homeowners.
“Only some people could afford paying fees to an agency, and there are a lot of people who would like to benefit from it, and cannot afford it,” Ferrari said. “Peer to peer sites, with the progress of the internet, allow people to do, themselves, things they were not able to do seven years ago.”
The website, Nomador.com, was launched in February 2014, in Sydney, Australia, starting out on an international basis, to make this kind of travel opportunity available to a wider population.
House sitters get the rare opportunity to not only travel to new destinations all around the world, but they get to do so while living in someone’s home, immersing themselves in a different culture, and for free.
House sitting is for travel lovers who either do not wish to stay in traditional hotels or cannot afford to. It is for travel lovers of all ages, though as Ferrari explained, a specific age group is more commonly associated with the program.
The typical homeowner letting their house be looked after is between forty and fifty years old. These individuals list their home on the Nomador website, allowing it to be available to interested sitters.
Another upside of Nomador.com, Ferrari said, is something akin to networking, though this idea is still in the works.
Many of Nomador’s current and prospective viewers have teenage children, who are potentially looking for internships abroad, she explained. Nomador could potentially offer opportunities for meeting people from other countries and making these types of connections.
Who will and who does use Nomador?
There is a range, Ferrari says. Though their current, primary audience is forty plus and retirees with a lot more time to travel on their hands, there is certainly a market for younger adults looking to stay somewhere inexpensively and immerse themselves in a foreign culture.
For travelers in their twenties who may typically couch surf when traveling, this offers yet another interesting alternative to traditional hotel stays. That said, they are typically able to rent more flats in cities than larger properties.
Typically, people who use peer to peer platforms are on the younger side, but Nomador already has about one thousand members, the average age being from fifty to sixty years old, and is also popular with families, often those who have pets and need someone to look after them while traveling.
Programs like Nomador are a product of the digital age. It has never been easier to list an available home, and to find an available home than it is now with a clear, simple website to let you search around for the place that best suits your needs.
Founded in July 2013, the website kicked off a few months later, branching out internationally, and reaching a larger, international audience pretty quickly.
House sitting, according to nomador.com, is free, and the expectation is, sitters, will care for the house “like it was your own.” It offers travelers peace of mind. They know their home and/or pets are being taken care of.
“Nomador...promotes house-sitting the world over by offering affordable solutions based on the values of sharing and fostering richer relationships between families across borders and continents,” according to Nomador.com.
Why settle for the couch when you can have a whole house?
Steffi Porter is a creative writer and journalist who has written for The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Hearst Newspapers, and the Houston Chronicle. She is a former writer and editor for her college paper, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and a graduate of the Institute for Political Journalism and the Fund for American Studies. She now lives in New York City.
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This post was last modified on August 14, 2017, 4:26 pm