What happened when Ludwina Dautovic, CEO and Founder of The Room Xchange, became a customer on her own platform?
What better way to understand your business model than to become a customer yourself?
That was the thinking behind Ludwina Dautovic’s decision to create a profile and reach out to a household to be accepted as a housemate on The Room Xchange, the house-sharing business that she founded.
“I have shared my home for many years and that’s how the business started, but being a housemate is a different experience. So I reached out to one of our households on The Room Xchange in the Yarra Valley in Victoria and they agreed to let me stay for a few weeks,” said Dautovic.
The occupants of the home are Elizabeth Haines and her 16 year old daughter. It’s a beautiful mud brick house on 10 acres in the idyllic country town of Millgrove in the Yarra Valley. Elizabeth originally registered as a household on the platform so she could utilise her spare bedroom for rent, have some companionship in her home and additional support around the house.
“Having Ludwina in our home for the three weeks highlighted the many benefits of sharing my home. The most delightful thing is that we’ve become very good friends and, considering we didn’t know each other three weeks ago, that’s a lovely surprise. Ludwina has also become close to my daughter who is already calling her ‘Aunty’,” said Haines.
There are a number of single parent families who have space to share in their homes who could benefit greatly from house-sharing. At the same time, there are barriers to overcome such as personal safety and property security.
As Haines says, “The fact that The Room Xchange has mandatory verification via Digital iD by Australia Post, gave me great comfort in knowing that both parties have had the same identification checks. The profiles on the website make it easy to find the ideal person for your home and I have the option to choose the usual path of renting or I can negotiate a rent offset and get some help on my 10 acre property and some support for my daughter.”
There are multiple benefits to house-sharing that go beyond the value of the room such as companionship and friendship. There’s also support for elderly people, women aged 50+years who are starting over, people living alone, empty nesters and single people who can’t get access to affordable rentals.
Commenting on her recent experience, Dautovic says, I gleaned some great insights into how I can help other people on our platform have better house-sharing experiences. I plan on repeating this experience again at different times throughout the year.”