Meet the Seasoned Travellers: John & Liz

June 27, 2018

Our hosts come in all shapes and sizes, from business executives travelling the globe for work, to bloggers looking to get their wanderlust fix. Our hassle-free service makes it easy for anyone to share their home, wherever they are in the world. Today, we introduce you to John & Liz Bould, Auckland-based retirees who left their Greenlane home in Houst’s safe hands, while they travelled around the U.S in their 33 ft RV.

“I’m 68 and my wife is 65,” John explains. “We’ve been retired for some years now and enjoy being on the open road travelling to new places ”

Sometimes taking a long trip abroad can mean leaving your home unused and unloved. Both John & Liz are seasoned travellers, so we asked what they did before discovering Houst. “Initially we advertised for a family to occupy our house while we were away, which worked well enough - but the problem is that you have to manage it. There are issues to be addressed if you need to change tenants while you’re away, (such as whether the cleaning has been done properly). You also have to vet people, and arrange things like handing over the keys and laundry”.

It isn’t just cleaning that can cause a headache, though, as John points out, “We’d done this for quite a few years and, every now and then, a tenant would call up and say something like ‘the drain is blocked’. I remember one time, on Christmas Eve, I was 150 miles away and I actually had to drive back, in the middle of the night and clean the drain.”

Thankfully Houst’s full hosting service takes care of the day to day decisions including cleaning and laundry wherever you are in the world. “With Houst, you can say ‘just fix it’; it solves a lot of problems.

We bought our RV in Bakersfield, California, and planned travelling up to New York, which would take about a month. The Houst system works well for us because it is very difficult to find a one-month tenant when you want one; that’s where Houst came in. They were able to give us peace of mind, especially the person who managed our house, she was just brilliant. Very thorough and thoughtful, she even took videos of the front of the house to help guests know how to find the lockbox.”

But it isn’t just problems that they’re on hand to help with. “While travelling across the States we’d get Airbnb texts about prospective bookings. At first I’d try and answer them immediately, even in the middle of the night, thinking I was doing the right thing. But the Houst person we listed with politely told us “Don’t worry, we can do it all for you. If there’s anything you really need to be involved in, we’ll contact you”. For us that was great news.”

Of course, when using a host management service, one of the biggest concerns for any homeowner is that their home is going to be looked after, “I don’t like to let grass grow under my feet. If there’s something wrong I like to fix it straight away and, with Houst, that’s exactly what happens. Plus it’s nice to have the house used and cleaned while we’re away.”

John & Liz’s top Auckland picks:

“Da Sette Soldi and De Grand, both in Greenlane. Those are the two restaurants we go to quite often; both nearby. In fact within a kilometer radius of our home there are tons of good restaurants to choose from. Another great thing about this location is Cornwall Park. It’s over 300 acres and is like the equivalent of Central Park in New York, except it’s not square but round and the surrounding houses are smaller. We actually have a pathway behind our home that leads you straight out there, right from our back garden. It’s perfect if you just want to get some fresh air or do a bit of jogging, it’s great for that.”

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