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Meet Mariannig - the face behind Nomador.com - Part Two

After introducing you to the face of Nomador, founder Mariannig Ferrari, we were inspired by her passion and drive! Now we’ve heard more about her own inspirations, we though it was time to share the story of Nomador itself: how is it different from the myriad of other house-sitting options out there? How is the Nomador community different? Why is it a better choice for savvy, globally-minded travellers?

Mariannig has some beautiful stories to share about the unexpected connections house-sitting can bring - connections she hopes others within the community will come to know too! 

"Nomador is really the project of a lifetime."

How is Nomador.com different and why have you focused on this difference?

Well, firstly, to me, money is not the main driver. I did not wake up one morning thinking: “Oh there is an opportunity to catch, let’s launch a house-sitting website”. It is really the project of a lifetime - a logical result of my life’s path.

Secondly, we’ve done something ground-breaking - a free option. We offer homeowners and even house-sitters a free trial prior to paid subscription called ‘The Discovery Option. We are the only platform to offer anything like this. It is a great service for our prospective subscribers but for us it is a risky business choice because it means we have to wait longer to receive financial reward. On other websites, subscription is mandatory from the outset - even though you’ve had no chance to test the system. It is sometimes free for home-owners, but never for house-sitters – except on Nomador.com.


Thirdly, we are a family-owned business with our own values and own identity. That’s also why the early launch years need a lot of energy: it’s a bit more difficult when you can’t spend fortunes on community management, social media, advertising etc… We count on our member support to share if they like the concept! Word-of-mouth and sharing the information on our existence is important. Every time we see a ‘Like’ on Facebook or a ‘Share’, we are so pleased, it motivates us!

We follow our own values and encourage truth, authenticity and trust! This is also a considered business gamble. For instance, on Nomador we don’t suggest house-sitters upload ‘recommendations’ from people outside our community. Otherwise, it’s so easy to ask your friends, brothers, neighbours etc. to post a recommendation to help you build a beautiful profile. But this can be misleading in relation to actual house-sitting or pet-sitting capacities. How can you really know if the endorsement of a member’s friend is trustworthy? We prefer assessments to be completed by Nomador members only!

Of course this means that it takes more time to build quality profiles based on Nomador community life. Like this one for instance. However, having worked for years in recruiting, there’s something that upsets me a little in the house-sitting field. The offer and the demand are absolutely misbalanced: many more people are willing to house-sit than home-owners needing to find a house-sitter. So, if there are too many applicants then there is very strong competition. Nowadays, house-sitters learn to ‘prepare the best house-sitting profile ever’, and the internet is full of advice on the subject. Meaning that those who are not well informed have no chance of clinching a good house-sitting deal.

That reminds me of work resumes sometimes… Some people learn how to prepare a beautiful resume, trained by specialists. In the end, when you’re a recruiter, all resumes look a bit the same. Spontaneity and authenticity tend to disappear. I think it’s quite disturbing when you post an advertisement on some platforms, to receive 50 applications from ‘the best house-sitter ever’. You’re overwhelmed, and it makes it even more difficult to choose. So we do everything we can to encourage and display authenticity and trustworthiness through the structure of Nomador.com.

Nomador users have "trust, care and a sense of commitment"

Your values and those of your family have very much determined the structure of Nomador how would you describe the Nomador values? Why do people join Nomador? Are you attracting the type of people you hoped would join you?

We’ve designed Nomador so that people join to live and travel globally, in a more savvy way by house-sitting and connecting with like-minded caring people: travellers and locals. And yes, these are the people finding us, either via social media, the web or word of mouth. We know this from the type of messages we receive.

When these people choose to join the Nomador community it indicates to all, that they share these states of mind and values:

  • Trust, care & a sense of commitment
  • Generosity of spirit, sharing & being of service to others
  • Curiosity, open-mindedness & adaptability
  • Global awareness and to always strive for deeper understanding

"We are travellers, it's in our blood!"

You live in France. Why did you setup an Australian-based company even though it is a global platformThere must be a story! How and why did that happen?

There are actually a number of reasons…
Firstly, we wanted to start it from a country where people :

  • are open-minded, like traveling and think internationally
  • when they travel, they travel for more than just a few days
  • are pet-lovers
  • like traveling to France as well as many other countries
  • have a good image among French prospective homeowners

All these criteria were met in Australia. In other countries too, of course, and we also considered Canada but…

Secondly, one of our sons had left for Australia when he was 19. We visited him and we just fell in love with the country and people. He is 22 now, and his younger brother aged 19 has just left last July too, he is on a gap year to improve his English, living in Sydney. The way a country welcomes your children is enough of a reason by itself to create a company, isn’t it?

With the mixture of all those elements, creating Nomador headquarters in Sydney was just… logical. Some of our friends and relatives were surprised by the decision, but that’s forgetting that I am a Breton (a people of travellers and immigrants) and that my husband is a Corsican (another people of travellers and immigrants). A mixed marriage of two cultures who through history never hesitated to jump across the oceans, although they have a strong sense of identity and always come back to their harbour or to their island. We are travellers. Its in our blood!

Be part of the Nomador story: list your own home, or find a house-sitting opportunity today!


Stay tuned for more with Mariannig and her inspiring story…
Part 1: What’s the inspiration behind Nomador?
Part 2: This article
Part 3: Mariannig's own home-sitting journey
Part 4: Soon to come.

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