What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards about?
The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More
The Room Xchange [Editors’ Choice]
Company: The Room Xchange
Category: Editors’ Choice
“After 4 years of having people Xchange with us, we were continually asked by our friends how they could find an Xchanger so they didn’t have to do housework anymore. After hearing this 10 times, Harry and I had a chat in our kitchen,” CEO and Founder of The Room Xchange, Ludwina Dautovic told Anthill.
“He felt very strongly that we could turn this into a global platform and asked me what I thought. I said ‘hell yeh’. He said ‘Great. Can you do it!’. Being the digital one in the household it made sense. We did some research, re-mortgaged our house to fund it and The Room Xchange was born in 2016.”
The high cost of living has left home owners working very long hours and those not able to enter the property market either by rent or ownership are left with minimal options for affordable living.
The Room Xchange solves this problem by matching busy, stressed households, Hosts, with Guests who provide two hours of domestic help around the house each day in Xchange for food and accommodation. The Host provides the space. The Guest provides their time. The Host gets their time back and the Guest reduces their cost of living.
“Although it’s not a completely new concept (think au pairs, live-in housekeepers for the wealthy) it is the first time it’s been formalised for a different market. It solves an immediate and long-term problem on both sides. It’s also the first time a peer to peer platform has been created to connect Hosts and Guests wanting to Xchange,” Ludwina remarked.
“Hosts have more time to spend with their loved ones and doing the things they want to do. Guests have the freedom to explore the life they want to live without the high cost of living.
“The only companies we are compared to are Airbnb and Couchsurfing, neither of which is the case. The value for the room in Airbnb is the money; not time. Couchsurfers don’t have a private bedroom or expectations for their stay.”
The Room Xchange is so cool because the very nature of what they do is about saving the climate.
“Our Guests are re-using items that already exist as opposed to renting an apartment and then filling it with furniture. By Xchanging, they move into an already established home that contains everything they need therefore it doesn’t have to be bought,” Ludwina explained.
“There are over 7 million empty spare bedrooms in Australia. If we could fill them instead of building them or filling new places with more furniture the impact that will have on landfill and the environment overall is massive. Within 4 weeks of our soft launch in March 2016, we had registrations in 25 countries. Mind you, we’re only operating in Australia right now but we will be hitting the international market in 12 months.”
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