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Real people. Real places.
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Real People. Real Places.
Project 2015-07-16 07:40:10 +1200
POST-PONED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS
Contact: [email protected] if you want to pledge after the end date.
Do you want welcoming, affordable accommodation anywhere in New Zealand?
We believe in old-fashioned kiwi hospitality. In this digital age, it’s more important than ever to be safe and comfortable - without feeling like you are just another credit card checking in.
‘Look After Me’ is New Zealand’s on-line accommodation marketplace. You can stay with 'Real people', who have similar interests to you and maintain their accommodation to our required standards. You get to stay in 'real places' – mostly Homestays, Bed and Breakfasts and Self-contained units but we also have castles, luxury yachts, vintage caravans and themed sleepouts for the more adventurous.
Our hosts have been vetted and to make sure prices are fair, rooms are clean and they are genuine about offering a memorable travel experience. Just like staying with a long-lost cousin, you'll get honest, local knowledge and have a fun time.
Watch our video to learn more about staying with Look After Me hosts:
What’s the story behind the idea?
In 2011, plant scientist Dr Julia Charity foresaw a global trend in how accommodation market places were changing. With the skeleton of an idea and all of her personal savings, Julia left paid employment to launch ‘Look After Me’ ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
With dogged determination Julia has faced off a series of set-backs, including being ripped off, a brain injury and nearly bankrupt. From a family of pioneers who have made signficant contributions to New Zealand's economy, she has successfully carved a niche for New Zealand’s world-class hospitality. As single mother to Alice and no safety net, Julia, has been resourceful in creating something from nothing.
Founded on the principle of ‘manaakitanga’ – caring for people to the best of your ability, Julia has grown ‘Look After Me’ into the largest and fastest growing kiwi-owned accommodation marketplace.
Flying under the radar while Julia has secured executable strategies and relationships for growth in New Zealand, Julia is now ready to tell her story.
The tidal wave is coming
Can you imagine New Zealand without TradeMe? What if for the last 15 years, commissions for our goods and services were drawn off-shore to American corporate eBay? Sam Morgan spotted the emerging global trend for on-line trading and set a precedent for New Zealand to carve its own digital path against the backdrop of eBay.
Likewise, New Zealand daily deal site GrabOne is a local equivalent of global-network Groupon. These Kiwi entrepreneurs were bold in their endeavours and have succeeded in making a significant contribution to our economy by sharing wealth amongst ordinary New Zealander’s.
Another tidal wave is coming and it’s heading straight for New Zealand. Peer-to-peer accommodation market places have popped up all over the world. Europe, America, Australia and China have all discovered the benefits of sharing un-used space. Staying with locals in spare rooms or guest wings is now a recognised alternative to commercial accommodation and is revolutionising the way guests book and stay.
In a recent global survey, New Zealand was proud to be named No. 1 in the world, for how we treat our visitors. Our kiwi hospitality is the crown jewel in the World’s Hospitality Crown.
Inevitably off-shore companies will try to capitalise on the best of what we have – the hearts and hospitality of our people. Fundamentally though - does it make sense long-term for New Zealander's to be buying back their own hospitality through an American or Chinese corporate?
We think that New Zealand needs its own local accommodation network, that celebrates who and what we are. We want to ensure that for future generations, any commissions stay in New Zealand.
What are we trying to do?
We are calling on the support of our crowd to take ‘Look After Me’ to the world stage. We know that New Zealand has been slower than many countries to recognise the burgeoning Sharing Economy.
Entrepreneur, Julia Charity, was ahead of her time four years ago when she launched, but now feels New Zealanders are ready to embrace it’s own on-line accommodation network.
Get you talking about us!
Firstly we need to raise awareness and get people talking. We’re concerned that off-share companies may try to capitalise on our kiwi hospitality and try to sell it back to us. Join the debate – follow us and tell us what you think.
A small fund-raising project
Julia has put in over $100, 000 of her personal savings and four years of her time. Along the way she has attracted modest investment but now it’s time to realise that growth off cash-flow is not going to get this business to the next level.
We need to raise $50,000 to address four key bottlenecks to ensure our business grows sustainably. You, as our crowd, will be helping secure the future of New Zealand’s reputation in world class hospitality and take this business to the international stage.
Please check out our video, which explains in detail what we will use the money for. We have a full strategic plan available on request. Here’s the brief version:
(1) People – all of our staff have been volunteering to get this business off the ground. We’ll spend $15,000 to employ staff to attract quality hosts and discerning guests. We also need to provide excellent customer and IT support services
(2) Platforms – we want to make it easier for homeowners to add their property details and for guests to book accommodation. We’ll spend $10,000 on upgrading our website, becoming mobile friendly and developing a mobile application.
(3) Promotion – we need to get our name out there a lot more so we’ll invest $15,000 into our marketing strategies on-line and off-line.
(4) Partnerships – finally we’ll spend $10, 000 developing key relationships with other tourism providers, recruitment agencies, New Zealand Cycle Trails and we’ll make sure we connect with like-minded International Networks.
Watch our video to learn more about becoming a host:
A little about our rewards
We are modest with our rewards, but what little we have, we give you joyfully. We are so grateful for our suppliers for providing us with rewards.
For those with a sweet tooth, try our confectionery! We have a ‘pillow programme’ where guests with Look After Me, find sweets on their pillow. We have blueberry, vanilla and candyfloss flavoured Jellybeans – made for us by the JellyBelly shop.
We’ve also got our range of plant-based natural toiletries. Collect a handy travel kit of our 50 ml minatures, or grab a soap.
We’ve also got our greeting card range – either our native plant range or our ‘Real People. Real Places’ series.
To encourage you to book accommodation with us or become hosts, we’ve got heavily discounted accommodation vouchers and discounts on our Hosting packages.
What do you think? Is this a good idea?
We’d love any support that you can give us. That may be $5 or it may be $100. Every little bit counts, and if you’re in favour of seeing this pioneering kiwi company continue to grow and be sustainable, we’d appreciate whatever you can afford to give us.
And, women, please talk avidly about us! J Please share our story with anyone you can think of that might want to host, or is looking for accommodation. Better still, someone who might be in a position to help with the fund-raise – but it’s more important that you talk. You can send this page to a friend by using the share buttons at the top of this page.
We post-poned our Crowd-funding campaign due to illness
31/08/2015 at 4:40 PM
Regretfully we have post-poned our campaign for now
We launched our PledgeMe Campaign on our 4th Birthday!
28/07/2015 at 12:00 PM
We launched the PledgeMe “Real People. Real Places.” Campaign on 21st July, 2015 – the fourth birthday of our company.
The campaign was launched by showing the Campaign Video to the 250 participants at the Company of Women event in Auckland. There were loud cheers of support and lots of clapping. What followed was generous donation (to the value of about $4000) of vouchers, books, paintings, clothing from some of the businesses involved in the Co. of Women. We are truly humbled. We are just finalising details and will shortly post the new ‘rewards’.
2015-07-26 18:30:55 +1200
2015-07-23 21:50:42 +1200
"Well done so proud."
2015-07-21 15:47:16 +1200
2015-07-21 14:57:36 +1200
"Great stuff Julia & Look After Me!! "