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Safety and Security – The Vetting Process

  • Contributing Author – Ludwina Dautovic, Founder and CEO, The Room Xchange.
    How do we maintain safety and security for our Hosts and Guests?

    Many years ago when I was a young, single woman I found myself from time to time looking for a place to live.

    I’m talking about 25 plus years ago so it was quite some time back. Far enough back in fact that the internet was not even born yet. Mobile phones didn’t exist; we had to rely on the trusty public phone booth on random corners around the city. Yet finding a flatmate wasn’t hard. I’d often find a notice board at the local supermarket that had a number of A4 hand crafted posters advertising for room mates with phone number tear offs at the bottom. If the ‘roomy’ sounded like a good fit, was in the right location, near public transport and the rent was right, you’d rip off a phone number, walk to the nearest phone booth, call them up, arrange a meeting at their place and if it all checked out, you’d move in as soon as possible. There were no police checks or references. Pay slips didn’t usually exist as most of us were paid in cash. You’d just make a judgment call based on your gut instinct about the person in front of you and move in. In those 8 years that I lived away from home before I got married, I can honestly say that I never had a bad incident with the various people I flatted with.

    However, times have changed. The more information we have access to, the more we feel we need to have. It’s now standard practice to go through a third party service provider to either vet and verify who you are or at least do the checks required to ensure you’re not a creep! Yet, gut instinct and whether you like the person or not is still an important part in deciding who you’re going to create an Xchange with. We understand that and at The Room Xchange and we take your safety and security very seriously.

    There are three stages to becoming a Host or Guest and the third is our verification process.

    Thankfully we have big brothers who have paved the way for us in setting an industry standard such as Airbnb. We have followed in their footsteps in terms of safety and security and includes the following:

    1. Full name
    2. Address
    3. Email
    4. Phone
    5. Links to two social media accounts
    6. Photo of you and/or your household
    7. A copy of a government photo ID (drivers licence or passport

    With this information we can very quickly see that you are who you say you are. However, we have taken your safety and security to another level. We require ALL our Hosts and Guests to have a Police Check and have partnered with an Australian company with a global presence, CV Check to make this process easy. This partnership allows you to apply for a Police Check and if approved, you’ll receive it within an hour. This means that you can be assured that anyone you create an Xchange with has been vetted and verified to the best that technology can offer. By the way, your Police Check can be used for a number of other applications such as job interviews. We also strongly recommend that any Guests who wish to work with children have a ‘Working with Children’ check done. 

    This is a requirement that Hosts with children can reasonably request.

    The last step is up to you. Do you like the Host/Guest? What is your gut telling you? Do you think you could live comfortably with them on a day to day basis? Can you see yourself having fun with them?

    If everything checks out and the answers to the these are yes, then you’re off to a great start.

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