Ask Steph

Ask Steph is an advice column written by our CEO. Have questions about how to deal with a home sharing issue? Need suggestions on how to evaluate a potential housemate? Steph will respond to these and other questions with her best advice, but then she will do something that very few advice columnists do: invite you, our users, to chime in and offer your own suggestions based on your life’s wisdom.

If you have a question for Steph, she’d love to hear from you!

Send Steph a Message
Advice for the new member, and the camera-shy!
June 3rd, 2016

Dear readers,

Welcome to Senior Homeshares and to the inaugural column of Ask Steph. I’m really looking forward to reading and responding to your messages, but I’m even more excited to see what you have to say about the answers I provide. I’m guessing that many of you will come up with even better solutions!

Since we don’t expect housemate issues on Day One, I thought I would use this column to offer a bit of advice on making the most of Senior Homeshares. Like all my columns to come, I welcome your comments and questions.

I have put together some resources that you can always find in our Help section. First and foremost, there are safety tips, which are valuable for everyone, but especially those who are not used to interacting with other folks online. Please take a few minutes to read them before you begin using Senior Homeshares.

The first thing you will do on our site is fill out your profile. It’s a pretty straightforward process, where we ask you to provide some basic information that any prospective roommate would like to know: do you smoke? Do you have pets? Do you want a garden to work in? I volunteer with local elders and they helped me design these questions.

However, there was one issue that kept popping up, and it was pretty funny. Photos. When I would ask each of my elder advisors whether they would like to see a photo of their prospective housemate, they all smiled and said “Oh, yes”. But then, when I asked them whether *they* would put up their own photo, they all said “Oh, no”! Oh, dear. So I’m asking all of you to think about this. Many of us are camera shy (me especially, I swear), but photos make people feel more comfortable with each other. So please take advantage of our simple photo tool – it can use the camera on your laptop or iPad, or let you load a photo file – and share a smile with your fellow members. It’s the friendly thing to do!

Welcome to Senior Homeshares. I look forward to hearing from you!