Our Hosts and why they are so very special


Our Hosts sit at the very heart of Doctor in the House

We’ve been working with our Hosts for over 30 years, some have been with us for as long as 15 years, which is why we like to think of our Hosts as a family and why joining our family is so important to us.
We don’t advertise for our Hosts, they generally find us through word of mouth which keeps things personal and the way we like it.
Once we’ve agreed to take on a new Host, our bookers develop a close personal relationship which is what makes us so very special.
This blog helps to illustrate our Host recruitment process and possibly explains why our Hosts are so very wonderful.

So what’s the process of joining the Doctor in the House family?

Prospective Hosts invariably contact us via our website when one of our bookers will give them a call for a friendly chat to discuss how we work, the rates they can expect and the service we expect them to provide. We also ask for a selection of pictures which infrequently arrive a bit fuzzy, but they give us a rough idea of what is on offer.
Our key questions for prospective Hosts are:
  • The proximity to any particular institutes or hospitals.
  • Nature of accommodation – self- contained apartments or a room in a family home
  • Closest transport links and travel time.
  • Details on the accommodation available – bedroom size, desk and chair, storage, private/en-suite or shared bathroom, use of kitchen.
  • What they are looking for and their response to our expectations.
If our bookers are happy with the conversation and all looks promising we send off an application form which askes specific details of the accommodation on offer. This is where our experience counts.


The all-important internal review

With the forms completed our viewer fact checks location, travel time, the nature of the district and much more. Google street finder is very useful but a sound knowledge of London and other cites we work with is very important.
We decline around 8 out of every 10 applications, the main reason being that the walking time to the nearest Tube or Overland station is greater than 12 min although our threshold is 15 mins max for excellent accommodation.
Travel time to work is always an essential criterion when choosing accommodation and one of the reasons why Guests choose us.

Host viewing

It’s not often we arrive at accommodation to find something very different to what we expect. Large over enthusiastic dogs sometimes get omitted in the application or the walk from the tube is questionable. We always think’ how I would feel if a young female student Doctor or Academic had just arrived late at night in January after a long haul journey’? Street lighting and feeling safe is paramount but because our early vetting stages are so rigorous it’s rarely a concern.
Our personal viewing process is the most important and often interesting part of joining our family and what makes Doctor in the House different from other accommodation agencies, and something we’ll never change.
We like to have a cup of tea and a chat with the prospective Host to discuss our history and ethos, the types of bookings, rates to be expected and the enquiry to confirmation process.
Our chat also gives us an opportunity to answer any questions and generally set expectations. After our chat our viewer takes a selection of high quality photos of the rooms the Guests will have access to. At this point we learn a great deal.
What are we looking for in a Host?
  • Friendliness
  • Patience
  • Compromise
  • Understanding

What are we looking for in an accommodation?

  • Quality & practicality of accommodation – safety, storage, comfort, cleanliness, facilities
  • Practicality of location – proximity to institutions, transport and local amenities
  • Warm and welcoming atmosphere
On occasions the accommodation might be quintessentially English and what we call shabby chic. The house will be packed full of wonderful antique furniture but not decorated for a while. However, the home will be warm and welcoming and we give this accommodation a plus. A real home and not a characterless hotel.
After the viewing and so long as we are happy the Host can work with us and the chemistry is good, our viewer will build what we call a Host ‘Microsite’ which is what prospective Guests receive when we send a selection of accommodation options.

Once we are happy with the Host Microsite we ask them to check the content and make any changes. A few will wish to rewrite the text, while others make a few additions and changes. The idea is to provide sufficient information for a Guest to make an informed choice. Nothing misleading, just straight forward honest information on the accommodation provided.

After a rigorous and lengthy process we are confident we will have done everything we can to introduce a new member into our family of Hosts. Our standards will have been maintained providing a new Host with great accommodation.


So why is our process of finding new Hosts so important?

Put simply, we provide a duty of care that the accommodation we offer has been personally visited by one of our viewers and checked that ‘what we state is provided is genuinely the case’ and that ‘there are no hidden extras’.
This is understandably important for Hospitals and institutions who are placing a Guest or recommending our services.

Guest feedback

After each booking we ask our Guests to provide a star rating along with any feedback. This is published on the Hosts microsite and on our website.
On the very rare occasion we receive negative feedback we speak directly with the Host to understand why and what can be done to rectify the situation. Failing that we decline to continue working with the Host. This ensures we maintain the standards our Guests expect.

Nothing is perfect

On occasions our Hosts might forget to tell us their circumstances have changed slightly. Their son has come home for the summer, or they have a new puppy which is not detailed. Over the years such instances are rare and are genuine honest errors which we rectify as swiftly as possible.
What you can be assured of is working with Doctor in the House you can feel confident we are there every step of the way to ensure you booking is right for you, your Host has been thoroughly checked and provides the type of accommodation you would expect from us.
Great personal service from your Doctor in the House booker working with wonderful Hosts.

Doctor in the House Accommodation bookers will be delighted to help you arrange your stay for your next professional visit to London. Find out more.