Carole Gächter is the talented founder of CRIBIN, a full-service company based on home sharing that helps people sublet their homes while they are away. From advertising to providing mattress covers and sealing wardrobes to taking care of the guests and the final cleaning, CRIBIN makes the process easy for both hosts and guests. Meanwhile, the guests have the unique advantage of gaining insider tips to the city through CRIBIN’s local ambassadors. In her exclusive interview with LocalBini, Carole reveals what inspired her to create CRIBIN and how it resonates with her passion for helping people.
1. What is your passion?
I have so many passions that I would rather say that my passion is life itself. I love to explore new things, to meet new people from all around the world, and, most importantly, I love to help people.
2. Would you say you fulfil your passion for a living?
I’m one of those wired people who just loves to work. My work takes up a big part of my life, and, up to now, I was fortunate enough to have been genuinely passionate about my work. Through CRIBIN, I had the opportunity to build up an entire company from scratch. Now, as part of my job, I get to meet interesting people from all around the world on a daily basis. Most importantly, I get to help my clients and guests by offering them great services that address their needs.
3. Could you tell us a little bit about CRIBIN?
We offer a service that is based on the booming rise of the shared economy. CRIBIN sublets furnished apartments and houses over Airbnb, while their owners are abroad (because of business reasons, sabbaticals, holidays etc.). We take care of everything, from the advertisement, to the caring of the guests, to the final cleaning. Our clients, therefore, can earn back the cost of their apartment without any effort from their side.
From the guests’ perspective, we give them the opportunity to live like locals. Thanks to our guest care, travellers are brought in touch with local ambassadors who give them insider tips that cannot be learned from a tourist guidebook. Apart from tourists, we also host a lot of international business people who prefer to stay in a real apartment, rather than in a faceless hotel room. Our service also gives new expats the possibility to stay at a furnished apartment, while looking for a more permanent place to live in.
4. What inspired you to create CRIBIN?
In a sense, my entire life has led to this. First of all, I grew up hosting people from all over the world. This was due to both my father’s international career, as well as my mum’s passion. She was involved in many student exchange programs and we grew up with au pairs.
Secondly, I have been working for 13 years in the field of digital innovation, for both national and international companies. This is because I have always been interested in new technologies and the possibilities they open up. I believe that digitalisation can improve our lives but not on its own. The human aspect is also very important.
In founding CRIBIN, my aim was to optimise the shared economy concept Airbnb is based on. It is a great platform that connects people from all around the world. But, you have to be around during the stay of your guests and it can be very time-consuming. That’s where CRIBIN comes in. Now, a busy international business person can earn the rent of his Swiss apartment while being abroad. Meanwhile, someone else coming from abroad can enjoy their stay in Switzerland and feel at home. It is a win-win situation.
5. So, it seems that CRIBIN is quite a success. What is your definition of success?
Beyond the financial aspect, success is about learning something new every day. It’s about always pushing yourself to take a step further and do your best at any time. It’s also about constantly improving yourself so that you not only make your clients happy but also exceed their expectations. That, in my eyes, is what real success is all about.
6. Does your job involve travelling or meeting people from around the world?
Absolutely. Because of the nature of my business, I get to meet people from all around the world and discover different cultures on a daily basis. I absolutely love it.
7. How much do you value travelling? What does travelling mean to you?
Since as long as I can remember, I have been travelling. I was born in Chicago and then went on to live in three different Swiss cities. Because of my father’s international career, I got to go on a lot of trips. Also, for a time, I was going back and forth to the States a lot, and I even lived in Los Angeles for about 2 years. Through my many travel experiences, I realised just how valuable travel is. It widens your horizons and makes you see things, including your own country, from a different perspective. I think it’s important that people get to know more than just one place, one city, one country. Actually living in another country is so much more eye-opening than simply visiting it as a tourist.
8. At LocalBini, we believe that the people you meet are what you remember the most. They are the ones who can turn your trip into a memorable experience. Would you say that resonates with CRIBIN and its values?
Absolutely. I don’t remember all the museums I’ve visited, but I do remember all the people I’ve met and all the moments we’ve shared together.
That’s why the guest care service we provide, which connects travellers to local ambassadors, is such an integral part of what we do. Their experience in Switzerland is enhanced not just because of the nice apartment we provide them with, but because our local ambassadors make them feel at home. They help them discover the best that Switzerland has to offer. That is also the reason we highly recommend the LocalBini App to our guests: sharing unique Experiences with like- minded people is one of the best ways of making your travels truly memorable.