The best tips from our members to help you find a home exchange for your holidays!
You have finally taken the leap and registered on a home exchange site, bravo! However, after several attempts, you have only received negative answers or no answers at all … don’t give up just yet, we have the solution to help you!
You may have made one of the following errors, but thanks to some member tips, we are able to bring you everything you need to know about home exchange and how to find the best home for you.
Error #1: You are not sending enough messages
You spotted a charming apartment with beautiful modern decor or a house with a heated pool and without hesitation, you contacted these 2 members. But one week later, still no answer…
On average, you should contact at least 10 members to have the highest chance of finalizing a home exchange. The more messages you send, the more likely a member is to respond, positively or not. But keep in mind that a “no” today could be a “yes” later. The important thing is to have made the first contact with any possible future hosts, you can iron out the details later. Trust us, it will pay off!
Member tip: “Send a friendly message to members with a response rate higher than 80% whose home corresponds with the the number of guests you will be traveling with and copy and paste your message to all members in the geographical area that interests you (you don’t necessarily have to look at each specific profile). Once you have some replies, you can keep track of them via your favorites! Propose either a reciprocal or non-reciprocal exchange. “- Delphine, 4 exchanges
Error #2: Your messages aren’t personalized enough
You selected a nice list of homes and you are about to send your first requests. To save time, you choose to send the suggested automatic message. This option is convenient for international communication, but when you can, it is always good to customize your messages.
A good example of a nice personalized message could be:
- The reason for your trip (family holidays, romantic weekend, travel with your dog etc.)
- Who you are traveling with (your children, your partner, your best friends, your dog, etc.) and perhaps the ages of your children
- Why you chose this destination (exploring a new place, visiting close family, rediscovering your favorite place as a child, etc)
- Whether you are interested in a reciprocal exchange, a non-reciprocal exchange with GuestPoints, a non-simultaneous reciprocal exchange, any of the above… there are so many possibilities
Keep in mind that a home exchange is all about trust, so it is normal to say more about your travel plans and about who you are when sending your requests to potential hosts. This personalized message can be sent several times during your search and will ultimately increase your chances of receiving a positive answer.
Error #3: You have one precise destination in mind
You have been looking for a week in the center of Lisbon but you haven’t had any success. Disappointed, you gave up and turned to a more traditional rental site. What a shame… Realistically, you can almost always find happiness in home exchange if you are just a little more flexible on your destination. You may not always find the penthouse apartment in the city center, but a nice home in the suburbs around the city with great access to public transport can also work. You may not be in your favorite neighborhood, but you may discover a new area that is just as nice.
Make a search by selecting your destination and dates. You will then see your search results on the left and the map on the right. Select the homes that meet your needs and contact the members by specifying your exchange preference (reciprocal or non-reciprocal). Play with the map by zooming out to see more results and don’t forget – send as many requests as possible! Sometimes, an answer will surprise you and it will be the beginning of a wonderful home exchange story!
Member tip: “Be flexible on most things: destination, type of exchange, period, type of accommodation, etc.” – Ethan, 20 exchanges
Error #4: You are not using the calendar to its full potential
Holidays are sacred, and you do not want to miss a beat. You are searching for a home that can accommodate you from the beginning to the end of your holidays, for that entire week off.
To make a good search on GuesttoGuest, do not forget to select your dates of arrival and departure to get suitable accommodation proposals. Then you can browse the houses and apartments that are proposed and consult the calendar for the availability of each.
If you are not satisfied with the results displayed, be aware that by changing your arrival and departure dates by a few days, your choice of accommodations may vary. Feel free to play around with the search to look at the different results that are proposed to you according to the dates entered. Sometimes, a departure on Tuesday can make all the difference in finding an exchange, and you will also benefit from the saved time (less traffic on the road) and saved money (cheaper train/plane tickets!). Simply widening the field of your research can provide for a wonderful home exchange!
Error #5: You are not using all the tools available on GuestToGuest
Here is everything you need to know to find your next home exchange, for example using filters when searching.
Search Filters: You have the opportunity to refine your search by activating different types of filters according to your needs. Click on “+ filters” under the search box.
GuestPoints: These are points you accumulate when you register on GuesttoGuest. You can use them when you make a non-reciprocal exchange or a reciprocal exchange using GuestPoints, (you give other members GuestPoints to stay in their home without having to host them at your place). You can earn GuestPoints by hosting members in your home in a non-reciprocal exchange.
Reverse Search: Useful for people seeking a reciprocal exchange. Click on this filter to find the members in a given destination who wish to come to your area (these other members have saved a search in your area).
Member tip: “I use the reverse search filter a lot. The response rate is excellent because the members I contact are interested in my region.”- Christiane, 9 exchanges
Response Rate: It allows you to target the homes of the most active members. When you do a search, the “Response Rate> 80%” filter is automatically activated so that you only see the most active homes first. Prioritize contacting members that have a high response rate.
Member tip: “Send a lot of requests without hesitating. Take note of the ratings, photos, and make sure you have a good feeling about the home. Select the dates and the response rate greater than 80%. “- Nathalie, 20 exchanges
*BONUS* Error #6: You don’t believe in it!
Maybe this is your first time on a home exchange website or maybe you just joined based on the recommendation of a friend, but whatever the case, you should know that a home exchange community is only as strong as the members that make up that community. Your trust, your support, your time, and your hospitality will all go into improving our community and the user experience of all members. Home exchange can work, you just need to put in the time and effort that you would expect from other members of the community and remember that the GuesttoGuest team is always here to help, every step of the way.
If despite all this advice, you still cannot find a home exchange, maybe you can resort to “a mixture of voodoo and pagan incantations”, the ultimate trick of our member Marie-Anne, who has 27 exchanges under her belt! Apparently, it seems to be working…😉
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