Finding a HomeExchange is not always easy and definitely not as convenient as reserving a hotel with a few simple clicks. But isn’t that the beauty of HomeExchange in some way?
Finding an exchange takes time and effort - to make the search for homes and then to start a conversation with your potential exchange partners introducing yourself and your travelling partners. These are all crucial steps in building a relationship and trust with other Members and make the HomeExchange experience that much more rewarding.
Compared to last year, we’ve had a 50% increase in the success rate* in finalising an exchange. This means that more of you have been able to organise more exchanges, which makes us very happy!
The team is committed to making it as simple as possible for you to find and finalise an exchange. So what have we done?
Updated the calendar
We understood from your feedback and comments that having just two options in the calendar - to indicate that you wanted GuestPoints or that you are open to any kind of exchange - was insufficient in helping you find the exchanges you want. So we introduced a new colour for you to indicate the dates that you are available for a reciprocal exchange. (This means that you would like to do a direct swap, at the same time, with your exchange partner.)
With this, we also introduced a new filter so that you can have both options of looking for Members whose homes are available for GuestPoints and also Members who are available for a reciprocal exchange.
Find out more about how to update your calendar here.
It might be a simple change but you can now reply to Members directly from your emails when you receive an email alert. Before, you would have to go into the platform to send a reply to the Member but now, just by replying to the email directly, your reply will be sent to your potential exchange partner on the platform automatically. We hope that this little change helps you to save some extra time in replying to Members!
Implementation of polygons
Before switching our map service provider, making a search for a country would give you irrelevant results of homes that are in neighbouring countries. We were thus thrilled to switch our provider to Here as we knew that doing so would give you more accurate results. With the integration of Here into the platform, the results give homes only in the destination that you made a search for. A search for France no longer gives you homes in Spain, Portugal and Italy!
Ability to search by home ID
We understood that a feature that many of the old HomeExchangers missed was being able to search for a home by the listing ID. So since February, you had the option to search for a home with the listing ID, which helps you save a few seconds when planning your trip!
Members are able to click on the picture in the listing to get a better view of it
As Hubert de Givenchy once said, “Luxury is in each detail”, we understand that it is important that Members can have a clear understanding of what to expect when considering a listing. Before there was the feature to enlarge the pictures, it was difficult to make out from the picture what exactly was in the room but now, by clicking on the picture to enlarge it, you can know what to expect and make a better judgement of whether the home suits your needs.
And of course we couldn’t leave out the reverse search to know who wants to go to your city, region or country!! We have optimised the reverse search so that you are able to choose the reverse search region yourself. This means that if you live in a smaller, lesser-known village, it does not mean that all hope is lost! You can choose to do a reverse search to search for Members who want to come to the nearest city to you, the region you are in or even your country!
(If you haven’t already done so, please clear your preferred destinations and save them again for the reverse search to work well!)
For more information about how exactly the reverse search works, click here.
To end off this article, we would like to thank everyone for your all your feedback and suggestions! We read all of them and they’re always very useful for us because they help us understand what kind of features you would find most useful for you to best use the platform to organise your exchanges :-) Our team will continue working hard to make the platform better with each release and we’ll keep you posted of further improvements we make!
* the success rate is calculated by dividing the number of Members who find an exchange by the number of Members looking for an exchange