Tips on organizing a home exchange, more specifically, things to take into account when looking for a home exchange and how to contact members.
If you are reading this guide, I will assume your HOME profile and PERSONAL profile on GuesttoGuest have been completed to 100% and that your calendar has also been updated with your Availability periods. You probably even started contacting some members, but they are either not responding or when they do respond it is with an automatic message telling you, “Sorry, but no!”.
We understand that rejection can be hard, but don’t worry, we have some time-saving tips that will help decrease the amount of time you spend searching for an exchange and increase your chances of finding an exchange.
1. The search: use the filters and add the dates!
We can’t stress this enough, use the filters! Every search on GuesttoGuest should start with the Destination, the Dates, the # of Guests and then the following filters:
- “Response Rate >80%” – These are the most active members. They will most likely respond to your message, but we can’t guarantee that it will be a YES.
- “Homes with Pictures” – Members that upload images are usually more serious about traveling. And it’s always better to see the house before you arrange anything.
- “Guest Wanted” – These are members actively searching for Guests. In other words, they probably want you to come to their house so that they can earn GuestPoints.
Browsing the HomeExchange site and checking out different homes is fine, but when it comes to getting serious and finding a home, this information is vital. The Dates and # of Guests, will help narrow down your search to available members with homes that suit the size of your group (ex. solo traveler, just 2 or a family of 5 or more).
Another filter that is worth a special mention “Secondary Homes“. Secondary homes, are basically what the name implies, they are second homes. These would be vacation/holiday homes of other members that are not occupied all year round. For this reason, members with secondary homes usually keep their calendars as Available or GuestWanted (more on this later) to earn some extra GuestPoints.
2. Understanding the calendar and profiles of other members
Now that you are an expert at the search, let’s try and select a few members to contact (Remember, send out between 15-20 messages!).
Once you find the members you want to contact, feel free to click on their account and browse their home photos, read the description of their house and check the calendar. If you did a proper search, you will most likely find homes with a calendar that looks something like this:
As you can clearly see in the image above, the calendar will usually display either a GUEST WANTED period or an AVAILABLE period.
GUEST WANTED period, as stated previously, means this member is looking to host someone in exchange for GuestPoints.
AVAILABLE period, simply means the place is most likely available, but the member may be searching for a reciprocal exchange and they are waiting for the right member in the right location.
3. Sending a message
The moment has now come to send a message. What do I say? Should the message be long or short? Should I be formal or easy going? Don’t worry, just be yourself! 🙂
We recommend that you simply tell people why you want to travel to their home and give them some details about you and your trip.
You will notice that our messaging platform will automatically save your message and conveniently paste it into the next message you send. It will even change the name of the new member to help you send out more messages as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We hope this helps and good luck!
Bonus tip: Get Verified! We will verify your identity and home, which will make other members feel more secure in their decision to accept your exchange request. There are also Verified Members that can only be contacted by other Verified Members.