While looking for your summer exchange, it's important to send personal, warm messages. It increases your chance of finalizing an exchange and makes our community a wonderful place to be. Here are 5 tips to being an awesome communicator on HomeExchange.
Look at the member's profile before you send a message
Take an extra two minutes to view a person’s profile before reaching out to request an exchange. If you’re traveling with kids or pets, make sure their home is open to them. Many people include information about themselves (their interests, where they’ve traveled, their job) on their profile.
Use this information to find common interests and comment on it when you send a message (maybe you both have a love of surfing, for example, that can help create a connection). Members will appreciate that you’ve gone the extra mile and may be more open to an exchange with someone so personable!
Don’t simply say “Can we exchange this summer?” Share something about yourself so your potential exchange partner can learn more about you! They will be letting you stay in their home, after all, so it’s a good idea to let them get to know you. Explain who you are, who you’re traveling with, why you want to visit their town and anything else you want to share about yourself to seem open and approachable.
If you can only travel on specific dates, state that up front. But keep in mind that the more open you are to different dates or a different type of exchange (reciprocal or GuestPoints), the more likely you are to get a response and find an arrangement that works for both parties.
Keep an open mind to exchange requests you receive, too, even if they’re in destinations you might not have considered before. When it comes to finding a home exchange, flexibility is the name of the game!
Use the automatic reply feature sparingly
In the HomeExchange message system, you have the ability to choose to send a pre-written “auto-reply” to tell someone you are or are not interested in an exchange. While this can be a nice foundation for the message, it can come across as cold and impersonal if used too frequently.
Add a sentence or two to the automatic message giving more information or a personal touch. This helps increase the connection between members and, even if you’re not interested, establish a good relationship that may be useful for future exchanges.
Tell them about your region
If you’re proposing a reciprocal exchange (a member comes to your house and you go to theirs), help the member get excited about visiting your home! Tell them what you love about your city, any festivals or events that might be taking place during the exchange, and the features of your home that make it a wonderful place to stay. If your city is somewhere they’ve never considered, this will help them dream and see why it’s a great place to visit for their family!
Tips from a member: think of it like online dating
HomeExchange ambassador Clary has completed 91 exchanges and offers her tips for finding the perfect exchange partner.
"Think of it as akin to online dating. Would you request a date with someone if you had not read their profile first? (Read each person’s homeexchange.com write-up before sending a request!)
"Don’t think to yourself, “I have to send out so many date requests that I can’t read someone’s profile first.” (You’re asking to be a guest in someone’s home. Read their write up!￼ They will know if you have not read their write-up and they will turn you down.)
"Just because someone is single, it does not mean they want to go on a date with you. (Someone’s calendar might show availability, but that doesn’t mean they will automatically want to exchange with you for that time period even though it is available. There are a gazillion reasons why that might be the case. Also-this is not Airbnb. You are not “booking a stay.” You are having a conversation to see if you are a good fit for one another and want to either host/ be hosted or stay in each other’s home.) ￼
"If someone says they’re looking to date people in their 30s and 40s, don’t request a date with them if you are 60 years old. (If someone’s write-up says no young children, don’t send a request if you have three little kids.)￼
"In sum: read write-ups and send thoughtful, personalized, targeted requests. You will find success a lot sooner... and need to send far fewer requests."
Start sending messages now for summer
Summer is just around the corner, so don’t wait to start planning your vacations! The days are getting longer and brighter, and HomeExchangers are already sending out messages to make summer plans. It doesn’t cost anything to reach out to members, so start making connections now so you can have an amazing summer vacation.