We are happy to have noticed that in the recent months, the number of exchanges finalized on HomeExchange has increased by 50% compared to last year. As we are listening to your feedback, we are aware of the difficulties you have encountered on the website. All of our improvements made on the platform are directed toward the same goals: to facilitate your search for exchanges, valorise your engagement to the community, and foster trust among members.
The foundations of the site
For the last ten months, the team has been reworking all the basics of the website's code to offer you the best possible experience, even if the optimisations are not always noticeable on the platform. The foundations, like the pillars of a house, are essential for it to function properly.
What it means for you:
Their work now allows you to save a few seconds on each of your searches and to have more relevant results thanks to a faster and more frequent update of the houses added to the site.
There have also been some application-specific improvements (on iOS and Android), including a significant reduction in crash risk from 5 percent to less than 1 percent.
And another piece of good news for your phone - the application now uses less memory! Before, it's taking up just 56 MB today, instead of the 70 MB before.
The new map
Last month, we also introduced a new map. Behind a simple design change, it was a matter of making the best technical decisions to ensure better loading time, but above all, to make the results more relevant. We changed service providers, stopped using Google Maps and switched to Here. This change is related to several things. Firstly, the need to set up what are called polygons (you will find out just below what they are), which Google Maps did not allow. And it is also a way to release our dependence on the Web giant who, a few months ago, raised its prices disproportionately.
But what are polygons anyway?
Before, on the old map, when you look for houses in one country, the map also displayed houses in neighboring countries. The map is square, so the results showed all the houses in the square area. For example, when looking for a house in France, you could find houses in Italy, Spain or Portugal.
Many of you have asked to make the map more accurate. Today, the technical polygon takes into account the boundaries of the area sought and only presents the relevant houses. As you can see below, when I search in France, I only have houses in France offered. It is the same as the cities. When you are looking for a house in Paris, for example, your results will be concentrated in this area. Feel free to play with the map by moving it to make houses appear in the cities bordering Paris!
How are we doing with regards to the reverse search?
After the first step of rewriting the foundations of the search code, the new reverse search bases were implemented. But following the change of the service provider, your previous preferred destinations did not follow the data transfer and therefore can no longer be found on the new map. We are currently in the process of gradually deploying some groups of Members to update their favorite destinations as they go along. Once we are sure that it is working well, we will ask you to delete your favorite destinations and create new ones (which could also be an excellent opportunity to think about your next holiday plans). You will, therefore, be able to search more easily for houses of Members who would like to do a reciprocal exchange. Rest assured that our team is eager to introduce a functional reverse search to you, as much as you are to be able to use it!
See you soon for the rest!