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The principles of home swapping

The principles of home swapping

Ellena Morgan
By Ellena Morgan - 9 minute read

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key (AKA it’s nice to be nice!)

In order to be a great home swap­per, you need to be a great com­mu­ni­ca­tor too. From your very first swap request through to leav­ing a review after you’ve stayed in some­one’s home, it’s essen­tial that you keep the con­ver­sa­tion going. The first step to get­ting to know anoth­er mem­ber is send­ing a friend­ly swap trip request. This is super sim­ple to do, but remem­ber that you’re not book­ing a hotel, so what you say in your swap request is real­ly impor­tant. Super swap­per Marie has been a mem­ber of Love Home Swap for sev­er­al years, so you might find her tips on how to write a great swap request help­ful. It’s also essen­tial that you respond to every mes­sage as quick­ly as pos­si­ble (even if you can’t accom­mo­date some­one’s request to stay in your home), as this will impact on your Response Rate, which is turn could influ­ence whether or not oth­er swap­pers reach out to you. To keep a top rank­ing, we rec­om­mend reply­ing to every mes­sage with­in 24 hours.

Be wel­com­ing

It’s impor­tant to be wel­com­ing and to make your swap guest feel like they’re not intrud­ing, so make sure that your home is ready and prepped with our ulti­mate host­ing check­list. If you real­ly want to go the extra mile, then take a look at our top tips for prepar­ing your home for your guest’s arrival.

For guests, it’s more impor­tant than ever to be con­sid­er­ate and to always leave your host’s home as clean and tidy as you found it. You can read how to be a great home swap guest here.

Share your hon­est experiences

A cru­cial ele­ment to being part of our trav­el-lov­ing com­mu­ni­ty is shar­ing your amaz­ing expe­ri­ences with oth­er home swap­pers. We’re proud to say that our mem­bers rate their home swaps on aver­age 4.9 out of 5 stars, with over 20,000 trip reviews so far. Reviews are impor­tant as they help make your host’s prop­er­ty list­ing more attrac­tive to oth­ers, while oth­er home swap­pers will appre­ci­ate your feed­back and rec­om­men­da­tions. You can read our guide on how to leave a review here, but the main things to include are: what you liked about the home; what you did dur­ing your stay; and how easy you found it to com­mu­ni­cate with your host.

Swap your homes and your tips

One of the perks of home swap­ping com­pared to a reg­u­lar hol­i­day rental or a hotel is that you get an insider’s knowl­edge about the area you’re vis­it­ing. Noth­ing is bet­ter than arriv­ing at your home swap and already know­ing the best local places to explore dur­ing your stay. Whether that’s a favourite bak­ery that has the tasti­est pas­tries or the best walks from your front door, you can real­ly sell your home as a desir­able des­ti­na­tion! There are three sim­ple ways you can do this. First­ly, update the neigh­bour­hood sec­tion of your pro­file. Sec­ond­ly, men­tion what makes your area so spe­cial when com­mu­ni­cat­ing with oth­er mem­bers on our plat­form — it will help seal the deal. And third­ly, con­sid­er putting togeth­er a wel­come pack that details key infor­ma­tion like the best local sights and favourite restau­rants and cafes. This insight will ele­vate your swap part­ner’s vaca­tion expe­ri­ence expo­nen­tial­ly — result­ing in an even bet­ter review for you and your home!

Be as flex­i­ble as possible

One of the biggest perks of home swap­ping is the unex­pect­ed — because how often do you receive an impromp­tu invi­ta­tion to vis­it a beau­ti­ful home in anoth­er coun­try?! Quite sim­ply, home swap­ping allows you to dis­cov­er incred­i­ble des­ti­na­tions you may not have even heard of before, so if you can keep an open mind as to the des­ti­na­tions you’d like to vis­it, then you may find your­self hol­i­day­ing in the most unex­pect­ed yet amaz­ing loca­tions. To make sure even more peo­ple reach out to you, we’d sug­gest select­ing Open to trav­el­ling any­where’ in your Dream Des­ti­na­tions list (along­side a good num­ber of places that you’d def­i­nite­ly like to trav­el to). This will ensure you appear in even more search results, and your chances of trav­el­ling the world will go up a delight­ful lit­tle notch. 

Hon­esty is always the best policy

As we’ve men­tioned ear­li­er, good com­mu­ni­ca­tion is cru­cial when home swap­ping, and so is being hon­est. Whether that’s when you are writ­ing about your own home or you are mes­sag­ing oth­er mem­bers, being sin­cere helps man­age expec­ta­tions and leads to bet­ter home swap expe­ri­ences. Like­wise, no one likes time-wasters, so when you’re either mes­sag­ing mem­bers to request a swap or you’re respond­ing to swap requests for your home, be absolute­ly truth­ful (but still polite) so that they can man­age their plans better. 

Be patient (and breathe!)

It’s impor­tant to remem­ber that home swap­ping isn’t like book­ing a hotel. The homes you are stay­ing in are real homes, owned by real peo­ple. We always ask our mem­bers to reply as quick­ly as they can to any mes­sages they receive, but don’t for­get that life can some­times get in the way of plan­ning a hol­i­day, so please allow a few days for the oth­er mem­ber to get back to you. If you need any help with a non-respon­sive mem­ber, then our team will be hap­py to reach out to give them a lit­tle nudge of encour­age­ment! Just get in touch if you’d like our Cus­tomer Care team to sup­port you with plan­ning an unfor­get­table home swap.