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Your house is beautiful, perfectly located and a dream to stay in, but unless you convey this well to fellow swappers, you might find your swap success is inhibited. To make sure your inbox is flush with requests, here are Love Home Swap's top tips for creating a first-class listing

Photos

While obviously arranging a successful swap is about so much more than just how your home looks, it sure does help to have a beautiful looking listing. Have a blast with a home photo shoot with our top tips for a picture-perfect listing.

Inside-out

Make sure your listing really shows off all your home's best features. We always recommend a shot of the exterior of your home, as well as any outdoor space you have. In addition it's a good idea to include pictures of all the main rooms in the house, especially kitchens and living areas, where your swappers are likely to spend much of their time when staying in your home.

Be thorough, but not too thorough

We recommend around 15 to 20 pictures for you listing. Too few and swappers may not get a proper feel for your home and too many and they might get a little bored. Remember quality over quantity and always leave them wanting more.

Think outside the house

If you have pictures of your local area, use them. It's always helpful to have an idea of what surrounds the house and the local attractions that are available - after-all, while your home is lovely, your swappers won't stay with you for your home alone. Sell your neighborhood as well as your home for the best chance of swap success.

Bring the family along

Show some personality in your photos, after-all, it's your home. If you have kids or pets, why not include them in some of the pictures of your home. this gives swappers a great idea of how you live in your home and also tells them a little more about you, starting the trust-building process from the off-set.

Get some perspective

Ask any photographer and they'll tell you: The angle of a photograph can change everything. Play around and take several pictures of your rooms from a few angles. You don't need to upload every single one, but a few options will create a more realistic idea of the space.

Timing is everything

In all the excitement, it's tempting to just snap a few shots and upload them as soon as you start your listing on Love Home Swap. While this is fine as a stop gap, if your outside shots show rolling thunder clouds and your internal ones look a little dark, it's definitely worth re-shooting your home when the weather picks up. Sell the dream. If you get some beautiful snow fall, add a few pictures in to show the seasonality of where you live. Time of day is also important. you want to be photographing your rooms in their best light, literally.

Editorialise

Swappers want to look at your pictures and feel like they're already there. If you've got a pile of laundry in front of the machine waiting to go into the washer in your kitchen, it can shatter the illusion a bit. Your home photo shoot should be fun, so pay attention to little details to get a beautiful result worthy of your time and effort. Clear away anything that might distract from the beauty of the room or decor and adding touches like flowers, magazine or even glasses of wine to capture the essence of the room will really bring it to life.

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Description

While pictures speak a thousand words, it's still important to have a great description of your home to convey whatever it is that's special about your home that pictures just don't do justice to.

A killer title 

Along with your first image, this is what's going to get swappers clicking on your listing, so really make it count. Our formula for a good property title goes like this: Size + property type + key benefit = success. For example 'compact apartment moments from central park' or '4 bedroom family home in well-connected suburb'. Remember to keep it between 40-60 characters long.

Drop downs and features 

Do take the time to complete the drop-down options and features sections accurately. Members use these fields to search for homes, so you're doing your home a disservice by not using them. Filling these in accurately will literally bring your ideal swappers to you, so it's in your best interests. 

Overview 

You might have endless things to say about your home or find it a struggle to know what to put and we see listings on both sides of the scale. We recommend keeping your overview about 200-250 words long - which should allow you to give a good impression of your home, without being 'too much', which could turn some swappers off.

What to include 

Amenities are important so a good starting point is to talk about what rooms you have in the homes and any other key features such as pools, sound-systems, appliances etc. You can then perhaps move on to the key benefits of your home, for example quiet neighbourhood or central location and other elements you like about your home and neighbourhood. Lastly you can paint a picture of what staying there might be like. Talk about the attractions near to your home and give an idea of transport options. If you're offering to swap cars (or any other equipment), mentioning it here is also a good idea. Mentioning pets is also important, as we need to consider that some people have allergies to certain animal hair. You can also use this part to relay any expectations, such as feeding the cat.

Give it a proof-read 

While you certainly don't need to be Shakespeare to write a good listing, good spelling and grammar will get you a long way. Run it through a spell-checker and ask a friend to cast an eye over it. Remember as well that you want this to sound warm and inviting, so full sentences will work much better than short statements.

About us

Your home and neighbourhood are obviously important to your swap success, but an equally important element is you. It's no secret that home swap requires a certain degree of trust, and while this is a process, who doesn't want to get started on the right foot? Show some personality and let swappers know who you are and why they want to swap with you. It might even help you make some friends for life.

Make it personal 

Even if you're only planning to simultaneous swaps, having a personalised profile will be a huge benefit. This increases trust, which will likely translate to more bookings. Remember, many of us swap for more authentic holidays and that starts with our hosts.

Show us who you are 

Having a profile picture will increase the response rate to your requests, so having one is really conducive to swapping successfully. Try and get a picture of your whole party if you aren't swapping as a single traveller, so fellow swappers get a real idea of who you are.

Age is just a number 

Including your ages, especially of your kids is also helpful. Many swappers look for like-minded or similar swapper, so being open about your age will help you to attract these people. With children it's also helpful as this will indicate the kinds of facilities you have at home and will need from a fellow swapper, especially for those with infants.

Go deep 

Give your potential guests a real idea of who you are and consider adding in what work you do/ did, what type of holiday you enjoy, your swap experience, what you are looking for from your trips, etc. Answers like these will help you to attract like-minded swappers to bring in swaps you both know you'll enjoy and any common ground here will be good talking points for pre-swap messages and calls.

Local touches

Remember all those great insider tips you held back on in your property overview to keep within 200-250 words? Now's the time to use them. In the location tab on your listing there's a list of questions covering all the highlights from your local areas including: Buzzy restaurants, Cool bars, Cozy cafés, Retail therapy, Bit of culture, Walks in the park, Spot of exercise, Day tripping

Thanks to you guys, we've generated tens of thousands of top tips, local haunts and favourite hot spots in locations all around the world. And this is really integral to what we are and what we do at Love Home Swap. It's what makes us unique, so we really encourage you to share your own tips - we suggest three per category, if you can, with an indication of style, e.g. fine dining, family restaurant, quirky bar etc.

 

Set your availability

 

Our last tip for swap success is keeping your availability calendar up-to-date. If you're looking to swap in certain periods make sure your fellow swappers know this. If swappers see a sea of grey in your availability calendar, they might hesitate to send you a request, assuming you're not actively swapping. Keeping your availability accurately filled in will not only eliminate this week, but also help you to attract more swap request for the times you're looking to go away.

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