Sunday, October 25, 2015

Home Exchange – The First Practical Steps (part 1 of 2)

Since its discovery in the mid-50s, the business of home exchange had matured into a refined social interaction. From simple printed catalogs before, home exchange service groups now have websites where the process of selecting an exchange partner is more sophisticated, wider in scope, and decisions can be made faster and more precise.    

Of course, the theme is the same: choosing an exchange partner home that is near-perfect for one’s needs, near-perfect for one’s desired destination and with a near-perfect relationship with the partner-exchanger.

As told by experienced home exchangers, a successful exchange is a healthy combination of chemistry, flexibility, honesty, clear communication, and a bit of luck.

The following are the basic time-tested steps.

Choose a reputable home exchange group
After ejecting your horror of having strangers stay in your home, and deciding to go and live in that stranger’s home yourself for your vacation, choose a good home exchange group.

Today, the Internet is the place to look for one. If a group has less than a few thousand members, chances are they are new. For someone new like you, it is best to stick to an experienced group.

Check out their listings. Do the listed locations interest you? Are they worldwide? What about testimonials? How is their customer support? Are new listings added daily? Do they offer other resources like articles, newsletters, sample contracts, videos, etc.?

Join the list and market your home
After paying your dues, write a detailed description about your home, yourself, your location, even your neighbors. Keep it honest, even if you play up your assets like a swimming pool or a big yard, perhaps.

Include other places of interests like beaches, parks or places for sports, local attractions, where to find a bank, restaurant recommendations, where the best cappuccino and the best croissants are, where to buy groceries.

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