Finding Your First Exchange
Now that you've got your listing set up, it’s time to take the leap and start contacting people. Home swapping is like dating. If you don’t take initiative, nothing’s ever going to happen. When I began home exchanging, I would read each listing before messaging them. It was a giant waste of time! Cast your net wide and read in-depth if they respond positively..
Now I craft a short personal message with a little information about my family, the reason for my trip, and what I like about their region. I message houses inside and outside the city center. Offer Guest Points (GP) OR reciprocal exchanges. We’ve had more luck with GP but we do reciprocal exchanges also!
I would estimate it takes an average of 15-20 messages to find a match. Ask about seasons (i.e. would you like to swap sometime in the summer versus July 1-7). When someone responds positively, don’t confirm right away. Start a conversation. Just like dating, communication is key. Talk about everything. Move on if you can’t agree on something or you get a bad feeling.
Continue this until you’ve found the right match. After you’ve found your dream swap, don’t forget to “break up” with all the other people you’ve messaged! Tell them you’ve found an exchange but thank them for their interest. Another parallel to dating: have fun! Be patient and keep trying until something works out. The worst they’re going to say is no.