People who live in small towns often want to home exchange, but worry that their city isn’t “glamorous” enough to attract visitors. That it’s not interesting. That, “No one will want to visit my boring town.” Well, just take a look at the list of Best Small Towns, announced this month by USA TODAY and Rand McNally!
- FRIENDLIEST – Walla Walla, Washington
- MOST BEAUTIFUL – Sandpoint, Idaho
- BEST FOR FOOD – Lafayette, Louisiana
- MOST PATRIOTIC – Rapid City, South Dakota
- MOST FUN – Glenwood Springs, Colorado
The teams who selected these winning cities didn’t speak of celebrity sightings or world’s tallest buildings; they spoke of lakes, and friendly people, and cooking classes, and state parks, and FUN!
If you live in a small town you need to realize that what may be unglamorous to you, might be charming to others.
There are people all over the world who want to home exchange in a variety of areas. They’re looking for options. Perhaps someone from Paris is planning to attend a conference in your town. Maybe a man in Venice wants to visit his cousin who lives a few miles from you. You just don’t know what’s providing the motivation for someone to home exchange.
I recently noticed on one home swap website that a family in Denmark wanted to home exchange with someone in Little Rock, Arkansas. Why Little Rock? Their daughter was enrolled as an exchange student at one of the high schools there.
Identify Your Town’s Best Features
Create a document in your computer named, “Home Exchange Marketing.” While you follow the tips below, add the information you discover to this document.
1. Name IT
Does your town have an interesting claim to fame? Do community leaders boast about its history? Did anything noteworthy occur in in your city? What is IT that makes your town special? Write a couple paragraphs about these discoveries.
2. Chamber of Commerce or Town Council
Most towns, even the small ones, usually have some sort of promotion organization. (It could even be the Mayor’s Office or Historical Society.) These organizations can supply a treasure trove of information. Medium sized cities may have a Convention and Visitors Bureau; if your city has one, read their brochures, visit their website, find out how they promote your city and then borrow their ideas. Add all this the information to your Home Exchange Marketing document.
3. Bragging Rights
Just like USA TODAY there are many publications that create annual lists of cool towns:
- National Geographic – Best places to live
- Forbes – Americas most educated small towns
- Money – Americas best places to live
- Budget Travel – Americas coolest small towns
Find out if your town is on any of these lists. Or at least located near one of the towns named. Proximity gives you bragging rights!
4. Travel Guidebooks
Visit your local library and read the travel guidebooks for your state or region. These books can be your golden ticket to home exchange popularity. Notice what the experts think are your town’s best features and follow their lead.
5. Google Your Town
One of the smartest and easiest things you can do is to go online. Simply enter the name of your town and have a look around. After reviewing several of the websites, select one or two of the best ones and try to post a “link” on your home exchange webpage.
Once you do a bit of research, I bet you’ll be impressed by your town. Soon you’ll feel rightfully proud to offer home exchange travelers the opportunity to visit.
Now it’s your turn! What other ideas are there? How can you highlight your small town’s best features? Feel free to share your comments below.