You feel like a trained athlete. You’re in the zone, the home exchange vacation zone.
- You’ve joined a home exchange club
- Taken beautiful photos of your home
- Created a fabulous home exchange webpage
- Sent out e-mails to home exchange prospects
Then… nothing happens.
Three house swappers have written to me within the last few weeks voicing their home swap travel concerns:
- Diana from Australia said, “What I find so frustrating is not hearing back from other home exchangers when I write to them for a possible swap.”
- Sonja from New Jersey said, “I’ve had 76 views of my beach house. I’ve sent about 15 messages and only heard back from one person. Am I doing something wrong?”
- Maryann from Florida said, “We have just about exhausted all the home exchange club choices, yet last year we were so successful.”
If you find yourself feeling like these home exchange hopefuls (and believe me I’ve felt that way many times too) here are my 6 strategies for capturing a home swap:
1. Celebrate – You’ve got a home swap webpage and sent out e-mails, you’ve accomplished a lot. You’re ahead of the pack. Remember this.
2. Constant Contact – Send e-mails to your top 15 home swap prospects. If you don’t hear back from them within seven days, send them another e-mail. Let them know you’re really interested. Ask them a question at the end of the e-mail, which may prompt them to respond quicker. Something like, “Are you available to travel during June, or would another travel date work better?” Here’s my post about how to Catch a Fabulous Home Exchange With a Great Email: 9 Writing Tips.
3. Reverse Search: This feature is fabulous! It allows you to easily find specific exchangers who want to travel to your city or state, as opposed to looking at an entire home swap membership list and just hoping to find someone who wants to vacation in your region. If you want more info on reverse search have a look at this: In Less Than 60 Seconds Find Out Who Wants To Exchange In Your City. I also suggest contacting people who want to travel to a city close to you. Close can be good.
4. Response Rate: Some people join home exchange clubs and then don’t respond to home exchange requests. Don’t waste your time with them; focus on the members who are actively seeking and responding! Look for members who have a 75% and above response rate. HomeLink.org makes it easy to spot the response rate.
5. Expand Your Horizons – Do you want to house swap in a large city, for example London? Consider reaching out to members who live in a nearby town, in this case a town like Windsor. Public transportation is plentiful in Europe. You can hop a train in Windsor and arrive in London in 40 minutes! Personally, I prefer the smaller towns. Often travelers use their home swap as a vacation base to see an entire country, so the exact city isn’t as important as being located in your desired region.
6. Keep calm & carry on – Once when I was planning a vacation in Germany, I bet I e-mailed 30 home swappers during a two-month period. Eventually, my efforts paid off. We found a wonderful hospitality exchange with Gerhard and Monika. The second floor of their home was a darling 2-bedroom apartment! Your home swap vacation is out there. Persevere!
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas Edison.
Comment below and tell me your ideas. How did you find a home swap?