Once you’ve joined a home exchange agency and completed your listing with photographs and information about you and your home, you are ready to send an email to home exchange prospects.
Writing that first home swap email can be daunting. You want to appear friendly, yet professional. You want the reader to look at the photos of your home and read the information you’ve posted. Ultimately, you want to get a positive response that yes, they’d love to home swap with you!
With that in mind I’ve compiled 9 Writing Tips to help you create that important and tempting home exchange email.
1. Use their language in the greeting – You don’t need to speak Spanish to write the word Hola, yet it’s a courteous way to begin a message to someone who lives in Spain. If you plan to home swap in France, Bonjour would be the perfect salutation. Using their language gives a small nod to the country of the home exchange prospect. (Dr. Google can supply you with the spelling of whatever you need.)
2. Include the first name of the member – Dale Carnegie said it best, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Look on the home swap member’s listing and note exactly how they spell their name. If two names are listed, then include both.
3. Offer honest appreciation of their home – The best way to begin your email is with an honest compliment about the member’s home. Let them know you value the beauty in their home. If you’re writing to people who speak a different language from you, always use simple and clear words.
4. Explain who is in your travel party – Home exchangers want to know who and how many people will be sleeping in their home, and if they are children or adults. If you are traveling with kids, list their ages. Also, it’s wise to state how well-behaved and respectful the children are. (Because my readers only have well-behaved and respectful children.)
5. Outline your travel dates – Include a window of opportunity for travel times. For example: “We would like to visit your beautiful city for two weeks sometime during July 2012.” This allows the prospect a bit of wiggle room and the chance to adjust their own travel schedule. Of course, if you are attending a wedding/meeting/reunion you should include those specific dates.
6. Describe a few benefits of your home – OK, so you’ve greeted them, appreciated them, given them your travel details, now you get to entice them. First thing, state how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have. Then explain one or two of the benefits of your home: “We have a view of Empress Lake from our deck.” or “Our family room is full of toys, games and a drum set.” If you have trouble coming up with something special, think about what your friend’s have commented on when they visit your home.
7. Sell your city – Most towns, even small ones, usually have a Chamber of Commerce or Town Council. These organizations can supply a treasure trove of information to help you describe the highlights of your community. Read their brochures, visit their website, find out how they promote your city and then borrow their ideas. If the family you hope to home exchange with has children, be sure to mention activities that the entire family will enjoy. For example, “An award-winning children’s museum is located in Kingston, a town about 20 minutes away.” Home exchangers LOVE day trips.
8. Conclusion – Invite the home swap prospect to look at your listing on the home exchange website for additional details. Then, ladies and gentlemen, ask for the order: “Are you ready to visit Denver this summer?” or “Would you like to home exchange with us?”
9. Include a PS – Studies have shown that everyone reads the PS, even if they only skim the letter. Use this opportunity to end your email on a high note. For example: “There’s a live concert in our neighborhood park the second week in July!”
With these tips you’re now ready to begin cutting and pasting your way through your favorite country. Happy home exchange; hope you catch a big one!
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