The Home Exchange Community is based on honesty, trust and commitment. We encourage all of our Members to be active participants in the safety of the Community. Everybody contributes to a safer Community by writing reviews, verifying their Accounts, creating detailed Listing and Member Profile pages and using exchange agreements.
When exchanging, both you and your exchange partner are entrusting your homes to one another, this means you will both have the same questions about safety. To make sure everything goes smoothly we encourage all of our Members to base home swaps on good communication. Follow these simple rules to make that process safe and worry-free:
1. Use our Tools to Stay Informed
We’ve built many tools to make the home swap process as easy and as transparent as possible:
- Detailed Member Profiles—to connect a home with a face.
- Verifications of phone numbers, email addresses and Facebook accounts—to add an extra dose of safety.
- Guestbook Reviews—to see where and with whom your potential partner has exchanged in the past, and what those experiences were like.
- Secure Messaging System—enables you to contact other Members without revealing any of your contact details. You stay fully in control of your contact and home details.
- Local Support Team available to you through phone, email and chat.
Before accepting any exchange we recommend you:
- Read in detail your potential exchange partner’s Profile and Listing pages.
- Check-out their past exchange Guestbook reviews.
- Ask your potential exchange partner to complete their Profile verifications (if they haven't done so already).
- Arrange a phone call or a Skype video call.
2. Privacy & Safe Communication
Our Messaging System lets you safely communicate with other Members so that you don’t need to give out your phone number or your personal email. We take safety seriously and are dedicated to protecting your personal information at all times. On your Listing and your Profile page we will never display your:
- Full Name (only first name will be displayed, we advise you not to add your last name)
- Phone Number
- Location on the map (the map view of your home will only display its approximate location)
After you get to know your partner, and when you start feeling confident, you can make the decision to share with them your private information.
3. We Are Here for You
Our Member Support team is here to help out with any questions or doubts. We have a dedicated team of Local Representatives who speak your language, who themselves have been home exchanging for years and who can give you advice that applies to your specific situation. We have over 25 years of experience with world wide home swaps and are here to share that knowledge with you. Contact us for any assistance you might need.
4. Set Your Expectations and Communicate Them Clearly
Home swapping is a two-sided process and both sides need to feel confident about it. Your Listing and your Profile pages are starting points of your communication with other Members. Dedicate time to carefully fill out those pages. They are important sources of information about who you are and what you are looking for.
5. When Exchanging Leave Emergency Contacts
Leave a list of contact details for the following emergency services:
- Emergency local contact person's phone number (neighbor or property manager)
- Police and fire department number
- Nearby hospital and dentist numbers
- Car insurance information
- Car repair shop
Also, remember to leave your contact numbers and your trip itinerary, in case your exchange partner needs to get in touch with you.
6. Inform Your Neighbours
It’s a good idea to inform anyone who might come to your home unexpectedly that you have guests in your home while you are away. Share your exchange partners arrival and departure dates with your neighbours, relatives, friends or your landlord.
7. It’s Okay to Say No
If your exchange partner is not providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision ask them to complete their Profile page and verify their identity through our verification tools.
If you looked at their Profile and don’t think you are a home swap match, politely decline the exchange offer. Remember, do it as soon as possible. It’s okay to say no, but it’s not okay to leave the other side waiting without a response.
Happy Home Exchanging!