Q: Re HE24044 - We're interested to know if this listing is still available? The reason for asking is that several of the sites we have looked in to have listings that are no longer viable or so old to be of no use. If it is still current and available we will be happy to pay the fee and become members. Regards, Jill, New Zealand
A: Thank you for your enquiry about a Home Base Holidays listing, HE24044. On a quick skim through the member’s mailbox without reading private mail in full, it appeared that he may have arranged an exchange this year but not as yet one to New Zealand in 2011. We can never guarantee that the member will be interested in your offer but it does seem like there would be a good chance that he would be if your home is near any of the Rugby World Cup venues and is available during RWC. When members have arranged an exchange and are not currently looking for further exchanges, they can indicate this in their listings (you will see a little suitcase symbol beside such listings). This avoids members wasting time sending exchange offers to those who aren’t likely to be interested at this time.
I am sorry to hear that you have found many listings on other home exchange sites to be out of date. We know how disappointing this is and so keep our own listings as up-to-date as possible by having two membership options only (one and two years), with listings automatically hidden on the expiry date if not renewed on or before that date. All listings include both the registration (join) date and the expiry date (this information is near the end of each full listing) as it’s very important that site visitors are able to see exactly how long any listing has already been in circulation. If you look at the Glastonbury listing, you will see that the member joined on 11 March this year and his membership expires on 11 March 2012.
A note re exchange dates shown in listings: when browsing listings you will see either one or two ranges of dates (months and years) when the member would like to exchange or ‘Open to Offers’ if they can be flexible on dates. Although members can update their information, including exchange dates, whenever they want, some don’t do this and so you will see that in some of the older listings (none older than two years), that the date field is blank, meaning the exchange dates are past and have been automatically deleted. This doesn’t mean such members won’t be interested in further exchanges but is an indication that they may not be looking for another exchange at this time.
I am very sorry to hear that you have been disappointed with several home exchange sites that display very out of date listings for exchange offers unlikely to still be available. This superficially boosts the number of listings, and unfortunately many potential members and the media don’t look beyond the total number of listings claimed. We believe this is a very bad practice that discredits the niche home exchange industry (and would like to see it exposed). Home Base Holidays publishes a more modest number of listings but, knowing that all members, having paid a membership fee to show their commitment to arranging exchanges, plus making available only current listings no older than two years, this provides a much better service for members.
Note: if you can’t see join and expiry dates in listings on other sites you check out, or there are many listings showing either no exchange dates, out of date offers, or months without years, give the site a wide berth!
I do hope that you will decide to join Home Base Holidays (www.homebase-hols.com) so that you can contact the member in Glastonbury with your home exchange offer. As Home Base Holidays is based in London, there are many listings throughout England and I hope that you will find others of potential interest too. Please get in touch if you have any further questions.