Swapping homes for holidays is a very personal arrangement where honesty is key. However, to attract potential exchange partners, it is important to give some thought on how to present your home and yourself in the best possible light in your listing description and exchange offer messages.
Description: Give a detailed description of your home and area. If you are new to home swapping, read through a few Home Base Holidays listings for inspiration, especially those of members who are experienced exchangers. It can be difficult to see your home and local area from a visitor’s perspective – think how enticing the smell of freshly made croissants from the bakery around the corner will be to someone who lives far from shops; or, if you live in a rural area, city dwellers will be delighted to get away from the crowds and be able to view stars in dark night skies.
Photos: You can add as many photos of your home and area to your offer as you like (and change or add to them whenever you want) but consider your choice carefully. It’s better to include a small number of clear, bright, well composed photos than two dozen mediocre, dingy ones that won’t show your home off to its best advantage.
You will see in the member profile options that you can select your housekeeping style from: very house proud, relaxed or somewhere in between. If you have a relaxed attitude to housekeeping, that’s fine but, however laid-back you are, spend a little time tidying before taking photos of your home to add to your offer. An unmade bed, over flowing bin or papers scattered on all surfaces looks slovenly and is likely to be off-putting to even many members who are also relaxed about housekeeping. Your home may be spotlessly clean beneath the mess but most people will conclude that this is probably not the case and are unlikely to contact you to suggest a swap (or respond positively to your offer messages).
Personal Profile: It’s great to add a profile photo of you and your exchange party as this makes your home swap offer more personal. You certainly don’t need to be beautiful or fashionable to arrange a home swap but a photo of yourself or your family looking happy will make you appear friendly and approachable.
Similarly, take some care over the information you give in your profile description. Make sure to include the number of adults and children (and ages) that will be travelling. It’s important to also include whether you have pets and if they will be there during the exchange (some allergy sufferers will not be able to consider a swap to a home where pets usually live). Also remember when adding information to your profile not to include anything that may cause offence - you might be a loveable eccentric with a dry sense of humour but this may not come across to readers who don’t yet know you. The purpose of your profile is to encourage potential exchange partners to view you as trustworthy, reliable and a pleasant person who would be easy to communicate with to arrange an exchange.