One question that many first time home swappers have is how do they exchange keys with their home swap partners. Many home swappers choose to simply send the keys by mail. However, if you do choose to mail your keys, make sure to give plenty of time and use a trackable signed delivery or courier service so that there is a notification that the keys have been delivered. Also, if your swap partner mails you their keys, send them a message as soon as you receive the keys.
When the home exchange is non-simultaneous, involve a second home, or if there are a few days cross over between the exchanges, many members prefer to deliver the keys in person. If this includes you, make sure that you know exactly when your exchange guests will be arriving and allow in your schedule some flexi-time in case your guests are delayed.
Some additional options for exchanging keys:
- Neighbours, family and friends. It’s always recommended to leave 1 or 2 local numbers that your home swap guests can call if they have any questions – this might be the number of a family member, a friend or a trusted neighbour. Some members also arrange to pick up the house keys on arrival from an agreed contact. This can work very well but if you choose this option make sure that your family, friend or neighbour understands the importance of being there for your guests arrival and is also contactable by phone.
- Outdoor code lock box. If you plan on taking part in regular home swaps it can be worth installing a lockbox and then provide the code to your home swap guests so that they can access the key on arrival. This is a very good option for people listing second homes / holiday homes.
- Secret hiding spot. Some members choose a secret hiding spot to place their key. If you choose this option, then make sure the hiding spot isn’t so hidden that your guests can’t find the key!
- Key exchange service. With the rise of home sharing/rentals has also seen a rise in third party service, including key exchange services. These vary from courier services that drop off the keys on arrival to services where you can choose a collection destination near your exchange property. One example of a key exchange service is Keycafe