Whether you’re new to home swapping or you’re a pro, there are a few tips and tricks to sending a perfect first message!
First, check availability
Before you send a swap request, check the member’s availability in the calendar section of their profile. Dates that are red are unavailable, dates that are green are available and dates that are grey are open for offers.
Once you know that your host is either available or open to swap opportunities, it’s time to send your swap request!
Next, send them a request!
Type your proposed arrival and departure dates, then click the 'Request now' button on the right-hand side of the property listing.
Once you click this button, you will see a pop-up display like below. Most of our members will be familiar with receiving requests from all around the world, so you must make sure that your request stands out. This is particularly true for places such as New York, Paris and Bali which are all in high demand.
This is your chance to really connect with the host with a few carefully considered details. So follow these three simple steps, and you’ll be one step closer to that dream home swap!
Step 1: Enter your preferred trip dates
Are you looking to swap at a certain time, or can you be flexible?
You have the option of adding preferred dates or leaving it as ‘I don’t mind’ - and the specifics of why you do or don’t need precise dates will make all the difference. So if you are travelling for work-related purposes or you need to travel during school breaks or for a specific event, then it’s worth going into a little more detail in your personal message to the host.
Step 2: Choose your preferred way to travel
There are many flexible ways to home swap, so it helps if you know what type of swap you would like to take, although this can always be decided later.
If you are interested in a Classic Swap, make sure you point out why you think your home would be the perfect swap for the host you are contacting. Maybe they have indicated your location as a ‘Dream Destination’? Perhaps they have mentioned a love of nature and rural retreats in their ‘More About Us’ section, and you live in the perfect spot to take advantage of hiking trails?
Give it some thought, and tailor your personal message accordingly. These small details will let the host know that you have had a look at their profile before sending over that first request, and in turn, they will make you stand out from the crowd!
Step 3: Add a personal message
In your message it is important to be personal, concise and original. Avoid messages that are blunt and generic. Introduce yourself and highlight your travel plans. Mention why you are interested in their specific location – are you travelling for leisure, business, or perhaps you’re looking for a new place to work? And don’t forget to mention why your home will appeal to them if you are looking for a Classic Swap.
This is a good example of a first message:
“Hi Jan, my name is Helen and I have a lovely home in The Lake District (England)! I am planning a trip to your area next spring, and I was wondering whether you might have availability for a swap? I am travelling to visit family who live close by, and I wanted a base for my week-long trip. I noticed that the area I live in is mentioned in your ‘Dream Destinations’, so please do take a look at my profile! My home is perfectly located for mountain hikes (we’re both evidently avid walkers!) so I think you’d really enjoy staying here. I can do either a Classic Swap or a Points Swap. I look forward to hearing back from you!”
And this is a message to avoid:
“Hi, I want to swap. I need 10-15 October. Please get back to me.”
If you’re keen to refine your swap request skills even further, then take a look at this great blog from Love Home Swap member Marie.