The following 14 points are a great place to start when evaluating home exchange networks:
- Offer Direct Exchanges - best if you are only swapping with your primary home.
- Offer Non-Simultaneous Exchanges - best if you are exchanging with your vacation or second home.
- Offer Seniors Only options - you might want to exchange with only 'like-age' people.
- Many Search Criteria (activities, locations, bedrooms, amenities) - makes your job easier when looking for your next vacation destination. Plus, makes your property stand out for others that are looking for your features / location / etc.
- Flexible Credit System (by season, property size, etc.) - optimizes the value you get for your property and creates greater choice for you in choosing your trade.
- Secure Communications Between Members - keeps your emails private to only those that you choose.
- Privacy of Personal Profile Information - ensures that your personal information is only viewed by whom you authorize.
- In-built Trade Agreements for Members - makes the entire process easier and identifies areas where you might have special requirements.
- Easy Communication with Exchange Network (phone / email) - it is always nice to be able to communicate with the home exchange network to answer your questions.
- Property Location Map (general area, for privacy, not exact address) - makes searching for a property easier and allows you the ability to promote your home's location.
- Verification of Members (identification) - helps ensure that you are dealing with the person that they say they are.
- Verification of Properties (utility bill, etc.) - confirms the relationship of the member to the property.
- References and Guest Book of previous exchanges - gives peer membership reviews, giving you candid feedback on the home and other members.
- Trade Coordinators / Researchers - supports you in your trade requests by communicating with the other members. They also assist with finding activities for you to enjoy while on holiday or vacation.
If you would like a PDF version of the above list, simply email us with 'Membership Checklist' in the subject line. If you are new to home exchange, there is a free Home Exchange Guide available here. Included in the free guide is the above checklist with many hints and tips to help you get started.