Get to know a little more about each of the International Vacation Home Exchange team. In this post we have a great interview with Suzie Magnus the founder of IVHE.com.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Tell us a little about yourself?
I love everything about travelling. Having a Finnish Father and English Mother and having lived in six countries in my early years it must simply be in my blood. My partner says that I get anxious when my passport sits idle for more than a couple months! Learning about different cultures, visiting unique locations, tasting new dishes and meeting interesting people are all very rewarding. Starting IVHE has fulfilled another dream and that is to enable other to travel the world, experiencing all of the above, while saving a fortune.
I also enjoy cooking and entertaining, especially when my daughters are home and we have a full table of family and friends around. Sharing stories over dinner and watching my girls grow up is certainly at the top of my favourite activities.
Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have differing businesses interests from owning a wine bar/restaurant and a building company to hair dressing and eventually into property investment, refurbishment and management. That is what led me to the concept of IVHE.
What exactly do you do with IVHE.com?
The concept of home exchange is fantastic. When I first heard of it (pre-internet) I thought great, but at the time, having two small girls, I thought there was no way I would be able to get my own home in a state where I could swap. Then thinking, about the other properties that I managed the idea formed of setting a home exchange network for people with vacation / second / holiday homes. Adding in the concept of credits for non-simultaneous home exchanges allows for a lot more flexibility of both properties and availability as we remove the necessity for a direct swap.
Today I do a little of just about everything in IVHE, from helping members find a dream vacation home to working on new services that enhance our members experiences. I’m very fortunate to have a great team, in Europe, Americas and Asia, working together to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction in the industry.
What makes you smile while working with IVHE.com?
The best experience is when our members write about their great vacations. When we help a member find a wonderful destination and they come back glowing about their time away, I smile. We often receive compliments on both the exclusive properties but also on the member’s interaction with the IVHE team, this makes me proud of our entire team.
Are there any properties or destinations that you keep dreaming about?
I don’t think I’ll ever stop dreaming about travel, somehow my bucket list keeps full. Last year we traveled to Iceland for the first time, an amazing experience of glaciers, mountains, lakes, northern lights and natural hot springs. Currently I’m planning on exploring Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. Something about the open space, ruggedness and wildlife of the area is calling me, plus a great place for skiing.
Name your favorite activity outside of family and work.
Having some experience with property I still keep a keen interest in what is happening in the market. Maybe it is related to IVHE, it is very intriguing to me to see how property prices vary so much around the world. Over the last year I’ve put my ‘builder’ skills to work on a couple apartments too.
As mentioned earlier, cooking is enjoyable. To broaden my horizon, I recently completed a dim sum course. Not sure I’m an expert yet but they are very yummy and a lot of fun to make, especially with other beginners.
I love being outdoors; enjoy walking, skiing and scuba diving. Currently aiming to complete the Ridgeway Trail, an 85 mile ancient Roman and now National Trail in the UK. It is a nice challenge, beautiful scenery with a chance to see parts of England that are new to me.
Any comments or advice for our members to get the best trades possible?
We find there are a few things that enable great home exchange trades. First, get some great pictures of your home and spend a little time adding information about your home on the IVHE.com website. Make sure your information is up to date and lists all the great features of your home. Second, communicate with us. Let us know where you might like to visit or more importantly what you like to do while on vacation. We can keep an eye on listings for you and maybe identify new properties that you might not have considered. We have nearly doubled the amount of listing on IVHE in the last year so we have a much better opportunity to find you a perfect destination. Finally, the more adventurous and flexible you are, the more options you will have for your next wonderful holiday and vacation.
Thank you, Suzie, we have you to thank for starting IVHE.com!