HomeLink Helpful Guidance

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Why Choose HomeLink?

HomeLink does not have a “points” or “balloon” system, rentals or a pay-per-night system.
Our home swap community enjoys unlimited traditional home exchanges between two trusting families, often leading to long-term friendships. Established in 1953, HomeLink House Exchange offers outstanding customer support while maintaining a reasonable membership fee of $99 per annum with frequent reduced rate offers.
We observe the highest ethical standards and provide the personal attention so hard to find in the modern world.
We don’t display lapsed or dormant listings to boost...

Why Choose HomeLink?

HomeLink does not have a “points” or “balloon” system, rentals or a pay-per-night system.  Our home swap community enjoys unlimited traditional home exchanges between two trusting families, often leading to long-term friendships. Established in 1953, HomeLink House Exchange offers outstanding customer support while maintaining a reasonable membership fee of $99 per annum with frequent reduced rate offers. 

We observe the highest ethical standards and provide the personal attention so hard to find in the modern world.  We don’t display lapsed or dormant listings to boost numbers; just genuine, active and enthusiastic members, seeking a home exchange.

We will not automatically charge your card at renewal time nor will we attempt to shift you into a more expensive option. We offer a full one month trial membership free-of-charge but, unlike others, do not require a credit card to enroll.

We also offer our 2nd-Year-Free Guarantee,  so if you are not able to find a home exchange in your 1st year through HomeLink, your 2nd year's membership is free.

Ten Reasons Why You Should Choose HomeLink Home Exchange:

1. World’s oldest home exchange community ~
Our 60 years’ experience means you are joining a network of tradition, respect and a well-earned international reputation for excellence. It also means more highly experienced exchangers for you to swap with.

2. Highest percentage of European Members ~
Unlike other home exchange organizations that are top-heavy with US members, HomeLink has a higher percentage of overseas members making it easier for you to get an exchange. Within HomeLink, the ratio of European members to North American members is more than three to one. Many major competitors have a ratio of one to one which may sound appropriate but most Europeans do not wish to visit the USA while most Americans are interested in a European exchange.

3. Professional Personal Assistance ~ Only HomeLink International offers friendly and experienced Customer Service by telephone, not just locally but all around the world. We encourage all of our members to call us at our toll-free number with whatever question they may have or experience they wish to share with us.

4. Arguably the World’s Largest Home Exchange Community ~ Over 13,000 real, full fee-paying Members, which means more opportunities to find a perfect exchange holiday than with any other network. Do not be confused by sites that show visitors & free trial listings in search results to inflate their numbers.

5. The Most Information ~ Our unique descriptive coding system means that you have far more information about other members, their homes, and their availability.  This helps you to be more fully informed – in advance – about your potential exchange partner than with any other exchange network.

6. Security ~ Only other HomeLink members can find out about your exchange offer, through our password protected Members-only website You can rest easy knowing that only other HomeLink members will be contacting you, unlike other networks where anyone searching the internet can find out about you and your home.

7. Self-contained Internal Messaging System ~
Our unique messaging system means you can contact other members and your email address will never be revealed. Of course, you can exchange email addresses, if you wish.

8. Homelink is About People ~ So, for more than half a century, we’ve offered our members a truly personal service.

9. Local HomeLink Ownership ~ Unlike the “new” breed of faceless, “one-man-band” home exchange websites, we are a team of highly experienced local Organizers around the globe, each owning and operating our respective country’s HomeLink Organization. This ownership element is what makes us so passionate and sincere about bringing our members the best possible home exchange experience in the industry.  We are ready to help you, every step of the way!

10. Commitment To Highest Membership Standards, Etiquette and Values ~ At HomeLink,  we understand the essential ingredients that make for a rich and rewarding home exchange experience.  We also understand that before you can truly relax and enjoy your home exchange vacation, the one thing you really need is to feel safe and secure about the people who will stay in your home.  We understand that you need to find far more than just the right house...You need to find great people to exchange with.  People who make you feel comfortable, who share your values.  Rest assured that HomeLinkers are those people.

Since 1953, our global community has grown by embracing a wonderful tradition we like to call...

“The HomeLink Spirit”

It is our simple, old-fashioned community values.

Respect ~ Trust ~ Caring ~ Generosity

We understand that these are the foundation for every great home exchange vacation.  If our HomeLink community appeals to you, and you would like to begin forming instant (and often lifelong) friendships in over 70 countries around the world, then on behalf of our entire global community we’d like to say,

“Welcome Home”

Thank you for taking the time to visit us!

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Replying to Messages Through HomeLink

Automated Messages Notifications
Replying To Messages from our Automated Message Notification System:

The message notifications we send to your personal email address are “No-reply” emails, so clicking the reply link for your mail browser you would normally click to reply to an email received will not work.
You need to click the "Reply" link found within the content of the notification and follow the prompts from there.
HomeLink's Internal Messaging System:
1.
Log into your HomeLink account at homelink.org2.
...

Replying to Messages Through HomeLink

Automated Messages Notifications
Replying To Messages from our Automated Message Notification System:
  The message notifications we send to your personal email address are “No-reply” emails, so clicking the reply link for your mail browser you would normally click to reply to an email received will not work.  

You need to click the "Reply" link found within the content of the notification and follow the prompts from there. 

HomeLink's Internal Messaging System:
1.  Log into your HomeLink account at homelink.org

2.  Click on the envelope icon found to the left of your name in the upper right corner of the page.  This takes you to your HomeLink Inbox/"Conversations With" folder

3.  Click into the conversation you wish to reply to

4.  Enter your message in the blank text box below the two photos (yours on the left, sender's on the right)

5.  Click Send

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Editing Your Finalized HomeLink Exchange Agreement

We decided not to create an edit function for the Exchange Agreement Form (EAF) once it has been validated by both parties since the form is relatively simple to complete.
Therefore, if there is some addition or change to the form you want to make post validation, your have a couple options:Option 1:
Delete the existing EAF and create a new one to include the changeDelete Existing EAF:
Navigate to the EAF between the two of you and click the "Cancel this exchange agreement" found just below the listed EAF for you.
Once you do this, you
will be prompted with...

Editing Your Finalized HomeLink Exchange Agreement

We decided not to create an edit function for the Exchange Agreement Form (EAF) once it has been validated by both parties since the form is relatively simple to complete.  Therefore, if there is some addition or change to the form you want to make post validation, your have a couple options:

Option 1:  Delete the existing EAF and create a new one to include the change

Delete Existing EAF:
Navigate to the EAF between the two of you and click the "Cancel this exchange agreement" found just below the listed EAF for you.  Once you do this, you  will be prompted with a text box to explain the cancellation reason, which you should both receive at your message area.

Create New EAF:
2.  click the envelope icon found to the left of your name at the upper right corner of the page

3.  click into the message with your future exchange partner by clicking on the grey, backward-facing arrow on the right side of the message listed

4.  click the button "CREATE AGREEMENT FORM"  found in between the photos of your home and your exchange partner's home and follow the prompts from there.  The EAF system will send notices to your personal email accounts along the way with further instructions.

TIP:  To keep the form in the edit mode, continue to click 'Save, Comment & Submit" button at the bottom of the page.  Once both parties click the "Validate" button, the form will be finalized, preventing further editing.

Once both parties have validated the EAF, to save as a .pdf doc to your computer:
1.   After logging in, click on your name in the upper right corner,
2.   Select Our Exchanges from the pull down selection list.  There you will see the EAF you have created.
3.   Click  "see the agreement form", which should auto-download a .pdf to your computer's desktop

That said, each web browser acts a little different, so if it doesn't automatically download to your computer, once you are viewing the EAF, you should be able to save it as a .pdf from there.

Option #2:  Put the change in writing via our internal messaging system where both parties acknowledge/confirm the change is part of the corresponding EAF.

Please Note: this option would be considered a proper addendum to the existing EAF.

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Optimize Your Chances of Finding a Suitable Exchange

Members often ask what can they do to optimize their chances of finding a suitable exchange.
With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with what we have found to work through the years, both through personal home exchanging experience and from our Member feedback.
Here are the main areas for your consideration.Adding Appeal to Your Listing:
Now is a great time to have a look at your listing to make any updates and perhaps add more detail and photos to garner the attention of fellow HomeLinkers viewing your listing.

~ Photos:
We recommend...

Optimize Your Chances of Finding a Suitable Exchange

Members often ask what can they do to optimize their chances of finding a suitable exchange.  With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with what we have found to work through the years, both through personal home exchanging experience and from our Member feedback.  Here are the main areas for your consideration.

Adding Appeal to Your Listing:
Now is a great time to have a look at your listing to make any updates and perhaps add more detail and photos to garner the attention of fellow HomeLinkers viewing your listing.

~ Photos:  We recommend including at least 5 photos of your home and its surroundings.  We have learned that fellow HomeLinkers like to see photos of all rooms they will hav access to.  This includes photos of laundry rooms, garages, etc.  Also, photos of your area and views from your home always provide a nice boost to your listing's presentation.

~ Listing Detail:  Be sure to add sufficient descriptive detail to all of the listing's descriptive pages (Our Home, Neighbourhood, Attractions, Our Preferences).  Including detail about your home's unique, useful and/or pleasant features and attractions is always a plus.   Also, your "Family Profile" page has always proven to be an area of great interest for our Members.  Therefore, adding some detail  about your family here will certainly add to your listing's appeal. 

~ Pets:  It is important to provide detailed information about your pets within your listing's content to minimize any surprises for Exchange Partners staying in your home.  These items include plans for pet care, indoor/outdoor pets, level of care required, etc.

Searching For and Sending Exchange Requests to Potential Exchange Partners:
~ Be proactive in sending your exchange requests rather than waiting for fellow HomeLinkers contact you.  HomeLinking is a two way process and our most successful Exchangers are those that are very proactive.

~ When searching for potential Exchange Partners, it is best be as broad as possible with the destinations you select.  If possible widen your search destinations.  For example, many locations have excellent public transportation into big cities you are interested in visiting, so take this into consideration, perhaps expanding your search to areas within a 50 mile distance from the main city you wish to visit.

~ Once you see a listing that attracts you, consider sending your intial exchange request even though this member may not have your specific city or even state listed in their preferences. You would be amazed at the number of members that go to places they had never thought of visiting prior to receiving an offer.
  If you are from an area not listed at their "We are seeking..." area, be sure to acknowledge this in your exchange request, stating you thought you would ask on the outside chance they hadn't considered your area before.

EXCHANGE REQUEST CONTENT:
When contacting other members, find a sufficient level of detail to include in your initial exchange request.  Remember, your exchange request is sent with a direct link to your listing, so the key is to not overwhelm your potential Exchange Partner with too much information, rather provide a enough about yourselves and preferences to capture interest.

- Sending just a one or two liner such as “would you like to swap with us. If so see our listing…”  may not elicit many positive responses.

  It's best to start off by introducing yourself and your family on the lines of  “We are Katie and Karl Costabel.  Your home is lovely and we are very much interested in traveling to your area for a couple weeks this August…”

- Include specific dates if necessary as well as the type of exchange you are open to (simultaneous, non-simultaneous, hospitality, etc.)

- Adding one or two features of your home or area attractions to your request will also add appeal to your request.  Again, the key is finding a balance to the information provided in your request. Keep in mind a direct link to your listing is sent along with your request, so the recipient will easily be able to view your listing in it’s entirety.  If you keep the above in mind, you should have little difficulty finding a suitable home exchange.

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