Most people we know have bought and sold, at least, one home. If you are thinking about doing a home exchange, you probably own a home, right now. One way to sell your home (so other home exchangers want to do a home swap with you) is to look at your home “through other peoples’ eyes.”
Taking steps to sell your home to potential home exchangers is a really important part of planning for your home swap.
Write a description of your home and community, making sure that you highlight what others might find appealing. Start by thinking about what you like about your home and where you live. Then, expand your vision. Try look at your home and your locale from the perspective of a complete stranger, someone who never before has visited your part of the world and who never before has lived in the type of home in which you live. Stretch yourself to imagine what such a person might possibly enjoy about both your home and where you live.
Before you sit down at the computer and stare at a blank form to be completed for your home exchange club, take a few moments to jot down some notes in which you describe your home and your location.
Be specific and positive when you describe your home. Of course, you want to be truthful, but keep your focus of what is best, what is most charming, what is most conducive to what others might enjoy. You never know what someone else is looking for. They may want lots of activity (places to go and things to do) or they may be looking for quiet privacy (time to reflect, paint, or catch up on their reading) .
You may live in a very popular destination for travelers and tourists. However, assume that others know nothing about your country or the region where you live. People view distances very differently from country to country. In one country, a tourist attraction that is 100 miles (160 kilometers) from home might require 1 1/2 hours of driving time; somewhere else this distance may require 4 hours of driving time. Help prospective home swappers understand distances in terms of both miles (or kilometers) and travel time (whether by car, by train, or by bus). Perhaps you think of your home as “near the mountains” or “not far from the beach”; but, give your reader a sense of how long it will take to get to a destination, as well as how near or far away that destination is from your home.
The key is to look at your home and community through new eyes. Try to look at your home and your part of the world from the point of view of someone for whom both are new and different. Then, write up a helpful, but honest, description in which you praise both your home and your locale. You will be amazed what a difference this exercise can make. It can increase the number of contacts you receive from other people interested in doing a home exchange. But, this exercise can also give you a new way of looking at how someone else describes their home or its location. It is quite commonplace for someone to think of their home as “plain and ordinary,” when it may, in fact, mean so much more to you: It may be home base for the holiday of your dreams!