4 tips for picking the right home exchange agency

November 3, 2015

Home exchanges have quickly become one of the most popular methods of vacation lodging, both in Canada and around the world. But not every home exchange agency is created equal. Consider the following important factors before choosing a home exchange agency.

4 tips for picking the right home exchange agency

1. Use reverse searches

  • Every housing swap agency out there will offer its customers the ability to search for home exchanges in a chosen city. But what if you're more interested in just travelling than in a specific destination?
  • Many agencies offer reverse search. This lets you pinpoint individuals who are looking for home exchanges in a specific town. Then, it's up to you to decide if their home town is right for you.
  • In these cases, the top priority then becomes finding someone who's interested in visiting your home city.
  • If you aren't picky on your destination, you could end up somewhere very unexpected.

2. Enquire about locations

  • You'd be hard-pressed to find a home exchange agency that didn't have housing swaps available in the most popular cities around the world.
  • Many people opt for agencies that have the greatest number of homes available. In the end, though, this doesn't always work out in their favour.
  • Look for services that have a wide range of locations as well as houses. That way, you can pick from more places to visit instead of different accommodations in the same few cities.
  • Seek out information on location availability, even if this means contacting the website or agency directly, or exploring multiple websites.

3. Go with a reputable company

  • Housing swap agencies with numerous years of experience are usually the better choice.
  • This isn't to say that a newer agency won't provide a great experience, but the fact is that your chances are better with an established company.
  • It's beneficial to find an agency that makes reviews of their clients readily available. Imagine an eBay-like feedback system on a housing swap website.
  • When in doubt, always err on the side of caution.

4. Consider costs

  • Agencies will likely charge money. Some are free, but the more reputable ones do charge a fee.
  • Make sure to not jump for the first agency that looks nice. This is because home exchanges can range from anywhere between $50 and $1,000 a year.
  • Each site will have its own benefits, but many of these benefits simply won't be beneficial to everyone.
  • Do your homework and find the right agency at the price that's right for you.

If you want to save money on your trip and stay somewhere great, consider a home exchange program or agency. They can give you a whole new travel experience, especially if you know how to get the best deals.

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