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A9A76308-9CEF-4C7A-BA26-C83180AD7122Hello HomeLink Member,

With each spring comes new growth and with this in mind, we bring you our
Spring 2015 edition of HomeLink Connection focusing on our new website.

As you might imagine, Karl & I have been quite busy these past
few months tending to all things related to the launch of our new
website, especially listening to your feedback and helping anyway we can
during this transition phase.

Rest assured, we are 100% committed to having a website we can all enjoy and to that end, we are happy to inform you of a couple, front-end improvements we have recently implemented. See our New Website Features for more on this. There are also some “Helpful Hints” for you to benefit from later in this edition.

As always, it is important to maintain a high standard of care and respect for our fellow HomeLinkers and our “Just a Reminder” section touches on a couple ways to further this effort.

Please see our HomeLinker Stories for a couple refreshing tales of home exchange travel.

Finally, we want to let you know that Karl and I are taking a short “Spring Break” this coming week and won’t be available by phone until Wednesday, April 1st
at 10am Eastern Time.

If you need our assistance prior to the 1st, please send us an email to Katie@homelink-usa.org as we will continue answering emails daily.

We wish you well during this fresh new year for HomeLink and look forward to a productive and successful year for all!

Your Friends,

Karl & Katie

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New Website Features

HomeLink Member Help Section

We have created a Website Help section on our HomeLink USA website to
help with navigating the new site and editing your listing. This is currently only available
through our USA website (at the Member page and through the corresponding link,
“Member Help” found at the right side bar.) Below is the direct link to this for
your convenient reference.

Website Help for HomeLink Members

We hope to soon have a similar help section at the new central site,
which will be an extension of the current “help” link in the upper left corner
of the new site pages.

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Helpful Hints…

Map-based Search

HomeLink’s new website has been live for a few months and we continue to make improvements based on the feedback we’ve received. Some members said that
they missed the maps on the old site and so we have introduced a new map-based search (view below), which makes it much easier to search on a particular region or area. The new dynamic map allows users to zoom in / out of any area to view each home. There are still further refinements that our IT people are working on – to increase the speed, add
further filters and to make it easier to move from one home to the next.

To Navigate to Map:
1.Click on “Find an Exchange” (upper left area of page) >
2. Click “Map” found at the right side of the page.

To Zoom: Click on a circle with a number, or use the scale slider, or roll your mouse wheel. You can also drag your mouse around the
map to load new listings in a different location than what you first zoomed into.

 

Your “Family Profile” and “Attractions Website Links:

You can now enter multiple website addresses at both your “Family Profile” and “Attractions” pages. When entering website addresses for your personal pages and favorite places, be sure to include the “http://…” portion of the website for the site
to properly accept the address.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to go to the website you want to include and copy/paste the address from the web address bar at the top of the page. As always, be sure to click one of the two “Save buttons at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

You might also consider removing any duplicate web addresses you had included in your descriptive text.

Helpful HYear Joined HomeLink and # of Exchanges to Date:
You can view the year that you joined HomeLink and the number of your
previous exchanges through the “Preview” link at your “Our
Listing(s) section.

Not all, but some of our member’s Join date and # of previous exchanges did not properly transfer to the new site. Therefore, we ask that next time you are at the “Our Listings” section of your account online, please follow the below instructions below to see if these items are correct and if not, please send us an email letting us know the correct year &/or number of exchanges.

1. Login

2. Click on your name in upper right corner of page and select “Our Listing(s) from the drop down selection list

3. Click the “Preview” link in upper right area of this section

4. Scroll down the left side of the page to your Profile Photo where you will see both the “Became a member in:” date and just below this is the # of “exchanges”

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Character Counters: Please take note of character limit counters for descriptive text fields and messages you enter.

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Your Photos: Although your photos appear cropped &/or distorted from your photo album and “Preview” views, they do appear properly when viewed through our search function. Further, re-introducing the ability re-order your photos
online is on our short list for improvements.
In the meantime, please send us your photos as attachments to emails and we will upload them for you, properly ordering them.

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Viewing Your Listing Through the Search Function: Currently, you cannot view your listing through the search function while logged into your listing. You can when logged-out.

You know you are logged in when you see your name in the upper right corner of the page. To log out, click on your name and
select “Log out” from the drop down menu.

Just a Reminder…

Respond to All Exchange Requests Received:

Please make every effort to respond to your exchange requests in a timely manner.
We continue receiving numerous reports from our members around the world about their messages going without a reply.

Replying to all exchange requests received is not only the polite and respectful thing to do, it will also keep your Response Rate at 100%, which shows fellow HomeLinkers you are sincere and enthusiastic about the home exchange process.

Don’t forget about our automated “No Thank You” messages to help minimize the time it takes to reply to the requests received.

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Exchange Agreement Forms:

Please consider creating an exchange agreement form for your exchanges. They are very helpful in clarifying and confirming various details of your exchange. The “Create Agreement Form” link is found within the conversation you have started with your Exchange Partner.

Although not all members choose to complete our online agreement forms, we want to assure everyone that our new site will have a much simpler and more-user friendly form that everyone will be able to complete.

 

HomeLinker Stories…

Holiday of a Lifetime!

Hi there, Karl and Katie, …[We] love HomeLink. We are currently enjoying the ‘holiday of a
lifetime’. We are spending a total of seventy four days traveling along the
West Coast of the United States of America. We have spent two weeks in San
Francisco, we are currently staying in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, then it’s on
to San Diego and we will also be spending 2 weeks in Mexico and also a further
seventeen days in New Orleans. We don’t return to our home in Montenegro until
May. Thank you to you both, for your help and assistance over the past eight
years that we have been members of HomeLink. Speak again soon,

Our very Best
Regards, R & B

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Budding HomeLink Romance!

Some fun news re: my exchange experiences. As you know I’ve been with you for a number of years and have had many wonderful exchanges all over Europe, meeting friends, some of whom I still see back and forth even today. But the last exchange beat them all for cross-cultural friendships!

On my Denmark exchange last summer, I met a wonderful man sitting next to me at the Opera and now have a trans-Atlantic romance going! ! ! He subsequently came to stay with me a month in the fall. I am thrilled to have a regular exchange set up now for New York in the fall and the spring–expect if everyone’s health holds, this will go on for a while. My gentleman joined me for that in Dec. and I’m heading to Copenhagen to visit him for 3 weeks next week (no exchange needed this time .) If all continues to go well, we’ll meet again in my New York exchange in April, then I’m finalizing an exchange in London for May and, if that gets set, we’ll be together then and he’ll also see his daughter and son in law who live there!

So Homelink linked me up with more than just vacations–Isn’t travel a great broadening adventure!

[Here is a] photo of us in the hills above Silicon Valley from last fall for the fun of it!A63964C7-F22C-45D4-A35C-A1667C0325A6

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