Back to Newsletter ArchiveWinter 2014 edition of HomeLink Home Exchange Connection!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and look forward to a bright new year, including a new, state-of-the-art website for all of us to enjoy.
As you are all probably well aware, our new site launch has been delayed.
We had planned to launch our new website just before Christmas, however it was decided that a little more time was needed to ensure that it was ready for use. We are in the final stages of bug testing and now plan to launch it in the spring. We will send further updates nearer the time. Please see our “HomeLink International News” section for more detail on this.
We also want to direct your attention to Our “Media” section, as we are excited to tell you about a new published book on home exchange that has been authored by long-time members of ours.
Another current issue being reported by some of our members lately pertains to our internal messaging system and the inability to send messages. Please read through our “Helpful Hints” section for further discussion on this matter.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter and welcome any feedback you may have.
Karl & Katie
HomeLink USA News
Just a Reminder…
Update Your Listings for your 2014 Exchanges:
January through March are our busiest time for members planning their trips for the forthcoming year, so do take a moment to check that your listing is up to date. Check that your dates are showing the correct period in which you’d like to swap as some members still have dates from last summer showing and this means that those listings may not appear in search results. Let me know if you need a hand with this.
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.
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 “Exchange Agreements” link is found under Member Options at the left side of the Database Main Page.
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.
In the meantime, there are two key elements to successfully complete our online Exchange Agreement Form. First, decide with your Exchange Partner which of you will initiate the form. Then, be sure to read all instructions at each step you are taken to when entering the details of your exchange.
Our long-time members, Sam & Judy Robbins from Washington, D.C. have written a very informative and entertaining book on the wonderful world of Home Swapping.
Judy & Sam, we applaud your comprehensive efforts in sharing your years of experience and exchange stories with all of us in such a creative way! I have already implemented your itinerary and calendar ideas for organizing our future exchanges.
Below is the link to Amazon.com where you can choose to purchase the book in ebook or paperback form.
Our first article from Kiplinger’s Retirement Report includes sage advice from two our long-time and very experienced members, JD & Pat Lee and Laura Kahn.
The article below was sent to us from John & Valerie, our HomeLink New Zealand Colleagues. We hope you enjoy it!
Messaging Send Bug:
We have been receiving reports recently from members stating they are unable to send messages through our internal messaging system. All but two of these members experienced only a temporary issue because after clearing their web browser’s cookies/cache/browsing history and restarting their computer, they were able to send messages again. So, if you run into an issue with sending messages at our site, please try this first and if the problem persists or if you need help with clearing your web browser’s history, let us know and we will go from there.
As for those of you experiencing an apparent permanent issue with our messaging system, there was a send bug discovered some time ago and has only affected about 60 members worldwide to date. After exhaustive troubleshooting by our IT Team, it was determined the issue lies with new software used by ISP’s (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) and is usually related to installation of fiber optic phone lines. It was also discovered that when the members tried sending or replying to messages from a computer on a different network, they were able to do so.
As for the fix to the bug, due to our new site development, we collectively made the decision that since so few members have been affected by this bug, it would be in everyone’s best interest for us to continue focusing our time and resources on the new site development instead of re-writing the current message system.
As a result of this decision, the IT Team developed a work-around to the message send bug. You may have already seen the links for the work-around at the “Member Options” menu. They are the 4 new red links found under the normal “Messaging” link and are titled, “Quick Reply”, “New Message”, “Inbox” and “Sent”.
These links are pretty straightforward, however we have written instructions we are happy to send you upon your request.
Also, please know we are happy to send &/or reply to any/all messages for you until this matter is resolved. Simply send us the message along with the member name/membership number to send it to and we will log in as you and send it for you.
HomeLink International News
As I mentioned at the beginning of our newsletter, we are soon to launch an entirely new central website with state of the art search capability among many other wonderful new features.
We have been discussing the possibility of including member volunteers to join us in this final stage of testing. Therefore, we are asking for volunteers in the event we decide to go that route. We will get in touch with you directly with instructions on how to proceed if and when we get the go-ahead to enlist member volunteers.
Again, we are committed to launching a new site we can be proud of and one that all of you will enjoy working with. In a nutshell, we want to get it as close to bug free as possible from the start. We will continue keeping you informed on our progress.
End HomeLink Connection