Dear Fellow HomeLinker,
Spring is a busy time for exchange planning and many members are in the process of finalizing their exchange plans. Please read on to find useful information about our online Exchange Agreement Form, adding appeal to your listing and upgrades to the website.
We decided to retain the information on our Exchange Agreement Form (EAF) system as we continue receiving many inquiries about how it works.
We have also included a couple helpful hints sent in from our members regarding making your listing a bit clearer for fellow HomeLinkers when viewing your listing.
We are in the process of transforming our IT Development Process to a more efficient and productive one. We are scheduled to finish this intial transition to our new IT Team by mid June and look forward to having a website we will all enjoy using!
We wish you a warm and wonderful spring season and please don’t hesitate contacting us with any questions you might have. We are here to help!
Karl & Katie
Website Help Link: Please see our website help section (link below), that will hopefully prove useful. Of course, we are always happy to help anyway we can, so please don’t hesitate contacting us with any questions you might have.
Replying To Messages from our 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.
TIP: If you had previously selected the “Remember me” option for your HomeLink login, you will be taken directly to the message for your response. Otherwise, you will be directed to the login page where you will log into the site and then navigate to the message for you to reply. Remember to click the “Remember me” option when logging in to streamline the process for replying to messages in the future.
Steps to Make Your Listing Clearer for Fellow HomeLinkers:
Home Location: We certainly respect privacy concerns our members have with including their specific physical street address for the home they offer for exchange. However, please consider adding at least a street name, city, state and zipcode. Entering only a city has proven to be frustratingly vague for a number of our members, so we appreciate you considering being a bit more specific to help our members understand what you offering.
Family Size: Please be sure to navigate to your “Family Profile” page and correctly enter the number of Adults and Children in the corresponding fields on this page. There is also a field to add pets. If you have no pets, simply leave this field blank, rather than entering “0” or “none”.
Just a Reminder
A Reminder for Second Home Owners About Rentals: Home exchanging involves the non-commercial sharing of your home with another family. Some members have second homes, which they offer for exchange and this can work very well for all concerned. However, we have recently had an increase in complaints concerning offers of rental from second home owners. We ask all members not to send unsolicited offers of rental to any HomeLink members. We thank you for your co-operation.
Automated Exchange Agreement Form System: Our Home Exchange reporting system is an automated system, where the only way for the system to acknowledge and document your exchanges is by completing our online Exchange Agreement Form (EAF). This system will also prompt you to add Guest Book Comments to your Exchange Partner’s listing and to evaluate your exchange after it is competed.
To create an Exchange Agreement Form (EAF): When you begin a conversation with a member through the new site and go to your messages area to reply, you will see the button to “Create Agreement Form” positioned between the two photos of your home and the corresponding member’s home to the particular conversation.
When the form has been finalized (aka “Validated”) by both partners, you will be able to save it to your computer as a .pdf document.
TIP: It is important that both Exchange Partners “Validate” the form prior to the earliest arrival dates on the form or else it will automatically be removed from your view.
We also decided not to create an edit function for the 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, we recommend either deleting the existing EAF, creating a new one to include the change or simply put the change in writing via our internal messaging system where both parties acknowledge/confirm the change is part of the corresponding EAF.
Please see our HomeLink Website Help Section for further EAF Instructions.
We would love to hear about your HomeLinking experiences so please email us your stories to include in our forthcoming newsletters.
We are very pleased to share yet another amazing tale from our long-time members, JD & Pat Lee. Their story illustrates what we believe to be the two greatest benefits of home exchanging; forging lasting friendships and experiencing the shared spirit of kindness and generosity throughout our HomeLink community!
We thank you once again, JD & Pat for sharing your story with all of us!
Names have been changed for privacy.
Below is the link to a an enjoyable story resulting from forty years of home swapping through HomeLink!
We send our sincere thanks to the Ansteads for sharing their story and wish them many successful home exchange experiences to come!
Our longtime HomeLink Member, Emily Hedrick continues to spread the word on our wonderful world of travel! Thank you once again, Emily and what an amazing adventure you had Down Under!
Viewing Your Own Listing Through Search Results: You can now view your own listing through the search function when you are logged into the site.
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.
Map View: We have recently made improvements to the map view of search results, particularly when moving back to the map to view another listing by clicking the “Back to search results” link found in upper right area above. This option now provides more reliable results than using your browser back arrow.
Also, the map view is now the default view when performing a search and this should help members in less central locations – members who will never appear at the beginning of a list ordered by distance. If you prefer, you can still view the results by distance using the “List View” link found in the upper right just above the map.
Removal of Old Dates: We know that many members don’t get around to updating their dates which can reduce the number of offers that they receive. Moving forward, any dates that are in the past, will be replaced with ‘Open to all dates’. The destinations selected will remain unchanged.
Dates & Destinations Now at Search Results View: Many members said that they found it cumbersome to click into each listing to see a member’s preferred Dates & Destinations. We are now showing all dates and destinations preferences at the summary search view for a more streamlined member experience.
Ongoing Search Function Improvements: Since our last newsletter we have significantly improved the speed of our search function with regards to performing a search and loading listings from the search results.
We have also changed the look of our homepage re-introducing a country list from which you can begin your search. You can also enter a specific destination from the new, “Where do you want to go” field.
Please see our HomeLink Website Help Section for a simple destination search using “Netherlands Amsterdam” as an example.
Reverse Search: Some of our members have been inquiring about our Reverse Search feature. The Reverse Search field is a secondary search field that appears with the search results after a simple destination search from our homepage.
This field is found just to the right of the “Where” field at the top of the search results page and is titled, “Enter country of your home”. Currently, this field only orders the results according to the country level, so entering, for example, “Washington DC, United States” in this field will result in listings that have entered “USA” or “Any City, USA” in their Dates & Destinations section.
We are soon to improve this function so it will reference down to at least the region/state level, perhaps the city level. At this point, simply enter/select “United States” in this field and click “OK”, if you choose to do so.
Click below for to see some Fellow HomeLinkers seeking USA exchanges. The first few are short notice exchanges for you to consider.