I’ve recently learned that there are a few Facebook groups for members of home exchange networks. These are private groups, meant only for people active in house swapping. HomeExchange.com has groups for members who want to chat about home exchanging. These are geographically grouped, so you are supposed to join the one for your region of the world. Exchange Holiday Homes also has a Facebook group for it’s members. There is a group called Home Exchange Vacation that appears to be unaffiliated with any of the networks with websites, dedicated to helping people find exchanges. They have 851 members, which is a decent size for a small swap network. And there’s a relatively inactive group focused on setting up home swaps called Vacation Swap.
GuesttoGuest seems to have the largest Facebook group with almost 3000 members. Some new members post questions about home exchanging in general and the very active admins in the group do a good job responding to these questions. But most of the activity seems to be focused on finding swaps. This is interesting because clearly 3000 members is a small subset of the total members in the GuesttoGuest network. But these are probably some of the more active members. And I guess it’s easier to just post a note to a group with a link to your listing and your desired destination(s) and dates than it is to go through and send messages to everyone who matches your search. Some people mention that they already sent out requests but didn’t get any positive responses.
While most posts don’t seem to have found a connection (unless someone sent a private message), there are definitely some exchanges being set up via this facebook group. I see long detailed discussions in response to some of the posts, which appear to have negotiated a successful exchange. I’m not sure why people would keep the discussion within the facebook group (and public to everyone in the group) once they make a connection. I think the guest to guest messaging system or private email would be more appropriate.
I found myself getting a bit lost in reading through all the recent posts in this facebook group. Many people post that they are open to exchanging to anywhere and so I start fantasizing about visiting their city.
There are also several Facebook groups for people just interested in chatting about home exchange, not affiliated with any specific network. These groups are for folks who already do, or are interested in doing, home swaps. They’re not places to find a swap. People ask questions about home exchanging, and post about the great trips they take, or complain about problems they are having with a network or potential swap. Some questions provoke a lot of discussion. And when someone posts about a problem they have with an exchange, usually they elicit sympathy but also some brainstorming trying to help resolve the problem. Here is one that I help to administer if you want to join the discussion: Home Exchange Hangout.