Yesterday GuesttoGuest purchased HomeExchange.com, combining the two largest home exchange networks. This is big news in the very small world of home swapping. In a press release GuesttoGuest announced their plan to keep the networks separate. To me that makes this news a bit less interesting.
While size isn’t everything, membership size definitely impacts how easy it is to find a home exchange. (Take a look at house swap networks by size and other features in my spreadsheet.) I personally like the larger sites because I tend to search for swaps that meet my somewhat specific travel desires. People who are open to traveling anywhere at any time often report that the smaller networks work better for them.
Out of this merger I hope to see expanded home swap opportunities with a large integrated network. And I hope to see the best features of both networks combined. GuesttoGuest does a great job with points-based home exchange. I find the technology of HomeExchange.com easier to use. Each have their strengths and weaknesses and it would be nice to see an integrated product that leverages and improves on the best of each.
In 2015 I interviewed Emannuel Arnaud, the founder of GuesttoGuest. Talking about the impressive growth of this network he said “We want to conquer the world.” With the acquisition of HomeExchange.com they are well on their way to conquering the world of home exchange. In the past few years GuesttoGuest also acquired HomeforHome, a relatively large Spanish house swap site, and Trampolinn a small but innovative network.
I hope to have more details on this merger and future plans from GuesttoGuest in a follow up to this post.