Founded in 2018 (still in beta release)
Owned and run by Australian software developers
I learned about People Like Us when the founder, Drew, posted some comments on my article about home exchange companies exposing lots of personal data on the web. He noted that on People Like Us you can create a private house swap network. And you can keep all your information entirely hidden. Drew describes his vision in his first blog post for the network:
I know a lot of people overseas. I wanted to set up the “Drew Home Swap” network, just for us (hence the name). I figured that if I got everyone that I knew onto the network and then got them to put their friends on it too, kind of 2 degrees of separation, that would be a pretty good network. Maybe even a thousand people. So that’s what I did.
About half way through doing it though I had the epiphany (it seemed like it at the time, we’ll see whether or not that turns out to be the case) that other people might want the same. I changed the model so that anyone can set up their own “circle” of friends and invite whoever they want. You can have public circles where anyone can sign up or private circles where you’re the admin and you say what goes. In either case, you can also say whether others can invite their own friends or whether only you can.
Searching: Searches start with a location box in which you type freeform. The box doesn’t auto-populate based on what you are typing, so I’m not sure how accurate the results will be. Once you filter on geography you can further filter the results by number of guests the home can accommodate, the property type, and features of the home. The developers are working on expanding these search options and already this list is enhanced from when I first looked at the website.
Listings: The listings are slick and have a nice display of information, pretty much identical to AirBnb, including reviews pulled from other networks. I think it’s a smart move for home exchange businesses to offer to import your information directly from AirBnb and other similar networks, as this makes the listing process quite a bit simpler. And members of these rental sites should be prime candidates for home exchange network membership.
This site offers the following variations on house swapping:
- simultaneous or non-simultaneous house swap – this is the traditional model where two parties swap houses for an agreed upon set of dates.
Site design: Clean but a bit sparse. It’s hard to find information about how exchanges are arranged, or even what types of exchanges you can set up. There is an internal messaging system you can use to arrange home swaps.
Additional features: You can create a public or private circle within the network. This allows you to quickly access only the people who meet whatever criteria you’re interested in. Public circles currently include one for people in the USA who only want to travel within-country, and a few for other countries.
If you’re trying to figure out which Home Exchange network to join, check out my reviews of all the major house swap networks.