Review date: April 2014
Year founded: unknown, but recent
$5/day during swaps
Owned by Andrew and Colin, founders of HomeLink International. “Andrew and Colin are continuing to develop the innovative ideas that they have brought to the industry through HomeLink.”
English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Nederlands, Dansk, Norsk, Svenska
Searches by select regions result in the following:
- Africa: 76
- Middle East: 27
- Asia: 26
- Europe: 888
- Australasia: 384
- Americas: 1325
- North America: 457
- South America: 41
The counts above don’t line up with the “Americas” search. Potentially a problem with the natural language algorithm or something else missing in the geography function.
Searching: This site employs natural language searching, so they have just one blank to fill in with whatever information you want to include in your search. This could be geography at any level and/or features of the swap. They have an auto-complete on the search function which should improve accuracy of geography searches by catching typos. It’s very simple to type in a city and feature, but the filters are quite limited after the basic search to: with/without children, car exchange, smoking, and where the members want to visit.
Listings: The listings returned by the search include only basic overview information. You have to view the detailed listing to get at key features like number of people in the family. The detailed listing is readable and includes a map with the location of the property.
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. Non-simultaneous works best with second homes, but is also useful for people going on vacation and leaving their home empty. In this case each party picks different dates for the swap.
Site design: Switch has one of the nicer website designs aesthetically, but very limited functionality.
Additional features: Rather that run their own email function Switch includes a form for users to fill out, including their personal email address, for potential swap partners to contact them directly. Given the other options out there and the number of listings, the reasons to use this site are the free price to list and the natural language search (if that functionality works well for you).