House Swap Website Reviews

CasaVersa Review May 2018

casaversa.com

Review date: May 2018

casaversa.com

casaversa.com

Founded in 2012

Free

Owned by Ajar ~ Yariv Gilad in Israel

English only

702 members in 40 countries

Half of the members are in Israel.

CasaVersa also runs a facebook group to facilitate exchanges with 3700 members.

CasaVersa relaunched their website in 2017, completely redesigned. They also changed business models: the network is now completely free to join and use. I asked CasaVersa how they plan to make money and this was the response: “As a start-up company, we do not deal with monetization at the moment; our prime concern is to calibrate the home swapping process and achieve a high matching ratio. We aim to offer people an effective way of finding attractive swapping opportunities in a short amount of time. We do plan on adding optional premium services in the future.” So it looks like this will be another free network for the foreseeable future.

With this relaunch CasaVersa reached out to me to ask that I update my review. I spent a lot of time playing around with the new website and found some bugs which I reported back to my contact. CasaVersa then asked me to delay publishing the new review until these issues could be fixed. And delay. And delay. Until after a few months CasaVersa stopped responding to my emails and I got no more news. It appears that CasaVersa eventually fixed the major bugs I reported (inability to create an account, incorrect search results), but the site is still very barebones and has some major search issues.

Searching: The searches start with the month you want to travel, and the number of travelers. You can refine your search results by location but only after specifying a travel month, and that filter is currently broken. When I attempt to narrow down my results to Israel, a country where several of my matches are listed, I’m given no results.

I don’t really like the CasaVersa search system. I realize it is a good way to show matches for everyone within a small membership base. But some people will want to to travel during specific dates, or perhaps have no date restrictions at all. And many will want to start with the destination and look at dates based on swap options. There’s also no way to filter on house size, a basic search requirement to eliminate those that are not appropriate for your family size. There is also no way to filter on people who want to visit your home city or country.

This site seems best suited to single or couple travelers with no specific destination requirements. They can specify availability and hopefully find a match with others looking to take a trip during the same dates.

Listings: The listings returned from the search have nicely displayed overview of information about the home and the swappers. This includes pictures of the home and a map showing the location. But any additional detail is at the discretion of the member. CasaVersa just has a freeform box for this, there aren’t standard questions about anything beyond number of bedrooms, beds, and swappers. Many people don’t know what features to list, so I find it helpful when swap networks provide prompts. This also allows the addition of more search filters.

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: The user interface is nice and clean, but currently the website lacks even a basic FAQ about how it operates.

Additional features: CasaVersa allows you to save homes of interest in your searches. And there is a messaging system within the site.

If you’re trying to figure out which Home Exchange network to join, check out my reviews of all the major house swap networks.

5 Comments

  • The public landing page and messaging are great. Very clean look, and goes a good job demonstrating why a traveler would/should be interested.
    Haven’t dug into the actual product yet under the hood..

  • Looks like a great way to save money. Their Facebook group has actually tons of swap offers posted every day, I think there’s like 10,000 members.

  • @Maybrams : I managed the Facebook group for Guesttoguest, it’s also very active with several offers / research every day. Don’t hesitate to register to it too 🙂

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