Review date: May 2018
Founded in 2006
Owned by a husband (Australian) and wife (Canadian) team based in the UK
English and French
17,800 listings (6000 active)
Listings by continent:
- Africa: 336
- Asia: 235
- North America: 3,727
- Europe: 11,900
- Australia: 1,554
- South America: 171
Although this appears to be one of the largest home swap networks, as a free network it’s likely that many of these listings are from inactive members. There are a lot of listings with no pictures and no way to filter those out. I assume people who didn’t bother to upload pictures aren’t serious about house swapping. But the bigger problem is the members who join free networks and then never delete their listing but stop using it at some point. Some not insignificant percentage of these 17,800 listings are almost certainly inactive.
I did reach out to Geenee to ask about ways to filter out inactive members and they responded that while they do de-activate people whose email is bouncing, they do not have any other filters or policies for those who have stopped using their accounts. Instead they have a pretty sophisticated algorithm set up so that search results sort by level of activity. This means you should always reach out to the matches on the first few pages of results. I noticed that after the first 500 or so listings returned for a very general search, no one has specified availability on their calendar.
Although the Geenee team was very responsive to my questions, and explained their sort system in quite a bit of detail, I’m still at a loss to calculate what percentage of the membership of Geenee is actually active. My best guess is that it’s similar to my calculation for GuesttoGuest, another free home swap network. For that network I estimated about 1/3 of the members are active, based on a somewhat scientific sample. This would put the active membership count for Geenee around 6000.
Searching: The search functionality is very basic. You can search by continent, and select whether or not you want to display rentals with the home exchanges, and you can specify dates and number of people the home must sleep. That’s pretty much it, there are no further filters. They do also have a text based search box but it’s powered by Google and seems to be broken. I could only get it to return results from the web in general, not results specific to the Geenee website.
Listings: Results are displayed in a usable format with details on the property clear when you select one to view.
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.
- vacation rental – the usual rental system applies here, and owners collect payment via this site.
Site design: Moderate functionality, dated in the look and feel. Some links just go to error pages now and to me it feels like the website functionality is degrading rather than improving over time.
Additional features: This mid-sized house swapping site is among the larger of the free services. They offer a contract, a ranking system for members, and review services. New news posts seem to have stopped in 2011. The site used to include active forums for travelers to advertise what they want and discuss house swap related topics but those have disappeared.
If you’re trying to figure out which Home Exchange network to join, check out my reviews of all the major house swap networks.