Review date: July 2019
Founded in 2018
Owned and run by Drew Seitam, an Australian software developer
English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, Portuguese
1616 listings in 74 countries
Geographic breakdown of listings:
North America: 28%
South America: 1%
People Like Us is one of the newer home exchange networks, but they’ve grown very fast over the past year. I think this was largely due to good timing. PLU got a big influx of members from the fallout over the integration of HomeExchange.com into Guest to Guest. And those people have helped Drew to shape the network to focus on reciprocal exchanges with a strong sense of community. You can read my recent interview with Drew to learn more about the network’s values and direction.
I belong to PLU and find in this network some of the most engaged and active members anywhere. While the membership numbers are still small, it shows a lot of promise. The facebook group is also a good place to connect with other house swappers.
Searching: Searches start with a location box in which you type freeform. The box auto-populates based on what you are typing. You can further filter the results by number of guests the home can accommodate, dates of travel, composition of the swap family, they swap type, and features of the home. There is also a reverse search option so you can find people who want to visit the area where you live.
Listings: The listings are slick and have a nice display of information. The search results include a map with pins for house locations. You can expand or change the search by moving within the map.
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.
- swap points – earn points for letting others stay in your home while you are away, and then redeem those points to stay in any of the other homes participating in the program. In the case of PLU the system will be called Globes and one Globe is earned or redeemed per stay, regardless of the length of stay. All homes are valued equally in this system. (Note Globes will be introduced later in 2019)
Site design: Nice and responsive. Drew is constantly working on new features, often at the request of members of the network. There is an internal messaging system you can use to arrange home swaps.
Additional features: Homes on the network are not visible in public searches unless a member explicitly agrees to this. To see listings people must join PLU and create a profile. Drew is pretty vigilant about deactivating any profiles that do not appear sincere: “Listings which have no photos of their homes or insincere descriptions are deactivated and the members notified.”
PLU also offers a Trip Builder, that allows you to set up a multi-leg trip, save searches for each of those legs, fill them in with individual exchanges, and save other travel details.
If you’re trying to figure out which Home Exchange network to join, check out my reviews of all the major house swap networks.