The home exchange network People Like Us introduced Globes this week. This new feature facilitates non-reciprocal house swaps between members. Globes are the PLU version of what other networks call points. But there are a few important differences between globes and points. First, one globe is worth one stay, of any length. It’s up to the swappers to negotiate the details. And second, all homes are valued equally. A globe is a globe, regardless of whether it’s used on a tiny apartment in rural Alabama or a mansion in the heart of New York City.
The development of this feature was an interesting process. Drew Seitam, the man behind PLU, spent a lot of time talking to members before implementing globes. He conducted three surveys of the community, starting with a yes/no vote on the feature. And he engaged in a lot of discussion over how to best implement this feature.
A vocal minority opposed any system that facilitates non-direct exchanges. And to address this concern Drew built in an opt-out. Members who don’t like the idea of globes can set their profile so that they never see this option in the system. They will not receive requests for globe-based swaps. And Drew has emphasized “People Like Us continues to promote Simultaneous and Non-Simultaneous Exchanges as our priority. These types of Exchanges are not affected by Globes.”
Members who were in the network prior to June 2019 were all given a globe. And people who hosted a guest in a non-reciprocal swap before the end of July earned an additional globe. The system is seeded with enough globes to get things started, while ensuring sufficient scarcity to give them value. At launch there were 1576 globes in the system, with 2230 listings. As I’ve discussed before, too many globes/points in the system could be a problem. I don’t know Drew has the right ratio, but I appreciate the thoughtful approach.