House Swap Website Reviews

Switch Review – June 2018

Switch

Review date: June 2018

switchhomes.net

 

Year founded: 2014ish

Free

Owned by Andrew and Colin, formerly of HomeLink International.

English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Nederlands, Dansk, Norsk, Svenska

2253 listings

Searches by select regions result in the following:

  • Africa: 95
  • Middle East: 42
  • Asia: 77
  • Europe: 1006
  • Australasia: 397
  • North America: 468
    • Canada: 340
    • United States: 245
  • South America: 168

The counts above don’t line up within the North America search. And I found this with a few other searches as well. The broader geography gives a higher number than I can find by summing up all the parts. This may be a problem with the natural language algorithm, or something else missing in the geography function. I’m being generous and adding up these macro numbers for my total count on the network, though this may be over counting.

It looks like not much has changed with this network since my review in 2014, including the number of listings. The philosophy of the founders is clear in the super-simple design of this network: “Andrew and Colin saw the demand for a new and different website that is better suited to the needs of experienced travellers. Independent people who understand how home swapping works, and do not need their hands held – they can cross the road by themselves.”

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. The listing overview returned by the search only includes a picture and a one sentence description. You have to view the detailed listing to get at key features like number of people in the family.

Listings: The detailed listing is readable and includes a map with the location of the property and basic information about the swap family and home.

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 a nice 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).

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