Email etiquette & tips
Home exchanging has tremendous potential for creating goodwill among people throughout the world and, in keeping with this philosophy, we believe that courtesy requires that you acknowledge each offer you receive, irrespective of whether or not you intend to explore the proposal.
Members who report low response rates to their offers do so with frustration because they tend to assume that that the recipient has deliberately ignored them. Whilst it is inevitable that some members are better than others at following the request to respond to all offers, there are other contributory factors that can influence response rates. Many of these can be overcome and the following hints are aimed at increasing response rates and making exchange agreements easier to reach.
Members have reported a tendency to be less responsive to emails that appear as though they have been sent in bulk, so avoid openings such as "Dear HomeLinker". Instead, personalise messages with your fellow member's name.
Indiscriminate targeting can also prompt low response rates so it is often worthwhile refining your searches so that you do not send an offer of a two-bed apartment to an ideally-located family of six.
All contact is made via our website and a link to your on-line listing is added automatically so it is very convenient for your recipient to view your details. For this reason, we recommend that you spend time on making your on-line listing as appealing as possible and making it as quick and easy as possible for your intended partner to say “yes” to your offer. Useful tips include:
- Include the addresses of relevant websites (e.g. local tourist boards)
- Help travel planning by mentioning likely travel options (e.g. time and/or distance from airports, seaports, channel tunnel). This is more important for holidays of a relatively short duration.
- Consider the profile of your likely exchange partner and develop your on-line listing accordingly. For example, families with school-aged children may be more inclined towards adventure parks than retired couples.
- HomeLink members tend to be adventurous and the primary criteria tends to be location so put yourself in the shoes of an adventurer and consider the attractions that can be experienced within your area.
We request that you respond to all offers from HomeLink members, irrespective of whether you are interested in the exchange that is being offered. We have made this easier by including quick reply 'no thank you' buttons which will send an automated message.
If an exchange offer is of interest, it is worth progressing towards completion of a formal Home Exchange Agreement Form as soon as possible. Members naturally send and receive many offers and so it is inevitable that negotiations occasionally cease prior to an agreement as either party can receive an appealing offer at any time. Therefore, a prompt agreement can enable partners to focus on researching travel costs and other details with confidence.
If the signals you are receiving from a potential exchange partner are encouraging, you might consider replacing latter-stage emails with telephone calls as it is often more time-efficient to talk than write and you get to know your partners a little better. Email can still be used to lay out the proposed items for discussion and to detail the agreements that have been reached.