Home Swap Ebook: Guide to Home Exchange Like a Pro

Jun 30th, 2015

 

If you are looking for an ebook that summarizes best practices on “how-to home exchange“, you have found it ! We have created a complete guide with everything you need to know on how to start, how to find and how to agree on a home swap. It is a compilation of blog posts to help the Knok community become more familiar with the entire process. Whether you’re a first timer or an experienced swapper, this book will definitely be worth your while!

 

From deciding where to go, to coming back from your exchange, we have you covered. You’ll find helpful hints and step -by -step guides that will answer all of your burning questions and concerns. And if you still have more questions after reading, don’t hesitate to contact our Knok connectors at questions@knok.com!

 

This book was created for you and your peace of mind! So sit back, relax, and enjoy Knok’s Guide to Home Exchange Like a Pro.

 

Ebook cover English Home Swap Ebook: Guide to Home Exchange Like a Pro

 

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The 5 Habits of a Successful Home Exchanger

Jun 26th, 2015

Creating a habit does not happen overnight and neither does becoming an expert in home exchange. But with these tips, you’ll be successful in no time!

home exchnage Knok 5 habits of a home exchanger The 5 Habits of a Successful Home Exchanger

ANSWER ALL YOUR MESSAGES

Don’t leave any message unanswered! If you are unsure and take too long to get back to them, then they might have already found someone else and the opportunity will have passed. A good response could say something like this: “Hi! Your offer seems interesting! We need to think about it and in a week, we will let you know”. But even if you are not interested, let the family know as soon as possible so they can move on and continue to look. Aside from being polite, it will help you become a more reliable home swapper.

 

REFER HOME OPTIONS TO FRIENDS

If you’re ever uninterested in or unavailable for a specific exchange another family would like to do, don’t worry! You can always let your friends or family know about an available home exchange that you were offered. Send them an email and you may end up referring them to a perfect match!

 

KEEP YOUR PROFILE UPDATED

Did you redecorate your house? Did you get a pool in your backyard? Did you have another child? These kinds of questions contain information necessary to your profile. Make sure to change or update your profile with new photos if something in your home becomes different. This will also increase your chances of finding a better match.

 

START EARLY WHEN LOOKING FOR ANOTHER HOME EXCHANGE

If you’re planning to take a trip during the Christmas season, the earlier you start looking for a home swap, the better. It can’t hurt to even start a year ahead to get a better idea of what kind of home and location you’re looking for. Aside from making the process easier, the sooner you start looking around the better your chances are of getting the exact dates you want stay.

 

BE OPEN TO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AND FAMILIES

Keep an open mind when looking for a home swap. At first their location might not seem like it’s what you want, but maybe the more you research and more you speak to the family it might become more appealing. Consider all your options before ruling some out immediately. It could end up being your new favorite place to travel to!

Use these tips when doing a home swap and you’ll be sure to have the experience of a lifetime!

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During and Returning From Your Home Swap

Jun 24th, 2015

Now that you have finally made it to your new home stay, it’s time to relax and enjoy yourself! Make yourself comfortable but don’t forget to take good care of their house throughout your entire stay, as you would expect them to do the same to yours.

 

It is courteous to give them a call or email to let them know you have arrived and everything is in good shape! Also, it’s a good time to ask questions about anything they may have failed to mention, like where something is located or how something works. It is recommended that you keep their home relatively tidy and clean during your stay to save you from having to do a deep clean right before you leave. It will make life much easier for you in the long run!

 

home exchange Knok during returning from you swap During and Returning From Your Home Swap

 

Before it’s time to return to your own home, make sure you’ve left everything the way the family has asked. If they wanted the sheets washed after using them, wash them. Leave everything better than the way you found it! Don’t forget leave them a thank you message or a little gift to show your gratitude! Did you have a really good experience? Would you recommend this family and location to other families? Write a review on Knok and let the home exchange community know how great it was.

Communication through this entire process is crucial! Your home exchange agreement will be a great resource during your experience. Even so, it would be smart to stay in touch with the family for any questions or concerns you may have, especially at the beginning and end of your stay.

 

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Sant Joan – A Fire Celebration

Jun 22nd, 2015

In the northern hemisphere, the shortest night and the longest day of the year, known as the Summer Solstice is upon us. For those of you in Spain who don’t know what to expect, get ready to stay up all night partying! From sunset on June 23rd, to sunrise on the morning of June 24th, prepare yourself for fires in the streets, fireworks on the beach and an electric feeling in the air. On this holiday, the sun is seen as symbol of fertility and wealth, so the bonfires and fireworks that people create give it the necessary strength.

 

Knok home exchange sant joan festival Sant Joan – A Fire Celebration

 

On the countryside or the coast, where you’re young or old, this is a time for people to come together and ring in summer with one another. Don’t miss out on the celebrations! Enjoy it with the ones you love no matter where you are!

If you are looking for more fireworks, here you have celebrations worldwide where friends, family, and travelers gather together to witness the beauty of fire in a midnight sky.

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Getting Ready for Your Guest Family

Jun 19th, 2015

Helping your house exchange guests to feel at home miles away from their home is a huge part of house exchanging. Both creating a guide about the specifics of your place and physically preparing your home are equally important aspects of the process.

The guide to your home is a way for you to give your recommendations and directions to both your home and the surrounding area. Be sure to include things like the best restaurants or local boutiques, where to buy groceries, how the TV works, where to take out the trash etc. The guide is a great way to help your new family ease into their new home for however long their stay.

Knok home exchange preparing your home 2 Getting Ready for Your Guest Family

In addition to the guide, the proper preparation of your home for your guests is a necessity when planning a swap. There is no need to clean your home for hours, but a good vacuum, a little organization, and some clean towels and bed sheets will be just right. Treat it like you would as if family and friends were visiting, and do the same for your exchange family as you would for them. It’s also a nice gesture to leave the bare food necessities to allow the family some time to get situated when they first arrive.

To have the best home exchange experience you possibly can, remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Leave your home the way you want their home to be left for you and enjoy your stay!

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Creating a Knok Home Exchange Agreement

Jun 04th, 2015

Found the perfect family? Now it’s time to start talking to your fellow exchanger and get the ball rolling!

Once you and the other family have decided that you both want to go through with the exchange, it’s time to begin the agreement. This is the most important part of the home exchange process. By clicking on the “Start Agreement” button, it will lead you to a list of things needed to create a miscommunication-free home swap.

knok home exchange travel home agreement  Creating a Knok Home Exchange Agreement

 

You set the dates, number of people, contact information/emergency contacts, along with practical issues like exchanging the keys and dealing with cleaning details. Some suggest doing a skype session to discuss some of these items to make sure you are on the same page.

Lastly there is a list of standard home exchange agreement conditions filled with a variety of instances that each family can either agree with or disagree with, like permission to remove items from the home, or permission to have additional guests of the exchanger visit the home. Also, make sure to include any special requests you have for the exchange!

Once you complete it, your proposal will arrive to the other family where they will complete their part of the agreement. After that is complete, you will receive another email so you can double check and finalize the agreement you have both made.

It will then be saved as draft in a PDF format. Using the standard agreement document will ensure that your home is covered by the Knok Home Insurance and it will keep record of your exchange. We recommend having something in writing so both families understand and have a bigger commitment before the exchange. After returning from your trip, your exchange family will be able to add a “Trip Review” of your vacation.

This is a good way to keep everyone accountable and exchanging happily!

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4 Steps to Creating the Perfect Message

Jun 02nd, 2015

One of the most important parts of a home exchange is the initial greeting, where you introduce yourself and your family in order to express interests in another’s home. Here are four steps to help you get it right the first time:

home exchange Knok creating the perfect message 4 Steps to Creating the Perfect Message

 

1. First Impression is Key: Remember the saying that the first impression will make or break you? Well when it comes to home exchanging, it still rings true! This is your chance to describe your family in detail…likes, dislikes, hobbies, professions etc. Don’t hold back! Others want to know who could be staying in their home one day!

2. Express Real Interest: It is always best to show sincere interest and make the family feel special. Let them know much you love the location of their place, or how the windows provide a great view of the city.

3. The More Detailed the Better: Provide the dates you would like to travel and why. By giving a reason for your trip, you make the relationship more genuine. Also be sure to give the other family as many available days as possible, and try to “Be Flexible” as we detail below. Explain if you would prefer to do a simultaneous exchange, a non-simultaneous exchange using Knok Days, or no preference.

4. Ask Politely for a Response: Simply let the family know that you need to figure out your travel plans as soon as possible and you would appreciate a timely answer. Even if the answer is no, you still need to know so you can keep searching for a different exchange.

 

Home Exchange Knok Message example  4 Steps to Creating the Perfect Message

 

SAVE YOUR MESSAGE

Instead of having to rewrite the same introductory message every time you contact someone, you can save the first message and adapt it to each new family. Now you will have a message already written for the future, making it fast and easy to connect with other families.

BE FLEXIBLE

Working with another family from across the globe can seem daunting in the beginning. Between trying to coordinate dates and needs, it can get confusing for both parties. The key here is to be as flexible and transparent as you can. Instead of only offering them a few days for a swap, give them a list of all the weeks in the year you would be open to travel to their location or/and they could come to your place. Maybe you’re interested in traveling for certain weather or an annual festival …let them know! The more options and information you give them, the more opportunity there is for a successful swap. 

The perfect message can go a long way when reaching out to another family. It can be the start of new traditions and new relationships that will last a lifetime.

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5 Tips to Search & Find Your Perfect Home Exchange

May 28th, 2015

With thousands of locations to home exchange with, searching for and finding the perfect fit may seem difficult. But if you know how to optimize your search, you can find the home swap you’re looking for in no time.

Home exchange Knok how to search 2 5 Tips to Search & Find Your Perfect Home Exchange

 

HOW TO SEARCH

To find exactly what you want in a home in the destination of your choice, the website explicitly identifies the different amenities included in each house. You can search by country or city and narrow it down from there. Want an apartment in Barcelona with a balcony? Or a home for four with wifi outside of downtown Boston? Make sure to take advantage of the filters by map, features, key words, etc. Knok makes it very easy to find.

BE RECEPTIVE TO MESSAGES

When someone “knoks” on your door, or sends you a message of interest, it is best to respond in a timely manner. They could have the home of your dreams or be in a location that has everything you wanted and more, and you don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity. However, even if it’s a family that you’re not initially interested in swapping with, be open to what they have to say and offer you and your family. The best thing to do is respond to all messages as soon as you get them. Don’t wait! Fortunately, Knok makes it easy for you to do so. Right when you get a message, with the click of a button you can tell the family with an automated message that you’re interested, not interested or you would like more information. Keep your options open…Who knows, it could end up being sheer serendipity!

KNOK ON OTHER DOORS

Don’t wait for someone to knok on your door! Go after it, look around for what you want and connect with a home you’re interested in! Don’t be shy and limit yourself to what you think may be the perfect match! Reach out to anyone and everyone, this way you are sure to find a swap. You may end up helping someone realize that your house is what they want! Instead of focusing on one single destination, try searching for common interests and hobbies between other exchangers! Everyone has different tastes, but that is no reason not to knok on doors and message new families!

USE YOUR WISH LIST

To make the most of your home exchange experience, your wish list is a great tool. You can simply go through all the homes and pick your favorites for future trips or to refer back to them later. In addition to your favorite homes, you can create a to do list of different activities you would like to do when traveling to the destinations of your choice. This is a simple way to keep everything organized and saves you from having to remember everything!

 

Finding what you want in sea of homes available around the world can be a no brainer when you have the right tools and knowledge. Go forth and get knoking! You never know where it could lead!

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