Frequently Asked Questions

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New to Swap My Office & Home Exchange

Absolutely! Many of our members run their business out of a home office, so when you exchange homes, the office comes with it. Others have outside offices and can choose to make that part of the exchange deal. Or perhaps your living arrangements are all set in your destination and you just need a good office to work out of, in which case you'd just arrange an office swap. Any combination of home and/or office is available here.
Of course. You'll want to make sure there's nothing in your lease that prevents you from doing so, or structure your exchange so that it stays within those guidelines. You also may want to use one of our pre-written exchange agreements, which are one of our member benefits. These are NOT required but some choose to use them for their peace of mind.
Yes, you can exchange your outside office AND your home or just your office. It's up to you and your exchange partners as to what you exchange. Some people even exchange cars, pet care, plant care, etc.

There is no "reservation" process here at Swap My Office. Simply search for the destination of your choice and look through the homes available there. If/when one appeals to you, contact that member and begin the conversation. You'll arrange with each other all the details, such as exchange dates, pet care, car exchange, home office or outside office, etc. Remember, the more listings the better your opportunities, so if you have entrepreneurial colleagues in other locations, let them know about Swap My Office.

There's nothing like a weekend getaway someplace you've never been! Or maybe you need a place for a work retreat. So, yes, you can arrange an exchange with someone in the community for a weekend, a week, a month or longer. It's your choice. Consider using the search filters to look for community members who've checked "Weekend Exchange" as one of the types of exchanges they're open to. And be sure to check that on your own listing to help attract those who might contact you for potential weekend exchanges. Click here to read about all the different types of exchanges you can do.

Nope. Your membership in Swap My Office means you can swap homes/offices as many times as you want. Click here to see all the different kinds of exchanges that are possible, to enhance your opportunities for a successful exchange.

This is where it gets interesting—and creative! Sometimes our members have listed second homes or time shares, and this makes it easy. But if there are no second homes involved, there are still ways to make it work. For example, you stay at your partner's home for a month in November while they're on extended work trip, and they stay at your place in June when your family goes to its annual sibling reunion. The bottom line: get as creative about exchanging homes as you do about your business! Click here for thorough definitions on all exchange types.

People throughout the world have been exchanging homes for decades. As the world gets "smaller" and making connections has become so easy online, its popularity has soared.

Here are a few general practices for home swapping that will help you feel confident that the experience will be not only safe but mutually wonderful:

1) get to know your potential swap-mates before you agree to an exchange,

2) put valuables away,

3) do a written agreement, if that makes you feel better, and

4) remember that YOU are staying in THEIR home, too!

We believe that the vast majority of people are upstanding, reputable individuals who treat others' homes the way they would want their own treated. Plus, being part of a community that abides by community guidelines lessens the chance that one bad apple will spoil the whole bushel.

If you get any red flags during initial queries and/or conversations, just politely decline. If you have concerns about a member of this community, don't hesitate to contact us. Also, exchange agreement templates are one of our member benefits.

Arranging an Exchange

Your very first step is to make sure your own listing and profile is as complete and up-to-date as possible so that others can find YOU! Assuming that's all set, your best bet is to use the search function and search for the country and/or city in which you'd like to live. Go through the search results until you find a match (or "close enough" match) for what you're looking. You can add filters to your search to find only those with criteria important to you. Then reach out. We recommend reaching out to multiple potential exchange partners, not just one.

When you’re viewing the listing that interests you, click on “Message User” on the right underneath the profile image to send a message.

Or, if you're looking at the person's full profile page, click on “Message User” on the left underneath their profile image.

Both bring you in to the Swap My Office messaging system, which allows you to communicate privately, without revealing your personal email address, until you decide to exchange with each other.

You'll know it's right for you in two ways: 1) factually and 2) intuitively. As far as the "facts" goes, you'll make sure the exchange you're considering has what you need for accommodations and that the work arrangement allows you to do what you need to do in your business.  

Also look at reviews (though please understand that in the early months of this community, there won't be many of those yet). Ask for a virtual tour of the home/office, and give them a tour of yours. Then check in with your gut. How does the place, and your prospective exchange partner feel to you? You'll know whether it's the right swap.

Yes, strong, reliable Internet is important for us business owners if we're going to be working somewhere other than our normal home/office. Members of Swap My Office must list their Internet speed range when setting up their property listing, which makes it a searchable attribute. Meaning, if you need Internet speed between 25-50 Mbps, you can search for only those properties with that speed range.

Yes, you can do a simultaneous exchange or non-simultaneous exchange. A weekend exchange or a long-term exchange. A second home or a time share. Or a guest exchange. Click here for thorough definitions on all exchange types and how to make them work for you.

Listing Your Property

We've made it easy for you to measure your wifi speed. Just click here for access to an Internet speed testing site. There are dozens of these around the Internet, and this one had the least advertising noise! If you are unable to access this website from your country, just search "internet speed test." A speed test will give you two measurements: download speed and upload speed. The measurement in our property listings is the download speed; if you wish to know your swapmate's upload speed, be sure to ask.

Preparing for a Great Exchange Experience

For an in-depth discussion on exchanging pet care, click here to read our best tips for a positive experience by humans and animals alike.

This is your choice. Some of our members feel completely confident with a virtual handshake, while others have more peace of mind knowing that all responsibility has been discussed and assigned. If you're in the latter camp, we've made it easy for our members to draw up agreements between each other. Member benefits include several templated agreements to customize and use for yourself. Click here to join Swap My Office now and access ALL of your member benefits.

It depends. Weekend exchanges might be easier to make on the quick. Some members are more able to be mobile and spontaneous with longer exchanges. But it's probably a safe bet that at least 2-3 months out is a good "minimum" range. If you're a real planner and know your plans a year in advance, you might end up exchanging with another long-range planner, while others won't know availability until a month before.

In short, you want to clear out closet and drawer space, put valuables safely away, leave instructions for appliances (and remote controls!), establish an emergency contact, make necessary arrangements for housekeeping or gardeners, and make it clean for your swapmate's arrival. We've got a great article on this in our User Tips & Resources section. Click here to read it. Also, our members enjoy access to both a home exchange checklist and a template for home instructions/phone numbers. Click here to view additional member benefits and join this global community of travel-loving entrepreneurs.

That it can be a delightful and educational family experience! AND that it requires a little bit of additional advance planning. Click here to read how to prepare for a positive experience for your family and theirs.

Yes, it's completely up to you and your swapmate as to whether you'd like to deepen the exchange experience by using each other's cars. You'll want to confirm that your car insurance will cover another driver for the period of time it will be used by that person. Or that your swapmates' insurance coverage is adequate to cover them with your car. Also, don't forget to leave names and phone numbers of your car mechanic, and be sure that all required registration information is up-to-date while you're gone. Make clear to your exchange partner any other rules or regulations related to your car (such as where to park and when).