As you're filling out your member profile and details of your exchange listing, keep in mind your fellow members who will be reading your information. Here are a few tips to make your listing sing!
People make home arrangements with other people. So let your fellow Swap My Office members know who you are, who's traveling with you, what your interests are, etc.
NOTE: this ISN'T a "personals" ad, nor is it the place for your business bio or your business website. (In fact, web URLs are not allowed in profiles or listings.)
This is just you connecting with your fellow Swap My Office members to build and encourage the sense of community.
If you have very specific preferences for where you want to go, and when, then list them in your profile area. If not, leave this area blank so that you show up in more search results.
Start your listing by thinking through your "headline." This is the 8- to 10-word title you will give your property.
Put yourself in the position of other members searching for the perfect place. What makes your property appealing? Dare we say, "sexy?"
Pull out the best attributes and succinctly "sell" your home as a great place for another member to set up shop and stick around, whether that's for a weekend, week, month or longer. We're not talking about making things up here. But find the words and adjectives that make your place sound appealing. Such as "Spacious Townhome 1 Block from Lake" or "Apartment in the Middle of Foodie Heaven."
Yes, a picture says a thousand words. And it's critical to upload photos of your exchange offer (see section on Your Photos, below).
But you ALSO need words to describe your home and highlight the key features and amenities. Both are important to give fellow community members a feeling for whether your place and YOU are a match for them.
Start with some descriptions that help give a feel for your place. Describe why your home is more than just walls and a roof. For example, your house has large windows that allow loads of natural light. Or your wifi is accessible from the back porch that overlooks a lake, forest or lush green backyard.
Don’t forget the details! If you have an in-house washer/dryer, add it in as an amenity. Done any upgrades or renovations within the past few years? Mention them.
Let your profile viewers know about things they may not even know to ask. For example, tell them your house doesn't have air conditioning, but that's because there are only a few days a year it is ever needed (and for those days, fans are sufficient). Or let them know that in the winter, the meadow behind your house becomes a pond that attracts all types of water fowl.
Potential swap mates would likely want to know that your duplex is walking distance to local coffee shops, antique stores or museums...so say it in your home description. And if you're willing to allow pets in your home, mention that your home is pet-friendly for dogs or cats, and that the backyard is spacious or there's a local dog park nearby.
Remember, you want people to read your listing and feel like they want to be where you are! So put yourself in THEIR mindset as you write.
Lastly, a tip on length: don't make your listing too short (a 1- or 2-sentence home description doesn't engender trust), but you don't want to write a book either.
This is an important part of your listing. As business owners, the members of this Swap My Office community need to know that you have what they need to continue to run their business while they are staying at your place.
Some will need only a wifi signal and a table, whereas others may need more, such as a printer or space in your filing cabinet. Others may need an outside office in which to see clients. It's all about finding the match that is right for you and your exchange partners.
So in addition to checking all the boxes that apply for your office situation, describe in words the particulars of your office. Perhaps your home office has the most reliable wifi you've ever experienced...if so, say it. Or you have a video studio set up in a spare bedroom where the light from the outside is the best. Or you see your massage clients in an older home a mile away that closes at 8 pm.
Again, err on the side of more information than less, but keep it as succinct as you can.
Every community, neighborhood, city or region has its own flavor. Give prospective exchange partners a feel for what it's like where you live—but from the perspective of someone who's never been there.
What is there to do close to your home? Are you an hour away from the beach, a dormant volcano, a National Park? Add to the attractiveness of your listing by suggesting great road trips or letting people know about local events, such as the annual historical cemetery tour. What's available that might add to the adventure and intrigue of a new location and new cultural experience?
And don't forget to include "business things" about your area. Do you live in a place with great photo shoot locations? Does your friendship circle include fellow business owners who would enjoy showing your swap-mate around or inviting them to gatherings? Are you near a local bar or coffee house with "local characters" that might inspire a writer's next great novel?
Remember, you're "marketing" your listing almost like you'd market a product or service. So recall all that you love about your community, even if you've lived there for decades and don't think about it much these days.
Photos of your home and office play an important role in whether someone will be interested in exchanging home/office with you. They're an enhancement of your storytelling and descriptions, so if you're writing about a breathtaking view from your balcony, show it.
Here are some tips to help you showcase your listing in its best light.
Before you start snapping away, give your house a good cleaning.
Remove personal items, knick-knacks and any clutter from counters, tables, chairs.
Leaving a few things out is fine, but your home will show better if it's clear.
We know you love Fluffy and Max, but put away their water and food bowls (not to mention the litter box). However, DO have your furry family members in the photos to show that your listing is pet-friendly.
Open all your curtains and blinds, and take pictures during the day. Natural lighting makes your space visible, welcoming and inviting.
Take multiple pictures of every point of view, including wide-angle shots of every room. Then pick the best to upload.
It's best to make your photos horizontal.
Don’t forget to show pictures of your home from the outside.
If you have a favorite working spot, include a photo of it on your listing. Or a favorite view. Use the caption to say why they're favorites.
Captions are great to give context and additional information to the photos. We recommend using them!