There’s a great sense of relief once you’ve connected with someone for a home exchange/rental, whether you’re searching for the ideal place to stay during your sabbatical or looking for someone to stay in your home. Beyond the initial logistics, however, the most important aspect of setting up a successful home exchange is clear communication. We’ve outlined a few crucial points to keep in mind for an ideal exchange.
1. Clearly Define Your Space
Both parties should have a clear understanding about the proposed living space. For instance, if you are renting out your home but would prefer that the tenant stay out of certain areas (such as an additional bedroom), be sure to state that clearly before agreeing on the exchange. Additionally, if there are any restrictions regarding levels of access to amenities or household items, don’t hesitate to communicate that clearly. It’s better to lay everything out beforehand rather than running into snags over unaddressed concerns after the fact.
2. Be Honest About Your Needs
Being as transparent about your housing needs not only will enable you to find a living space that’s best for you, but it can also prevent any uncomfortable communication later down the line. For instance, if you are bringing a pet with you, be upfront about it and make sure that the owner has no objections – this will also give them a chance to let you know if there are any reasons why the space may not be ideal for pets. For owners, be sure to let potential tenants know about any responsibilities that you’d like them to tend to during their stay, such as checking mail or watering plants. Though some of these scenarios may be obvious, it’s always better to be extremely clear and detailed.
3. Keep the Door Open For Future Communication
Be sure to offer an extension for communication between both parties once the home exchange has started. Giving the other party multiple ways to reach you (phone, email, Skype) is a great way to put the other person at ease, so that if a question arises they’ll know you’re not impossible to reach. You might even consider setting up a weekly or bi-weekly scheduled time to touch base to see if everything is going well and to just check in with one another.