Los Angeles, CA (3/12/21 & 4/30/21) – SabbaticalHomes been the leading resource for temporary housing for the academic community since 2000, and now we are better poised than ever to serve our community. After focusing for most of 2020 on upgrading the website, we are excited to announce that it will be here in April!
Since the beginning, we have prioritized flexibility. Members have always had the ability to create different types of listings: home rental or home exchange listings, tenant listings for a “home wanted.” People customize their listings to include specific house sitting tasks if they want, or to rent out a private space in their home.
It’s really the sharing economy at its best, a website designed to utilize existing housing supply for Minds on the Move traveling the world to make it a better place.
What will be the Same in the Updated SabbaticalHomes?
While the website will look a little different and has improvements throughout, it will retain much of the same capabilities to find homes and tenants around the world as it does now. Current members will still be able to access their account profile, listings and activity with their login information and new members are always welcome.
With the same ownership and consistent dedicated team, we are still running SabbaticalHomes.com with the same philosophy as we always have:
- We are dedicated to our community of Minds on the Move
- We are committed to providing a flexible, reasonably priced way to find temporary housing within a trusted community
- We respect and protect your privacy
- We value your independence, giving our members the right and responsibility to vet other members and check references prior to making housing arrangements
- We believe that relationships are more meaningful than transactions
- We think people’s homes are not a business
What is New & Improved about SabbaticalHomes?
Overall, we have upgraded our website to the most current technology and security, updated the look and feel of SabbaticalHomes, and worked hard to make each section as intuitive as possible. An important part of this is making the website a lot easier to use on a phone or tablet.
We have put even more scam and fraud prevention tools in place, which most members will not notice since the goal is to protect our members’ information and privacy.
What will be Different for our Members?
Members will use the site differently when exchanging messages, managing listings and announcing matches. We are also introducing a Trust Score for each member, reflecting how involved a member is with SabbaticalHomes.
Registration, Profiles & Messages
- People will need to register before contacting each other about a listing or to be able to see other members’ public profiles
- Members will need a home rental listing in order to contact a member with a tenant listing
- Each side of a home exchange will need to have a home exchange listing in order to exchange messages
- Registered members will exchange messages on our improved messaging system as long as they need or want to, protecting privacy by minimizing the number of other members they’ll share contact information with (by narrowing down things like dates and negotiable items beforehand)
Listing management will be improved in the My Listings dashboard, in which members can update, renew and change the visibility of their listings at any point during the 12-months covered by the listing fee:
- Visible: Anyone who visits SabbaticalHomes.com can see a listing
- Private: Only those with a link can see a listing
- Hidden: not viewable on the website, a member can only see in their dashboard
Related: Home Listing Photo Tips
Matches are still an integral part of our website, but they will be handled a little differently to make such an important thing easier to access – and easier for others in the community to see who has a history of successful matches:
- Each member will have a Matches dashboard to announce and confirm matches and refer to their match history as well.
- Members will receive notifications to confirm a match if another person has announced a match with them
Related: Finding the Perfect Match
Invitations, References and Reviews
We value the connections within our community because we know that is the basis for the trust in staying in one another’s homes. We’ve added even more ways to connect with other members on the new References and Reviews dashboards, and recognition for taking the time to do these things!
- Members will be able to invite others directly from their References dashboards, as well as to request and write personal references
- Reviews have been improved as well, making it easier to review matches, edit reviews they’ve written and even respond to reviews about them
What is a Trust Score?
With the redesign of SabbaticalHomes, we are introducing the Trust Score as a way for people to see how connected a member is to the community:
- Members will earn Trust Points with every reference written (and received), listing posted (or renewed), matches and reviews posted and more
- For longtime members, Trust Scores now include past activity on SabbaticalHomes, and points earned on the new version of the website
- For those just getting started on SabbaticalHomes, earning Trust Points is easy by completing My Profile, posting a listing and requesting references from colleagues or trusted friends
Related: What is a Trust Score? Coming Soon!
Will Pricing Change?
Our listing fees are still reasonable but will increase. As a thank you to our members who have listings coming up for renewal in 2021, we will automatically provide a special offer in your account for a discounted renewal rate through the end of this year.
Made-a-Match Fees will be maintained at USD $50 for each match (host and guest each announce/confirm the match and make their payment).
Related: SabbaticalHomes.com Pricing
What can Members do now to make the website upgrade easier?
Members can “dot their i’s” and “cross their t’s” on the current site so their Trust Scores will be accurate when we launch the new site:
- Update password to the new requirements
- Verify an academic email (if applicable):
- If the graduation cap icon is outlined instead of filled in, the academic status hasn’t been confirmed
- Look for an email from SabbaticalHomes to verify your academic status (or go to My Profile and request another verification email)
- Renew any listings that are coming up for renewal
- Catch up on any matches made but not yet announced by submitting the Made-a-Match Fee
- Request or write a review from previous matches
As always, we are here to provide a way for our community of Minds on the Move to connect. Please contact us with specific questions.