Today I’m announcing a plan for how we make People Like Us into the best home exchange community in the world.
Your first choice home exchange community.
The place you go to first, because you know you have the best choice from the most committed exchangers.
People like you. People Like Us.
In a lot of ways, I think we’re already the best.
We have the best, most-engaged community.
We’re one of the biggest exchange sites in the world.
We already have the biggest and most active Facebook community in the world.
We are the most trusted exchange site in the world according to TrustPilot, by a long way! (https://www.trustpilot.com/review/peoplelikeus.world)
We’ve built this community together. We should all be proud of what we’ve achieved.
But we can be even better. I know we can.
We can be the best home exchange community in the world.
And we can do it over the next 3 years.
That’s what this plan is all about.
Why does People Like Us even exist?
I’ve thought a lot about this.
We want to have great value travel, sure. But you could get that elsewhere too. There are bigger sites than People Like Us.
But those sites aren’t communities.
I don’t think of them as communities any more than I think of AirBnB as a community.
People Like Us exists to bring people together.
To connect people.
To share the world through travel.
We are a community first and foremost. We showed that in the pandemic when we couldn’t even travel!
We are the most trusted, engaging, sharing community of home exchangers on the planet, and we care about more than just cheap travel.
I believe we can be the best home exchange community in the world, the first choice community for all people like us.
The first site that you go to when you want to exchange because you know that it will bring you the best choice, the best response, the greatest likelihood that you’ll find what you’re looking for.
I don’t want to be the biggest.
We all know who the biggest in the world is and I don’t want us to be like that.
There aren’t that many committed exchangers in the world.
There aren’t that many People Like Us!
But I do want us to be the second biggest.
To do so, we need to add 10,000 new homes.
We can do this over the next 3 years.
That’s very achievable if we do it together.
We currently have around 4000 homes on our site. According to ShareTraveler, we’re the 7th biggest site in the world.
That’s all well and good, but I know that sometimes people struggle to find the exchanges that they want.
I know that some of you are members of other platforms because you need to be.
I’ve never been offended by people being members of other platforms but I don’t want you to need to be on another platform because you don’t have the choice at People Like Us.
If you choose to, that’s fine.
But I want you to have the choice available on People Like Us so you don’t have to.
We need to make sure that people have heard of us.
Because there are people out there, thousands of them, who would make great PLU’s if only they had heard of us.
We owe it to them as much as to us to make sure that every potential PLU has heard about us.
It’s time to invest in People Like Us.
We’re going to make sure that People Like Us shows up in the top 3 sites on Google when people are searching for home exchange.
We’re going to get people to write about us.
We’re going to advertise to make sure that people know who we are.
We’re going to make sure that when they try us, if they’re people like us that they stay, and they become enthusiastic members of our community.
We’re going to tell the exchanging world about People Like Us and we’re going to ask those who are like us to join.
Bigger is not necessarily better if it doesn’t still feel like People Like Us.
In the past 3 months, I’ve removed around 200 listings of inactive and unresponsive members. I will continue to do so.
I want to make sure that when you try to contact someone, you’ve got a better than 80% chance that you’ll get a response.
When we advertise, our messaging will always include our values.
People are drawn to exchange because it’s great value and I get that, but we’re not going to lead with “FREE TRAVEL”.
We’re going to make sure that people who join us understand us and why we’re here.
That we’re a community and we have values.
Like integrity, trust, kindness, and friendship.
That we’re not just here for the cheap travel.
We respect others’ viewpoints but if you don’t hold our values, we don’t want you as a part of our community.
Bigger is really important for us, but we always need to make sure that our community does not change and that our values are intact.
How will we know we’re the best?
Numbers are easy to measure. We’ll know when we’re the 2nd biggest. (Thanks Dawn! .. https://sharetraveler.com)
That’s an important measurement but how will we know we’re actually the best?
We all have a feeling about what People Like us is like and we’ll continue to have that feeling.
But it’s difficult to actually measure.
One really good external measurement is TrustPilot. We maintain the highest rating of any home exchange site in the world, a score of 4.9 out of 5.
No one else is close.
I want us to continue to hold ourselves to that standard, that we are the most trusted exchange community in the world.
It’s a measurement of how we deal with each other, our integrity.
And it speaks volumes about what sort of a community we are.
I’m also planning to introduce member satisfaction as a rating for People Like Us, based on how likely you are to recommend us to a friend.
I’ll use that as an annual measurement of how happy our members are with what we do.
More on that later.
I’m going to ask you to invest in your community, our community, by the means of a subscription fee.
This is your opportunity to invest in the future of People Like Us.
Fees will be set at the following level:
Fees will be set in USD but you will be able to pay in your local currency (119 of them!) so you can avoid any conversion fees.
People Like Us will continue to have a free tier of membership so new members can trial the site for free.
Trial Members will be able to access all parts of the site, including messaging Premium Members (with an opt out available for those members).
Trial Members will not be able to message each other.
Of course, only Premium Members can exchange.
For the first two weeks, we will offer Foundation Membership. (The other fee levels will not be available during the Foundation period.)
Foundation Membership will be offered as three years for the price of two, $170 for three years.
As a Founder, you will get all the benefits of the 3 year subscription, plus a gold Founder badge for your listing.
This will only ever be offered once, and only for the first two weeks.
If you believe in People Like Us, if you love what we represent, if you want us to be successful, I ask you to join us by becoming a People Like Us Founder.
It will be the very best way to contribute to our success.
I am currently in the middle of 5 weeks’ leave taken from my day job.
I wanted to have the time to do this properly and think clearly about it.
Following 5 weeks off, I have dropped my day job to 2 days a week to give myself time to focus on People Like Us.
In a year’s time, my plan is to be full-time on People Like Us.
I believe in our People Like Us community.
This is my commitment.
I want us to be in this together.
The Founder period will start on Tuesday, 15 June and last for two weeks.
I’ll give you more detail over the coming week about what will be new and some of my new plans for the site. (Yes, it includes an app. ? )
I want to give you time to discuss, and time to ask me anything you want either publicly or privately. https://peoplelikeus.world/support
Thanks for reading, thanks for being a PLU, and thank you always for your continued support.