How do you get your first exchange?

Tips from an experienced PLU

Note: I live in a small town in Denmark that few people outside my country have ever heard about. My home is an average Danish home with no pool or anything fancy, so we don’t get tons of enquiries every day. But by being active and following the tips below we have managed to do over 40 exchanges including to popular places like London, Paris, New York and LA. We have discovered, though, that the exchanges we’ve done to places we had never heard about before we did an exchange there have been even better than the ones in popular tourist destinations, and I know that many other experienced exchangers feel the same way.

So YES – your home and your area will also be interesting for us!

Tip no. 1: Create an inviting listing on our website.

You can start with a trial listing but need to be a Premium member to arrange an exchange.

Your listing needs

  • Good photos. No, we don’t all live in show homes, but we do take care to take pics on a sunny day when we’ve just tidied the place. We want you to see our homes when they’re looking their best so that you’ll be able to imagine yourself having a great holiday there. Make sure you take photos of most of your rooms, especially the bedrooms, so I can see if my family/travel party will fit your rooms.

  • A photo and description of you and your family. I need to know who you are, so I can decide if I want to trust you with my home. (You can hide this – and other information – from non-members and/or trial members if you like).

  • A description of your area (unless you live in a well-known tourist destination) and what I can see and do there. “Sell” your area in your listing!

  • Destinations you’d like to go to. You find these under Exchanging in the menu, and you can enter the names of cities or countries. Let’s say you put in Denmark; then when I search for people who want to come to my area, your listing will show up in my search (if I use that filter, of course).

You can get more tips for creating your listing on the PLU website.

Tip no. 2: Share your listing in the Facebook group

Don’t just mention your listing number in your FB post, but make sure you share a direct link to your listing that I can click on and go directly to the listing. This way people are much more likely to check out your home out of curiosity and perhaps even put it in their favourites. If people do so, you’ll receive an email telling you who did. This is great because it tells you that they are interested in your home. Take a look at their home and put that in your favourites if you like it. If you like it a lot, you might even write them a short note saying something like, “I saw you favourited my home; we really like yours, too, and would love to exchange with you at some point”.

Tip no. 3: It's NOT ENOUGH to share your listing on Facebook!

Some PLU members are not on Facebook so they won’t see it and there are now so many posts every day in the Facebook group that we could easily miss yours when scrolling. And don’t just sit back and expect people to contact you either.

Home exchanging is different from renting where you can just list your home and the bookings will start pouring in. To find an exchange match you need to work a little harder. You need to send out lots of enquiries, make contact, get to know people etc.

Start favouriting homes in the areas you’d like to go to and send out enquiries. You can search for people who want to go to your area/country and for those who have favourited your home. This gives you a better chance of finding a match. And do make your enquiries personal by reading people’s listings carefully and suggesting things they might like in your area. This way you’re telling people that you’re interested in an exchange with them.

Tip no. 4: Be FLEXIBLE

If you say, “We want to go to New York City on 4-9 August, and we have already bought the tickets”, then the chance of finding a match is small. Be willing to consider alternative areas, keep an open mind and be as flexible on dates as possible. Many begin with a local exchange to learn the ropes and to get their first review.

Tip no. 5: Be PATIENT

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try and try again! Keep sending enquiries and make them personal. If I can tell from your enquiry that you’re just sending out enquiries to anybody in the area and haven’t actually read my listing, I will think you’re not really interested in an exchange with me and I’ll say no.

I’m sure it took me 100-200 enquiries to finally get an exchange in NYC, but it was definitely worth it. In other cases, I have been lucky to find an exchange just by favouriting a listing and then contacting people when they favourited mine afterwards.

Remember, you’re not booking a short-term rental, you’re asking someone to let you stay in their precious home. 

Tip no. 6: Reply to ALL enquiries

When you do receive enquiries make sure to reply to them ALL - and relatively quickly - if only to say “Thanks but we have other plans” or “We might be interested, but we need some more time to …”.

Not only is it courteous to reply to the people who have contacted you and may be waiting for your answer before they approach other exchangers, but it will also influence your own response rate. Experienced exchangers usually avoid sending enquiries to listings that have low response rates (you can filter for that in your search).

So check your own response rate and make sure it stays at 100%. Not many people will want to spend time writing an enquiry to you if they can see you might not reply. Searching for listings with high response rates also gives you a better chance of getting a reply to yours.

Tip no. 7: Get a buddy

If you’re not having much success in spite of doing everything I’ve told you so far, what more can you do?

By all means, use the Facebook group – but not to whine and complain about not getting enough enquiries (that rather puts me off, to be honest). Instead, market your area by posting some photos and telling us about it or post a link from nearby tourist attractions that we might not know about. Many people have been able to create interest in their area this way. There are so many beautiful and interesting areas out there that we’ve never heard about – YET.

If you need more help, get a buddy! This is a new PLU feature, where newbies can get an experienced buddy.

You can read more about it here:

Tip no. 8: Communication is key

I hope you can use some of my tips above, and I want to give a bonus tip:

Communication is the most important thing in home exchanging!

Ask your exchange partners what they expect/would like/need etc. and let them know what you expect/would like/need.

PLU's are extremely friendly, flexible and helpful – so just talk to us!

Happy exchanging!



Annemette & Ole

Travelling group
LGBTQ+ friendly