Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About People Like Us

My wife and I live in Sydney with our son and we love travel. In 2017, we were having a chat about what future life might look like after school. We want to travel overseas for three to six months at a time. We want to improve our language skills. The conversation inevitably got to how we'd afford that and we talked about home swapping to keep the costs down. We had an idea to set up our own community. We know a lot of people overseas and we thought it would be fun to run our own network. And so, the idea of People Like Us was born. The original idea was to have private communities but it turned out not as popular as our public community so that's what we focus on now. The site was launched on the 1st of April 2018 and, in a very short space of time, has grown into the world's friendliest community of home swappers. We're people who want to share, who love home exchange, who want to see what it's like to actually live in a destination. We're a mix of people who have loads of experience and complete newbies but we’re engaged and actively looking for our next swap even if that's two years away.

People Like Us is a site for you to exchange your home with other members for travel. When we travel, you and I stay in each other's homes rather than booking a hotel. We can travel at the same time or at different times and we also have a system of "Globes" which can be used if you want to stay at my home but I can't commit to coming to yours. It's easy, safe, economical, and you'll make friends for life.

People Like Us is currently free to join and exchange. A subscription fee will be added in early 2020 to invest in development and growth, and to make the site sustainable into the future.

People Like Us has a private Facebook group called "People Like Us Home Exchange": https://www.facebook.com/groups/peoplelikeus.world. We use it to help our members communicate, get to know each other, advertise their homes and look for exchanges. The group is private so you can talk freely and your discussion cannot be seen outside the group.

We do! People Like Us has endorsed TrustPilot to collect independent reviews. These are from real members who have used the People Like Us platform. https://www.trustpilot.com/review/peoplelikeus.world

No, it's not absolutely necessary, but you'll be missing out on one of the best parts of People Like Us. People Like Us is all about community, about sharing, talking to each other, communication. The PLU platform is used for direct messaging, enquiries and discussion of exchanges, but community discussion happens in our Facebook group. It's where the personality of our community really shines. All important communication is emailed via our Blog, and votes take place in both Facebook and on the platform.

Not yet. Our website is fully functional on mobile devices and it helps us to keep our costs down.

Question suggested by Ching

Member and listing setup

The first thing you'll want to do when you join People Like Us is set up your home listing. There are lots of excellent tips for doing so on our Tips page https://peoplelikeus.world/tips. Go to My listings https://peoplelikeus.world/properties and edit your existing listing or create a new one. All the details for your home can be edited here: title, address, descriptions, accommodation, photos and much more. Mandatory sections are indicated by a red cross or green tick. Once all the mandatory sections are filled in, you may activate your home and it will be available for searching on the website immediately.

When you're looking for an exchange, there are two main ways to go about it: 1. Search for places you want to go and send direct enquiries via the People Like Us site. This is very targeted and has a high likelihood of response. 2. Post your home to our Facebook group. When you do this and use the direct link to your home, it will present the cover photo and title with a link directly back to your listing. It's an excellent way to put your home in front of thousands and thousands of people. You never know what you might find! You can always do both. Facebook is particularly useful if you are flexible on dates and location as you'll likely attract offers from all over the world.

Absolutely! You can have as many as you want, and your community will thank you for offering more than one home. You'll find a button to create a new listing on the My listings page: https://peoplelikeus.world/properties.

No! 😀 List with what you have ready and then improve them as you have time. It takes a little time to prepare your home for photography so it's very easy to put off, but as soon as you list you can start joining in to the community and start getting to know people. The more people know you, the easier it will be to find an exchange.

Refer to our Tips page: https://peoplelikeus.world/tips. You'll find loads of good information for things that should be in your listing.

Our Facebook page is only there to support the website and make communication easier. If you want to exchange, you must list your home on our website.

Desired destinations are used for reverse search. They let other members know where you want to go so they can find you in a search if that's where they live. To add desired destinations, go to the main navigation menu, click on your photo, and select Desired destinations. Then search for each destination, select it from the dropdown list and add it. You need to do one destination at a time.

LGBTQ+ is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning plus other variants of gender/sexual diversity. While we would hope that everyone in the world would be friendly toward all people, it's not always the case and some people are less comfortable with people who are different from them. We have the flag and display it prominently on listings so that the LGBTQ+ community is supported and welcomed. I was told a story by a gay member not long after starting the site that he and his husband were turned away from an exchange home upon arrival when the host found out they were gay. We don't want that to happen at People Like Us.

- Go to PLU's website and then click "My listings". Then, click on your own property. - Once the property shows up, you highlight the url address on the top (it should start with "https://"). With your curser on the highlighted address, right click on your mouse to bring up a menu. Now you can select "Copy" (alternatively, you can hit "Ctrl+C" on your keyboard). - Once you've done this, you can go to your post or comment on FB. Then, right click on your mouse to bring up a menu again. This time select "Paste" (alternatively, you can hit "Ctrl+V" on your keyboard). - Your link (which starts with "https://") should show up on your post or comment. And you're good to go! There's also a Facebook Share button at the top of your listing which allows you to post directly to anywhere in Facebook.

Question suggested by Ching

We use a Google service for translation and, yes, it's odd that there's no option for your own language. Click on translate and choose any language. Then click translate again and English will be the first option. If you use Chrome, it will usually offer a page translation if it's not in your native language.

Question suggested by Joan

There are lots of excellent tips for doing so on our Tips page https://peoplelikeus.world/tips. The quality of your listing will make a huge difference to the number of enquiries that you receive so spend some time on your photos, descriptions and, particularly, things to do in your local area. Talk about it as if you had never visited the area before, as your guests most likely will be there for the first time!

Question suggested by Peta

Travel Styles are a part of your home listing and they're used to explain what your home is GREAT for. If you live near a ski field, tick the skiing box so that people who are looking for a home to stay at when they ski can find you. A common mistake is that people tick the box if they, themselves, enjoy skiing even if they live by the sea. This has the effect of cluttering the database such that when people are searching for skiing homes, they see a lot of people who happen to just enjoy skiing! 🙂

Photos and all other listing details can be changed by editing your listing details. Go to My listings, then edit your listing, then click edit next to photos. You can add new ones, rearrange using the buttons, and add individual captions too.

Question suggested by Gary

Go to the Login page where you'll find a button "Forgot your password?". This will send you a link to reset your password.

One common issue is when people accidentally register with the site twice. Most commonly, this happens when a member registers first with an email address and then logs in with Facebook. If the email address attached to the Facebook account is different from the one used with the site originally, a second account will be created. That second account won't have any access to the listing or messages of the first as we don't know that they are linked. To fix, log out and log in with the method used to create the listing initially.

Easy! Edit your listing (My listings, Edit button) and then press Edit next to your photos. Each photo has buttons to move left or right, rotate left and right, and to delete them.

Question suggested by Bridget

Enquiries and booking exchanges

On People Like Us, the exchange process starts with an Enquiry. This is really just a message from you to another member to ask about an exchange. It is free-form and is just initiating the conversation between the two of you. Think of it like an email or a message. Introduce yourself, let the other member know about your home, what you're looking for and what you're offering.

After you've made an enquiry, you're satisfied with the details and you're ready to proceed, you can make a formal proposal. Go back to the enquiry and you'll see a button "Make proposal". Click it, and fill out the known details: dates, who is travelling, which home you're exchanging if you have more than one. Click Send and the proposal will be sent to the other member. The member will then need to accept the exchange and, when you're ready, finalise it to lock in the details.

There are four types of exchanges: Simultaneous: you and another member exchange your homes at the same time. Non-simultaneous: you exchange with another member but you travel at different times. If you don't know when you'll travel for the second leg, you can leave the dates blank and "bank" a future exchange. Non-reciprocal: in this type of exchange, you stay in another member's home but they do not come to yours. In a non-reciprocal exchange, you have full use of the home. In People Like Us, you can host a non-reciprocal exchange just to make you feel good, or you can do it for a Globe, PLU's token system. When you earn a Globe, you can use it to travel to someone else's home. Hospitality: also a non-reciprocal exchange in that only you travel to the other member's home and they don't come to yours, but in a hospitality stay, you only have partial use of the home and the other member will also be there. You can also use a Globe for a hospitality stay.

One an exchange proposal is made by you, it must be accepted by the other member, then you will finalise the exchange to confirm the details. To either accept or finalise an exchange, go to the Message and Exchanges screen and click in the check box "Messages with Exchanges". You'll see your exchange with the status. Click on it to open. The exchange will have the status at the top. Scroll to the bottom and you'll see a button to do the next step, Accept or Finalise. All exchange proposals go through these same steps. If a Globe is offered, it will transfer to the other member when the exchange is finalised.

The most common way to search is by using the main search bar on the Homes page. Just type a destination, select it from the list, and hit search. But you can do so much more too: Zoom and pan the map to change the homes showing in the list. Hover over a listing card to see the pin jump up and down on the map. Use our Filters page to narrow your search. You can search for your favourites, homes where the owners have favourited you, people who want to travel to your area, different types of homes, different styles of travel, homes features, home rules, different size and makeup of the travel party, and so on. You'll find filters for nearly everything you can imagine. There are, in fact, over a hundred! Under Homes on the main navigation bar, you'll also find some useful search links: - Your favourites - New listings in the last week - Search by listing number or first name of the owner - Search by most popular countries and continents

Yes, you may offer a car on your home listing and you can search for homes that offer a car. Be very careful to check your insurance to ensure that you are covered, and check the size of your excess as well. Agree with your exchange partner what will happen in the event of an accident.

On every home listing card, you'll find a little blue heart in the top-right corner. Click that to make a favourite, or click again to "unfavourite" the home. Once you've done that, you'll see that home appear with a blue pin on the map and you can search for your favourites using the main navigation bar, Homes/Favourites, or using the Filters screen. Or click this link: https://peoplelikeus.world/en/homes?favourites=1.

Click Homes on the main navigation menu. You'll see "Favourites" as a menu item. You can also do the same from the Filters page in case you want to combine that search with something else. On the Filters page, just below the first map, you'll see an option: "Only show my favourite listings". Favourites also appear on the main map as blue markers instead of red.

There's an option under Filters: "Only show homes belonging to members who have favourited my listings". Easy!

Reverse search is available in Filters. The second map down the page allows you to search for members who want to go to a particular area, so you can see if they want to come to your place. Like all maps in People Like Us, if you zoom before you press the "Search" button, the system will search only within the bounds of the map.

Exchanges and messages are all together on the same page under the envelope icon on the main navigation menu. You'll see all of your conversations on the page with the most recent message on each. If you have an exchange with someone, it'll be below the message. Use the filters on the page to see just those conversations with people with whom you have exchanges, or to see exchanges of specific statuses.

Response rates are measured upon your response to enquiries and exchange proposals. If you haven't responded to one, your response rate will be below 100% It's important to answer all messages and proposals as people are more likely to send you enquiries if they know you'll answer. Anyone can see how many enquiries and proposal you have had, and how many you've responded to. If you can't immediately see which enquiry or proposal requires a response, there's a filter on the exchanges and messages page (the envelope icon).

Notifications are always sent so the issue will be with the way they are being received. There are a number of possible reasons: 1. Email notifications are going to junk. Check your junk folders and add drew@peoplelikeus.world to your safe senders. 2. If you signed up with Facebook the email address is the one registered with Facebook. This is often not someone's most common email address. Check your Facebook account to see what address you're using and change the email address in your PLU member profile if it's not the one you want. 3. You may have unsubscribed from all our emails. It happens. If you want us to check, email us.

The thing about home exchange is that, by the time you actually exchange, it's rare for the other person to still feel like a stranger. When you're setting up an exchange, communicate with your exchange partner. Do a video call. Ask for references and check them. Remember that most of the time you're also staying in their home as well.

While it's true that it's easier to get an exchange if you live in the centre of London or Paris, PLU is definitely not just for touristy places. One of the wonderful things about People Like Us and home exchange in general is that people are far more likely to travel to different and unusual places. If you do live in a less touristy place, send lots of enquiries and make sure to advertise your home on our Facebook group. It really works to help you find an exchange.

Make sure that your listing is as good as it can be. Refer to our Tips page https://peoplelikeus.world/tips for ideas. Favourite the homes you like. Ensure that your desired destinations and your calendar are up-to-date. More than anything though, be proactive. Advertise your listing and get involved in the community. Make enquiries to others. Don't just sit back and wait for enquiries to come in.

Simultaneous and non-simultaneous exchanges are both reciprocal. In a simultaneous exchange, you travel to each other's place at the same time. In non-simultaneous, you travel at different times.

With a reciprocal exchange you and another member swap houses with each other either at the same time (simultaneous) or at different times (non-simultaneous). With a non-reciprocal exchange, only one of you travels to the other's home, but you still have full use of the whole home.

In a hospitality exchange, you stay at another member's home while they are still there to host you.

There could be many reasons. We send email notifications for all enquiries but some emails go to junk folders or are just not seen, or they may have unsubscribed from PLU emails. Some people don't visit the People Like Us site every day (as hard as that may be to believe!) and, in other cases, someone may have read the message but just decided not to respond just yet. Don't be discouraged. You can send a reminder after a while or just move on to the next home.

When you first send a message, there's a grey tick indicating that it has not yet been read. When the other member has seen it, it will turn green. If you have a message that you haven't yet read, it will have a blue dot next to it, and there'll be a badge on the envelope icon to show how many messages are unread.

One of the beautiful things about People Like Us is that this is totally up to you and your exchange partner. We don't place any "price" on your home so you are free to determine where you want to travel and whether or not you'll accept an exchange.

Question suggested by Nancy & Bob

When you go to propose an exchange, only the exchange types that are accepted by the home listing are offered to you. If the home does not accept non-reciprocal exchanges, that type will be greyed out and you won't be able to select it. Often, people don't realise their listings are only set up to accept simultaneous exchanges by default so, if you've been discussing a particular type of exchange and find it's not offered, just send them a quick message to ask.

We don't require members to have an agreement for exchange between them and don't offer a template. One of our members has provided a template that they use in the Files section of our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/peoplelikeus.world/permalink/2138430599789221/. This is offered as a sample only.

Question suggested by Nancy & Bob

Each message has a small red 'x' next to it to delete it. Doing so will only delete your copy, not the other person's copy.

Question suggested by Susanne

Update your details in your listing and then talk to your exchange partner. Make sure they know if the accommodation details have changed so that they know if their needs are still met. If it's still ok by your exchange partner, no problem.

Question suggested by Caroline

Trips

If you're going on a big trip that has more than one exchange, use the People Like Us trip builder. You can get to it from the main navigation menu: https://peoplelikeus.world/trips. A trip is a linked sequence of exchanges. You can set up a trip and name it, add exchanges to it and even add saved searches for a part of the trip you're trying to fill with an exchange. In future, you'll also be able to add flights, train trips and activities so that you can keep all of your trip info in the one place.

Start by creating a trip, naming it, adding dates and information about the people who will be travelling. Add any exchanges that you have already proposed or which have been accepted. Fill the gaps by saving searches. You can then run the search to see what homes satisfy the criteria that you've set.

Click the "Add search" button at the bottom of the page and add search criteria, just like if you were searching for homes using the Filters page. They're all the same filters. Then save and run. Simple!

Globes

People Like Us uses Globes to assist non-reciprocal and hospitality stays. A Globe is a token that can be exchanged for a stay in someone’s home. If I want to stay in your home but you can't come to my location, I can offer you a Globe. You can then use that Globe to stay at another member's home whenever you want.

Globes are tokens. If you want to stay in someone's home and they can't come to yours for whatever reason, then you can offer a Globe. You can use them for either non-reciprocal or hospitality stays. When you go to make a proposal, if you select one of those two types of exchange, you'll see a Globe section, but you'll only see it if both you and the other member accept Globes and if you have a Globe to offer.

No, Globes are not used for reciprocal exchanges, neither simultaneous nor non-simultaneous.

You can earn a Globe by hosting someone who has one for a non-reciprocal or hospitality stay. You can search for people who accept them (but not people who HAVE them) using filters. The other alternative is to offer an open-ended non-simultaneous exchange i.e. offer that the other member visits your home at some point in the future. A lot of people 'bank" an exchange in this way.

No, definitely not. Globes cannot be purchased.

Globes are worth a "stay". The duration of the stay are worked out between you and your exchange partner.

A Globe is worth one stay. It is not possible to transfer more than one Globe for a stay.

No, there is no rating of homes on People Like Us.

No. There's really no difference with Globes in this respect. After assessing the offer and talking to the other member, you should make your own choice about whether or not to accept it.

Yes. If you don't want to use Globes, there is an option on your membership profile. If you take this option, you will not see any information about Globes, not see the options, nor be made offers for them.

They don't expire, but they will be a premium service when a fee is introduced to People Like Us in 2020.

Question suggested by Ching

Yes, absolutely. It doesn't matter which home was used to receive the Globe; it is attached to your membership and can be used with either home.

Question suggested by Kerry

Travelling

Never book and pay for travel before your exchange is finalised, and you've double-checked with the other member that it's still ok. It's also a good idea to have refundable or at least moveable tickets, just in case something happens with the other member.

Every home is different, but here are some ideas to get you started: - Address and phone number - Alarm details - Wifi network and password - Heating, cooling - How to use appliances: oven, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine, BBQ - Where the manuals are - TV, streaming, music instructions - Garbage info and what day it is collected, where to put the bins - Cooking instructions - Pool instructions - Anything that people should not use - Cleaning info - Train and bus info - Local information, restaurants and so on - Pet information - Anything in the garden that needs watering - Departure information, what to do with the key

It isn't mandatory, but it's a really nice idea, it spreads happiness and will be appreciated. Something local is always nice.

Generally not as it is not a commercial transaction and the people staying are your guests, but this is something that you must check for yourself with your own insurer.

Once an exchange is complete (the end date has passed), you can go back to the exchange and you’ll see a Feedback button: - Messages and exchanges (envelope icon) - Click All exchanges filter - Click on the exchange - Scroll to the bottom and you should see the button

When the end date for an exchange passes, the People Like Us system will automatically change an exchange from Finalised to Completed. Once Completed, you can leave feedback for your exchange partner and their home. If you can't see the button, then check the following: - Is the exchange finalised? If not finalised, it won't change to Completed. - Did you add dates? It's not mandatory to add the second leg dates but, if you don't, the system won't know that it's complete. - Is your part of the exchange complete? You can only provide feedback once your side of the exchange has completed. For simultaneous, both sides complete at the same time but for non-simultaneous, you can only add feedback after you have travelled.

Cancellations

Think carefully before you cancel, particularly if your exchange partner has already booked their trip as a cancellation can cause financial loss and upset for the other person. If there is anything you can do to stay at a friend's place so that their exchange can still go ahead, it is better than cancelling. If you absolutely must cancel, tell the other party as early as you can and try to help them find alternative accommodation, particularly if you have local friends who are exchangers or if you can help in some other way.

If you cancel a Globe exchange, it depends on whether you gave the Globe or if you received it. If you gave the Globe to the other member and it has already gone, it will not be returned upon cancellation. If you received the Globe and you cancel, it will be returned. If it is already committed to another exchange then a different Globe will be returned. If you don't have a different one to return, a new one will be generated for the other member but you will owe the system a Globe which will be returned when you next get one.

Sometimes cancellation is unavoidable, even though it's very unfortunate. Contact the other member as sometimes they may have friends in the area who can help, or local advice to give you. Also contact me as I will do whatever I can to help you find something new. https://peoplelikeus.world/messages/user/1 Finally, if you're on Facebook, advertise what you need in our group as you'll often find that someone may be able to help.