Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Lots of Search Filters

There are plenty of filters and convenient ways to find your next home-exchange partner.

House filters – Sleeping Capacity

House Filters – Facilities

  • No smoking
  • Lift/Elevator
  • Suitable for disabled people
  • Car necessary
  • Use/Exchange of car
  • Seclusion/Privacy
  • Use of boat
  • Pet care wanted
  • Pets are welcome
  • Small children are welcome

House Filters – Indoor

  • Free internet access
  • Computer available
  • Hot tub or jacuzzi
  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Baby equipment
  • Toys and games
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Clothes dryer
  • Television
  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Other musical instruments

House Filters – Outdoor

  • Garden
  • Terrace or deck
  • Balcony
  • Park/playground
  • BBQ
  • Sauna private
  • Garage
  • Private swimming pool

House Filters – House Type

  • Single storey home
  • House
  • Flat
  • Caravan
  • Holiday home

Environment Filters

  • In the city
  • In the suburbs
  • In a small town
  • In the country
  • By the sea
  • In the mountains

Surroundings

  • Beach
  • Boating
  • Golfing
  • Forest
  • River
  • Sea
  • Lake
  • Shopping
  • Mountains

Exchange Filters – Dates and  duration

  • Exchange filters – Exchange Dates
  • Exchange filters – Length of Stay
    (minimum number of weeks)

Exchange Filters – Exchange Types

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Hospitality wanted
  • Long-term exchange wanted
  • Non-simultaneous exchange
  • Home exchange
  • Hospitality exchange
  • Youth exchange
  • Renting possible

Family Filters

  • Number of adults
  • with children / without children
  • with pets / without pets
  • experienced exchangers only
  • spoken languages

We keep track of the filters you have chosen in the bar above the listings cards.

Search Preferences

Reverse Search: You can also choose to show only listings belonging to members who have your area in their Destinations Wishlist.

Exchange Filters: If you want to see only listings open for exchange, put a checkmark in the box next to “Open for exchange”. This will remove all offers not currently open for exchange from your search results.

Hotlist: You can also choose to show only the listings of members looking for a last minute exchange.

And you can sort the listings that you see by:

Most recent: These are the newest and freshest listings in our database and this is the default sort order. You can be sure that the listings you see first, no matter what your search criteria are the newest we have to offer.
Country: This is useful if you have not specified a country for your search.
Listing number: Especially good if you are looking for your own listing. You can place your search and sort by listing number to make it easier to find your listing in all the others.

My Saved Searches

Yes, you can save and name your search criteria for quick access to the latest listings! Read all about Saved Searches.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

How to handle your messages


Intervac is known to have the most responsive members. It is important that you also do your part and reply to all messages.

Keep in mind that there are several ways to quickly reply to your messages.

Inbox

Your Intervac messages go to your Intervac Inbox. The Inbox actually stores all the messages exchanged with other members. It includes both the ones started by them and the ones started by you.

In this Inbox there are 35 unread messages

Exchange requests and conversation messages

When you receive an exchange request or a conversation message from another member, you also get a notification via e-mail. This notification goes to the primary e-mail address that you have on your account. It also goes to the secondary e-mail address if you have indicated one. Please note that you can indicate a secondary e-mail in the Emails and Logins section.

If the other member sent message as a conversation message the notification will simply show a summary card of the listing that is sending you this message and the message sent.

Conversation message

To reply to this message you either use the Reply function of your e-mail client or you click on the link provided to go into your Inbox and reply there.

If the message was sent as an exchange request, you can still reply using these two ways but the notification will have buttons that also allow you to reply.

Exchange request for a Portuguese member with Yes (“Sim”), Maybe (“Talvez”) and No (“Não”) buttons

The quick reply buttons correspond to the Yes / Maybe / No options and they are shown in the language of the person who is receiving the offer.

Clicking on the green Yes button will send a short message on your behalf. Below each button, you can see the text of that message. The same happens for the yellow Maybe button and the red No button.

You can see all these messages when you log in to your account and go to your Inbox.

Templates

If you prefer to send your own message but would like to use the same one multiple times, you can do so by using templates. A template is simply a model message that you can reuse. When you use a template you are able to change its text a little if you want.

Inside the Messages section you can find your Templates

On the right side, you can find the list of templates, with a link next to each one to allow you to delete that template if you no longer need it.

List of templates

Also on the right side, you will find the Create template button. Clicking on this button will allow you to create a new template you can use later when sending your messages. The name you choose for each template should make it easy for you to know which template it is.

Home exchange guide, Your membership

Live chat support


On January 17, 2018, we launched a new support system. This Live chat option was added to provide a better service for all our members and those who simply have questions about home exchange.

When no support agent is available, the system switches to offline mode. This means you can leave messages using a form and contact us even after office hours. We will do our best to reply promptly.

You can also reach to our support team by writing an e-mail to support@intervac.com. And you can, of course, also contact your National Representative like you always did!

Home exchange guide, Your Listing

Check your listing pictures

Have you noticed your listing pictures are now shown bigger?

The increase in size makes your house listing look nicer, but you have to have photos to match!

Quality photos

Because of this change in the size your pictures are presented, we would like you to check your pictures and see if their quality is good enough. What do we mean by quality? Well, photos are made up tiny pixels per inch, and the more pixels your source image has, the better quality it has and the better it will look on the website for your potential exchange partners.

Use photos that are 1024 pixels wide or more but not bigger than 10MB each. Have a look at our other article on photos if you want more info on how to get your image belçow 10 MB.

If necessary, upload another version your pictures or even take new pictures.

 

Taking new photos

In case you decide to take new pictures, we have some tips from the Intervac Home Exchange team.

Here is how to make new good quality house photos:

  • Take photos which are sharp and in focus
    Use a tripod and set the self-timer for sharper photos with more detail.
  • Fill the room with light before taking a photo
    Open all the blinds and turn on all the lights. Take a few different photos in each room to make sure that you have captured it in the best light.
  • Make sure the rooms are clean
    Tidy and uncluttered spaces are so much more appealing!
  • Highlight the home’s best features – and number of beds
    Try to shoot a realistic overview of the whole property, inside and outside. Make sure you include all beds, even pull-out beds your exchange partners might use.
  • Try to capture the entire room
    If you are able to capture more of the room, there will be a greater sense of space.
  • Take photos from a lower perspective
    This way you will get the best angle to display the size and layout of your home.
  • Don’t forget to shoot photos in all seasons
    This is especially true if your house has any kind of outside space or view, but it can also be relevant if you have a specific feature, such as a fireplace.

And some extra tips in a video from Reader’s Digest:

 

Copyright issues

Don’t forget to publish only pictures for which there are no copyright issues. If you found that image on Google, have a look at this article before publishing it on your Intervac listing.

 

 

Home exchange guide, Your Listing

How do I change the information on my family?

You Intervac listing has the information on both your house and your family.

Here is how you can change the information on your family so that everything is up-to-date.

  1. Login to your Intervac account.
  2. In the member navigation, scroll down to the section Change my listing
  3. Click on Family photos and texts and scroll down to Adults and Occupations or Children.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Archiving and deleting messages

Archiving messages

When you no longer want to see a specific message in your Inbox, you can archive it. Archiving a message will archive the conversation, that is, the original message and all replies to that message.

In the example in the screenshot, the two messages in the conversation will be archived when clicking the “Archive this conversation” button.

 

You can also archive multiple conversations at a time. For that, you need to be in your Inbox home. You then select each message you want to archive by using the checkboxes to their left and click on the “Archive selected” button. This will archive all messages in all selected conversations.

 

Please note that archived conversations are still considered when you search, that is those members will also be considered as members you have already contacted.

Deleting messages

To delete a message, you first need to archive it as described above. You can then open the Archive section and delete them. The procedure is identical to the one described above for archiving multiple conversations: you should select the messages by using the checkboxes to their left and click on the “Delete selected” button. This will delete all messages in all selected conversations. Please note this cannot be undone.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Starting An Exchange Agreement

You’ve searched and contacted and chatted online with lots of nice people and now you have found exactly the right partner for this year’s exchange. You are ready to start the exchange agreement? This article is for you.


Starting the Exchange Agreement

Before you get started, have a look at your member home page and be sure that your listing is marked as available for exchange.
Be sure your listing is still available for exchange.

You will find the Exchange Agreements section of our site by scrolling down in the member navigation to the My Membership section and click on Exchange Agreements.

Screenshot of the ongoing exchange agrements page

From here on it’s pretty straightforward. If there is not an agreement already started by your partner, the only thing you’ll need to get one started is your exchange partner’s listing id. At the top of the Exchanges overview page, you should see the blue “Start Exchange Agreement button”. Click on it…

Start Agreement via Listing ID

First, you will see the legal text for your agreement after that, you can choose to search for your partner’s listing via their listing id, or if they are already on your favorites list, you can look there.

Screenshot - First steps in starting your next exchange agreement

Start Agreement via Favorites

In this tab, you will find each of the listings in your Favorites. Each favorite will have either a tag explaining why it is not possible to start an exchange agreement with that listing (expired or trial member for instance) or else it will have a Start Exchange Agreement link.

Screenshot - Finding your partner on your favorites list.

Clicking the Start Exchange button will create your exchange agreement and, moreover, it will automatically fill in your name and address as well as your partner’s name and address. Your partner will be notified that you have started the agreement process. You will see a new ongoing agreement card on your Exchanges overview page.


The Ongoing Agreement Card

This screen is your control panel for the progress of your exchange agreement. Just by starting, you are already 20% finished.

The next step is to click the “Edit Your Terms” button and fill in the form. Please be sure that you add at least one participant (yourself, for instance). Also, add the dates you will be arriving and leaving your partner’s home.


Member Questions

 What does that mean: Use “n/a” if the field does not apply to your situation.?

The abbreviation “n/a” is commonly used in English and it stands for “not applicable” (does not apply) or “no answer”. For the purposes of our exchange agreement, you can also use a “–” or any other abbreviation common in your language. The main thing is you should not leave any of the text fields blank.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Filling out your Exchange Agreement Form

Filling out the form

Ok, first off, I’m going to go through the whole agreement form in this post. It is a bit long, but I hope this helps you with your next exchange agreeement.


Contact Details

Screenshot - Partner Information on Exchange Agreement

Having chosen your partner and clicked the Start Exchange Agreement button our system made one of these forms for you and one for your partner. You can see here that it has automatically filled in both of your names and contact information. You can choose to show your email address and/or mobile phone number on your working exchange agreement. This information will only be displayed here. It will not be visible to other members or your exchange partner via the contact information on your listing.


Holiday Dates [required]

Screenshot - Holiday Dates on Exchange Agreement
In the next section you should give the dates you will be staying in your partner’s home. Remember, your partner’s form is independent of yours so be sure to put the dates you are planning to be there. Your exchange partner should put the dates they are planning to be in your home.

Member Questions

Member Question Question: What if it is a non-simultaneous exchange and one party doesn’t know their dates yet?

The form requires that you add dates in order to save it. Since non-simultaneous exchange usually requires more planning, we recommend you choose something close. You will be keeping in touch with your exchange partner anyway.

Member Question Question: I am having trouble getting the dates to work. What am I doing wrong?

Exchange dates calendar
These date-picker calendars on the web all work slightly differently and that can be troublesome. Here is what you need to do to use ours:

  1. Click on the white date field (highlighted with a blue frame).
  2. Set the year by clicking on the year – it will give you a menu to choose from.
  3. Choose the month via the little dark triangles in the gray Month bar (first red arrow)
  4. Then choose on the day that you want by clicking on it.
  5. The date-picker calendar will disappear and the year, month and date you chose will appear in the box.

Exchange Participants [required]

Screenshot of exchange participants section of the exchange agreement
This is where you list all of the people who will be staying in your partner’s home. You will not be able to save your form if you do not have at least one person in this section.

The new form loads with space for one participant. To add another one participant, click the grey button “Add a Participant”. Fill in the name and age of the next person traveling with you.

To remove someone from your party, just click the red “trash” button next to the name of the person who will not be accompanying you after all.


About our Cars

Screenshot of our cars section of the exchange agreement
Next, you’ll find a text box where you can write any important details about your car. If you need more room to write, just click and drag on that little “handlebar” in the lower right-hand corner of the text box.

Some things that you might want to mention are:

  • Where you will leave your car keys and where your partner should put them when they go home.
  • The condition of your gas tank when your partner arrives and when they leave.
  • Whether or not you expect your partner to wash or vacuum the car before they leave.
  • If you have more than one car, which one(s) are available for your partner’s use.
  • Other insurance details beyond the scope of the checkbox.

Telephone and Internet


Update: This section used to be called “Regarding Long Distance Calls” but has been changed to better reflect how members are using it. (March, 2014)

Some things you might want to clarify here are:

  • Whether your partner may use your phone for making toll calls and how payment for them is to be handled.
  • The availability of Internet and any connected costs + how payment for these is to be handled.
  • Where you will leave the wifi credentials. For security reasons, please don’t leave them in your exchange agreement.

Special Cleaning Requests

Screenshot of Cleaning Requests section of the Exchange Agreement

In this box members often write about:

  • Linens: Should your partner wash them before they leave? Change the beds? Do you prefer to do this yourself?
  • Yard work/plant watering that needs to be done while you are away.
  • Where your partner can find cleaning supplies.

Regarding Keys to My Home

Screenshot of Regarding Keys to Our Home section of the Exchange Agreement

That one is pretty clear. This is the place to arrange pick-up and drop-off of keys.


Regarding Pets

Screenshot of the Regarding Pets section of the Exchange Agreement

Anything you want to agree with your partner about taking care of your pets?

  • Location of pet food.
  • Number of times a day to feed pets.
  • Exercise schedule (how many times a day Fido needs to go outside and where his leash is kept).

Other Special Requests

Screenshot of other special requests section of the Exchange Agreement

What have we missed in the list above? This is the place to mention it.


Stipulations

Screenshot of stipulations section of the Exchange Agreement

Three easy checkboxes to give your partner explicit permission to use your linens (or not), to bring their guests into your home (or not), and to bring their own pets.

After that, it’s time to save your form – and that is all this button does. It does not send your terms to your partner but assumes that your agreement is a draft. When you are ready to send your terms to your partner for review, you will find a button on the Exchanges Overview page.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Sending & Reviewing Terms

Sending and reviewing terms and conditions

You’ve filled out your form and you are all ready to send your terms to your partner for review.


Sending Your Terms To Your Partner

You can do this from the Member Home navigation. Scroll down to My Memberships > Exchange Agreements > Then click the View link near the agreement you want to send.

Screenshot of an ongoing agreement ready to send terms to a partner
Clicking the blue “Send to partner” button will send your partner an email to let them know that the exchange process is moving along and that you are ready for them to read the terms you filled in.

Member Questions

Member Question Question: I am unable to edit my terms. What am I doing wrong?

Because of the back-and-forth nature of exchange agreements, our system keeps a lock on each form allowing only one party at a time “edit” access. When you send your terms to your partner, your partner receives “edit” access – by which they are only able to Accept or Decline what you have written. They can not make changes to your text.

If you need to make a change at this stage, it’s best to contact your partner and ask them to decline the term you want to change and send the agreement back to you for edits.

Reviewing Your Partner’s Terms

When your partner is ready for you to review their terms, you’ll see a button in the box for your Partner’s Terms.

Screenshot of an ongoing agreement ready to review the partner's terms

Click the button and you will see the form that your partner filled out. Underneath each item is a set of buttons. Each of your terms is shown to your partner with two buttons “Accept” and “Deny”.

Screenshot of an ongoing agreement ready to accept or decline the partner's terms

To signal your approval with each set of terms that your partner has written, click the “Accept” button.


Not In Agreement? Have a Question?

If you are not in agreement with something your partner has written, or more likely, if you have questions, use the “Decline” button. When you click it, you have the opportunity to write a note to your partner

Screenshot after clicking the Decline button

… and that note will show up next to the title of the category when they look at their terms.

Member Question Your partner will also receive an email that there were updates to an exchange agreement process as well as notification message on their member overview page the next time they login.

Once you have made changes to your terms based on any suggestions your partner has, be sure to save the form and send your terms to your partner via the blue Send to Partner button again.


Late Editing Your Terms

It is important that your terms are clear and you are satisfied with them. So, don’t be shy about making changes back and forth up until your agreement is signed.

Once your partner has accepted all your terms though if you want to make changes to them – you will need to click the Unlock Agreement button in the upper right-hand corner of your agreement form. This button is a reminder that any changes you make to already accepted terms will set the process back and require that you send your terms again for your partner to review and accept.

/blog.intervac-homeexchange.com/assets/pages/guide/exchange_agreement-unlock_agreement.png

Once you and your partner have reached an agreement, and you’ve accepted each other’s terms it is time to get on with Signing Your Exchange Agreement.

Arranging an exchange, Home exchange guide

Finalizing Your Exchange Agreement

Finalizing your agreement

Once you and your partner have reviewed each other’s terms and accepted the conditions your agreement is ready to finalize. You can tell that it’s time when the green “Review and Sign Agreement” button shows up.

Screenshot of an exchange agreement ready to sign

Remember, if you want to edit your own terms, you must first click the red Unlock Agreement button in the upper right-hand corner of the form. Any changes to your terms will set the process back and require you to send your terms to your partner for agreement again.


Reviewing the Agreement

Clicking the “Review and Sign Agreement” button will show you again the agreement, but this time in full with your dates and conditions as well as your partner’s – all in a single, printable document.
Screenshot of an exchange agreement ready to sign

Finalizing the Agreement

Screenshot of the exchange agreement sign button

In this screenshot, you can see that the agreement form keeps you up-to-date with the process by giving you a button to “Sign the Agreement” and also telling you, in the blue box, that your partner has not signed the agreement yet.

Or, in the green box, that you partner did already sign.


Cancellation?

Even though one of you has signed, it is still possible to cancel the agreement.

As soon as both parties have signed, the cancel button is no longer available and the agreement is moved
from:
Exchange Agreements > Overview
to:
Exchange Agreements > Future Vacations.

You can view and print the agreement any time you like but you can no longer cancel it.


I hope you have found this series helpful and wish you happy home exchanging!