home exchange house swap network

home exchange house swap network
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Answers to frequently asked questions.

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Adding photos to your listing

On-line Search Function

Townhouse Designation

Editing Your Listing

Password not Received

Contacting members
Emailing to many recipients
Finding a Member by name or ID Number

Adding Photos
On the Main Database page, select "Edit my Listing" then "Edit Photo Album." To upload a photo, click on "Browse" and navigate to the photo. Finally Upload it. You may change the order in which photos appear by clicking the arrows below the thumbnail image. Photos may be deleted using the delete button. When you have completed uploading, just select another part of the site from the menu to the left -- images and changes are saved automatically unlike the text editing system that requires you to save changes to the database after previewing them.

If you are unable to upload a photo, attach the image to an email to us at us@www.homelink-usa.com AOL users should be sure to attach the image as a file rather than use AOL's proprietary system. Create an email address to the recipient, then look for a box that says "Attach File" or similar. Click on that box and select your image from the resulting dialog box. Preferred format is JPEG; however, we can read most formats. If you are getting an error message when uploading photos it's probably because the photo is too large. If you reduce it so it's the width of your monitor at 1:1, it will probably be about right. If you can not do this, email the photos to us and we will upload them for you.

IMPORTANT: the Email has a challenge system to establish that the sender is a human being, not a spam machine. If you enter your member number in the subject line, I will be sure to identify it as legitimate email and you need not complete the challenge. If you include a relevant subject line I will also be able to easily identify "suspect" mail as legitimate.

Photos may also be mailed to HomeLink, 2937 NW 9th Terr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311.

Townhouse Designation
The term "townhouse" is unknown in Europe. Our system is hard-coded with general descriptions that are universally understood. A home is either a single family home standing on its own piece of property or it is contained within a building shared by similar homes standing on shared property. If a single family home stands on its own land and has 1 floor, it is "A". If it has more than one floor it is "B". We also do not make a distinction between types of ownership -- freehold, leasehold, condominium, rental etc. Otherwise it is C.

Editing Your Listing
To edit your on-line listing, log in and then click on the "Edit My Listing" link under the "Member Options" menu. Next click on one of the three available options for editing (main text @ "Edit this listing", dates & destinations or photo album). The fourth button that is now available replaces our previous, "Have Exchange" annotation if you wish to temporarily hide your listing from member searches. This button is a toggle switch, so click on the "Hide" button to hide your listing from searches and then go back to this button to "Show" your listing when you are ready. Once you have made the necessary changes at the main body text for your listing you need to take a couple more steps to save your changes. First, click on the "Preview the amended listing" button at the bottom of the edit page. Then, after previewing the listing, click on "Update the database" button and changes will be saved. The dates & destinations edit page and the photo album page automatically save your changes once you add/delete/edit those items.

Multiple Dates & Destinations Feature
Log in to our website, click on the "Edit my listing" link found under "Member options" at the left of the page. Next click on the button titled, "Edit dates & destinations". When you are at the dates and destinations page, you need to click "Add new set" to get started. Select the dates by clicking on the day within the calendar. Make sure you have clicked on the proper month and year. then below the calendars. You will see the dates you have selected directly below the calendars. Below the calendars is where you select your preferred destinations. Use the pull-down menus to select your preferred country (and region of the county if you like) and click the "+" sign to the right of the country selection to add that country. Click on "Add new set" (bottom left) if you wish to add another set of dates and destinations and proceed from there with the instructions above. Once you select your particular dates and destinations, your choices are automatically saved. Click on the "View my listing" link or "Return to main page" to move on from there.

Finding a Member by name or ID Number
To find a HomeLink member, click on "Find a Listing" below the "Global Searches" heading. .Next, enter EITHER the member's last name OR the member number and click "Search".

Contacting Members
Once you selected a member's listing from your searches, click on the "Contact this member" link found at the bottom of their listing. This takes you to our internal messaging system. Type in your message and click "Send". Be sure to select the proper "Type" of message you are sending in the field entitled this (i.e. exchange request, information, etc) at the pull down menu. The system also forces you to type in a "Subject". After this initial contact, you may email each other directly by providing each other with your email addresses. Email addresses are not visible for security reasons related to SPAM.

Emailing to many recipients
Our system does not allow for bulk emails, however, our internal messaging system has a template feature where you can create a single message to send to multiple members individually. This will reduce the time needed to re-type the same message to each member, while still preserving the more personalized approach of contacting members individually.

Using Internal Messaging System
Currently our system is set up to send you an automatic notification that is titled, "Message in your HomeLink inbox" at your personal email address. You can reply to these requests with the links provided in the notification we sent. These links are called, "Quick-Reply" or "Quick-Reply, No Thank you") There is also a link within the notification that will take you to our website. You can also go to our internal messaging system found at our website to reply. To do this..... Go to the Messaging system: go to and click on "Member Log in" and log in the normal way. Once logged in, click on the red link "Messaging" to see your messaging records.

Click on a person's name to read the email. The sender's web site photos will appear in the top right corner of the message. Above the photos is a link to their listing to view their listing. To reply to the message, when you are viewing the actual message, click on the button at the top of the message section called, "Reply". This will create a blank text box for you to enter your reply in and then click on "Send". There are also a couple of quick reply buttons you can choose instead of typing your own reply. Select the box next to the name and click on the "Delete" button found above to delete it. There are useful links within the Messaging system for further questions you may have. They are titled, "Brief help" and "Full help" and are at the initial page you are brought to once you have clicked on the red "Messaging" link.

The discussion Forum has a lot of useful information on insurace. Insurance practices vary from company to company & state to state. My personal policies always covered incidental drivers. If your company flatly states that you are not covered and you do not wish to assume a risk, all I can suggest is renting a car for the other exchange party. Car rentals in the US are far more inexpensive than in Europe which makes this a more attractive option than forgoing the car exchange and renting a car in Europe for yourself. Some European offices offer home exchange insurance to members. This option is not available in the US.

On-Line Search Functions
Once you log in to your listing, you are brought to our Database Main Page, which lists all the countries where HomeLink members reside. Click on the particular country you are seeking and scan the different searches options to learn about the various search parameters you can include in your search. Personally, I prefer to keep my searches as broad as possible (by minimizing the number of search parameters chosen). Also, I find it easier to click on the map graphics to take me to a particular region. On the initial log in page (Database Main Page) you will see various search functions at the left of the page found under the "Global searches". These are simply alternate ways of searching. Click on the different links to familiarize yourself with searching our worldwide database of HomeLink members.

Password Does Not Work
Three likely possibilities:
1. Operator error. Be sure you are entering the ID Number & Password *SET* exactly as shown. Pasting in a password or ID Number will often add a space which will make the password unacceptable. The first two characters are letters, the last five are digits.
2. You are using MS Internet Explorer and have checked the "Remember Password" box. It is possible that you entered an incorrect ID Number or Password when you originally did this. MSIE also has a bug with the "Remember Password" feature which corrupts the form when sent to the server. Un-check the box, enter the ID Number & Password with care which will cure this problem.
3.Browser problem. Some relatively early versions of MS Explorer 5.0 (includes the AOL version) have a known bug with password encryption. If you are certain that you are entering the password set exactly as shown, download a new version of Explorer or AOL or use Netscape.
Download new browser version here:
MS Explorer

Password not Received
In an effort to combat spam, many ISP's, particularly the free ones such as "hotmail" falsely identify emails as spam. In reality, they may as well not bother as the spammers are generally two steps ahead of them. Hotmail & others: Check your email reader settings. It may be automatically deleting messages it identifies as spam which erroneously includes email from the homelink.org server. Look for a directory where deleted or trash mail is kept. The cure is to specifically enable the homelink.org domain. AOL users: be sure that you are not blocking email from the Internet. The absolute cure is to enable mail from the domain "homelink.org."

Renewing your Membership
If you wish, you may renew your membership on line just click on "Renew on Line" below the "US Functions" menu. You will find information and instructions on the page. All data, including credit card numbers, are encrypted before being sent across the Internet. If you prefer to renew by phone, I'm in the office from 10AM until 1PM EASTERN TIME Monday through Thursday.

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