What Is Home Swapping?
The terms “home swapping” and “short term rentals” often get used interchangeably. But, unbeknownst to many, they’re actually two entirely different things.
First and foremost, there is no financial exchange between the host and guest in a home swap on Kindred. Due to our members-only network, we’re able to build a community that shares their places with those they trust vs renting them out to whoever’s interested.
Which leads us to the fact that every single guest is a host and vice versa. Unlike short-term rentals, this “give a night to get a night” economy promotes sharing, community and above all, trust.
Because we give to get, every single Kindred member is linked to a real residence that they live in. Which means you don’t have to worry about shoddy short-term rental properties that are just used for people to earn money. In fact, over 95% of Kindred homes are the member's single primary residence – which means warm, safe, inviting homes that are equipped for life and comfortable for longer stays.
What requirements are there to become a Kindred member?
So now that we know a little bit more about the differences between home swapping and short-term rentals, we’ll get into the exact home swapping eligibility you need to meet to become a part of the Kindred community.
- Properties must be owned or rented by the person applying. AKA single-family homes, renters and condominiums are all totally acceptable properties on Kindred. As long as it’s your primary residence, you are golden.
- Every property must have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in any enclosed structure accessible to guests, including pool houses or guest houses.
- Photos or videos provided by potential Members must be up to date and accurately reflect the current state of the home. Which essentially means, don’t catfish us!
- Members must comply with any and all applicable requirements imposed on them as a Host by any other third party (landlord, homeowner’s association, legal jurisdiction, etc.) for allowing Guests to stay in their home (including but not limited to informing or disclosing Guest’s name or plans to stay, or seeking and receiving permission). This basically means you have to follow any and all rules the host or building owner sets in place.
- Firearms and weapons must be unloaded, disarmed, and securely stored in a locked container that is inaccessible to Guests or children. This one is pretty self explanatory.
For more information on our home requirements, click here.
So what does Kindred specifically look for in a home, outside of all met criteria?
Well, here are the questions we ask ourselves:
- Is the property safe? Doors must have secure and lockable locks, and active renters or homeowners must have insurance policies.
- Is the property functional? We seek to ensure all Kindred homes work for a variety of needs; these include families who are traveling for vacation vs an individual who may need to work remotely. On average, a Kindred stay lasts 5-7 days, so we require Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, access to kitchen appliances and basic cooking utensils, desk or tabletop space, and natural light.
- Is the property tastefully furnished? Kindred homes look and feel like real homes because they are real homes! We like to see residences with tasteful and contemporary interior decorations like art on the walls, mirrors, plants, window dressings, and rugs. We want homes with soul, and ask that you don’t take down any of your personal effects. We like the things that make your home a reflection of the creative, generous, kind person who lives there.
If your home meets all of the eligibility criteria, we’ll then accept eligible homes on a rolling basis depending on demand to your home location. This ensures the best experience for all members, as you earn credits to travel by hosting. Currently, we’re accepting homes in North America and Europe (and expanding!).
If you do fall into one of those locales, you’re good to apply!
Here are some quick tips to get you ready for your first home swap:
ONCE A STAY HAS BEEN BOOKED:
Step 1: Take a deep breath and relax. We don’t want you stressed! This process will get easier as you keep doing it more and more. Plus, we provide the essentials and guidance to make hosting easy. That includes sending members with sheets, towels, and complimentary guest toiletries for each stay.
Step 2: Give yourself ample time to get your space ready. This can involve decluttering the interior and exterior, as well as figuring out what items you want to keep out and put away. You can also put our “privacy please” stickers on any cabinets or drawers you don’t want guests to touch.
Step 3: Don’t stress about cleaning your space. Our cleaners will make sure it is squeaky clean before guest arrival.
Step 4: Text your dedicated concierge if you have any questions. We provide 24/7 support for any member questions or issues.
THE DAY BEFORE THE STAY:
Step 1: Clear your bathroom counter of any personal items like toothbrushes, floss, skincare and medication. You can leave out hand soap but be sure to remove all items from the shower as well as store any towels and bath mats. The guest sets we provide will do the trick!
Step 2: Put away all clothes and shoes that may or may not be laying out. For any trips booked longer than a week, we also recommend clearing a drawer or some hanging space in your closet for guests to use for their clothes.
Step 3: Make sure your fridge has all perishable items removed. Add our Kindred-sticky-notes to any items that require special cleaning or handling to ensure guests know exactly how to operate said items.
Step 4: Please unplug any indoor security devices or pet cameras. It’s against our policy to monitor guests’ activity while indoors, however you can absolutely use an outdoor security camera to monitor activity at any front and back doors.
RIGHT BEFORE THE GUEST ARRIVES:
Step 1: Strip your sheets and any duvet covers. Our cleaners will make your bed with guest-linens.
Step 2: Place the pre-approved guest sheets, duvet cover, bath towels, hand towels and cards and toiletry kits on each bed depending on how many guests are staying. We have a checklist for this in case you need extra assistance.
Step 3: Place the new sponge we provide in the kitchen sink with the wrapper still on it and throw away any old sponges.
Step 4: Leave access instructions in our members app that your guest will be able to unlock the day of their trip. For members with keys (vs. a keypad), we'll send you a lockbox or work with you to organize a key handoff via one of our many key cafes!
For more information on all things home swapping or if you’d like to apply yourself, visit our website here..