THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG POST:
I'm starting to write this Blog Post about how to use Domuswap effectively, from start to finish, based on my experience with using the site. I view this post as a work-in-progress. I will start by trying to include as much helpful info. as possible. I will add info. as I think of it: scribbled notes at my desk; comments or suggestions that I hear anywhere; links that I find online; ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HELP! I may inadvertently leave out things or I may need to clarify instructions or whatever. YOU CAN HELP by pointing out any strong points that you like, as well as any shortcomings in the post. THANKS in advance for helping create a user-friendly "How-To" for Domuswap.
THE STEPS TO FOLLOW WHEN USING DOMUSWAP...
BECOME A MEMBER: If you are visiting the site and perusing the listings, you should become a member. It's easy and free to be a member. Be sure to POST A PHOTO that will be your "AVATAR" for your profile. It will allow others to become familiar with your profile, as well as easily identify which profiles they have read, and which ones are new. Posting an avatar-photo of your swap-property is a great idea, because it is a form of free advertising. And people who see a new house will be more likely to click on the photo and read your profile.
POST YOUR PROPERTY AD ABOUT WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO SWAP: Share your info. "ad" with the Domuswap community immediately. The more people who read your ad, the more likely your chance of finding a swap. If you join with the intention of only monitoring whatever ads get listed, but not listing your own ad, then you could end up wasting so much time. Think of it this way: if everyone decided to "troll" the site without posting any listings, then how would anyone know what anyone has or wants??? This is not a game of cards where you "hide what you've got" so that you have some kind of advantage. Go ahead and show your cards! POST YOUR LISTINGS! It will help everyone identify potential swaps so much more easily.
BE AS SPECIFIC AS YOU CAN BE, ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT AS A SWAP: If you need ONE specific town or city, say that. ("Only want Dallas, because I have a new job transfer to there.") If your heart is set on staying within a certain state, say that. ("Only want California.") If you are flexible and would consider several regions, say that. ("Prefer West or South West.") If you are very flexible and would look at a wide range of possibilities, say that. ("Want to retire to somewhere WARM.") Be honest with yourself and think about what you truly want, and then focus on it and clearly state it. You will save yourself and everyone else a lot of time and disappointment.
POST AS MUCH INFO. AS YOU CAN ABOUT YOUR PROPERTY: Think logically about what other people would most likely want to know about your property. Heck, think about what YOU would want to know about any property that might work as a swap for YOU. Post all the info. you can: LOCATION, PRICE, SQUARE FOOTAGE, TAXES, HOA FEES, UPGRADES, EXPENSES, AMENITIES, AND MORE. Describe the rooms, the neighborhood, the convenience of the location... whatever might appeal to a potential new owner. Remember to edit and update as needed, or re-post a newly written listing, to remind people that you're still looking. POST LISTINGS IN FORUM, YOUR HOME STATE, AND THE STATE YOU WANT TO MOVE TO, for maximum exposure. (Or overseas if applicable.)
POST CLEAR PHOTOS OF EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR VIEWS: Remember: "A picture is worth a thousand words." It is of primary importance to take lots of good photos to show people what you have. We cannot possibly drive by all the listings to tour them in person, so good photos are your number-one advertising tool. Post your best photos with ALL your listings, for maximum impact. There is also a "Gallery of Photos" at the bottom of the Home Page of Domuswap. Scroll down and be sure to post photos there too, so that people can browse through and see what's available.
"FOLLOW" YOUR LISTINGS: There is a button at the bottom of each page of each listing that you can click on to "FOLLOW" that property or subject of discussion. (below the "Reply" box.) If you click on "FOLLOW" then you will receive an e.mail to notify you of when any member(s) might post new comments or replies on the page. If you have asked a question about a property, then clicking on "FOLLOW" will alert you to when an answer has been posted to your question, and it will help you stay organized. I have read comments from people who say "I can never find which properties I've inquired about, to see if I've gotten an answer." Well, with the "FOLLOW" feature, the answers will be delivered right to your e.mail inbox.
REPLY TO ALL INQUIRIES: Not much to say here. It's just common courtesy to respond to ALL your inquiries, even when the property is clearly not even close to what you want. It lets people know that you did receive the inquiry, and then they won't have to inquire "Did you get my inquiry? Are you interested or not??? Also, you never know whether the inquiry was made regarding a direct swap with you, or maybe the member was trying to find a three-way swap that would work. If the person liked your listing enough to inquire about it, then that person might talk about how nice it is and recommend it to someone else whose property might work for you. It's good PR to talk to people. NETWORK and use the "SHARE" button (above the "Reply" box) to send a property listing by e.mail to a friend, or to post it on Digg, FaceBook, Twitter, and more.
ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU NEED HELP: Don't be afraid to click on and try out all the features that are available on the Domuswap website. There's usually a "Cancel" button that you can click on, if you want to "undo" something you just did while you were exploring. If you can't figure out how something works and you get stuck, don't give up. Just ask for help. There is probably someone else on the site who has some tips to get you out of your dilemma. You can post a public question in the Forum section. Or if you prefer, you can e.mail someone privately and directly for help, using the "FRIENDS" ("Add as friend") button feature, located below the title line of a member's post. A box will pop up and you can click on "Send message" to write your question, and then click on "SEND" when you're done.
DELETE YOUR LISTINGS WHEN YOU ARE DONE: If you sell or swap your property, please be courteous and return to the site to delete your listings. Don't just abandon your membership! No one wants to waste time inquiring about a listing that is no longer available. And you don't want to continue to get e.mail notices about inquiries indefinitely. Ask help if you need it.
SHARE YOUR SUCCESS STORIES: If you do sell or swap your property, whether through Domuswap or elsewhere, take the time to tell everyone by writing a posting in the Forum section of the website. Everyone likes to hear good news!