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Hello HomeLink Members,
Welcome to the premier issue of HomeLink Connection.
Karl and I look forward to publishing this newsletter in an effort to keep you informed and to
nurture a greater sense of community for us all.
We will discuss items of interest that have come to our attention through communication with
you and from our HomeLink Organizers worldwide. We will also inform you of developments with
our website both locally and internationally.
We ask that you please bear with us as we refine our newsletter and encourage any ideas you may
have for us to consider for future issues.
We will continue to send separate emails to all of our members regarding items that need more
immediate attention than our newsletter is able to provide.
For future reference, we will reference HomeLink Connection as HLC within the contents of the
We hope you enjoy reading our premier issue of HomeLink Connection and look forward to your
Please do not reply to this email directly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karl & Katie Costabel
HomeLink USA News
Just a Reminder…
Exchange Cancellation Fund
The Exchange Cancellation Fund we implemented last year has experienced a positive response, so we have decided to continue with the fund for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about the fund or if you are interested in enrollment, click here
Annual listing updates
It is a good idea to update your listing annually with certain information. This information includes:
1. Preferred dates and destinations. We have included some more detail about our new feature for adding multiple dates and destinations later in this issue.
2. Ages of your children
3. Changes/improvements to your home
4. New photos of your home
Did You Know...HomeLink International offers Organizers (like Karl & myself for the USA) in 22 countries around the world.
We often receive emails from members telling us about their wonderful home exchange experiences. We would very much like to hear about yours and include them in HLC. Perhaps you might consider Including a photograph of you when submitting your story.
Please send your stories to email@example.com with your authorization to:
1. include it in HLC
2. include the names of the HomeLink members involved.
Homelink USA Survey...
We want to hear from you and believe one of the most effective tools to achieve this is through a simple survey. We will be sending you our survey via email very soon. Please take the time to complete this, as we hope to gather valuable information to use in our continued effort at improving The HomeLink Experience.
Last month we sent all of our members an email informing them of the upgrades implemented at our website. We, as HomeLink Organizers worldwide, worked together to include as many of the suggestions received from our members as possible in this upgrade.
As always, we encourage your feedback, and will continue to work toward improving our members’ HomeLink experience worldwide.
Below are some features included in our recent upgrade that our members have been inquiring about the most, as well as some minor upgrades, which may have been overlooked up to now.
Please feel free to contact us by phone or email if you would like some more personal guidance.
Multiple Dates & Destinations (found at the “Edit my listing” link)
When you view or edit your listing for the first time under the new system, you may notice errors in your DATES and DESTINATIONS. In many cases the new system was unable to preserve your previous data due to irregularity or conflicts. Please take time to adapt to the new calendar-driven format and the drop-down menus for country/region selection.
We're sure you will appreciate the improvements and enjoy the results.
Notice that for all country searches, “USA” is shown in the reverse search field, “Their destination (your country)” because our system now detects (defaults to) the country of the logged-in member.
* To broaden your search and increase your results, you can select “Show all”.
* In the “Advanced Search” you will see this instruction “Member's preferred destination: (select your country here) [......]”. Again you can either narrow or broaden your search with a specific country or with the “Show all” option, respectively.
Languages spoken - for correspondence (found at the “Edit my listing” link)
You should check your listing if you had included codes for various languages like : jfr, jgb, jde ... jFR, jGB, jDE.
You may need to re-enter your desired languages by ticking the appropriate checkboxes.
Persons in your family (found at the “Edit my listing” link)
If you had used codes like these ( 1/2-2-0; 2-4Ad ) to represent the number of persons in your exchange party/family, you may need to re-enter your data by ticking the appropriate checkboxes.
Description codes discontinued
The previous codes such as, 'apl' (all appliances) and 'al' (allergies) have been discontinued to prevent confusion and uncertainty.
Response Rate Percentage
HomeLink's “Response Rate” system for members is a key feature of our secure internal messaging system, and yet another example of the pioneering innovations that set HomeLink apart from our competitors. Response Rate tracking helps our members to look at other members' listings, and quickly see their degree of responsiveness to messages received.
Since we introduced the response rate on members' listings last year, we have seen an increase in the number of messages being answered. Across all countries the average response rate has increased from approximately 20-30% to 85%. This is a true testament to the high level of courtesy and respect shown among HomeLink members.
In case you are curious, the average USA response rate is at 77%. Although this is a bit less than the worldwide average it is quite an impressive increase, so kudos to all of you.
We know that some of you had some very old unanswered offers lurking in your inbox so we have now changed the system to calculate the response rate over the previous 12 months only.
HomeLink International News
Upcoming Events Worldwide...
"Beer or wine? That sums up the German conundrum. One is at the heart of a pilsner-swilling culture that draws kegloads of visitors annually, is the very reason for one of the world’s great parties (Oktoberfest) and is consumed with pleasure across the land. The other is exported worldwide, is responsible for gorgeous vine-covered valleys and is enjoyed everywhere, often from cute little green-stemmed glasses.
And the questions about Germany continue. Berlin or Munich? Castle or club? Ski or hike? East or west? BMW or Mercedes? In fact, the answers are simple: both. Why decide? The beauty of Germany is that rather than choosing, you can revel in the contrasts (except maybe with the car question…). Exploring this country and all its facets can keep visitors happy for weeks..."
Germany is ideally located in the very heart of Europe, making it not only a simply brilliant place to visit in its own right, but also a perfect base from which to explore neighboring countries. Our German members are great HomeLinkers too, as they are some of the most active home exchangers in our entire global community. They also have a great reputation for friendly hospitality.
Our German counterpart, Manfred, is always available for support while visiting Germany. Manfred is the most experienced local Organizer in HomeLink, and he recently reminded us about a great website from German Tourism– click here. It’s an excellent resource for staying up-to-date with all that’s happening in Germany, and no doubt, will just give you added incentive to start arranging your exchange to Germany now!
Rugby World Cup 2011
Please go to this link at our HomeLink New Zealand website, Rugby World Cup 2011, for everything you need to know about this exciting event, including many HomeLink-New Zealand members in towns hosting World Cup matches.
Summer Olympics 2012
Caroline, one of our HomeLink UK counterparts, is setting up a registry of their HomeLink members’ homes near Olympic 2012 venues. Once they have a significant number of members on this list, they will let us know and we will pass this valuable information on to you.
In response to a request from Andrew, one of our HomeLink counterparts in Australia, we are bringing you the latest Tourism Australia advertisement, There’s Nothing Like Australia.
We encourage you to take a look at this and consider Australia for your next HomeLink exchange experience.
If you want to let us know of any upcoming events near you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will include your information in the following issue of of HLC, as well as forward it to our HomeLink Organizers worldwide.
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