Imagine what life could be like if you could live and work wherever you want, for as long as you like, without worrying about the cost of accommodation, and where you can work efficiently and comfortably?
We couldn’t find a way of doing this, so came up with the idea for Swapoffi. This is our story.
If you already signed up to join our community, thank-you very much. If you have not and are considering joining us, let us tell you more about the Swapoffi story so far.
Swapoffi co-founder Sandra was eager to travel more because she could as a remote worker. A keen scuba diver and an experienced traveler, the cost of accommodation was always a barrier to Sandra’s dream life of working and traveling on the road. So Sandra had a vision to build a community of people like us - remote workers who like to travel - who swap homes with each other so we never have to pay for accommodation again.
Uniquely in the home exchange world, all Swapoffi homes would have a home office or working from home facilities.
Why theHome Stay Market is Booming
- Home exchanges first started in the 1950s. Traditional home exchange platforms target families who travel for vacations and who need bedrooms. If this is for you, check out Home Exchange, the market leader in traditional home exchanges.
- Airbnb has normalised staying in other peoples' homes since their inception in 2008, although its success has had negative impacts for locals in many cities.
- Since 2010, and thanks to low-cost airfares, the home stay market has grown significantly. This has brought new niches for pet-sitting and house sitting. Trusted House Sitters is the market leader for finding sitters to mind your pets, plants and home when you are away.
- Covid brought many changes to the world, most particularly remote work and a pent-up demand for travel. Remote work is not just a new way to work or a new way to travel. It's a new way to live.
- There are 35million digital nomads in the world today. These are mainly high earning knowledge workers, who are between 25 and 45 years old, and who travel on average for 6 years.
- 58 countries have introduced digital nomad visas to entice these high earners to temporarily work and live in their countries.
We conducted one to one depth interviews with digital nomads across Europe to gauge their opinions of home swapping and to see if they would use a free accommodation service that they could work from when they travel. This was on top of extensive desk research looking at market trends, market sizing, competitors and opportunity.
We used traditional home exchange services to see for ourselves what the end-to-end customer experience was like. We had our own ideas on what we needed as remote workers. This allowed us to map out the customer experience, processes and infrastructures. We also invested in professional branding (using market research again to check feedback from our target market). We started our tech build.
We had a very successful 8-week soft launch on social media. This spurred us on to continue working on Swapoffi around our day jobs. It also identified some B2B opportunities which we had not previously considered.
The tech build continued with new and improved features. We acquired our first members (thank-you!). We started getting very active on social media.
We revealed fully verified homes for browsing in 25 countries across 4 continents. Everyone can see our homes (for now) but only verified members can request swaps.
Members first swaps are now taking place. We are so pleased to have received 5* ratings and fantastic testimonials.
Swapoffi is one of 10 start-ups pitching in front of an audience and judging panel for Travel Start Up of the Year, in London, hosted by Travolution. Wish us luck!
Meet Swapoffi at Europe's biggest tech event, the Web Summit. This annual event takes place in Lisbon and attracts 70,000 attendees. Reach out if you will be there too!
We need your Help!
If you didn't have to pay for accommodation ever again when you travel, what else could you do with that money? We can't wait!
Join us if you share our vision of no cost accommodation and sustainable travel. We want to change the world of accommodation, one home at a time. The more homes in our community, the more destinations we can all travel to.
Apply for Swapoffi membership. Once verified, set your calendar for swapping when you want; specify the destinations you want to travel to; request a swap; receive swaps requests. The choice is always yours. There is no cost, no catch and no commitment. You are always in control.