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Inspiring Conversations with Emmanuel Arnaud of HomeExchange

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emmanuel Arnaud.

Hi Emmanuel, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was a member of HomeExchange.com, the American pioneer of home exchanging.

I began to get frustrated by how difficult it was to organize exchanges on the platform because they had to be reciprocal, so I created a competitor (Guesttoguest.com) which enabled non-reciprocal exchanges through a points system. I then grew the company and ended up buying HomeExchange.com and renamed the merged company (in 2018) that way.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It was a bumpy road, with lots of ups and downs, but what has sustained me during all of these lows was my deep belief in the concept of home exchanging itself.

The idea that people around the world can host each other for free and have amazing vacations that way seems so cool to me that I just believed it could not fail.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
At HomeExchange, we’re rewriting what it means to travel.

Our platform offers the everyday traveler the opportunity to visit new places in an authentic and budget-friendly way – just $175 for a year of unlimited travel. At its core, HomeExchange is a community bringing a personal connection into the world of travel. Our members engage with one another and build true connections… in many cases making lifelong friends from exchanges.

Our members actually have conversations with each other – telling them about their homes, their cultures, and their favorite local shops or restaurants. And now more than ever as we approach a new era of travel, that personal and authentic connection means something. It means security, it means excitement, and, above all, it means to trust.

HomeExchange also offers a more flexible approach to home swapping thanks to GuestPoints, allowing for travel even when reciprocal swaps are not an option. The guest will stay at a host’s home, using a number of their GuestPoints.

The host will be able to use these GuestPoints to go stay at another Member’s home. Each Member receives GuestPoints to welcome them upon registration so members can try an exchange and witness the magic of HomeExchange.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
Many people deserve credit for this adventure. My partner Charles-Edouard Girard. His vote of confidence in having someone as intelligent and qualified as him join me in this venture really kept me going along the way.

Also, our first investors, which were, as the saying goes, “friends & family & fools”, believed in an exchange platform that at the time had only one home – mine!

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