Get Your Partner to Say Yes!

If we’ve done our job, you are by now, completely sold on the idea of HomeExchange. Yet, there is one small detail that has prevented you from signing up as a member; your spouse/partner is still unsure.

You’ve tried persuading: “it’s a network of great people just like us”; “the homes are beautiful”; “check out this amazing destination we could go to for free!” You’ve tried reasoning: “what’s the difference between this and renting a home or a hotel room?”; “People have been doing this for 25 years”; “For the price of one night in a hotel we can go on our dream holiday for weeks at a time” and still, despite your best efforts you’re still hearing: “I just don’t know”.

Here’s the little told secret to convincing your partner… you can’t! So, stop trying to convince and start “negotiating”.

Negotiating is an art. It takes practice, but it can be mastered. To make your task a bit easier, we’ve compiled 10 strategies used by Psychology Professors, FBI Negotiators, and Venture Capitalists to get what they want.*

*Note: we want to apologize in advance if these don’t work and you end up sleeping on the couch. Unless you like sleeping on the couch… in which case, you’re welcome!

#1 – Perfect Prior Planning

Showing up unprepared is a good way to ensure your dream holiday will never happen. Consider how you will set the stage for the discussion: where and when you will discuss this. In front of screaming children, or while visiting relatives is not suggested… unless, of course, your relatives are already home exchangers, then, that’s the perfect when and where.

Take time to think through the possible objections your partner may have and be ready to bring them up first. Start by saying “it seems that you are hesitant to join HomeExchange because you feel…and…” They can’t attack you if you’ve already done the job for them, and you’ll prove that you understand their point of view.

#2 – Know what you want and why

We understand you; we think HomeExchange is great too! But are you sure this is something you really want? After all, there is no need to cause relationship strife over a “little” world-wide club that allows you travel for free. What’s that? You do want to be a part of the community? Okay! Do some research, find your perfect home exchange in the perfect location, or browse through some of our collections for inspiration. Start to plan your trip now. It’s much harder to say no to someone with a dream.

#3 – Leave your ego at the door

This is not about you! Okay, it is a little about you, but don’t allow your ego to get in the way. Be prepared to be called all sorts of creative names, and even have to apologize for something you did 2, 3, or 8 years ago. Be ready to say, “I’m sorry, I was a real jerk,” with a gentle smile and in a calm tone, then move the conversation back on track.

#4 – Extreme Empathy

Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Set your own needs aside for a bit and dig deep. This will make your partner feel more comfortable and relaxed. Understanding not only what your partner says but where those feeling stem from is often all you need to resolve hesitation. Offer solutions that address the underlying emotion.

#5 – Listen…now, REALLY listen.

Use a tactic called experts call “mirroring”. By repeating the important words in your partner’s statements as a question, you communicate that you are actively listening. It may seem awkward at first, but it really works. It might sounds a bit like this:


    : “I don’t want people in my house!”


    : “Your house?”


    : “Well really, just our bedroom”


    : “Okay. What about our bedroom?”


    : “Yea, it’s the idea of people sleeping on our bed?”


    : “What about having someone sleep in our bed makes you uncomfortable?”

Soon you’ll be able to find solution based suggestions that address their emotional hesitation.

#6 – Shut Up

You’ve empathised, you’ve listened and mirrored, and now you’ll be tempted to jump in and make your voice heard. Don’t. Use silence as a tactic. Usually, letting 4 or 5 seconds go by without saying anything will spur your partner to fill-in the silence. This allows them to examine what they just said and often end-up answering their own objections and convincing themselves.

#7 – Anchoring

Be clear on what your “non-negotiables” are by stating them very directly at the start. This is as simple as saying “I want to do a home exchange for our next holiday and want to know if you think it’s a bad idea.” Pay attention to your words, and your tone, but be very clear in what you want.

#8 – Expect Cooperation

Don’t give up on your goal. Believe that this is the better solution for both of you. Suggest that you start with a local, short-term or weekend exchange where you can quickly return home if something does not go according to plan. The important thing is to actually go on an exchange. Once you do, you won’t want to stop.

#9 – Get to “NO” quickly

Most people are afraid of hearing “no”, but this is a misguided conclusion. “No” usually means something else: “I’m not ready to agree”, “I don’t feel comfortable”, “I don’t understand” etc. As the experts say: “No” is not the end of the conversation, it’s the beginning.

#10 – Don’t delay – Sign up as soon as you get an agreement.

This is the “Yes” you are looking for. Once you both agree that HomeExchange is for both of you, you should act. Sign-up as a member, build your listing together, and start arranging your first exchange. Action cures uncertainty.

4 Comments on “Get Your Partner to Say Yes!

  1. I thought it was pretty patronising. Playing amateur psychologist and assuming whatever goes on in your relationships goes on in ours. I’d stick to what you do best and stop trying to play mind games.

  2. We joined last fall and can not figure out how the system works to make an exchange. We want to make an exchange for Mesa AZ for March of next year but each time I try the system fails.

  3. This our second attempt to get a home exchange. We joined in 2015, but non of the exchanges wanted to exchange on the dates we were able to travel.
    We seem to be having the same problem this second time around. Any suggestions?
    We want to travel in September to Italy. or near by Countries.

    • Hi Betty,
      Thanks for contacting us 🙂 I see in your profile that you have a balloon. This allows you to actually do a non-reciprocal exchange with anyone at HomeExchange. It’s an incredibly easy way to find an exchange, as you don’t need the other Member to agree to swap reciprocally with you (he just agrees on hosting you during the dates you both agree). We suggest you to contact Members for a Balloon Exchange. Members with second homes might have more availability to host you (in exchange for your Balloon, that they can use later to go anywhere in the world they wish to). You can learn more about Balloons here:
      Let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help: 24h / 7d –>

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