New social travel start-up CasaHop has emerged strong and might be a serious threat to existing players such as Airbnb. CasaHop was developed by no less than Huffington Post’s past employees and developers headed by ex-CTO Paul Berry.
Berry got the idea for CasaHop from his own home swaps. He and his family has done it 15 times and they work “incredibly well” he says. But he found room for improvement with other sites.
“The site (homeexchange.com) is very basic. It doesn’t use a social layer at all,” he said. “They also charge quite a lot to list your house.” Homeexchange.com charges a monthly rate of $9.95 to list a house.
Unlike other sites, CasaHop offers home exchange for free. It doesn’t have a monthly fee and uses credit, not cash, as a payment to swap homes.
The service is set to go live in a few weeks. As of now, you can sign up and update your home profile. To encourage sign ups, CasaHop is giving away free plane tickets for lucky subscribers.
The home-swapping service is also unique since you can only share your homes with people similar to you. For example a beach front homeowner can swap with a ski-in-ski-out home renter. An apartment renter in NYC may only enter that loop if he earns enough credit to join in. This lessens the fear of being ransacked, like some of the cases reported in past home swaps.
Today the people can only sign in through Facebook, but sign ins through Twitter and LinkedIn will be open soon.
Source: Business Insider