Frequently Asked Questions
What is FractionalExchange.com®?
FractionalExchange.com is an online, owner-to-owner network of property owners, united for the purpose of exchanging use of vacation homes and fractional shares. Listings on FractionalExchange.com consist of vacation homes, condos and even yachts, wholly-owned or fractional-owned. Beach, ski, metropolitan, mountains, adventure -- your choices are endless.
How does it work?
Exchanging on FractionalExchange.com is very simple. There are no complicated point systems, exchange fees or exchange companies to deal with.
FractionalExchange.com simply allows members to contact each other to arrange an exchange of their vacation properties. Due to the nature of vacation properties, the exchange need not be simultaneous.
1. Where do you want to go? Locate a listing by searching listings by country, state and city where you'd like to vacation.
2. At the city level, click on a particular listing to the listing. You also have the option to click on a particular resort and see all the listings at that resort.
3. Send a privacy protected exchange offer to the listing (or listings). FractionalExchange.com will send an email to the owners of the selected listing (or listings) with your exchange message; the recipient will then respond directly to you via email if they are interested in your exchange offer.
Your exchange offer might include the message "Hi -- your home looks very beautiful and we're interested in visiting Cabo San Lucas in April. Would you be interested in our Vail ski home anytime during the ski season?" FractionalExchange.com sends your message, along with a link to your listing, to the owner of the selected listing.
With your listing on FractionalExchange.com, you'll of course receive similar exchange offers from other members. What's great about the system is that the exchange offers you receive may actually tickle your vacation spirits and you may end up exploring new destinations that you never would have thought of without the exchange offer!
I own a wholly-owned vacation home; can I list it?
Absolutely! Any type of vacation asset may be listed -- home, condo, cabin, yacht, motor home -- whether it's wholly-owned or a fractional share. FractionalExchange.com was originally conceived to serve the fractional industry, but was expanded to include all vacation properties.
Can I list my primary home?
FractionalExchange.com is designed to assist owners of vacation properties to make the most of their ownership by trading usage for other vacation properties. Vacation properties are easily exchanged, as the exchange need not be simultaneous. You are welcome to list your primary home, but keep in mind that members at FractionalExchange.com are mostly interested in exchanging for resort properties or unique metropolitan properties.
What is a fractional?
A fractional share is a deeded part-interest in a home or condo. Typical fractional ownership consists of a one-eighth or one-quarter share. Fractional properties are typically at resorts specifically designed and built for fractional owners, but many standalone homes are also fractionally owned.
Is it safe?
FractionalExchange.com is an alternative to renting a vacation home. You'll be contacting and exchanging with like-minded owners of vacation properties who have the same concerns as you. You might consider thinking of the exchange as a rental, with no money trading hands; you might consider a security deposit, however, keep in mind that your exchange party might request the same of you. Owners typically are reciprocal with regard to the respect and treatment of each other's property, much more so than renters would be.
Our members typically exchange several emails prior to an exchange. They also typically talk on the phone as well. By the time of your exchange, you'll have a good comfort level with your exchange family -- much more so than you would with any renter of your property.
Remember that good communication with your exchange partner will allow you to make the most of your exchange vacation. Be sure to ask questions not only about the property, but also about the local area (your exchange partner likely knows the best beaches, restaurants and activities in the area).
Be sure to ask for referrals about prior exchanges.
For our members, we do make sample exchange agreements available in our resources area.
What do you do about valuables?
If you have particularly valuable or cherished items, you may consider removing these from the property prior to your exchange. Typically, vacation homes don't have valuables or sentimental items located in them, so this usually isn't an issue.
What about insurance and liability?
Check with your own insurance company, but for the most part we understand that most insurance covers exchange partners as invited guests in your home or "permitted" drivers and offers coverage as such.
What if there's a difference in value between properties?
It's up to our members to determine exchange details and ensure an equitable exchange for both parties. In most cases, the exchange value of properties will be similar and identical amounts of time will be traded. If there's a large difference between properties, members have solved this by offering more (or less) time in the exchange properties. For example, if you're trying to "trade up" you might offer two weeks in your property for one week in theirs.
What about cars?
Some properties may include a vehicle to exchange as well. If your property includes a vehicle, be sure to mention this fact. Exchanging a vehicle along with your residence is a great way to add value to your property exchange! Be sure to discuss specifics regarding the vehicle, such as cleaning before/after use, fuel replacement, maintenance concerns and responsibility issues in the event of damage.
Is a maid included?
Most properties include maid service, either daily or at the beginning and end of your stay. Be sure to discuss this with your exchange partner, as you'll usually want reciprocal terms on maid service.
What about pets?
If you're thinking of bringing Fido along, be sure to discuss this with your exchange partner.
Do you have to exchange at the same time?
Fractional Exchange listings consist mostly of vacation homes. Unlike trades of primary homes, exchanges of vacation homes usually need not be simultaneous! For example, you might exchange your home with another member, with them using your beach home in August and you using their ski home in February. You might also "bank" usage of their property for a later, yet-to-be specified time in the future. FractionalExchange.com is all about owner-to-owner exchanging; it's whatever the two members can arrange.
What types of exchanges are there?
The most obvious involves a trade of your property for usage in another part of the country (or world). Trade your ski home for beachfront.
Another exchange might be for an additional or larger residence in the area of your vacation home. For example, a large family gathering might require more bedrooms that your property has -- so, you might book an additional home at Thanksgiving and let your exchange family use your place at spring break.
Fractional owners typically use their property on a rotation basis. For example, you have use of your property during the month of February, but find that your schedule only allows a March visit. FractionalExchange.com allows you to exchange February for March by contacting other owners.
How much does it cost?
$250 for a one year unlimited GOLD Membership. This membership allows you unlimited access to other listings on FractionalExchange.com.
SILVER memberships are free of charge, but you're limited to only contacting listings in the same geographical area as your listing.
SILVER membership is useful for getting comfortable with FractionalExchange.com and also for arranging trades in your immediate area
(to help with rotation schedules and/or arranging extra lodging for those times you need more room for your guests!).
Unlimited means you can make as many exchanges as you want and there are no other charges, no per-day charges or per-exchange charges, either to your exchange partner or to FractionalExchange.com.
FractionalExchange.com means free accommodations.
How much can I save?
Vacation home rentals can run into the thousands of dollars. Even a night at a mid-range hotel can cost $200-$300.
For less than the cost of one night in a bargain-rate hotel/motel, FractionalExchange.com allows you to arrange lodging in luxury vacation properties!
Saving money isn't the only benefit of using FractionalExchange.com. You'll typically stay in the comfort of a home that is equal to your property and you'll also have the benefit of having your exchange partner helping you make the most of your vacation through restaurant and activity suggestions. Some exchanges may even include a vehicle as well.
Can I do an exchange within my country?
Absolutely. FractionalExchange.com can assist you in finding local, regional, national and international exchanges.
How long is the typical exchange?
Whatever is agreed upon between Members. You might exchange for a week or just a weekend stay. Your exchange partner might stay in your home for a week, but you might elect to stay in their vacation home for a couple of weekend visits. It's whatever you can arrange with another member.
FractionalExchange.com does not post your name, street address or email address in your listing or otherwise make them available over the World Wide Web. Our messaging system hides your personal contact information yet makes it possible for another member to contact you directly from your listing at FractionalExchange.com - 24/7. Only when you elect to respond to an exchange offer is your email revealed to the other member.
What's the Guarantee?
If you're unable to arrange an exchange during your first year of paid membership, we will give you a second year for free (provided that you've initiated at least five requests for an exchange). No questions asked.