A TEN-YEAR JOURNEY ENDS WITH THE PERFECT VACATION INVESTMENT
Brian is an investment adviser and financial consultant in Houston, Texas. Not long ago, he joined the Equity Platinum Fund as an investor. Brian tells us he was looking at various destinations club models for about ten years, but nothing made sense for him until he looked closely at the Equity Residences model.
Equity Residences investors are not just club members. They are also owners of the properties the Fund buys. This means that investors enjoy “rent-free” vacations at the Equity Residences homes. There is a coordinated liquidation event for all of the homes in the current portfolio, which means that all of investors will exit at the same time and get their original investment and returns back.
As a numbers guy, Brian put Equity Residences to the test with a two-part strategy. First by looking at the investment side and then by experiencing the residences first hand.
LOOKING AT IT FROM THE INVESTMENT POTENTIAL SIDE
Brian’s background as an investment adviser informs his decision-making. He says: “Yes, I have a spreadsheet. I looked at the market value of staying at properties like this through VRBO and Airbnb. I compared it to what I would spend at Equity Residences with a return factor of 1.25%. If I end up getting the projected 1.5X return, it will be even better.”
I work with numbers every day. I looked at the investment and the potential return of the investment. Add in the ability to stay in a property, the weeks that you get, and the credit system looks quite good.
“I had the chance to go on a couple of trips to test out the fund. We went with friends to Akumal, Mexico for a week and Park City for a week.”
Brian says voting on where to acquire the next property attracted him to the Equity Platinum Fund.
“It is great having a say. I like that Equity Residences allows its investors to vote on where the next properties will be. I like having my input heard.”
DIVERSIFICATION-EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR
“Equity Residences lets you diversify a real estate portfolio. The Equity Residences program allows you to pool together with others. It’s like a mutual fund in the market. You diversify your portfolio across several properties in different markets and locations.”
Brian stresses that he prefers ownership in the underlying real estate. If you have significant money in the stock market, you want non-correlated assets. A diverse real estate portfolio is an alternative investment. Diversification outside of the stock market is a plus.
COMBINING A DIVERSIFIED INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO WITH FAMILY TRIPS GOT BRIAN’S ATTENTION
“Diversification is one reason to invest as an individual. The other reason is that we like family travel. I can include my wife and kids when we get up and go. The equity piece and the real opportunity for family travel are an ideal combination.”
Brian has three children, which is what is driving his decisions to book larger homes for his vacations.
“I am married and have three daughters. I have an 11-year-old daughter, a 2-year-old daughter, and an 11-month-old daughter. It is quite fun to travel with them. When it was my 11-year old daughter and wife, it was easy to stay in a hotel. It was the three of us. But now with a family of five, it’s different. We wanted nicer accommodations. The larger homes are more comfortable for the family.”
FROM ADVENTURER TO THE FAMILY TRAVELER
Brian’s travel style changed from an adventure traveler to a family traveler over the years. Brian has a flexible schedule. He travels 4-5 weeks a year and can work remotely.
“I have done some very enjoyable travel over the years. My situation is changing. Now my priority is to travel with my wife and kids. It’s not the same as packing up to go on an adventure trip.”
“We are active travelers. This format lets us have our adventure travel. Having an extended family with us is like having babysitters. It’s no problem to sneak off for a morning of trout fishing”
Investing with Equity Residences allowed us to combine nice homes with family travel. We still look for chances to experience some of the adventure travel I like to do.”
Brian makes his traveling choices fast. He does not hesitate to book the homes he wants at the time he wants to schedule his trips.
“So far I have stayed in two properties in the Equity Villa Fund. This summer we were able to stay in Park City for a week. Our group included my wife, the kids, my extended family, and friends. Altogether we totaled 14 people.”
BRIAN HAS FOND MEMORIES OF HIS PARK CITY VACATION
“The location of the Park City property is incredible. It is across from the Main Street. We were there over the 4th of July. People are busy coming in to see the festivities and we are staying across the street. It was great to be with our family. We wanted everyone to be together. Our group included parents, siblings, kids, and friends as well.”
By booking the Park City, Utah home, the Akumal Beach home, and the Siena Italy penthouse, Brian was able to take advantage of $21,000 worth of vacations in four months.
Every year Equity Residences asks their investors where they want to buy the next homes and add to the Equity Platinum Fund portfolio. This year, the Caribbean including Turks and Caicos and St. John are on the list of most-desired locations. On the East Coast, New York City and the Florida Keys are also popular choices for investors.
On how many weeks of vacation investors can expect in the Equity Platinum Fund, Brian explains: “A One-unit investment (120 credits) gives you 1-3 weeks. My experience as a one and a half – unit investor with 200 credits, is that I can get 2 to 3 weeks a year.”
“The following year we will have 2 weeks. Cap Cana resort for a week and Mauna Lani resort in Hawaii for a week. If you use the credits right you can do a lot of traveling. I reserved three different properties and got them during the week I wanted for each. I have not had a problem with getting the properties I wanted when I wanted to travel.”
IMPRESSED WITH THE HOMES
“The Park City property location is great. The property was very nice.”
“Having a caretaker and a chef at Akumal was very nice. We went as a large group and having someone stay there cooking dinner for all of us every night allowed us to get out and enjoy the day without having to worry about these things.”
“We were able to take fishing trips, kayaking trips, and explore the nearby towns. So, this was a big selling point for the Akumal home.”
FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS
“We have several trips coming up. I am planning to take three trips this year. Next year, I have 3 solid weeks including Costa Rica in January. Rosemary Beach, Florida will have us 100 steps from the beach for a Spring Break in March. There is also a plan to visit Lake Tahoe California with family and friends in June.”
I wish I could have found Equity Residences sooner. I was looking for a long time.
“To sum it all up. The Equity Residences program combines an investment opportunity with travel. We can make lasting vacation memories for my family and friends.”
“I am creating memories for my family and kids as opposed to watching the market every day.”