The equity destination club, Equity Residences launched its second fund just a few months ago. We caught up with co-founder and Managing Director Greg Salley to talk through the funds and what it means to be an investor in Equity Residences.
What makes Equity Residences unique?
There are a number of factors that make Equity Residences unique. The fact that our Limited Partners don't have to pay annual operating fees, the fact that our properties have already appreciated in value with the goal of delivering a significant return to investors and the potential to receive investment dividends. Of course the experience of enjoying a relaxing vacation in a freshly remodeled luxury residence. Our Partners also enjoy greater access to the weeks they want due to preferential reservations and one of the lowest ratios of investor usage per property.
Tell us about the highlights for this past year for Equity Residences?
Our Limited Partners now have access to over 65 properties and growing around the world. We recently completed the remodel of our Palm Beach Shores Florida and Big Island Hawaii properties which generated significant equity for our Partners. In addition, we announced the Equity Villa Fund's addition of residences in the Florida Keys and Kauai Hawaii.
What are the key plans for the club this year?
We continue to add new Limited Partners and new residences to our very successful Equity Villa Fund. In addition, we recently announced our second fund, the Equity Platinum Fund which continues our tradition of providing best in class investment value and a luxury vacation experience with even more luxurious residences. We had investors asking us for the Equity Platinum Fund and designed it from the beginning to fit what our investors are seeking.
What types of members are joining the club this year?
Our Limited Partners tend to be very financially astute with many coming from private equity, hedge funds, investment management and management consulting. However, a wide variety of professions are represented including doctors and lawyers. Many of our Limited Partners have children and grandchildren or like to vacation with family or friends.
Which are your most popular destinations amongst members?
Beach destinations are always popular with Florida and Hawaii topping the list. The last couple of years have seen particularly harsh winters and these beach destinations provide the perfect escape.
What is the main reason your members cite for joining?
Our Limited Partners generally fall into one of two camps. Some focus first on the access to a diverse portfolio of luxury vacation residences where they can escape with friends and family and build lasting memories. Others focus first on the opportunity for a relatively low risk investment with the opportunity for solid returns. All of them appreciate the high quality standards and professional management provided by Equity Residences.
Are you noticing any new trends in the industry?
Following the recession, capital preservation while generating solid returns became even more important. Investors are taking the time to do their homework and make a smart choice about how they invest in vacation homes.
Of all the things that members can ask their travel planners to arrange, what are the most popular, can you give us some examples of the unusual ones?
We strive for our Limited Partners to feel like they're arriving to their own home with everything in place for them so they can focus on enjoying their vacation and building lasting memories. Pre-stocking a specific list of groceries is one of the most popular, however, the list ranges from a personal chef to a boat to dock at one of our waterfront properties.