This Calgary based equity destination club is unique, in that it is the only club owned and managed by its member shareholders. M's board of directors is comprised of M shareholders who over see the strategic, tactical and financial direction of the club. SherpaReport recently caught up with General Manager John Beckel.
Tell us about the highlights for this past year for M Private?
This has been a very exciting year for M Private Residences. Just recently, our shareholders approved a Sunset Provision which provides for a defined exit strategy for the members in May 2020. This provision also provides us with a growth strategy which allows us to focus on selling Treasury Shares, which in turn, enables us to grow the Club's membership and add new properties.
In addition M Private sold its property in Superstition Mountain and purchased two other properties at The Rocks in Scottsdale.
This year has also seen us add to our Alliance Partnership Program, giving our members even more destinations to choose from, and the new member's website is up and running with the ability for members to make their own bookings online.
What are the key plans for the club over the next year?
Our focus will be to bring on new members to the club and to acquire more exciting destination properties. We will continue to bring value to our members by adding quality organizations to our Alliance Partnership Program, and building upon our "Once in a Lifetime Adventures" exotic getaway program, with our next trip being an exciting African safari expedition.
What types of members are joining the club this year?
People joining M are looking for great places to vacation without the hassle of buying their own second home. It is a mix of people mainly in their mid- to late fifties with older children.
Which are your most popular destinations amongst members?
New York, London, Hawaii
What is the main reason your members cite for joining?
Members are joining because they appreciate our concept of Inspired Second Home Ownership. That is the magic of an incredible vacation lifestyle creating traditions and memories with family and friends, combined with the logic of ownership of a diversified portfolio of incredible homes in different countries and different currencies. As such, the investment in one's lifestyle makes for a good real estate investment as well.
Are you noticing any new trends in the industry?
There are more partnerships and alliances which add value to the member's investment. There is a movement towards high end rental clubs so that people can pay as they go. We have addressed this through our arrangement with Rocksure and by lowering our annual dues to some of the lowest in the industry. We are currently considering other partnerships that will increase not only availability for our members but increase destinations as well.
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?
As M's properties are based in different locations around North America and Europe, the requests we receive from our members vary quite a bit. A member staying in New York or London might want the local host to arrange a night out on the town for them, whereas another member staying in a tropical locale like Hawaii or Cabo might prefer to have the local host arrange for a masseuse to come to the home. Our most popular request in general is to have grocery and liquor items stocked in the home for their arrival.