Ocean Home: Can you tell us, in a nutshell, what is Equity Estates?
Philip Mekelburg: In short, it is an equity destination club or vacation home “friend share” with a professional overlay of acquisition, management and service. We coined the term Luxury Residence Fund and our investors boast that we offer the best kind of returns, both on capital and on life.
OH: So, Equity Estates is like a mutual fund or Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)?
PM: Instead of commodity, stock, bond or private business investments, Equity Estates’ funds invests in multi-million dollar vacation homes with the greatest potential to appreciate and be appreciated. We professionally aggregate investor resources, acquire valuable assets and enjoy them until we sell. When we divest the portfolio of homes, our investors receive preferred distributions: 100% of their initial capital contribution followed by 80% of the appreciation.
OH: What separates Equity Estates from other destination clubs?
PM: We are governed by a strict operating agreement which specifies the use of proceeds. I have fiduciary responsibilities and am liable if I do not follow the agreement. Our entire model was designed to make sure there is alignment between investor members and fund management. It functions in some respect like a co-op that exists to serve its members (who are also owners). Investor members equally share in the actual costs of taxes, insurance and other property expenses through reasonable annual dues that equate to 50% to 75% below open market rates to rent similar residences. Knowing there may be appreciation to share after selling off the homes means there could be a return large enough to offset all the shared expenses. Investor members, theoretically, could travel for free or get paid to travel. In all cases, the services and homes are impeccable.
OH: Where are your properties located?
PM: Equity Estates is a globetrotter’s dream with more than 70 residences spanning 30 countries. Our mission is to create lasting memories for our investor families and their friends when they stay in any of these well-appointed homes. We not only take care of our properties, we take care of an investor’s every need–from vacation itinerary planning to stocking of the fridge with their favorite groceries. Investors benefit from two points of concierge support. First, a Personal Travel Concierge manages all pre-trip logistics, anything from suggesting and scheduling activities to coordinating a private chef or small party. No task is too small. Daily housekeeping is included and kitchens are fully stocked with everything needed from olive oil and spices, to Tupperware for the left overs. Second, a Local Host greets members upon arrival to make sure everyone feels immediately at home.
OH: How does someone become an investor member?
PM: Equity Estates Fund II is open to qualified investors and taking new capital and buying outstanding homes. Someone from our investor relations team can share how Equity Estates delivers a return on investment that is measured in more than just dollars and cents. Please visit www.equityestatesfund.com, call (1-800-413-3340) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.