01 Dec Q & A with Equity Estates Personal Travel Concierges
Have you ever wondered what makes an Equity Estates Personal Travel Concierge (PTC) an expert?
Two of our PTCs talk about their roles at the company, the destinations they manage and why traveling with Equity Estates is much easier than buying a second home. Their five-star service, years of experience and first-hand knowledge of destinations makes all the difference when planning a unique vacation tailored specifically to your preferences.
1.What makes you an expert on the destinations you manage?
Monica: I am an expert on the destinations I manage and the islands/countries they are located in because I have traveled to each property and have experienced firsthand what I recommend. The knowledge I am able to share with investors is an invaluable service that I love to provide. My investors that I assist know they can trust me when I make suggestions. I am constantly keeping up with new local trends in each destination by working very closely with our local teams at each residence.
Stephanie: I do a lot of online research to make sure I’m up to speed with everything going on in my locations. I follow restaurant and travel blogs and try to learn something new about each of my locations once per week. Whether it’s a new restaurant that opened in New York or a seasonal catch Grand Cayman, I love to learn new things. In addition to my research, I have deep relationships with the local hosts. They live in these destinations and are true experts. By speaking with them daily, I have learned about the “hidden gems” that are off the beaten path and not found on Yelp or in travel magazines.
2. What is the most special thing you have arranged for an investor?
Monica: I have been a part of planning for an engagement on Hilton Head Island, a 40th birthday bash in Costa Rica, a wedding in the backyard of our Costa Rican home and many other special birthday and anniversary celebrations over the years. It’s hard to choose just one!
Stephanie: I helped plan a surprise 50th birthday trip to Anguilla. I worked with the birthday boy’s wife during the planning, and she invited eight of their closest friends to surprise him at the airport on the morning of the trip. Once there, I arranged for a fabulous private chef, private sushi making lessons at the residence, personal training sessions at the villa each morning, massages and a full day boat charter including island hopping, snorkeling and a lobster lunch. Every detail was perfect!
“Our family has enjoyed many treasured events with Equity Estates—an engagement, a honeymoon, anniversaries, birthdays and cherished memories with lifelong friends. Equity Estates residences have furnished snap shots of some of the most joyous times of our lives.” – The Lockett Family of Austin, Texas
3. What is your favorite part of this job?
Monica: After six years in this position, I am very connected to many of the families I work with. I have become great friends with them and have visited their homes and even met their children. Nothing makes me happier than being a part of our investors’ lives. The relationships and friendships that I have established with our investors and our local teams are my favorite part of this job.
Stephanie: My favorite part of the job is speaking with my investors after they have returned home from an incredible trip. I love hearing the excitement in their voices when they tell me how amazing it was. Although I wasn’t there, I was a part of their vacation. These trips are some of the most memorable and happy times of their lives, and I love getting to be a part of that. I love my job!
4. What is your favorite Equity Estates location?
Monica: My favorite Equity Estates residence that I manage is the Hilton Head Island home. I love everything about it- the pristine oceanfront location, the décor and spaciousness of the home, the 100% bike friendly island it sits on, the restaurants, excursion opportunities and of course the beach!
Stephanie: My favorite Equity Estates location is Anguilla. The island and villa are both so special. The island sports just a handful of stop lights, no fast food, four or five boutique resorts, and no cruise ships. It is so relaxing and the people there are fantastic. The house itself is out of this world! It’s on the east side of the island which is very secluded. I can think of no better view than when you walk in the front door of our villa- you look out over an infinity pool and all you can see is the ocean, St. Maarten and St. Barths. It feels as though you have the entire island to yourself.
5. What does a typical day look like for you?
Monica: No day looks the same! I spend a lot of time on the phone with investors each and every day! I’m busy booking excursions, spa appointments and dining reservations. I work on property management issues that arise with the homes I manage. I am responsible for all things related to each property including: staff, budgets, house maintenance, inventory and managing the local teams. My number one focus every day is planning outstanding vacation experiences for our investors!
6. What do you think sets an Equity Estates vacation apart?
Stephanie: The PTC support is part of what sets Equity Estates vacations apart from a typical vacation. Having expert concierges for the destinations makes the trip planning process so much easier and more enjoyable for our investors. They no longer have to do research on restaurants, activities, etc. We take out the guess work, and the leg work. We pride ourselves on custom crafting each vacation.
Monica is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and has been a PTC with Equity Estates for six years. She is a graduate of University of Alabama. After college, she backpacked through Europe for six weeks and she hasn’t stopped traveling since! Her hobbies include spending time with her daughters, hiking, camping, reading, traveling and drinking wine with friends. She is passionate about fostering new experiences and filling her memory bank whenever possible.
Stephanie is a native of Douglasville, Georgia and has been a PTC with Equity Estates for nearly two years. She is a graduate of Georgia Southern University where she was a softball pitcher. She loves being outdoors and some of her favorite activities include hiking, biking and kayaking. She loves to travel—even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway to the North Georgia mountains, she loves to experience new things and new places as often as she possibly can.
Equity Estates is an equity destination club heading into its tenth year. This vacation home alternative is for accredited investors, offered via private placement. A globetrotter’s dream with more than 60 private luxury residences spanning more than 25 countries, Equity Estates’ mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns. Equity Estates Fund I sold out in 2012, and Fund II will sell out by the end of 2016. Equity Estates has collectively raised and effectively deployed over $75 million and delivered over 10,000 outstanding vacation experiences. Equity Estate’s unique model could allow investors to travel for free for 10 years or get paid to travel, pending the appreciation of the portfolio when sold.