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More and more, families and larger groups are finding it appealing to rent a villa or house rather than staying in a hotel while on vacation. After all, villa rentals offer privacy, space, and additional conveniences like a kitchen, private pool, and outdoor living area. While villa rentals can feel like a smart option, you don’t always know exactly what you’re booking until you arrive. Equity Estates provides a more comfortable and reliable way to enjoy vacation time together.



5 Differences between Equity Estates and Villa Rentals

To start, let’s compare how Equity Estates greatly differs from a villa rental.

1. Consistency & Quality

Rental homes can be nice. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to get less than what you were expecting. The pictures you see on rental websites (think Airbnb, VRBO) don’t always accurately depict reality. It’s not uncommon to arrive and feel disappointed because the quality of furnishings, surroundings, or accommodations are subpar. Rental homes are often stocked with inferior products with little concern for comfort or extravagance.

Are you interested in playing vacation home roulette with your next vacation?

At Equity Estates, we know how important it is to have your expectations met (or better yet, exceeded). Our investors know the quality of the home, the location, and the amenities will be impeccable every single time.

To ensure our rigid quality standards, Equity Estates invests an average of $250,000 in furniture, fixtures, and equipment in each of our luxury vacation homes. Equity Estates investors can count on high-quality mattresses and furnishings, chef-grade cookware and appliances, luxurious linens, and immaculately kept homes in the best locations. Our investors are the owners, after all, and we know they expect their homes to be perfect each visit.

2. More Bang for Your Buck

You might find luxury vacation homes similar to Equity Estates residences listed on public rental websites, where they command anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000 per night. If you are interested, we can share several examples of comparable rentals.

As an Equity Estates investor, you can save 50-75% annually compared to renting premium vacation properties.

We don’t rent our homes to the public. Instead, they are exclusively available for investor use, who simply share pass-through maintenance expenses without any markup. The actual cost is approximately $1,220 per night for investors. This includes all annual shared costs and asset management fees. There are no additional booking fees or hidden taxes. We believe in cost certainty and transparency, so you can feel great about the value you are getting for your dollars.

3. Service You Can Count On

Sometimes the hardest part of vacation travel is managing the logistics and planning. Good luck finding help with this kind of service with a villa rental.

Equity Estates takes care of everything we can before and during the trip – so our investors are able to truly relax during their vacation. We have dedicated Personal Travel Concierges to plan every detail, and Destination Managers who are experts in each location.

Think of how different your trips might be with pre-arrival grocery shopping and rental cars or shuttle services arranged for you. Excursions, activities, and even private chefs are all scheduled on your behalf. Each of our residences has a Local Host on site to welcome you… and who remains available for any emergency or other needs during the trip. Daily housekeeping is provided so investors can enjoy activities with family and friends during their time off.

4. A Diversified Investment

As we’ve already mentioned, villa rentals can work out well. But at the end of the day, you are still helping someone else pay their mortgage and utility bills instead of investing in a portfolio of a dozen luxury vacation homes.

Equity Estates investors own the residences in their portfolio. They stand to benefit from any appreciation of the real estate in their fund. We have designed a business model which operates on the belief that we should only profit when investors do, with a clearly defined exit.

5. Enjoy a Well-Stocked Home

Nothing is more frustrating than arriving in a rental house and not knowing what items will be on hand. Will there be salt and pepper, basic spices, and shampoo? Each home in the Equity Estates portfolio is stocked with 85 consumables – from olive oil to tin foil to bug spray to batteries – so our investors can travel easily knowing exactly which condiments, toiletries, and coffee will be there.

Click here to see a full list of Equity Estates consumable items in every residence.



Similarities between Equity Estates and Villa Rentals

Now, let’s compare some of the ways villa rentals are similar to Equity Estates.

Vacation with Privacy, Space and Access to Amenities

Both villa rentals and Equity Estates provide travelers the opportunity to enjoy privacy and space to relax during their vacations. Many families (especially those with young children) or those who enjoy multi-generational travel love the comfort and ease of traveling to a private home with a kitchen, separate bedrooms, shared common areas, and outdoor space.

Private homes also often offer access to high-quality amenities like pools or hot tubs, access to fitness centers, golf courses, or tennis clubs, and more.

Explore the World

If destination diversity is important to you, both Equity Estates and villa rental solutions are far better than alternatives like second home ownership or fractionals. Our investors enjoy travel to dozens of residences around the globe in 25+ countries. Mountains, beach, city, or leisure. Where do you want to go?

Click here to see a list of Equity Estates destinations you can explore.

Learn more about Equity Estates

Overall, our investment model is very different than villa rentals. When evaluating which option is the best for you or your family, it’s important to consider your current travel habits and investment goals.

Are you looking for a consistently excellent way to vacation…while making a smart decision with your money? 

Schedule time to connect with our team to download our Fund V Investment Overview.

Have you come across the fractional ownership or co-ownership investment model in your search? Fractionals have gained a lot of attention in recent years. While fractionals might seem like a viable solution for some families, investors with Equity Estates have been enjoying the benefits of our unique model and ownership structure for more than fifteen years.



3 Differences between Equity Estates and Fractionals

To start, let’s compare how Equity Estates greatly differs from a fractional model.

1. Variety of places to vacation

With Equity Estates, our investors have access to travel to all of the residences throughout our entire portfolio, not just a single home. Portfolio access means that our investors enjoy dozens of residences in more than 25 different countries across the globe. In comparison, traditional fractional ownership method owners will have a part ownership share in one specific residence, which means that their vacations will be limited to this one residence. Some fractionals claim access to other homes, but users will often find availability limited to off-season dates.

2. A clear path to liquidity

Another key difference is Equity Estates funds have a predefined divestment timeframe, which means there is a very clear and defined path to liquidity from the beginning of the investment. Our funds typically have a life of around 10 years before we start to liquidate and sell the homes, returning investors first their initial investment, and then 80% of the profits thereafter. For fractional owners, when/if they decide to sell their investment, there is no guarantee when the sale will happen or how long it will take. It could be a competitive landscape depending on how many fractional owners want to liquidate at a given time. Finding a specific buyer who might enjoy your specific weeks may take time.

3. Investment value

The investment value can also differ greatly between these models. Equity Estates focuses on $2 to $5 million dollar homes in top performing luxury vacation markets. Historically these assets have performed quite well. Conversely, fractionals have not historically been the best investment with limited liquidity options as well as a much smaller market and buying audience.



Similarities between Equity Estates and Fractionals

Now, let’s compare some of the ways fractional ownership is similar to Equity Estates.

No-stress maintenance

When compared to second home ownership, both fractional ownership and an investment with Equity Estates offer a way to enjoy a residence without the stress and responsibilities of dealing with maintenance issues. In both models, maintenance costs are shared, creating less financial and emotional burden to the owners.

Allocated annual nights

Equity Estates and fractional ownership models also have annual night allocations. Unlike a private residence, ownership is shared, and advance bookings and annual nightly allocations keep access equitable amongst owners.

Cost savings on overhead

Unless they are within a short drive of your primary residence, we’ve found that most vacation homes only get used a few weeks out of the year. Both Equity Estates and fractionals facilitate sharing the overhead cost of maintaining a home along with taxes and insurance. It’s a smart financial choice to keep your dollars working for you.

Learn more about Equity Estates

Overall, our investment model is very different than fractional ownership. When evaluating which option is the best for you or your family, it’s important to consider your current travel habits and investment goals.

Are you interested in learning more about our investment model? Fund V is currently open, and now is a great time to connect with a member of our Investor Relations team to learn why so many of our Fund I investors are already re-investing with Fund V.

Schedule time to connect with our team to download our Fund V Investment Overview.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and reflection.

To start with, I feel incredibly grateful to have just returned from a week at the Equity Estates residence in Hilton Head Island. It was amazing to have my 79-year-old mother join my wife and children for this trip. She heavily influenced my love for the beach. Boogie boards and picnic baskets were daily summer activities growing up near the south shore of Long Island. Just hearing the ocean brings back great feelings for me.

Additionally, I feel also grateful for the many successes our business has experienced over the past 18 months, including:

  1. Fund IV selling out in record time
  2. Fund V launching and breaking escrow in record time
  3. Higher than expected results for Fund I’s initial liquidations (38% higher so far)

For better or worse, the global pandemic has put an economic and lifestyle spotlight on what we’ve been doing at Equity Estates for fifteen years. It’s both humbling and rewarding to see this type of investment resonating with so many people.

Recently, we’ve been asked questions about inflation. It’s a topic dominating conversation pretty much everywhere. Industry experts can’t seem to stop talking about it. Prospective investors want to understand the impact of inflation on our business model. In what ways does it influence our residence acquisition strategy? Do we foresee it affecting potential future returns?



Real Estate is a Good Hedge Against Inflation

The bottom line is that inflation is surprisingly good news for Equity Estates investors.

Let’s start with the reality of inflation. It’s here and it seems to be growing. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged a few weeks ago that inflation pressures “are likely to last longer than previously expected,” noting that they could run “well into next year.”

See below for a few articles that I found in a quick search:


People are continuing to look for ways to diversify their holdings to ride out a possible downturn in the financial markets. Real estate has always been viewed as a good hedge against inflation. Luxury real estate, however, is proving to be a particularly attractive vehicle for those who can afford it. According to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, the median list price for a single-family luxury home was $1,812,500 in October 2021 – a 7.5% increase over the same time last year. Compare that figure to the 6.2% increase in U.S. consumer prices over the past year as recently reported by the U.S. Labor Department. This would suggest that luxury real estate appreciation is outpacing consumer price inflation.

We honestly believe both are being under reported based on anecdotal observations.

What will happen to Fund V? Well, we won’t know for sure for another 10+ years. It is very exciting, however, to see the impact inflation is having on appreciation – it is pushing double digits in desirable luxury markets. We believe this will continue for a while thanks to both continued inflation and sustained, high demand.

Even so, I sometimes scratch my head at the astronomical prices we see for some luxury residences. Our buying strategy has had to morph to meet the new market dynamics — we know how to win competitive bids for the right homes. By the way, if you are interested in learning about our three keys to successful acquisitions in any macroeconomic climate, including this one, feel free to read my blog from March 2021 on Finding Good Buys in a Seller’s Market.

Market timing is extremely difficult when it comes to real estate. We will never be able to predict exactly what may happen. Which is precisely why our private offering’s strategy is a long-term hold of carefully selected assets. Collective asset ownership (which is what our Luxury Residence Fund model is essentially) offers diversification, a hedge against inflation, and an outstanding way to enjoy a large and expanding portfolio of $2 to $5 million homes for a fraction of buying just one of them.



Fund V is the Best Selfish Hedge Against Inflation

Hopefully, you agree with my statements that (1) inflation is here, and (2) real estate is a good hedge against it. Now let’s go one step further. I’d argue that Equity Estates Fund V is the best “selfish” hedge against inflation. Selfish in that you’ll get a ton of personal enjoyment out of this investment. Fund V investors will experience 10+ years of amazing vacations. I’m proud to be an investor in multiple funds, including Fund V. It’s been the best investment of my life thanks to the dozens and dozens of memories I’ve created with my family and friends.

For me, Thanksgiving and the holidays are a time for family, gratitude, and reflection. Join us at Equity Estates, and we’ll promise you extra helpings of memories. Then, when you reflect on your decision to become an investor, you’ll be grateful for making a deservedly selfish choice, too.

When was the last time one of your financial investments planned a luxury vacation for you?

Until next time, safe travels!

Philip Mekelburg
CEO, Equity Estates