If you find yourself falling in love with a particular destination and keep returning year after year, maybe Elite Destination Homes is for you. Elite makes it possible for families to share ownership of a home and to truly connect with a place they love.
The more owners use their vacation homes, the more they begin to take on some of the local customs, language and develop a sense of belonging in the community. Since Elites co-ownership groups are small (usually 3 to 5 families) each family can spend up to 12 weeks each year getting to intimately know a destination.Business Model
About four years ago, William Bisanz and his father fortuitously happened into a new business venture. They were at their home in Turks and Caicos when another property caught their interest. Being in the real estate business for many years, they knew it would be a solid investment to buy, even though they didn't have partners to help with the down payment. They purchased first, and then sought to fractionalize the property.
"The way we look at it is this: We would never buy a property that we wouldn't want for ourselves," says Bisanz, founder and CEO. "If partners don't come along, then we end up owning it. We are a small self-funded family business."
As it turned out, they didn't have any trouble finding people to share the Turks & Caicos home. Soon this model evolved into something much greater. Elite Destination Homes currently has 40 owners and 19 properties in choice destinations around the world: St. John's, Turks and Caicos, Paris, New York City, Steamboat, Cabo and Florida.
"Our business model is unique because our clients want to become blended into the fabric of a place. They want privacy. They don't want to walk into a hotel lobby like all the other 'visitors' that came to ski for the week," says Bisanz. "It's exciting to help bring people a true cultural experience. They feel connected to the area and proud of what they own."The Elite Fractional Models
Elite has three potential models that clients can adopts depending on the circumstances:
- Join an existing home, or become a founding owner in a new property.
- Partner with Elite to develop a fractional vacation home in the destination of your choice.
- Partner with Elite to fractionalize your vacation home.
Each home in Elite's portfolio has an overall value of $2m to $4m. The smallest property is 1 bedroom and the largest have 5 bedrooms and they can accommodate anywhere from one to 14 depending on the location.
Owners can purchase a 1/4th to 1/6th fraction of a property for anywhere between $250,000 and $750,000. Elite manages all aspects of ownership, including reservations, property maintenance and management, concierge services, and rental income generation.
An Elite ownership is 100% equity based, either through a corporate ownership structure or Tenancy In Common (TIC). TIC is a relatively new concept in commercial real estate that lets small investors pool their assets to buy major properties. Owners can sell their shares if they ever need or want to.Reciprocal Trades
Owners are permitted to visit other Elite Destination Homes on a reciprocal trade basis. For instance, if a Cabo owner would like to experience Paris for a few weeks in the spring, then a Paris owner must agree to spend the same amount of time in Cabo. When a trade like this happens, there is no exchange fee.Rentals
One slightly more unique aspect of an Elite ownership is that owners can generate some rental income from their unused vacation time. Elite management takes care of all rental agreements-it's a hassle-free way to generate income.
It all starts with a blank calendar. Owners submit their requests for time. The remaining weeks turn into rental time. The rental money is disbursed fairly to the owners. There is no commission for the rental-all income is redistributed to the owners. The system works like this: The family that only used five out of ten weeks will get more rental income than the family that used eight out of ten weeks. The family that uses all ten weeks won't receive any rental income for that particular year.Personalized Services
- Personal Concierge
- Personal chef
- In-home spa services
- Maid service
- Reservations and requests (excursions, activities, restaurant reservations, tee times )
- Pre-stocked fridge, pre-warmed pool, personal family touches inside home
- Airport transportation/rental car arrangements
- Children's needs (cribs, strollers, baby sitters)
"Elite's privately co-owned vacation properties are the closest thing to owning your own home, only without any of the bother. I just call and let them know when I want to be there. The top-flight concierge service allows me to spend my time relaxing with my family. Elite's properties are some of the most unique and luxurious homes I've ever stayed at," said Chef Andrew Zimmern of The Travel Channel, frequent guest of Elite homes.Future Destinations
Elite continuously looks for new properties in desirable destinations. "Half the fun for us is scouting out a new location. We could look at 200 places in Paris to ultimately choose three," says Bisanz. "We are very selective, wanting only the best for our families."
On the radar for 2009 are Deer Valley, Vail, Barcelona, London, Tuscany, Hawaii, and Montana, as well as additional properties in Paris, New York, Colorado and Cabo.