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Interview With Our Utah-Based Investor Andrew

Published February 5th, 2018
Investor spotlight

Introducing Andrew, The Equity Platinum Fund Investor.

Equity Residences investor Andrew reviews his Platinum Fund experience

Andrew is the Equity Platinum Fund investor and an avid world traveler. He lives with his wife Rani, four children, and two Highland pet cows, who he walks around the neighborhood every now and then, in the footsteps of the Utah mountains.

A semi-retired executive and a real estate investor, Andrew focuses on “having adventures as a family” and making sure they experience things together. Andrew and Rani already own a second home and love coming back to it, but they want to travel to different parts of the world with their children and experience different cultures. As Andrew puts it: “it’s just fun to have this opportunity to see amazing homes and see amazing places and have your family do something different.”

Staying at hotels for large families can become a challenge because you “don’t want multiple rooms”, let alone “a crying baby at a hotel”. Renting homes on VRBO can be costly, as some luxury homes run to $25,000 for a week vacation, and an inconsistent experience, as some homes turn out to be not as nice as they are advertised.

It made sense for Andrew to research alternative options that would provide a predictable travel experience and a return on investment.

After becoming Platinum Fund investors, Andrew and Rani traveled to the Equity Residences Rosemary Beach house and brought more than memories with them. “It was the best vacation ever,” and children were so enamored with the white sand beaches of the Florida panhandle that they even took some sand back home to Utah!

Our team arrived to interview Andrew and his family on a sunny December day, and we immediately received the utmost hospitality. The camera was rolling while younger children were playing in the background until they decided to join their father in the spotlight!

Read the interview below to find out more about Andrew, his family travel style, and his investment strategy.

ON HIS EXECUTIVE BACKGROUND.

I am an entrepreneur by trade. Sold one of my businesses three years ago and started all kinds of investing in real estate. That’s how I found Equity Residences primarily as an investment. And it turned out to be much more than that.

ON HIS DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE INVESTING.

Looking at these funds I wanted to make sure they were truly investments.

Obviously, you do have the benefit of having places where you can take a family and take amazing vacations, which was really fun and appealing to me as an investor, but I wanted to make sure it was a true investment and not a gimmick.

One of the scarier things is when I was looking at all these funds, some of them had other homes already because they were older funds. But they were also costing more.

So I didn’t know how to exactly reconcile that until I learned about the partnerships that Equity Residences has with Elite Alliance and ThirdHome.

And when you realize how many homes are available in ThirdHome for example and just trading our time with Equity Residences with another home in Thailand or Europe.

Equity Residences was what I found in doing due diligence when I was looking at a different fund that is doing something similar. Being a nerd that I am I was doing a spreadsheet with all the benefits, the costs, and the features. And quickly discovered that Equity Residences had the most bang for my buck and it had the most flexibility too because most people don’t know what they are going to be doing in 10 years and I and did not just want to do a vacation fund. I needed to make sure that I had options and they have the best options and flexibility of the fund.

And this investment made us feel like not only could we go to amazing places and stay at amazing homes, we were driven to places we might have never thought of originally.

ON IMPORTANCE OF FLEXIBILITY WHEN PLANNING TRIPS AS A FAMILY.

With having 4 kids and school and soccer and everything else you need to plan around, we are finding that we need to plan our vacations and get everything else scheduled in advance.

But one of the fun things is, that if all of a sudden we’ve got a couple of weeks, and nobody has any soccer or cheer practices, we can take off and you can jump on the Third Home or even an Equity Residences home, and you can take off and not pay any fees except a cleaning fee, and I think it’s great.

I love the fund, I love that it has a timeline of 10 years, it is there to make money, but I wanted to do the vacation part as well. But you never know when you might do something else when you can’t go on vacation. And some other fund you still have to pay the fee and you can’t do anything about it. But with Equity Residences, I can say “I can’t vacation this year. I’d like to turn this time into extra dividends for me.” And I felt that was fantastic – great flexibility.

ON OWNING A SECOND HOME.

To me, to spend that kind of money that takes to have a second home: to clean it, to deal with the management of it, to rent it yourself, it becomes a big amount of work. And my wife and I have done with one of our cabins that we have near the Yellowstone and we still love it there, but the amount of work that goes into it, and to be able to only use it a couple of times a year anyway.

The cost of buying a second home was going to be far higher than getting into this investment fund and then we were stuck in one place. It’ far better to be a part of this fund and having someone else doing the brain damage and letting us just have the fun.

ON HIS FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS.

Our next trip is going to be the Big Island in Hawaii. My kids are as excited as can be – we tell them what the next trip is when it’s coming and they can’t wait. We just love the opportunity to say: this is the next house, and look and these houses. We just plan our trips together and this is very, very fun.

I haven’t made it to Tahoe yet, but I can’t wait. There are some Europe vacations coming, South America. I can imagine that Equity Residences is going to pick the best place for me to go visit and I can’t wait to get there.

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An accredited investor is someone who earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 if married) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year; OR has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence).