Wander Secures $100 Million Investment from Credit Suisse, Pioneering a Novel Captive REIT Approach for Vacation Rentals.

Wander, the 18-month-old short-term rental company, is set to announce a $100 million debt facility raised from Credit Suisse. This strategic move aims to rapidly expand their property portfolio, with the goal of ensuring that 80% of the U.S. population has access to a Wander property within a three-hour drive. The announcement follows the recent establishment of their investment arm, a captive Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) named Atlas, which garnered substantial investment interest within the first 48 hours of its launch a month ago.

John Andrew Entwistle, the Founder and CEO of Wander and a Forbes 30Under30 member, expressed his vision of breaking down the boundaries between users and owners, aligning with the concept of web3. He emphasized the importance of user ownership in the Wander model, where properties become part of Atlas once ready for guests. Wander retains the right to operate and maintain these properties, with profits distributed to investors either monthly or upon property sale.

Entwistle described the model as an index of vacation rentals, emphasizing the need for diversity in regions, locations, and trends to stabilize the portfolio. He outlined the potential to address concerns within proptech lending by blending property-based assets in high price tiers with a decentralized infrastructure, offering a possible path forward in a shifting market.

The current Wander portfolio comprises 13 homes catering to short-term stays, including beach homes, wooded enclaves, and ski community properties. Each property is tailored to digital nomads, featuring high-speed wifi, state-of-the-art desk setups, home gyms, and even a Tesla for personal use during a guest’s stay.

Entwistle stressed the user-centric approach of Wander, stating that the company’s success hinges on aligning the interests of users and owners. He highlighted the meticulous procurement process for adding homes to their portfolio, ensuring they meet debt facility requirements and are suitable for short-term rentals. Local and desktop appraisals are conducted to assess safety and suitability for the REIT.

Atlas, the REIT, incurs a 0.65% asset management fee on gross asset value, targeting an 8% annual dividend yield. The Wander platform, boasting over 110,000 accounts, has seen 2,205 nights booked with a remarkable 90% bookable occupancy over the last six months. While currently limited to accredited investors with a $10,000 minimum investment, the aim is to open Atlas to a broader range of investors and price points in the future.

ArabMLS Founder

Ahmed Elbatrawy, who leads the Arab MLS platform, aims to simplify property transactions in the Middle East, paving the way for unprecedented global investment opportunities.

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