Q&A with Ariel Smith, Summer's Head of Sales
How did you first hear about Summer, and what drew you to the business model?
Our Head of Experience, Sarah Haviland, and I are former colleagues and friends! When she told me about Summer, I was immediately drawn to the unique offering, as I’d never heard of anything like it in the space. Having come from a real estate tech background, I’ve always been interested in companies who are disrupting the space and finding ways to provide value to the market. Summer piqued my interest in that way!
When you first talk to prospective new members, what are some of the most common avenues by which they report having first heard of Summer?
Agent partner referrals is a big one! We love our partners and we work as a team to help the prospective new member find an amazing home that they love. Many other potential members have also come to us via social media or other digital marketing efforts.
"We have a vested interest in the property performing well, and we only take on homes that we believe are going to compete at the top of any given market."
What are some of the most common hesitations/reservations prospective members express to you when considering joining Summer? How does the Summer model mitigate these concerns?
I think the biggest hesitation is surrounding the uncertainty of real estate as an asset class in general. There’s currently a lot of chatter about the macroeconomy, and many of our members are buying their first property. Summer provides more peace of mind by sharing our expertise with members; our team is made up of seasoned veterans in both the short-term rental and real estate spaces. Along with our rigorous underwriting processes, shared investment in the home, and continued partnership on the management side, we have a vested interest in the property performing well, and we only take on homes that we believe are going to compete at the top of any given market. That makes us unique and also eases some of the natural worry that comes with investing in what is, for most, a brand-new asset.
What are some factors to consider when deciding between immediate ownership or gradual ownership?
I love that we have both options for a member to consider because they both have unique value, depending on someone’s individual situation. Gradual ownership provides flexibility and the opportunity to learn about the property’s performance so they can go into a purchase with confidence. Immediate ownership offers upside opportunity, and a way to get into ownership of this property type, with minimal upfront effort, as we handle nearly everything. With either option, a member is always receiving our acquisition, design, and management services in a one-stop shop! I always tell our members that they are welcome to be as hands-off as they’d like to be.
What's your favorite home in the Summer network thus far?
I really love our Treasure Drive home in North Bay Village, Miami. I live in Southern California, so I'm naturally drawn to the coastal vibes of this home!
What do you see for the future of the company?
We have big growth plans for the future! There’s a lot of interest in this space, and no one that I’ve seen is offering such full-service setup and management. We’re expanding our location reach across the U.S., and rapidly expanding outside of the markets with which we’ve been most heavily-associated since inception.
Have more questions for Ariel? Book a call with her directly.