New way to own a slice of paradise

Platform provides co-ownership model for holiday homes

New way to own a slice of paradise


By Jayden Fennell

It’s not hard to imagine owning a luxury holiday home in an exotic tropical location.

Now one company is offering people the opportunity to realise that dream, by becoming co-owners of holiday properties across the Asia-Pacific.

Kō is for the first time offering Australian buyers the chance to share ownership of prestigious homes in a range of locations including Bali, Lombok, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The platform says it makes owning a luxury holiday property accessible by sharing the financial costs with up to eight co-owners. This co-ownership model is new in Australia, but Kō says it is gaining popularity in both Europe and North America, where startups have transcended from obscurity to “unicorn status” in record time frames.

Kō operates under an AFSL (Australian Funding Servicing Licence) and is appointed as a corporate authorised representative of Quay Wholesale Fund Services, providing owners transparency. Individual privacy is maintained using an online platform with co-owners remaining anonymous to other investors in each property.

The platform was founded earlier this year by CEO Ryan Fritsch (pictured below), chief technology officer John Hanna and Ash Kirvan, along with hospitality and development company Selo Group.

“Kō offers Australian investors the opportunity to acquire a one-eighth stake in high-end holiday properties, effectively making prestige property more accessible,” Fritsch said. “The post-COVID-19 climate has created the perfect conditions for the co-ownership model to thrive with hybrid working styles enabling people to work from different locations, combined with the rising popularity of the shared economy across asset classes.”

Fritsch said co-ownership makes the dream of owning a holiday home attainable.

“With property prices at record highs and inflationary pressures, the co-ownership model provides a viable solution. People want access to holiday homes, but these are only used 10 to 20% of the time – so why tie up all your money in one when you can share ownership,” he said. “Kō also unlocks the potential to own multiple holiday homes for effectively the same cost through fractional ownership and delivers all the benefits of being a luxury homeowner without the typical maintenance responsibilities.”

Fritsch said the benefits of co-homeownership include owners being able to stay up to 42 days a year in their home per unit owned via a dynamic booking system with all maintenance managed by Kō.

“Conversely, owners of holiday properties can unlock equity by selling down shares within their home. We currently have eight properties listed for co-ownership on the platform with prices ranging from $150,000 to over $1 million per unit,” he said. “We anticipate having mid-double-digit listings by the end of 2022.”

Fritsch said the crown jewel amongst the Kō listings so far is Villa Jamadara – a five-bedroom villa (pictured) in Bali’s Ungasan Clifftop Resort.

Priced at $1.1m per unit, co-owners can share ownership of this tropical home perched on the clifftop overlooking the ocean. It features a private infinity pool, generously appointed living spaces opening to manicured lawns and a 24-hour private butler service.

“It is important to differentiate that co-ownership is not timeshare. Kō buyers are equity owners in a property – a true co-ownership model rather than a time-share agreement,” Fritsch said.

“Co-owners are the equity owners of the properties, having the benefits of traditional homeownership such as how and when they sell their respective share. Kō is there to facilitate a seamless purchase, usage and resale of each share. Time-share agreements require an upfront annual fee to be paid to use a property during a designated portion of the year.”

Fritsch said he forecasts a rapid growth trajectory for the platform.

“Despite the common dream of owning a holiday home, most existing holiday homeowners are frustrated with their ownership experience from the costs and complexities of maintaining a holiday home,” he said.

“Kō offers a flexible booking system, expert property personnel to maintain the property and platform to facilitate the hassle-free selling of shares. Each owner has complete control over the price their share is listed at, with the entire process facilitated by Kō. All Kō unit owners have automatic access to THIRDHOME, a global network of properties that allows members to exchange homes for a period of time with no extra cost.”

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