Imagine spending your next holidays in a French Chateau, a lighthouse on the Canary Islands, in design apartments, charming chalets or wonderful villas all over the world. With Sphere, your own second residence becomes your ticket to all these places.
Our value proposition is to offer second home owners another way of managing their properties, complementary to renting it, and allowing them to travel without spending more than they already spend.
Sphere is a community dedicated to owners of high-end holiday homes, family residences and boutique hotels. Members trade weeks in their unoccupied property for stays in other beautiful homes. By integrating Sphere, owners take advantage of the opportunity to travel in residences of the same standard as their own, but at a minimum price – they do not pay a rental fee for the property they are staying in because they have already made their second home available when they are not there.
All exchanges are indirect and non-simultaneous. This is made possible through the points system we created. When a member joins Sphere the first thing they do is tell us about their property. Based on the details provided, we calculate a number of points (which we call pearls) for each property. This pearl value depends on more than a hundred criteria, that all contribute to making a holiday unforgettable, such as the amenities, services, location and little extras.
The next step for members is to choose which weeks they wish to make available on Sphere. In exchange for each week given, they receive the number of corresponding pearls – immediately and before any other member stays in their second home. This allows our members to travel anywhere and anytime they want to by spending their points as they wish, as soon as they have made available some weeks in their holiday home.
When members book a week in another property in the Sphere collection, they pay the amount of pearls that property is worth to redeem the reservation and a commission that goes to Sphere. We took the decision not to impose an annual membership fee, but to allow members a pay-as-they-use payment policy with prices that depend on the value of the property they choose to stay in. We believe this is the fairest way to do it.
In practice, this means members only pay a commission, which is on average around 10-15% of one week’s rental cost, when they travel. In other words: members get to save up to 90% of what they would otherwise pay. This means their holiday wallet is much fuller – or they just have far less expensive holidays and can use the saved money for other projects.
Furthermore, Sphere is a community of handpicked and trusted owners, who know how to treat the home that welcomes them with respect. Thus, the people who stay in the properties are carefully selected and know how to behave.
On top of that, membership at Sphere comes with a generous guarantee and insurance package that allows all our members peace of mind when they exchange properties.
As a Belgium-based company, we really put emphasis on a European perception of taste in the properties we select. The most important element for us is the soul of a property. Whilst we do not claim to be masters of good taste, it is vital for us to see that the design of a property has been conceived in a coherent and harmonious way and that the details have been attended to with love.
The properties we accept into our community are either family homes or properties that also operate as holiday rentals – as long as it is not a primary residence. This is important to us, as it allows us to ensure that the property is suited to welcoming guests for a week. As to the type of property we do not have rules: from Castles to Villas and Chalets, over lighthouses and forest cabins – anything can work as long as it matches with our rules. To provide even more variety, we also integrate boutique hotels in our collection, as long as they are managed on a human scale.
We aim to be a boutique exchange platform with tailored concierge services to get our members the holidays they will never forget. To that end we are personally available to our members for any issues and our philosophy is to build lasting and meaningful relations with our members – to us they are people with preferences, not numbers in a database.