With the addition of THIRDHOME Rentals and Adventures, the THIRDHOME brand has been updated to reflect our evolution as a travel brand.

 

Logo Evolution since 2009

thirdhome logo history

 

Since 2009, the definition of “THIRDHOME Luxury Property & Travel Club” revolved around home exchanges and basic travel concierge services. In 2018, THIRDHOME evolved into a Luxury Property & Travel Club that offers Exchange, Rentals and Adventures.

THIRDHOME Exchange invites second home owners to join an exclusive community of like-minded members to trade time in their home for stays in spectacular destinations. THIRDHOME Rentals empowers owners to list their home with confidence and allows travelers to book without compromise. THIRDHOME Adventures elevates travel experiences with uniquely crafted journeys around the globe.

To communicate the differences between our offerings, the THIRDHOME logo has been color coordinated to match specific services.

 

THIRDHOME Master Brand: Platinum

Anything having to do with the overarching THIRDHOME brand will include a touch of platinum. Platinum is a color associated with prestige, wealth, sophistication and modernity. It evokes the shiny chrome of a technologically advanced future while also calling back to traditional elegance. As the color of the master brand, platinum is meant to illuminate the way ahead as we continue to disrupt and innovate the travel space.

thirdhome logo

 

thirdhome platinum brand color

 

THIRDHOME Exchange: Blue

The color of the sky and seas, considered strong and stable, blue embodies the trust and stability THIRDHOME Exchange Club members expect. Exchanging your second home online requires a great deal of trust, from the Exchange and the accompanying members. Blue represents the health and vitality of our Exchange club membership while also reminding members of THIRDHOME Exchange’s integrity as an intermediary for cherished and privately-owned properties.

 

thirdhome exchange logo

 

Exchange blue

 

THIRDHOME Rentals: Gold

Gold is a charismatic color showing wealth, extravagance and prestige, while also illuminating the colors around it. That’s how we see THIRDHOME Rentals, a spotlight illuminating luxurious properties for other members to enjoy. Gold also reflects the quality of said properties, each one as eye-catching and brilliant as the last.

 

thirdhome rentals logo

 

Rentals gold

THIRDHOME Adventures: Orange

No other color could capture the vitality and enthusiasm of Adventures quite like orange. A color of energy and happiness, orange reflects the extroversion and excitement that the THIRDHOME Adventures brand offers with its trips and tours. THIRDHOME Adventures include small group and custom tours that are meant to change perspectives and open hearts. The refreshing glow of orange invites open-minds to gather around the ember of THIRDHOME Adventures.

 

thirdhome adventures logo

 

thirdhome Adventures orange

 

These logo and THIRDHOME brand updates were made to more accurately reflect our mission to disrupt the luxury travel industry and become the premier private travel club in the world. By building a uniquely curated collection of luxury Exchange, Rentals and Adventures, THIRDHOME will inspire members at all levels to explore the world like never before -in style, with confidence, comfort and camaraderie.

 

New logos and colors may seem like small details in the grand scheme of The Club, but it’s an important step towards defining the special relationship between Club and Member.

Being a great guest for a home exchange or rental means treating the host’s home like your own.

 

The Golden Rule, do unto other’s homes as you would have them do unto your own, is the foundation of being a gracious guest. But as we discussed in our accompanying post, How to be the Perfect Home Exchange or Rental Host, it’s the small things that really leave an impression. Be sure to consider the following before, during and after your next THIRDHOME stay:

 

But being a perfect guest doesn’t end there. Keep reading to see how each stage of your trip should be approached as a guest.

 

Below we’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when preparing for your stay at a host member’s property.

perfect guest

 

Perfect Guest

Before Booking your Stay

 

Perfect Guest

Directly After Booking your Stay

 

perfect guest

During your Stay

 

perfect guest

Before Departing your Stay

 

perfect guest

Other Suggestions

 

Ready to be the most gracious host in THIRDHOME history?

Click here to browse THIRDHOME Exchange availability.

Click here to browse THIRDHOME Rental listings.

 

Did you know you can reserve these properties without using any Keys? Check out these Keyless properties, available now!

 

Reserve these properties without using any Keys. All you have to do is pay the nominal exchange fee!

Keyless travel that has a start date of 30 days or less is available to Member’s Club and President’s Club. Keyless travel that has a start date of 60 days out or less is available to the Chairman’s Club tier and higher. 

 

1. Maui, Hawaii

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Save your Keys and stay at Kapalua Villa on Maui Island. This 3-bedroom property sits on Kapalua Bay Golf Course and features owner rates to play at Kapalua Bay and Plantation courses. You’re also just a short walk away from some of Maui’s greatest beaches. If you’re looking for a tropical getaway with a bit of golf thrown in the mix, this property is perfect for you.

Click here to reserve.

 

2. Montreal, Canada

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Take a short trip to the north and explore the art, culture and food of Old Montreal. There’s no better launching point for a trip like this. The 6-bedroom designer home features an expansive pool, billiards, a gourmet kitchen and space for the entire family. Besides exploring all that Montreal has to offer, you’re also a short distance from Quebec and the Laurentian mountains.

Click here to reserve.

 

3. Matei Taveuni, Fiji

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This staffed private retreat will leave you feeling like royalty. Enjoy sweeping views of the South Pacific from the property’s infinity pool or get a closer view from the private beach. Explore Taveuni Island’s rainforest and accompanying wildlife during your trip or snorkel along the world-renowned Rainbow Reef. If you’re looking for paradise you’re sure to find it at this 3-bedroom tropical retreat.

Click here to reserve.

 

4. Deer Valley, Utah

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Love the outdoors? Experience Park City’s wide variety of summer offerings with a Keyless trip to the Rockies. This 3-bedroom residence is located at The Residences at Chateaux, a luxurious resort within the Deer Valley ski area. Explore the rugged terrain by hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fly-fishing and much more! Take advantage of The Residence at Chateaux’s concierge service to plan the perfect Keyless summer getaway.

Click here to reserve.

 

5. Laikipia, Kenya

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Want a unique safari getaway beneath the gaze of Mt. Kenya? Discover the Great Rift Valley of Africa with this spacious villa. Spot elephants, giraffes, zebras and other exotic wildlife in Laikipia. Explore Mt. Kenya National Park’s glaciers, lakes, wilderness, mineral springs and endemic wildlife, if you’re up for a mountain climb. This 5-bedroom home is the perfect start to your next adventure.

Click here to reserve.

 

Want to learn more about Keyless travel?

Click here to read Keyless Travel: How to Book Stays without using Keys.

Director of Member Experience & Onboarding Jay LeDuc explains Keyless travel above

What is Keyless travel?

Keyless travel is the ability to book a THIRDHOME Exchange property for only the nominal exchange fee and ZERO Keys. Plenty of members are already taking advantage of Keyless travel.

“I plan a year in advance watching properties that I really want, or, if I have a free month I always take advantage of the 30-day Keyless properties.” THIRDHOME member, Mary Jo

How do I find Keyless stays?

Stays turn Keyless when the stay has a start date that is 30 days (or 60 days depending on your membership tier) out. Keyless travel is perfect for the spontaneous getaway or last-minute weekend trip. Read below to learn how to find Keyless stays and how your membership tier impacts Keyless travel availability.

Look for the stopwatch icon to find Keyless stays when browsing properties:

Keyless

30 day Keyless Travel (President’s Club Preferred)

Once you’ve found a property with a stopwatch icon, hover over the icon to see if it’s available to your membership tier. When you hover your mouse over the stopwatch, a tooltip will appear. If it says “Available Keyless” then the stay has a start date within 30 days and is eligible Keyless for your membership tier.

Keyless

On the property page you’ll notice that the the original Key value has a slash through it denoting its Keyless availability.

Keyless

60 day Keyless Travel (Chairman’s Club Preferred and higher)

If you hover over the stopwatch symbol and the tooltip reads “Available Keyless to Chairman’s Club Preferred and up” then the stay has a start date within 60 days and is available Keyless only to the Chairman’s Club Preferred tier and higher.

Keyless

Interested in seeing what kinds of properties are available to reserve Keyless?

Keyless stays are available now!

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Click here to browse availability and reserve a Keyless stay!

“We’re willing to waive the initiation fee, right now, for everyone in Australia.”- Wade Shealy

 

Wade Shealy, Founder and CEO of THIRDHOME, and Bridget Ramey, of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty Austin, were featured on a Sky News real estate segment to discuss THIRDHOME‘s focus on expansion in Australia.

 

“THIRDHOME has become my travel agent and travel guru.”- Bridget Ramey

 

As THIRDHOME continues to grow and develop its relationships in Australia, more properties are sure to emerge for members. If you’ve ever been interested in a trip to Australia, now is a great time to be a THIRDHOME member. Keep track of the latest properties Down Under by clicking on the link below!

Click here to see all available THIRDHOME properties in Australia.

THIRDHOME analyzed over 300,000 words from member property reviews to determine the recipe for the 5-star review

 

Longtime members most likely know the feeling; that sense of pride when your property has been given the 5-star review, it’s almost intoxicating. It speaks to your style, decor, hospitality, and adds vital context to your own perception of that second home. It’s a validation in many ways and a shout of approval from your peers. Longtime members have probably also felt slighted by impetuous 4-star reviews with little suggestion for improvement- the kind that leaves you thinking, “Where did I go wrong?”

New members, on the other hand, may not have a firm grasp on the features that make for a 5-star review. It was a question of interest to the THIRDHOME team as well.

“What are the ingredients for a 5-star review?” we would ask, staring longingly into a database filled with thousands of rows of member feedback.

By analyzing 4,000+ rows of 5-star reviews left since March of 2010 and ending in July 2017 we were able to arrive at some semblance of an answer. Some words may not surprise you, but others may change the way you think about your property.

300,000+ words were run through textual analysis to determine frequency. Stop words (common words: the, about, it) were filtered out. Only lexical items are included. Frequencies range from 0.05% to 0.25%. 

Here are the Top 20 Words found in 5-star THIRDHOME property reviews:

20. Activities

5-star review

Many reviews revolve around the activities that the guest participated in during their trip. Having access to unique local activities is a must for a top review. Some of the most popular are skiing, fishing, tennis and boating.

19. Stunning

5-star review

Everyone wants a stunning and photogenic property. If you’re lucky, you have a beautiful view from your second home. But if the vistas leave something to be desired, maybe focus on the exterior design of the house itself. Guests want to be blown away as soon as they see the property.

18. Accommodating

5-star review

Top reviews usually talk about the accommodations of the host. Was the host friendly? Was he/she helpful and knowledgeable of the area and property? As a host, go above and beyond to make sure that guests make the most of their time at your property. That extra human touch will definitely be remembered by your guest. You can learn more about being an outstanding host here. 

17. Beaches

5-star review

This one is tough to control. Obviously, you can’t lift your property up from Montana and bring it to the coast. But water assets always draw higher praise as a rule. If you’re near a beach, fantastic. If not, focus on a local lake or river asset that might have some recreational use for your guest.

16. Gorgeous

5-star review

Do your best to show off your home’s personal style and aesthetic. Landscaping is especially important. Feature flora on your property that guests might not be familiar with, and that compliments the style of the property. Gorgeous natural assets are a great accent to any home and will make a lot of distance towards that 5-star review.

15. Bedrooms

5-star review

Let’s face it, there’s certainly a positive correlation between guest experience and number of bedrooms. We all value privacy in our stays, and the more room the better. There’s probably a point of diminishing returns (think the Biltmore Estate), but as a general rule more is better. The quality of bedroom is also huge.  En-suite bathrooms, bedroom views, Jacuzzis and other in-room amenities add a certain distinction to your property. Make sure that your guests wake up each morning in a bedroom that screams pure satisfaction. They will surely thank you.

14. RITZ

5-star review

We’re proud to be partnered with the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club™. With a name that’s synonymous with high-quality customer service, it’s easy to see why the name would be featured frequently in reviews. As an individual property owner, you should strive to be the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club™ of your neighborhood. Aspiring to their gold standards of service will make you a shoo-in for a 5-star review.

13. Decorated

5-star review

Designer, Juan Montoya, once said that a room, “-should never allow the eye to settle in one place. It should smile at you and create fantasy.” Your second-home is a new canvas for your interior design and decor. Your decor should be uninhibitedly creative and unapologetically you. When you project that sense of self into your property, guests are sure to respond. Think about what the decor in your second home communicates. Does it smile back at you?

12. Kids

5-star review

Your second home could be the backdrop for a summer full of childhood memories. Ensuring that those memories are positive ones depends on how family-friendly your property and location are. See if there are any places of interest for children in your area such as an aquarium, water park or beach. Considering the experience of junior members can go a long way towards ensuring a great guest experience.

11. Equipped

5-star review

In it’s most frequent context, equipped could usually be substituted for stocked. Most references are geared towards food and supplies that might be useful in relation to the property. Having a full pantry, cleaning supplies, toiletries and sundry items will make your property feel like an all-inclusive resort. These ready-to-go properties tend to have excellent ratings.

10. Relaxing

5-star review

Such a broad and ambiguous term- how are you supposed to make sure your guest is relaxed? You probably purchased your second-home partially because you thought it was relaxing. What aspects were relaxing to you; the pool, sauna, on-call masseuse or the beach? Be sure to communicate all the aspects that you found relaxing about your second home, and make sure your guest has full access to them.

9. Stayed

5-star review

Well, we should hope that your guests stayed! In all honesty, this word ranks high in frequency because most reviews begin with, “We stayed in X property.” If the phrase, “we shouldn’t have stayed” shows up in your review, you might be far from the coveted 5-stars.

8. Amenities

5-star review

People love household and external amenities that they can’t access back home. So make sure that your listed amenities are ready for use upon a guest’s arrival. This should be thought of in the same sense as the ready-to-go house. Make sure the pool is clean and that all electronic features work hassle-free. Provide detailed instruction to any amenities that prove to be complicated to newcomers.

7. Fabulous

5-star review

Fabulous…Gorgeous…Stunning. I’m sure you’re catching on to the pattern here. Make sure your property is as fabulous as it is gorgeous and stunning.

6. Spacious

5-star review

Guests love an open concept home. Space for entertaining, dining and socializing is imperative to any successful stay. If your space is limited within your second-home, explore options for creating outdoor spaces for congregating. Spacious bedrooms and added privacy are also mentioned frequently in conjunction with this word. Don’t cramp your guests or their style!

5. Location

5-star review

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Is your home accessible to natural assets, scenic views, entertainment and shopping? Is there public transit available and is the neighborhood economically sustainable? These are all questions you must ask yourself when listing your property for exchange. Focus on the strengths of your property’s location, and communicate how your property’s location is desirable to guests. Guests will appreciate the frame-of-reference and will use it to maximize the value of their trip. Leave maps, visitor bureau brochures and other informative materials for guest use.

4. Condo

5-star review

The frequency of the word condo suggests a few things. One, that guests enjoy luxury condominiums just as much as they can enjoy standalone properties, and two, that guests have a great value for location. Highly rated condos tend to be in large metropolitan areas, and have immediate access to city amenities that more remote properties may not have.

3. Restaurants

5-star review

It is no surprise that most THIRDHOME members are huge foodies. Members want access to unique dishes, talented chefs and full-service gastronomic experiences. Your property can play to almost all of the sense except for taste. Make sure your guests leave with a taste of their adventure at one of your favorite local restaurants. Leave a list of your favorites along with the visitor information at your property.

2. Villa

5-star review

The condo may be popular in many contexts, but villa has a universal linguistic appeal. Once used to describe the country estates of Rome’s upper class, Villa now characterizes a number of home styles. They are generally very spacious, have gardens, water features, terraces, a gorgeous view and elegant furnishings. These properties tend to be in lower population density areas and offer luxury accommodations. Guests go nuts for a villa.

1. Enjoyed

 5-star review

Here’s the key to it all- enjoyment. Make sure your guests enjoy the property as much as you do, it’s as easy as that! With a bit of attention to detail, compassion, and hospitality you’re sure to get 5-star reviews every time you host. Because after all, enjoying yourself is what this club is all about, not stars. Although, the stars are nice.

Listen to Wade Shealy chat with Jason Hartman on The JetSetter Podcast.

 

Jason Hartman talks with Founder, CEO and Chairman of THIRDHOME, Wade Shealy. The two discuss how people with second homes can loan out their vacation spot while getting access to thousands of properties in desirable areas for as little as $495 for a week.

jetsetter podcast

 

So if you’re tired of going to the same destination year after year, maybe it’s time to visit somewhere new and stay at someone else’s home for a change. Click below to listen!

 

As a reciprocal home exchange club, THIRDHOME Exchange relies on a community of members to both graciously host guests in their homes but also be great guests when traveling. Here’s what THIRDHOME Exchange host members are saying about their experiences with guest members while participating in luxury home exchanges:

“Maureen and her friend were wonderful guests. Maureen is a delightful person and so easy to talk to about arrangements. As a plus, she and her friend left the house totally immaculate. It was a delight to have them both and I would welcome them back without reservation at any time.”

“They were a pleasure to meet and are most welcome to return to our home at any stage. As they were our first guests since recently joining THIRDHOME they have set the bar very high for our next guests who we are expecting shortly. Any small reguests we made in terms of arrival, departure and property management issues were followed to the letter. We think they enjoyed their stay as they very generously left a bottle of Irish for the next occupants of the Cottage!”

“We were very pleased to have such a lovely family visit our THIRDHOME property. Their enthusiasm to take in what Cape Cod has to offer was fantastic. They were here for a short time but seemed to pack in horseback riding on the beach, a seal tour, beach time and in addition sample the restaurants! They left the house in beautiful shape. I would welcome them back at any time. It was as if good friends were staying at the house. The emails and discussions with Jackie to plan her family’s get away was fun and now I feel as though I have some new friends!”

What leads to an outstanding guest review like above? Here is a list of the top ways to impress when staying at a fellow THIRDHOME Exchange member’s property:

Following through with these few tips will leave the owners wanting to swap with you again! Ready to book your stay and be a great home exchange guest? Click here to view weeks available to book with a THIRDHOME membership. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability. 

As a reciprocal home exchange club, we rely on our community of members to both graciously host guests in their homes but also receive great treatment when they decide to travel.  Here’s what our members are saying about their experiences with host members while participating in home exchanges:

“Jerry was superb in providing the requested information and his recommendations for restaurants were spot on! ” – Tom Q.

“We enjoyed our communications with the owner, Claudio, very much. Not only was he helpful, providing many suggestions for eating out, but we feel we have a new friend in NM. I highly recommend a stay here!!” – Sally R.

“Thank you so much for your amazing hospitality! As soon as we booked our trip, Helen went above and beyond to send ample suggestions of things to do and see during our stay with a great selection of local favorites.” – Phillip L.

“Charlotte provided very clear arrival, check-in and high-tech security lock instructions, and gave some great restaurant recommendations.” – Matthew M.

What leads to an outstanding host review like above? Here is a list of the top ways to impress when hosting a fellow THIRDHOME Exchange member:

  1. Be available and timely with your communications: Answer all questions a guest member asks to the best of your ability and within a short timeframe. If you are having trouble communicating, try scheduling a time to talk ahead of time that works for the both of you. Additionally, if you don’t have time to answer their questions immediately, send off a quick email letting them know you received their questions and will respond as soon as you get a free moment.
  2. Leave a welcome letter or instructional booklet: Each home has particular quirks for operation. Simple things that you know inside and out can be confusing to a new guest like operating your kitchen appliances, electronics, and security systems. To make the transition easier, leave a welcome letter or instructional booklet easily accessible in your home. Alternatively, you can email the packet to the guest member ahead of time if you would rather keep a digital file.
  3. Help your guests feel like they are one of the locals: One of the best advantages to participating in a house swap instead of staying in a hotel is being able to fully immerse yourself into the culture by feeling like a local. As a host, take it a step further and assist your guest by offering helpful suggestions. These can include a list of your favorite restaurants or chef, must-see local attractions, and area excursions.

Following through with these few tips will help enhance the experience of your guests greatly during the home exchange process.

Home exchanges are a great option for cost effective family vacations. Expenses are nominal and you are saving thousands of dollars versus hotel rates. They come with lots of added amenities and offer lots of vacation options —from resort-style villas to ski condos, and swanky city lofts. It did not surprise me when RCI  took notice and launched programs similar to a traditional home exchange.

Wyndham Vacation Rentals, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, launched Wyndham Home Exchange; a program that would allow “homeowners of vacation rental properties to trade weeks at their rental property for access to accommodations at more than 4,000 RCI affiliated resorts around the world.”

Wyndham clearly sees the growth of this segment and wants to be a part.  Similar to our company 3RD HOME, the new Wyndham program administered by RCI, the world’s largest vacation exchange company, gives “Wyndham Vacation Rentals homeowners access to additional vacation options by allowing them to deposit unused weeks of their choosing at their rental property.”

It’s a way for owners of vacation homes to see the world and get added utility. That being said, I do believe that Wyndham will attract a different customer than 3RD HOME.  They will appeal to vacation homeowners that perceive going to a timeshare as a good option for them. But, that is not necessarily the case for all second homeowners.

In short, Wyndham will attract a mass audience, probably not the luxury second homeowner, who wants to visit properties of the same caliber as their own, as well as host like-minded individuals.

All told, the fact that Wyndham is allowing vacation homeowners to exchange into RCI is further evidence of the value and growth of home exchange to second homeowners.

Wade Shealy
Founder, CEO, and Chairman

If you thought airline fees were a nuisance, think again.

A recent USA TODAY article outlined the top five trends to watch out for in travel this year. It got me thinking about all those extra fees we now accept so openly when we fly—baggage fees, reservation changes, even the food.

Reports from that article indicate that airlines collected more than $900 million in baggage fees in the third quarter of 2012. They made another $600 million straight from fees to reservation changes.

Now, it is forecasted that hotels plan on following a similar pattern. We should expect hotels and other service industries like rental car companies and even cruise agencies to adopt “airline strategies” that will end up costing travelers more money. Plan ahead when you book your next vacation because some hotels have guests pay extra for re-stocking mini-bars, luggage storage, and room safes.  If you think about it this starts to add up.

Home exchange programs save vacationers as much as several thousand dollars per trip. 3RD HOME, has saved its members more than $10 million in rental fees in just the past 2 years alone.  There are no hidden or add-on fees.  And nominal fees overall.

With 1325 properties in 67 countries with an average value of over $2.25 million, 3RD HOME properties are some of the most beautiful in the world rivaling any travel alternative for luxury second homeowners.   You can learn more by visiting 3RD HOME. 

Steve Zacks, CMO, 3RD HOME

A tumultuous ride over the past 5 years got me thinking about the future of vacation home ownership. Things seem to be settling down. However, they are settling down at a snails pace compared to what we saw from the late 90’s to 2007.  Was it a false surge in resort real estate? Absolutely! People were not buying for personal use but for financial gain. After all, prices were rising at record rates, and people were flipping contracts without closing and making big profits. And the bottom line was not views, or family enjoyment, but simply profits. How much and how quick.

I watched buyers line up at our launches and buy up to 28 units each. They did not care about the views, floor plans, and amenities. They only cared about how quick they could flip it and for how much profit. Financing? They never expected to have to close. A contract could be flipped a week later for a $100,000 profit.

Who do we blame? We could say the sales people for selling the wrong values. But can we really blame them since they were being paid commissions? Or maybe the mortgage lenders, who, with 5% down and easy to qualify programs, made buying multiple units achievable for people who really could not afford them. Or was it the buyer for being greedy? Remember the old game we all played as kids called Musical chairs?  In 2007 the music stopped and the nine people standing had one chair to find. Maybe one out of nine of these flipping investors found a safe chair. The rest? Well, they probably gave it all back.

So, what is the future for second homeownership?  Many of these owners now feel “stuck” with ownership and the expenses that come with it. In the past people could sell and buy a different second home every 5 years, however, in today’s economy most people who bought more than 5 years ago could not sell it for anywhere close to what they paid for it. So, owners are looking for more value. More benefits to turn an under-utilized asset into something that is more acceptable financially. Many have turned to short-term rentals or obtained travel benefits by joining luxury exchange or reciprocity clubs like 3RD HOME.  And what was first driven by the economy will no doubt become the standard.

Wade Shealy
Founder, CEO, and Chairman

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