The idea behind 21-5 was conceived in late 2008 by Laila and Anders, fuelled by many years of selling vacation properties abroad.
Laila was the managing director at the former real estate chain Livingstones. During her tenure at Livingstones, she was the driving force behind a very successful business unit selling vacation homes in Southern Europe, Thailand and the United States.
At the time, Anders was the daily manager of four real estate offices under the Home brand. In 2007 Laila and Anders started the real estate brokerage Sunliving specializing in vacation homes in Southern Europe, Thailand and the US. The company also engaged and supported several developers with a common focus on foreign vacation homes. They had reached a significant market presence, when the aftermath of the financial crisis from the fall of 2008 triggered the market demand for vacation homes to come to an almost complete stop.
It was time to think outside the box. During a lunch in November of 2008 Laila and Anders talked about what the vacation home market really is and needs. Many have had the dream of owning a vacation home, and many are concerned about such a venture. Where to buy? Will we make a bad deal? Can we get what we want? Will we use it enough? Will it be more costly than anticipated? Do we have to rent it out, and if so, what about the risk and hassle? What if a water pipe bursts and we are not there? Can we sell it if we have to? Do we really want to come back to the same place every time? Etc.
Many barriers and worries to consider.
Suddenly it dawned on Laila and Anders; why not assemble groups of families co-owning several vacation homes, so they can enjoy more locations and have more vacation types available to them? And why not create a company that takes care of it all from purchase, renovation, furnishing, administration and maintenance? We have the knowledge and experience to do that!
That was how 21-5 got started. Make it easy for families to fulfill their dream of owning vacation homes and thereby increase their quality of life.
Laila and Anders decided to pursue the idea and agreed that if they were going to do it, it had to be done the right way. Professionalism, honesty and trust.
It took a while to get the business up and running, especially with the repercussions of a global financial crisis still looming.
The third partner, Anders Heisel, joined the company in the fall of 2009. Laila and Anders wanted a partner with solid financial insight and capability. Anders Heisel is co-founder and owner of the IT security company SECU Ltd. Not only does Anders have substantial financial experience and knowledge, he is also very IT savvy. His demeanour complements Laila and Anders and together they cover a large variety of skills and experiences.
21-5 started marketing their concept and services in Europe in late 2010. The financial crisis was still in the back of peoples minds and it was not easy to get traction. But eventually the first families signed on and in 2012 the first owner association was formed. Subsequently, staff was added and the company moved out of Anders’ parents garage. Today 21-5 has more than 50 full time employees thriving in the head office, a mansion built in 1881 situated north of Copenhagen, Denmark - completely renovated by 21-5 of course.
21-5 has created a whole new way to own vacation homes. The journey has been, and is, such an amazing privilege.
21-5 has no sales goals (except to avoid deficits). The objective for 21-5 is to ensure that all the families in the new owner associations are just as happy about their ownership as the very first 21-5 families and their owner associations. It is the only way we can, and will, continue the journey.
21-5 Ltd. is managed and owned by Anders Heisel and Laila & Anders Køj.