A number of high-end resort-residence communities in the build-out stage, including the Four Seasons Caye Chapel Resort and Residences in Belize and the Mountainside at Northstar in Truckee, Calif., are offering potential permanent home buyers a “sample-size” experience of life on the resort.

For a single night or up to three to four days, prospects can stay in temporary accommodations on site, often with staff-curated activities and meals. Depending on the resort, these can range from tiny homes and cabanas to luxury beach tents. The no-strings-attached vacations can range in price from $200-500 per night, or sometimes free.

Developers say the try-before-you-buy approach works better than a glossy sales brochure, giving pre-screened prospects a chance to experience the place and some of its amenities before a resort is fully developed—which can translate into more sales.

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