There was a time not so long ago, when buying a “luxury condo” meant you had made it.
In short, it was because it had a cool pool, a gym and some shared common space.
A bit of digging on what the trends are globally in the high end apartment complex market, and your head spins.
Times have changed and for a lot, they’ve been left behind.
Let’s face it, nine out of ten developments have the word “luxury” in their advertising.
Listing standard specs such as stainless steel appliances and 900mm ovens, well, it’s a bit ‘beige’ really.
As more people sacrifice the quarter acre block for a higher spec, inner city living option, the global predictions in luxury apartment complexes are dictating that today’s developers need to create designs which not only create the wow factor, but tie it all together with a sense of community.
So what attributes are generating the most leads and what developers need to be mindful of in the future?
1. Green Space
Indoor gardens, tranquility pockets and private parks are all designed to evoke feelings of well-being. One Manhattan Square in New York, which opened in early 2019, boasts one of Manhattan’s biggest private parks. In fact the entire outdoor space comprises of 4180 sq of wonderfulness including a birch garden, children’s playground, social courtyards, relaxation lawns, fire pits, outdoor kitchen and dining, herb garden, adult tree-house, tea pavilion, outdoor ping-pong, putting green, stargazing observatory, and a 28 meter covered dog run.
Now there’s a reason to get off the couch!
It’s great to have the upscale amenities on offer for your tenants, but it’s the facilitation of the resident community to use these amenities which is the big trend. Amenities need to be designed for residents to communicate, meet each other, and ideally form community.
Believe it or not, humans are social creatures.
So rather than building the yoga studio, bring in the yoga teacher. Build the community gardener, but bring in the gardening guide to offer demonstrations to facilitate cooperation and conversation.
Many complexes in the US have hired event management companies to create events to find creative ways to use amenities like communal kitchens. Guest chefs, wine and food pairings and coffee tastings are all designed to bring people out of their homes and foster the feeling of community.
3. At Your Service
Concierges are becoming increasing popular as both a welcoming statement and a personal valet, offering everything from shopping service through to dry cleaning service. Busy professionals, Gen X’ers and Millennials are seeking a differentiating factor when home hunting, and the offering of a ‘all rounder’ who takes care of way more than just opening the front door is a bonus.
For many, the services they offer are not just a personal convenience, but rather a time saving necessity. Oh, the Millenials can move out of home and still have someone to sort out their laundry!
4. Perks for Pooches
Here’s one for the Millenials who are delaying having kids in favour of adopting a pet…
Clever developers are using their pet friendly status as a point of difference and becoming very creative about how they plan for this.
When I sold real estate, we lost a deal because the buyer was not allowed to move with her Moodle.
5. Smart Homes
Picture (if you’re old enough) a scene out of the cartoon, The Jetsons. Except it’s now. Voice activated TV’s, phone activated robo vacuums, and a smart lock, which allows you to lock and unlock your doors remotely with your smart phone. The lock even comes with a backup key for your landlord.
Biometric finger print entry and electric car charging systems – all on offer in the modern and smart apartment. In fact, one of our clients has already integrated all this into their development, thus future proofing their desirability.
If you fail to plan then you will plan to fail.
The term wellness no longer just refers to a state of physical health, rather now it embodies a holistic approach to mental and physical well-being. Modern apartments encourage a sense of community, delivering engagement through cleverly zoned interactive spaces designed to get residents out of their homes and come together.
Hot tubs, saunas, basketball courts, bowling allies, squash courts, golf simulators, movie theatres and performance spaces all provide social spaces designed to foster physical and mental health through activity and interaction.
How very Zen.
International developments boast cellar bars and culinary lounges, wine tasting rooms, cigar rooms and demonstration kitchens.
Wellness is the new luxury, and creating a feeling of comfort and safety appeals to everyone.
In fact, wellness real estate is worth an eye watering $134 billion AND are being sold for 10% premium prices above market average.
There you go folks, the best in class don’t build it then hope the crowd will come, they’re humble and they start with the end in mind.