Having worked in the property sector for more than two decades, I’ve seen a range of approaches to design, and those that excel, put consumer behaviour at the centre.
A phenomenal amount of consumer research goes into selling sweets and snacks, but often when it comes to big-ticket items like a home, the consumer’s needs and wants are overlooked.
Developers need to design spaces that people want to live in, not something that purely maximises the square footage. While this is of course a top priority, it often comes at the expense of creating liveable spaces. We’ve all seen certain apartments left lingering on the market for months or years after a project’s completed because of monumental design flaws that turn buyers away in droves. Think; bedrooms with no windows or natural light, no privacy, no storage, minuscule dimensions, and awkward proportions.
While some developers use the architect of record for interior design, it likely won’t deliver the best interiors. Architects are experts at designing buildings, but interior architects and designers are best at creating spaces for people to live in.
As an interior designer I speak to people daily about their homes. I’m an expert on consumer behaviour in this area – and what people want are spaces that enhance their lifestyle. It’s important to consider how the design choices you make in a new development will impact the buyer. It can literally mean the difference between an apartment selling for a premium or not at all. If people who live in your apartment will need to rent a storage unit and spend every weekend at the park, you need to reassess.
With the right design approach that’s centred around buyer behaviour you can create a coveted space that people love. It’s not just what’s inside that counts, also consider how shared amenities and spaces will be used, these can’t be an afterthought or something copied from another project.
If you’re selling to younger buyers, will one BBQ and a tiny gym on the roof help them imagine calling your project home? Probably not. So often these facilities are ill-considered and become a liability. On the other hand, well designed amenities give residents a hotel experience every day. Providing sophisticated entertaining and recreation areas in a development gives buyers more than just a place to sleep. It gives them added value and space to spend their social and leisure time. This adds tremendous value to any project.
If you want to ensure your development meets the needs of the market, make sure you get the right expert to design the space.