Whether you operate a locally owned firm that specialize in the high-end market or are a franchisee of a widely recognized global brand that has a specific division for affluent home buyers and sellers, most real estate brokerages these days have a luxury division. Even though some experts predict uncertainty for luxury markets on a global scale, it can still be a lucrative area for your agents to explore.
When we take a step back and look at what luxury may entail, avenues beyond the multimillion-dollar celebrity-style mansions have entered this space. Multifamily buildings, both in cities and less populated markets, are targeting the high-end market. And as the luxury apartment and condominium sales market softens, more owners may be looking to create income by renting, often turning to agents or property managers to fill their luxury units. Simultaneously, as the workforce shifts more to home office telecommuting, these individuals are looking for high-end conveniences at home through renting amenity-rich luxury properties.
Craigslist and similar sites are not the best avenue for landlords and property managers to find tenants for a luxury space that costs well above the average rent in the local market. Real estate agents can help connect these property owners with the right kind of clientele, using their connections and knowledge of the local markets. This is much the same value proposition for selling these types of higher-end properties.
Of course, it helps everyone involved if the properties themselves have the luxury features that potential buyers or tenants are looking to find. If you or agents at your firm work on projects directly with builders and contractors, then you can communicate with your partners about integrating some of these features up front. Some of these can be added later to make properties more appealing. Along the same lines, you can highlight these amenities when you are working on selling or leasing out a luxury property.
Outdoor living: For city dwellers, this can be a highly sought amenity. Rooftops in big high-rises have been transformed to include comfortable seating, sound systems, big-screen TVs, fire pits, BBQ facilities, cabanas, and even community gardens, all to help promote socializing. Outdoor terraces in condos and backyards in single-family homes feature outdoor living spaces that act as an extension of the home, including elaborate kitchens, seating areas, recreational spaces, and more for entertaining.
Sustainable commuting options: Whether it’s secure bicycle storage, repair stations, and maintained pathways or car-sharing services, luxury condo properties can step it up when it comes to alternative transportation. In fact, some luxury apartments offer their own car-sharing service among tenants who want a car for weekend trips, vacations, or a special occasion.
Keeping connected: Some multifamily buildings are going beyond one or two lonely computers in a business center, opting instead for an internet cafe for residents with a full espresso bar. These onsite coffee shops are convenient for tenants who want to fuel up while getting work done and also provide a place to socialize. Some communities extend their cafe offerings to include wine and beer cocktail hours for residents, similar to hotel services. From a connected technology standpoint, builders are beginning to incorporate smart-home systems that allow residents app-based, mobile control of appliances, temperature, lighting, blinds, watering systems, entertainment, and more.
Over-the top ideas: Community recreation rooms have gone one step further at luxury apartments to include full-service media rooms with big screens, comfy seating, private screenings, and movie theater–style snacks for tenants. But some high-end apartments don’t stop there, giving people a hotel-style experience, with the ability to reserve a furnished suite for visiting overnight guests and take advantage of an on-site concierge to schedule appointments, plan personal events, shop, and even run errands for tenants.
According to John Caulfield of Building Design + Construction, developers are seeing more of these luxury amenities in multifamily housing construction: child care services, cooking classes, dry cleaning and laundry services, package delivery management, personal shoppers, pet grooming, rock-climbing walls, a spa or massage center, a community wine cellar, and yoga, aerobics, and wellness classes for tenants.
Current market conditions may not be favorable for the luxury market, but some buyers and renters are still looking for the added comfort, convenience, and socializing features in their property that luxury often promises. When it comes to the high-end condominium, townhome, and apartment market, the more offerings that a property features to bring convenience, ease, and opportunities for connection, the more appealing it becomes to potential tenants.