The Value Of Good Design For Developers
Don’t let bad design ruin more than your day. Today’s investors are increasingly seeing the value in good design. We’ve taken some tips from industry professional Scott Keck (Chairman at Charter Keck Cramer) and added some of our own.
What is good design? Good design provides for outcomes that function well, feel right, last the test of time and are cost effective to use and maintain.
Your investment property will be promoted to a number of people. Each person will have a different vision for using your property. Good design includes flexible spaces that can be used for multiple purposes. If your design encompasses rooms that can be multi-purpose – then you’re increasing the appeal of your property to more people – which can help increase your income and lower vacancy rates.
Good design encompasses every inch of your property. Apart from your layout, good design includes quality fixtures and fittings, good natural light, double glazing, low-energy lighting, insulation and sound separation, robust and low – maintenance surface materials.
It makes sense for developers to supply well-designed properties to the market.
Benefits of good design include:
1. Higher prices and/or faster sales: Selecting the right design team that delivers good design which is differentiated and caters to the needs of occupiers will benefit. Where there are concerns about oversupply and fatigue in investor demand, good design can, in fact, be the difference between a project succeeding or failing,
2. Cost – effective design solutions: There is a common misconception that good design always equates to more expensive construction costs. While this can be the case, it does not need to be. A high-quality design team can deliver creative solutions throughout the design, documentation and construction phases, resulting in a building which meets the highest design standards, while also remaining cost-effective. Poor results often arise when default and generic solutions and materials are introduced to reduce costs, rather than exploring solutions that work with the design while also being cost-effective.
3. Reduced ongoing expenses: Investors are becoming more aware of the higher maintenance costs associated with a poorly designed residential property. Common problems with poor (cheap) design include delaminating cupboard doors, replacement of cheap fittings and fixtures, faulty appliances and repair of building façades. These problems are common and expensive. Maintenance, downtime, and expenses can be reduced if an investment in good design is made from the outset.
4. Increased appeal means better tenants: An instantaneous electrical hot water system may be cheaper to install than a gas hot water system, but it is significantly more expensive to run. Poorly insulated walls result in higher heating costs during winter. Good design is as much about what you cannot see, as it is about what you can see. This includes good construction, extra wall insulation or appliances that offer lower running costs. Don’t forget to promote these design features and the benefits(ie: lower running costs) to potential tenants. These benefits may be the factor[s] that encourages them to select your property over another. They may even be prepared to pay higher rent – all due to promoting your clever design inclusions to them.
We find that today’s occupiers are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of design. What elements of design do you look for in property or have had included in your investment property?