Opinion: The Future for Branded Residences

 

The traditional branded residences concept is a hotel-led development with integrated or linked properties. Although they have been around for more than a century, it has only been over the last two decades that the sector has gown exponentially.

According to a 2019 study by Knight Frank, there are more than 400 branded residences in over 60 countries across the globe – they have become a worldwide phenomenon.

With the branded concept well established amongst hotel operators, the number and types of operators entering the space is now expanding and diversifying, with brands such as Versace, Armani and Porsche now lending their names to developments.

We ask though, can branded residences continue to grow at such an exponential rate? We believe so, but the sector will not be without potential pitfalls…

With the branded concept well established amongst hotel operators, the number and types of operators entering the space is now expanding and diversifying, with brands such as Versace, Armani and Porsche now lending their names to developments.

Until now, branded residences have predominantly been focused in the US and Asia, but there remains significant untapped global potential still. The recovery of Europe’s leisure market has made projects in the Mediterranean viable once again and, with this, we will start to see a huge growth in branded residences across this market.

Although the sector shows little sign of subsiding, we do expect to see a greater emphasis on experiences offered rather than just services, as a way for brands to differentiate themselves.

A pool, spa and concierge service are now a staple of any mid-to-high-end residential development and are no longer enough. It is now about creating memories and more experience-oriented activities, such as bringing in a celebrity chef or cocktail mixologist, arranging a cycle tour or cooking classes etc. As well as diversifying the activities they offer, branded residences will start to become more eco-led in design and operation, in response to the global demand for sustainability.

However, the growth of the sector will not be without potential pitfalls. There is a danger that by expanding the concept of branded residences, developers are at risk of devaluing it. The concept has always been aspirational, however now hotel companies are offering brands at a 4-star level, it will become more mass-market and, in turn, could become a less desirable concept for people to buy into.

To avoid this, we expect to see the market leaders offering ground-breaking services in order to remain aspiring and innovative amongst the wealthy. Let us know what you think?