Leaders In Real Estate: The Design Of Cities And Their Founders Of Tomorrow
-Authored by G Raghavan, CEO, Bhartiya City
To say that the real estate market in India is growing would be an understatement.
The real estate industry in India is clocking exponential growth rates, and is pegged to grow several times over its current value in just the next five years, There is no better time than now for key players in the industry to exhibit leadership in terms of design, regulatory compliance and more significantly, sustainability. Our job today is to pass on that value to the end consumer- the person who will call our project home.
We live in a world that is changing faster than we can possibly keep up with. The weather patterns from a decade are history now, and the ever-growing traffic in burgeoning cities makes time a valuable commodity. In every customer’s innate need to return to the roots is an unspoken call for more open spaces, more time for the things they love, and less time spent navigating a confusing metropolis.
Real estate leaders have a real opportunity here- that of building micro-cities within cities. The time has come for us to move away from the concept of apartments built as communities, and move into a concept of communities that just happen to be centred around living spaces. After all, what is real estate if not a way to do the things we love in the spaces we love?
This is where the need for great design comes in. Micro-cities are meant to foster a specific kind of culture. They need to become places where people stop by to greet each other, grab a cup of coffee next door, pursue hobbies together in, maybe plan a potluck. The one aspect that can facilitate a culture shift is one that most good website designers are already familiar with- a good User Experience, or UX for short.
The boom in the real estate industry was accompanied, until now, by a supply-and-demand pattern that often put good design at the very end and sometimes got rid of it entirely!
What, then, could a real estate leader do differently?
To start with, they could make user experience the beginning of all real estate endeavours. We must begin looking at every nook and every cranny of a project as space that can be utilised. Negative spaces, or open areas in this context, are just as important as the built-up and super-built-up areas.
Today’s discerning customer also comes with global exposure. The vibrant streets of cities like Paris and Copenhagen are fair game for them, as they should be. Moreover, when we stop to think of it, what makes people fall in love with these streets so much? It is, yet again, their usability value. Walking along the cafes or shopping from the boulangerie are not challenges to be navigated everyday but pleasant, relaxing experiences. Cycling to and from work is not an exception but the most preferred method of travelling.
And that’s just the streets! Homes, too, can be utilised in several different ways- a bachelor pad, a party venue, a family den. Up until now, we have looked at spaces in terms of the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and so on. Can we instead start to look at them as living spaces that serve more than one purpose at different points in time?
If we had to present just three key takeaways for future leaders in real estate, they would be:
- Keen, granular focus on design and utility of the entire project
- Awareness and translation of city spaces that serve as cultural epicentres
- Adaptability of homes according to individual preferences
With the implementation of RERA guidelines in India, we have taken the necessary right step towards better regulatory compliance. In the long run, this can enable serious players to build sustainable living solutions that become a valued investment for decades to come.
As we have come to witness, unplanned development is the fastest way to get to a catastrophe. Congestion, living hazards and even seemingly minor issues such as noise pollution and overcrowding of spaces are a real problem today. As we speak, more consumers are moving towards living choices that save them time, and also become spaces where they can live more fully.
For a real estate leader, there is only one end goal in mind and that is to put a smile on the faces of every single person who calls their project home. This can be achieved only by closely collaborating with the end stakeholders- the end users of the project. Such projects serve not just the people who will eventually live there, but they set a precedent for the kinds of homes that people can look forward to, and that more people in the industry can replicate in the future.