The three biggest trends in property today

There are many new trends emerging in property developments, but classic good looks and high quality finishes will always be popular, says Central Element’s co-director, Shane Smollen.
Because Central Element’s developments are at the prestige end of the property market, they tend to deal with what they call “highly informed” customers, says Shane.

Trend 1: Low maintenance

Many customers are downsizing, looking for high-quality, low-maintenance properties that they can lock up and leave while they travel the world for holidays, or to visit family members.

And while they might be very much aware of the latest style trends, Shane says that Central Element’s customers “lean towards classic, timeless design” when choosing a new apartment.

He adds that while most of their customers are looking at downsizing – they are certainly not downsizing in quality. They expect the best finishes – European appliances, natural stone benchtops – and Central Element delivers them.

“Certainly in our case we’ve gone above and beyond what would be considered acceptable to ensure that there’s a real sense of quality,” Shane says. “There’s just no compromise.”

Today’s home buyers notice the details, he adds.

“At our latest release at Cammeray we have included Gaggenau appliances throughout. That’s standard, not as an upgrade. We also have a lot of natural stone in the appropriate areas.

Trend 2: Storage

Another important trend in Central Element properties is ensuring that there is adequate storage, because while buyers are often simplifying their lives, they still like to keep some elements of the family home.

“Obviously people are wanting to declutter,” Shane says, “but that doesn’t mean they’re just looking for one linen cupboard. Storage is vital and we include storage in garage areas wherever possible.”

“Generally speaking, they’re still wanting something a little bigger than the standard two- or three-bedroom Sydney apartment,” says Shane. “We have even amalgamated apartments on several occasions.”

Trend 3: Customisation

Another key trend is collaboration. Central Element works closely with their customers to provide the best possible end result, which includes adding in elements of customisation whenever possible, such as built-in storage or kitchen finishes.

“It just became obvious that that’s what people wanted, and we were able to accommodate it. Our managers spend many hours with certain buyers to be as flexible as we can” says Shane.

With the next development in Pymble, Central Element is taking all their market knowledge and experience from other builds and offering an even larger product.

“We’re not just trying to maximise density and minimise the value of the properties to get the most out of people. We’re definitely trying to do something that is fitting in with and enhancing the area”

The future is People Shaped

We still have the same commitment to quality, the same strong team – but the look and feel of the company’s communications has changed.

This is all part of a refresh of the Central Element brand – a new logo, website and updated customer communication and touchpoints.

Because, while a rebranding won’t change Central Element’s prime focus, it does allow us to better communicate what we are all about – especially to new customers and partners.

Now six years old, Central Element has gone from strength to strength and Development Director, Nathan Chivas says it is time that the brand reflected our shared vision as a company – our uncompromising commitment to creating quality, ‘people shaped property’ in locations close to the things people love.

“It’s obviously evolved a lot since that initial kick-off of creating the company,” he says. “We realised that we have strong quality values that show in our developments and our brand needed to reflect how far we’d come and more importantly our future.”

The truth, admits Nathan, is that the company has been working so hard “doing the work that we haven’t really had an opportunity to really sit back and go, ‘Okay, well let’s really understand what our brand values are’.”

Being clear about those values is important, he adds, because it provides guidelines to new staff and business partners as to what Central Element stands for and the direction the company is heading in.  Exceptional customer service is the norm for us – and we need to make sure all our stakeholders understand that principle.

As part of the re-branding process, Central Element enlisted branding agency Born & Raised to work with us on our journey.

Managing Director of Born & Raised, Chris Laws, says that they enjoyed working with Nathan, as well as Directors Wayne Chivas and Shane Smollen as part of the process – and that they were an inspiring group of people.

“They are a really genuine and respectful bunch of people and what they were really looking for was effectively a rebrand that could help them build their profile and allow them to have a brand that can grow with them,” says Chris

“Wayne talked about needing to somehow capture what he called ‘the soul’ of the business, which is very much what we do, defining the values and the purpose of the business.

“It was clear they understood design, they understood the value of design and improving the value of development. Orchestrating excellence is the way they go about business.”

At Central Element, we plan to be on the property scene for the long-term – and want our communications to demonstrate that point.

“With the people that we’re dealing with you’re on a long journey together,” says Nathan Chivas.  “We always offer that quality of service and back it up with a quality product – that’s what I believe that Central Element is very good at.

“It’s about integrity.”

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