Marketing Multifamily to Women
Multifamily and mixed-use projects are booming in New Orleans right now.
Last October, approximately 1,933 condos were listed for sale in the city, 51 percent more than in all of 2016, according to listings website Trulia. The median list price was $244,060, up from $240,000 in 2016 and $169,250 in 2015.
“New Orleans has an extraordinary demand right now for new development,” said Will Bradshaw, president of Green Coastal Enterprises. “This is something that has been true for the last decade, despite bumps in the market nationally. There are signs that things may be slowing, and may turn in the near future, but the growth in multifamily and mixed-use properties has helped transform a number of iconic assets that were dormant back into exciting places in our city. Our Pythian project downtown is among them.”
“The redevelopment of historic buildings shifted from hotels to multifamily about a decade ago,” said Dawnne Keeney, realtor at Orleans Property, a firm that develops and manages projects in New Orleans’ French Quarter and Warehouse District. “While we are still seeing some hotel and multifamily redevelopment, we are also seeing more new development geared toward the condo segment.”
When it comes to residential real estate purchases, women often have the final say — a fact that marketers take into consideration.
“In my 30 plus years’ experience, I have found the real estate marketing industry has always been aware of the importance of women in the decisions-making process,” John Paszamant, broker and owner of NOLA Moves, LLC, said. “Residential developers have consistently focused on women’s influence in the buying process, beginning with design stage factors through to the sales person’s interaction with the buying public.
The Saxony to Open in December
In late October, developers broke ground on The Saxony, a new 75-unit condo building being built on the Bywater site of the old L.A. Frey & Sons meatpacking plant.
With unit prices ranging from $187,000 to $689,000, this new five-story project is being developed by Ward Investments and will feature studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom floor plans.
When finished, the amenity-rich project will also have a little something for everyone, including a pool, fitness room, garden courtyard, dog run, electric vehicle charging station and bike storage. Each unit will have at least one assigned parking spot in a gated garage on the development’s first level. The entrance and exit to the parking area will be on Burgundy Street.
The Saxony is located on the block bounded by Alvar, Burgundy and Bartholomew streets and is expected to open in December 2018.
“Actually, I believe the real estate sales and marketing industry has been at the forefront of effectively marketing to the female segment,” he added.
When luxury developers plan their next projects, much thought goes into the amenities and features that will entice buyers. While in the past, a children’s play space, party room, gym and doorman service might have been enough, in today’s high-end market, those features are considered de rigueur, and often found in regular rental buildings.
“We have seen that women are driving the decision process, and for that reason we target our marketing to women by featuring bathroom photos that include our makeup mirrors and staging units with furniture so they can see what it looks like,” Keeney said. “Also, we geotarget places where women congregate so we can be sure our ads are directly reaching that audience.”
Keeney added that during the design and building process, Orleans Properties often includes female-friendly items such as planning for dresses and long gown hanging spaces in their custom closets, offering built-in vanities in the bathrooms, and providing several lighting temperatures for day and evening makeup application.
At Green Coast Enterprises, Bradshaw said the firm, “focuses on an approach to real estate that supports people and families.”
“We make buildings more resource efficient, which puts money in buyers’ pockets that they don’t pay to their utilities. We never use carpet because hard surface flooring reduces the incidence of asthma, especially in kids. We remake historic blight, which puts new life into long vacant buildings that have often been unattractive nuisances in neighborhoods. By putting them back in service, we not only reinvest in a building, but we send a signal that the area has value. We believe this kind of approach is attractive to people who care about neighborhoods, families and children’s wellbeing. While this certainly isn’t the exclusive domain of females, we think that approach to real estate is attractive to women.”
When it comes to managing its properties, Orleans Properties continues its focus on women.
“By employing a mostly female property management team focused on tenant engagement, it creates a natural inclination for us to be more accommodating to the wants and needs of female renters and buyers,” Keeney said. “We also provide assistance with large packages and deliveries and provide onsite management when items are received.”
Recognizing that security can be a particular concern for its female residents, the company provides secure keypad access to all its buildings, along with a video access phone that allows residents to receive guests without leaving their unit and also view street activity before leaving. Each building has a private rear keypad access entry and all back of house areas require a security code.
Bradshaw said he is not sure that the industry is doing enough to market to women.
“We certainly don’t train, cultivate, and promote women enough in real estate,” he said. “We need to make better choices because of the diversity of our teams, especially the gender diversity,” he said. “For example, in the redevelopment of Pythian, we had to make a choice about having operable windows or not. The men on the team would have selected not to have operable windows, but the women as a team spoke up. Their comments caused us to have an informal survey of women who unanimously told us they would choose a unit where windows opened 4 inches versus not opening at all. We made the window operable and now our building is outperforming our nearest competing properties. That may not all be due to the windows, but some of it is.”
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Forbes Magazine, women are the world’s most powerful consumers, and their impact on the economy is growing every year. The global incomes of women are predicted to reach a staggering $18 trillion by 2018, according to global professional services firm EY.