March 13, 2018

Smart housing: what millenials expect

By Franck Lirzin, Executive Director Residential.

While in Cannes at MIPIM 2018, I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable called “Smart Housing: What Millennials Expect”. I share my vision on the trends that are pushing residential offerings to evolve.

Turnkey flexibility and a sense of community

To talk about Millennials in the context of real estate necessitates an update of the industry to bring it in step with today’s knowledge economy. It means offering access to mobility, affordable housing and dynamic centres (“cultural districts”) to facilitate faster connection to business networks and to the creative economy. In this respect, Berlin and many of Canada’s cities have largely won millennials over. These metropolises are recognised as both open (tolerant, in favour of gender equality and individual freedoms and choices) and offering the "essentials”: the right to housing, food, health, reliable Internet and education. Paris, which was recently designated the European Capital of Innovation and commended for its “inclusive innovation strategy”, also embodies the momentum sought by Millennials on a quest for the “city” in which to live.

Despite being a diverse group - which represents a variety of interests and societal changes, Millennials (those born after 1980) nevertheless want a real estate industry that mirrors the communal digital platforms they’re so used to using. Speed and simplicity when it comes to purchasing/sale procedures and leasing management—and access to networks — are key. 

Whether in tertiary or residential real estate, turnkey flexibility and a sense of community have become indispensable. Housing needs to be thought of as a commodity, almost like a website, which should designed to support a suite of services that make daily urban living easier. In this respect, the 55 start-ups serving AirBnb’s short-term rental market - reflect this trend (find out more here), and demonstrate that in this connected, sharing economy, renting is back with a vengeance.

Cb Insight, 55+ Startups Serving The Homeshare Host Market 

Saying goodbye to the hassles of day-to-day management 

We’re seeing “plug-and-play” becoming the preferred residential model used for getting the attention of this new generation, a model that has already proven itself in the professional realm with co-working spaces. Collective housing, which encourages people to create a community of neighbours within a single building, has also been revisited, this time drawing inspiration from housing models that stand out by optimising shared living spaces (like living rooms, play rooms, terraces and kitchens) and creating social experiences that go beyond basic flat-sharing.

Adopting a policy of high-level service makes it furthermore possible to revitalise the surrounding business districts. This is the idea behind the Campuséa Grande Arche and Campuséa Rose de Cherbourg programs, the student residences at the heart of Paris’s La Défense business park. These residences were conceived as a gateway between the university environment and the working world. Hybridising such models makes it possible to connect tomorrow’s talent networks—the future “start-up” pools—with established entrepreneurs.

Finally, Smart Building will equip tenant-users with all the possible aids and supports to help them adapt to the inevitable challenges of tomorrow’s cities, like urban resilience, ecology and densification. Opening any location already comes with the implication that it is connected, so that its users have immediate access to a range of practical solutions, from parking spaces to in-building traffic management which helps optimise occupancy rates, to real-time air quality management. 

Source: Linkedin

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