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THE BRANDER: Make your amenities right for your buyers

THE BRANDER: Make your amenities right for your buyers

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THE BRANDER: Make your amenities right for your buyers

Condo amenities that meet the needs of the market’s evolving demographics are a great way to rise above the competition while avoiding excessive cost.

by Adam Savoni

With so many young families finding themselves priced out of the GTA’s lowrise market, there is a growing appetite for family-friendly condos that must not go unnoticed.

While three-bedroom condominiums pose similar affordability challenges to single-dwelling units, more modestly-sized units with family-oriented amenities can be a big sell for families looking to explore the condo lifestyle.

Condo amenities that meet the needs of the market’s evolving demographics are a great way to rise above the competition while avoiding excessive cost. Golf simulators and lap pools are still popular among some, but if the location and target audience are appropriate, you are bound to appeal to more buyers by offering family-oriented amenities.

With limited suite space, parents will appreciate common areas where their children can burn off some energy and play with other kids. Some of the more common amenities that cater to young families include kids’ rooms, family rooms, rooftop splash zones and even dog-walking spaces.

Make sure that the spaces are inclusive for all members of the family. Something as simple and inexpensive as a desk and WiFi connection will allow parents to catch up on work, or take a moment to themselves while the kids are at play. These amenities should act as refined spaces for both children and adults to create a healthy feeling of community that’s so important for any new development.

It is critical that the marketing agency is brought into the conversation as early as possible to ensure that the amenities are aligned with the overall brand. It goes without saying that the brand should not only create a sense of excitement for the audience, but influence how the product comes together. Your agency can offer new and innovative ideas for the amenity spaces while working with the interior design team to make sure they are on brand and on point.

It’s worth noting that the inclusion of modern, desirable amenities should not be limited to condominium projects. New purpose-built rental developments with well-planned and well-designed amenity spaces will go a long way towards changing public perception around rental projects and renting in general.

Community has launched multiple purpose-built rental brands that incorporate progressive amenities, all of which have proved to be very successful. One such example is The Livmore in downtown Toronto. The project was competing against numerous condo developments in the surrounding area, all of which had investor-owned units for rent. To stand out, our team took the amenities within the neighbourhood and complemented them with unique, modern spaces in the building itself. This immediately placed The Livmore on the same level as its condo counterparts but without the large down payment and 25-year commitment, as illustrated in the tagline “lease is more.”

Using amenities to enhance your brand are just one of many ways to help your project, whether condo or purpose-built rental, appeal to a broader audience. Your agency should be putting in the research hours to stay on top of market conditions, trends and changes. Keep that in mind when selecting a marketing partner for your next project and make sure you ask the right questions.

Adam Savoni is vice president, real estate marketing at Community.


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Home Realty: It’s All In The Planning

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Home Realty: It’s All In The Planning

Six benefits of buying in a master-planned development

There are many advantages to purchasing a home that’s part of a master-planned community. Here is a rundown on the top six reasons why you may want to consider buying your next abode in one of these communities.


Master-planned developments typically incorporate amenities and retail stores, all of which make life within them more enjoyable. The developer also tends to have a longer-term commitment to these communities, so is therefore more likely to produce better-quality housing, which translates into less maintenance over the lifetime of these homes, and higher resale values if and when the time comes to sell.


Master-planned communities tend to be built in better areas, neighbourhoods that are located within close reach of quality schools, transportation and transit networks, shops and services and recreational options. And while these communities are situated nearby to everything, in the case of lowrise neighbourhoods, they’re also designed so that traffic within them is controlled, providing peace of mind for residents who don’t need to worry about living on a busy or noisy street.


Builders of master-planned communities ensure that these neighbourhoods have a cohesive and consistent design, while also making certain there is enough design variety that they don’t end up looking like cookie-cutter developments. Architects create a selection of product types, from detached homes to townhouses to multi-family buildings, and these homes employ a blend of building materials so the product is appealing to the eye but also works well within the development’s surroundings and context.


Master-planned developments usually have a wide selection of amenities. In the case of midrise or highrise projects, this includes party rooms, pools, gyms, entertainment and media rooms. Many condo developments are also incorporating more outdoor amenities such as green spaces, rooftop terraces and communal gardens.


All those aforementioned amenities mean that a master-planned development tends to feel more like a real community, with the residents believing they are a part of something bigger than themselves. In the case of lowrise neighbourhoods, children playing in the parks or on the playgrounds will generally be attending the same schools, and their parents are more likely running into one another at the community centre or while shopping. This can lead to neighbourhood barbecues and get-togethers at each other’s homes. In a condo building, residents will meet in the gym or entertainment rooms and make connections there.


Homes within master-planned developments typically have greater value over the long term as a result of their ample amenities and quality locations, plus the fact that the units are built with quality and cohesive design in mind.

Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sale of over $15 billion worth of real estate and, with Debbie at the helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the National Association of Home Builders.


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THE BRANDER: Brand longevity carries long-term benefits

THE BRANDER: Brand longevity carries long-term benefits

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THE BRANDER: Brand longevity carries long-term benefits

by Adam Savoni, Community

If Apple were to launch a condo tomorrow, you can rest assured that their corporate branding will be merged into building – let’s call it iCondo.

Bringing a new community to life is a long process that takes years of permitting, surveying and negotiating. But as far as new homebuyers are concerned, it all starts with the brand.

So why do so many good brands vanish a day after the hoarding comes down? Creating a lasting brand identity will go a long way towards enhancing your corporate branding. You can leverage the success of your past projects to forge new partnerships with industry-leading developers, brokers, architects and designers. Most importantly, it will strengthen your presence in the real estate market among consumers, leading to stronger sales in future launches.

A powerful corporate brand will ensure that your company’s name is synonymous with buying a new home so that when the time comes, it will be at the tip of their tongue when dialing their real estate agent.

If Apple were to launch a condo tomorrow, you can rest assured that that their corporate branding will be merged into the design and architecture of the building – let’s call it iCondo – so that buyers know exactly who built it and what they can expect from their next launch.

Our industry builds beautiful, well-crafted, high-investment environments that all have specific tones, manners and personalities. These qualities need to be reflected in their branding while preserving the corporate identity of the company that brings it all to life.

An integral part of developing a genuine, long-lasting brand is collaboration. Sit down with your marketing agency, interior designer and architect at the very start of the project to see how they can all work together to create something fresh, genuine and exciting. Merging skill and passion is the recipe to developing a credible brand that will resonate with consumers and stand the test of time. A project’s brand should influence or, at the very least, merge with the design of the building both inside and out. It will ensure that your development’s brand identity – one that you’ve invested a lot in – lives on for year to come. This is the foundation to building long-term corporate equity.

Once the foundation is in place, there is no shortage of creative ways to prevent your project from becoming just another numbered address – one that won’t blend into the background and get lost over time. After all, a project should develop its own DNA and personality so it can grow to become an iconic community over time.

Some of the more obvious ways of preserving your project’s branding includes merging it with the exterior design of the building. It’s a great way to bring the personality of the building to the streets. There are a number of innovative ways to execute this but, at the very minimum, you should be using the brand’s logo as the marker on the exterior.

Wayfinding is another simple yet effective way to use the brand to enhance the personality of the building. The interior is the heart of the building as residents see it daily and should reflect the personality of the brand. It’s natural that the spaces within the community, such as suites and amenities, serve as extensions of the brand narrative. Every touchpoint of the building should be considered, even the underground parking experience.

There are many ways to do this, ranging from simple directional signage to something a lot more unique – something I like to keep close to the chest. Talk to your agency about how you can use branding to tell an inspiring tale while navigating through the development.

In a hot real estate market, you can always put up a sign with a logo, rendering and airbrushed picture of a model, but if you want to build a brand that is meaningful, inspiring and serves a purpose, it needs to be genuine and have an environment to thrive in. Talk to your marketing agency about your long-term goals so they can develop a comprehensive strategy that can help your project flourish while enhancing your corporate brand equity for future success.

Adam Savoni is the vice president, real estate marketing for Community.



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Real Insight: The Benefits Of Owning Your Own Condo

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Real Insight: The Benefits Of Owning Your Own Condo

People are looking at more creative ways to get into the market.

Consumers are teaming up to buy a home with family and/or friends, families are looking to alternative housing options that are offered beyond the traditional detached property — perhaps a townhouse or condo is more suitable to their lifestyle — and some are even looking to areas/neighbourhoods outside of the more well-known “hot pockets.”

There are also several programs that can help assist with a down payment, and a realtor may advise as to your options. One notable mention goes to Habitat for Humanity GTA. Habitat helps low income families achieve their dream of home ownership through decent affordable housing, and most recently TREB contributed $150,000 to a new home build for a local family at Habitat’s 140 Pinery Trail build site.

Growing your wealth

Buying a home — whether ground related or in a condo tower — ownership will likely be the largest investments in your life. Ownership can offer you a straightforward way to build your wealth and save for retirement. And unlike other investments, you can live in your home as it provides a nest egg for your future. Plus, if your home is your principal residence, price gains are exempt from capital gains tax.

Be a part of a community

Finally, your home provides you with the backdrop for all of life’s most important events. Owning your home means contributing to, and becoming part of a vibrant community — this is the part of your investment that you just can’t put a price on. Owning a condo in a neighbourhood you can call “home” buys you a sense of security and peace of mind that is truly priceless.

So, whether you’re considering buying your first property, or you’re looking to downsize to a more manageable space, remember that home ownership is a great investment.

LARRY CERQUA is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 45,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com.



For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB Commercial Professional Member Realtor by visiting TrebCommercial.com.


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