As a real estate developer, choosing the right interior design specialist for your Build-to-Rent (BTR) project can be a daunting task. You need to ensure that the interior and brand identity of your scheme align with the tastes and needs of your target audience while also being cost-effective and functional. You also want to stand out, to build your brand, to make your building one of a kind and to attract quality tenants. Finding the right balance between commercial elements such as budget and achieving a differentiating design identity may be the most important design decision you will have to make. In this blog post, Karolina Adamczyk, the Founder of Ademchic shares her tips on how to choose the right design specialist for your BTR projects in 2023.
Understand the Specialist's Expertise and Experience
When choosing a marketing agency, interior design studio or a branding team for your BTR project, it's crucial to understand their experience and expertise in the field. Look for designers who have worked on similar projects in the past and have a deep understanding of the BTR market, current trends, space planning and who can interpret and deliver your BTR strategy. Our team is multi-disciplinary, meaning we have branding, interior design, visualisation, FF&E and marketing teams under one roof, and we believe that working with teams that cover more than just one discipline is a better choice for overall appeal of the BTR proposition.
Such internal collaboration within your design agency means that the overall brand identity becomes more coordinated, saving your time, money and effort in connecting all the dots (and all the different design agencies). Ask about the size of the studio, the experience of your Project Managers, case studies or testimonials from their previous clients to evaluate if the design consultants will work well for your project. Test them in knowledge of ROI in real estate development, to see how they plan to add value to your scheme.
BTR Market Knowledge
In addition to understanding the needs and preferences of the target audience, your BTR interior designer, marketing specialist or a branding studio should have a deep knowledge of the BTR market as a whole. This includes understanding the regulations, legislation, future trends and financing structures that are unique to the sector. BTR properties are typically owned by institutional investors who are looking for long-term, stable returns. This means that the interiors, branding and marketing must not only be visually appealing, but also viable for the longer term. This is particularly important in BTR interior design, where sustainability plays a big role. Your BTR interior designer will need to have experience working within your sustainability goals to create designs that are functional and attractive to potential renters while being financially feasible and meeting your future environmental targets.
Furthermore, with the growth of the BTR market in recent years, there has been an increasing focus on not only sustainability of materials, fittings and furniture but also on energy efficiency. BTR interior designers must keep on top of the latest technologies and materials that can help to reduce the environmental impact of the properties they design. By incorporating sustainable design elements, BTR interior designers can help to future-proof their projects and meet the evolving demands of the market.
Consider the Specialist's Design Philosophy
Every branding, marketing or interior design studio has a unique design style and philosophy, which reflects in their work. Before choosing an agency for your BTR project, consider their design philosophy and see if it aligns with your vision for the project. It's essential to choose a specialist who understands ROI in development, who can bring fresh ideas, who is not afraid to challenge the current trends and set new ones and who can balance your commercial aspirations with creative solutions aspirations in your BTR scheme. Ultimately, people work with people they like, so make sure you have a good connection with the team you choose, so they could become your trusted advisor not just on this one project, but on setting a vision for your portfolio going forward.
Look for a Specialist who Understands Your Target Audience
BTR developments cater to multiple target audiences. It's crucial to choose a specialist who understands how to deliver branding, marketing and interior design that is unique and addresses needs and desires of all your tenant personas. When choosing the right advisors consider their experience in designing for BTR developments, their research process and understanding of audience segmentation. Look for specialists who can design a product that your target market will find irresistible.
Evaluate the Specialist's Project Management Skills
Project management is a critical aspect of any BTR project. When choosing your design specialist; a marketing agency, a branding studio or an interior designer; evaluate their project management skills to ensure that they can deliver the project on time and within budget. Ask them about their project management methodology, how they handle communication, and how they manage timelines and budgets.
Consider the Specialist's Deliverables
In any development project, scope of work is a key consideration, and it’s no different in a BTR space. It's essential to consider not only which deliverables a BTR agency is appointed for, but also how they fit into the wider mix of your sales and marketing offering. Who in your team will coordinate a cohesive BTR brand proposition? Will you hire someone, or appoint a studio that coordinates and aligns all pieces of the design puzzle in-house, so you don’t have to? Different BTR design specialists will have a different scope of services they could deliver and choosing a designer with the right mix of services will often save you time, money, and effort.
To maximise design impact and ensure coherent brand identity, Ademchic wanted to have interior design, branding, website design, graphic design and FF&E teams under one roof, but this is quite unusual and it will likely be different from other BTR design consultants. Make sure that whichever route you choose to go, you have internal resources available to either undertake full-time coordination or to jump on an hour bi-weekly call to review the progress that is coordinated by a studio you appoint.
Check the Specialist's Availability
Availability is a critical factor when choosing a branding, marketing or an interior design agency for your BTR scheme. Ensure that the specialist you choose has enough availability to fully dedicate to your project and is not overwhelmed with work. Ask them about their availability and how they manage their workload to ensure that they can deliver the design of your project on time.
Look for a Specialist with a Collaborative Approach
Any sort of design, being branding, marketing or interior design is a collaborative process, and it's essential to choose a studio who has a collaborative approach. Look for specialists who value your input and actively involve you in the design process. Having a BTR specialist who can collaborate with you can result in a better end product that aligns with your vision and meets your commercial aspirations.
Consider the Specialist's Communication Skills
Communication is crucial in any project, and it's no different when designing a BTR scheme. When choosing your BTR design specialist, evaluate their communication skills. Speak to the person who will manage your project, understand who else will be involved in the design process, make sure you get on with the team and you respect and appreciate their initial suggestions. Look for design specialists who can communicate effectively and provide regular updates on the project's progress. Having a designer who communicates well can prevent miscommunications, delays, and unnecessary expenses.
In conclusion, choosing the right BTR design specialist is a key task for real estate developers looking to create successful and profitable developments in 2023. By considering factors such as experience, creativity, communication and reputation, developers can ensure they select a design partner. Crucially, a partner who understands ROI development dynamics and can provide high-quality designs that meet your commercial aspirations while meeting (or exceeding) the needs and preferences of your target audience.
Multi-disciplinary studios like Ademchic are an excellent choice for developers seeking a coordinated BTR interior design, branding and marketing services due to a deep understanding of multiple design disciplines, the market and a proven track record of delivering successful large-scale projects. With close to 7 years of experience delivering B2B design services for the real estate market, Ademchic can support your BTR project with a coordinated brand identity that differentiates your site in every aspect of the design proposition.
We’ve worked on a number of successful BTR schemes across the UK, including 353 BTR new homes in Q4 2022 alone. Our BTR services delivered in-house include optimising interior layouts, designing specification and interiors of apartments and communal areas, delivering marketing strategy, brand identity, website, brochure, show home and marketing suites.
If you are looking for exceptional interior design, branding or marketing services, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us.