TULUM, México – In the year 2020, the world underwent a permanent change with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, and so did homebuyers. Throughout Mexico, the majority of real estate developers faced a common problem: their inventory did not achieve the expected absorption, and a decline of 20 to 30% in sales is projected.
In an exclusive interview with Inmobiliare, Architect Carolina Granados, CEO of Archetika and a consultant in real estate development, explains how the approach to design and construction must evolve to retain clients effectively.
“As real estate developers, we have been making the same mistake repeatedly: we base our projects on financial models that are disconnected from the reality of the market. Due to the health crisis, our clients are now seeking spaces that are adaptable and can serve as both a home and an office or school. These spaces must also protect them from diseases, hurricanes, earthquakes, insecurity, and pollution. The current problem no longer lies in where our client can live, as thanks to technology, they can work and study from anywhere in the world. The main challenge is understanding how they want to live. Once we address this, we will secure our sales.“
The real estate consultant highlights an interesting phenomenon in Tulum, where a significant percentage of buyers who originally purchased properties as investment vehicles for rental purposes have now decided to relocate indefinitely to the area. They have discovered a better quality of life there and can continue working remotely.
“The real estate supply in Tulum has increased in recent years, and buyers are no longer just looking for investment properties but homes to live in. Therefore, they are not only seeking well-located developments but also those that offer health-related benefits, such as green areas, workspaces, coworking spaces, exercise zones, and, above all, flexible interiors where they can live, study, work, and entertain. Lately, buyers prefer properties where they can comfortably confine themselves for several months in case of another health emergency.“
Adapting to change and meeting clients’ evolving needs will be the key for real estate developers to excel and differentiate themselves from competitors. “We cannot continue designing as we did ten years ago, or even last year; it’s time to redefine ourselves,” emphasizes Carolina Granados. Archetika has studied over 30 Wellness projects worldwide and specialized in supporting developers across the country to distinguish their products through niche market branding strategies, business restructuring, and staff training, all guided by the principles of Wellestate.
What is Wellestate?
“Wellestate is more than a philosophy; it’s the relationship between a client seeking to improve their quality of life (wellness) and a real estate project that guarantees added value (Real Estate). It’s about taking responsibility for building spaces that can adapt to changing lifestyles, contribute to environmental protection, and remain functional. If, after the ongoing health crisis, we still fail to understand that the real estate industry must transform, we will continue to lose sales. For too long, we have developed projects in the wrong way: producing cookie-cutter products that might seem successful on an Excel sheet but do not truly understand the client and, consequently, do not sell as planned. Some end up blaming the architect, then the sales department, and finally the client. This needs to change.“
Where to begin?
“Every transformation involves significant changes that initially break with our traditional way of doing things, but in the end, they make all the difference.” The consultant suggests the following steps to implement Wellestate principles and improve sales:
- Find the niche market to which your clients belong and obsess over their needs.
- Design projects that prioritize functionality and cater to your clients’ daily activities while promoting their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Create spaces that foster a sense of belonging and community, as clients are always seeking this connection.
- Incorporate sustainable technologies that make water and energy usage more efficient, and use durable materials. According to the Global Wellness Institute, clients are willing to pay up to 25% more for properties that ensure well-being, harmony, and health.
- Sell with the understanding that you are building a long-term relationship with your clients, who will become the best ambassadors for your brand.
- Establish an excellent post-sale department that addresses any issues your clients may face. If clients perceive that you genuinely care about their well-being, they will speak highly of you; otherwise, they will ensure you don’t continue selling.
Are there already projects implementing Wellestate?
“Yes. Currently, we advise various clients on Wellestate principles, and they have managed to stand out from the competition. One example is Kuha Wellness Community, which has focused on designing a sustainable development for developers on 34 hectares. Another developer that understands the importance of post-sale experience as much as the initial sale is Inzigna Capital, whose AWA project in Playa del Carmen features a unique warranty support team. We have also worked with architectural firms like Grupo Arquitectónica, led by Architect Genaro Nieto, who designs residential projects based on the intangible needs of users, resulting in more flexible and profitable spaces.”
Carolina Granados emphasizes, “Wellestate is the principle of taking responsibility for every project we build. As architects, builders, and developers, we make decisions every day that impact the lives of our clients. It’s crucial that we make the right decisions.”