Vietnamese developers were recently trained on how to turn their projects into Urban Branded Residences – a popular product in the world that is so far unfamiliar in Vietnam.
According to Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia-Pacific, Urban Branded Residences (UBR) are residential products that offer hotel-like facilities and services for residents.
“They are typically associated with a third-party brand, which could be hotel brands like Ritz Carlton or Mandarin Oriental, but also non-hotel brands such as Porsche or Aston Martin,” Gasparotti said.
Figures from Savills stated that there are more than 400 residential brands globally, 85 per cent of which are schemes from hotel brands.
They all offer a superior set of facilities and services compared to the more classical residences.
“Based on our studies, almost 74 per cent of branded residences around the globe are located in urban locations, whilst in Vietnam, the vast majority of mixed-use residential and hospitality products are located in coastal areas and are defined as condotels.
We believe there is tremendous opportunity for developers to embrace this concept and apply it in urban cities as competition in the residential sector will be fiercer and buyers increasingly demand alternative products. This trend has already began to grow rapidly in the US, Europe, and other Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Vietnam is on track to be the next country to see the strong growth of this concept,” Gasparotti added.
According to Gasparotti, branded residences usually have a different target of clients than condotels.
“They are proposed as lifestyle products and are usually less attractive in rental yield but focus on a longer term value proposition and capital gain. Vietnam, compared to other countries, is currently offering considerably higher guaranteed returns which, in certain cases, will be challenging to deliver if only unit rental revenue is relied upon. We strongly advise developers to conceptualise products that deliver quality and long-term value to the buyers instead of short-term rental gain,” he added.
Branded residences are attractive through offering the additional value of a brand and enhancing experiences for homeowners.
The engagement of a brand ensures quality design, security, and high levels of services.
Andrew Pang from Yoo believes that creative and unique design can add significant value to all aspects of a branded residence project.
“Our aim is try to improve the quality of people’s lives through design, whether it is a residence or a hotel room. Design is a platform which can heighten the sense of enjoyment of residence owners as well as hotels guests,” he said.
There are several types of branded residences which can be standalone residential buildings or mixed-use developments. In a mixed-use development, in most of the cases, the residences are integrated with a hotel component in the same location.
Karan Kaul from Langham Hospitality Group added that hotel brands can add significant value to the residential components of mixed-use developments.
“It is a win-win framework whereby buyers receive the exclusivity of the brand design and amenities from the hotel as well as the possible benefits of a rental pool and professional management,” said Kaul.