With a large number of new and old developers entering the market at the moment, Ho Chi Minh City is flush with a number of new real estate options. However, just as everything is starting to look the same, City Garden, developed by Refico, stands out like a beacon when it comes to customer retention and satisfaction.
“For any property project, regardless of how great the location is or how sophisticated the design is, if there is a lack of proper strategy for building management, it will fail to maintain its brand reputation,” said Mr Minh Ha, Project Architect for City Garden.
Prior to finalising plans for City Garden’s phase two, Mr Haig Conolly, founder of Lloyds Property and project representative, said maximum effort went into collecting opinions and feedback from existing residents about the development, further ensuring an even more positive outcome for the next phase.
“The popularity of the two existing swimming pools has demonstrated that more swimming options and resort landscaping are required for our growing community. So we decided to add an additional four-lane, 50-metre pool with swim-up bar for added luxury,” said Mr Conolly. “Residents also wished they had more balcony space, so that became another priority for us in the second phase.”
According to Mr Minh, another way to compete in such a dynamic market as Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City specifically, is for developers to create strong identities for their projects.
“One interesting thing I’ve noticed at City Garden is the residents are very loyal to their property brand. Therefore, developers should always maintain their reputations and continually improve quality. Similarly, projects should create their own identities. For example, when embarking on the design work, our first step was to knock on each City Garden apartment doors, listen to the feedback of the owners, both positive and negative, and record anything relating to design and layout, as well as comprehend their desires for a more complete and enjoyable living environment. With input from real-life experiences, we can guarantee that once our apartments – Promenade Tower in general and The Sky Residences especially –are handed over to their owners, they’ll be contemporary, sustainable and beautiful.
“Design in a high-end standard, therefore, refers to attention to tiny details affecting daily activities inside and outside the apartments. For instance, for a high-end product located 27 or more floors up at nearly 100m above the ground like The Sky Residences at City Garden, much attention has been paid to the space, with 3m ceilings and vast living rooms, some with 12m sweeping glazing. In comparison with other projects in the city, these spaces and volumes are among the more difficult to achieve when considering the design process. Owners will feel more comfortable and particularly enjoy the panoramic views of the city in a unique way.”
Meanwhile, other developers choose to compete in the ‘gold land’ position in the central areas of the city. For example, Novaland continually acquires strategically-located land in District 4 (Project Icon 56, Galaxy 9, The Tresor and most recently Madison at the centre of District 1).
Explaining the reasoning, Mr Phan Thanh Huy, General Manager of Novaland, said customers’ demand for upper-class apartments in the city centre continues to grow without much supply, thus increasing demand in the luxury segment.
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“At present, the recovery of the real estate market along with the scarcity of luxury apartments in the downtown area are driving some investors back into the market,” said Mr Thanh Huy. “For example, Madison is one of the few projects that have long-term ownership in District 1. Because of low population density, it creates a private community. That is Novaland brand’s uniqueness.”
According to a real estate expert in Ho Chi Minh City, looking for ways to increase competitive advantage is what should be done even when there is a growth development, while also removing difficulties before they arise.
Meanwhile, as reported by CBRE, the real estate market has entered a new cycle and 2016 will see a number of key projects in the city centre. Luxurious apartments will be sold above VND140 million/sqm. Concerning the aforementioned Sky Residences, developers said the average price of apartments, which are located between the 27th and 30th floors, will be approximately VND65 million/m2 for the first open sale at the moment.
However, according to the developers, their job isn’t finished once the project is sold. “The important thing is to maintain a good relationship with residents, and provide quality management for the project. Our residents understand that through this, the value of their property increases over time. After handing over the keys, we still listen to residents’ feedback, maintain the things they appreciate and upgrade the areas that will benefit from improvement. A good project has to continually add value through five-star management and have a constant eye for improvement,” Mr Conolly concluded.