The types of facilities on today’s residential estates are infinite, ranging from the usual gyms, golf courses and restaurants, to swankier spas, boating clubs, equestrian centres and even hotels and helipads. They’re all designed to offer resident’s a premium, money-can’t-buy lifestyle, but they don’t come cheap. Allowing non-residents to use these facilities is one way to recoup these costs, but is it worth the bother?
Do the maths
According to Reece Daniel, developer at Serenity Hills, it is. The eco estate based on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal opened their onsite restaurant to non-residents after identifying that the wider public would make up most of the clientele.
Daniel advises that the decision to open estate facilities to the wider public shouldn’t be hurried and only begin after a careful look at your figures. Some of the maintenance costs for these facilities will come from levies but that might not be enough to sustain bigger operations like a golf course or restaurant for example. ‘These facilities usually have large operating costs or require large foot traffic, which makes them attractive and worthwhile for non-residents,’ he says.
Think of the bigger picture
As Daniel goes onto explain, ‘widening the net can also assist in gaining larger scale which can be important if an estate wants to attract commercial partners.’ This is especially significant to those estates who have large banqueting facilities which can be used to host corporate functions and weddings for example. Opening these facilities to non-residents puts your estate in a better position to jostle for corporate sponsors, who are keen to partner up and offer services like event management or catering, for example.
Pay attention to the logistics
If you do decide to open up the estate to visitors, the security of residents should never be overlooked. After all, it is typically one of the main reasons why residents have chosen to live there. Managing access to these facilities without compromising the the high security standards can become a fine balancing act but it isn’t impossible.
‘At Serenity Hills for example, we have grouped together those amenities that are available for public and there is a separate secure access point for the residential area to avoid any security issue,’ says Daniel.
Put your residents first
Safety aside, you also want to ensure that each public serving facility still maintains enough capacity for estate residents, especially in high demand periods like school holidays and festive breaks.
‘It is important that residents have priority access to the amenities that they have essentially paid for. At Serenity Hills for example, while our onsite award-winning Packshed Restaurant is open to non-residents, we also have a ten-metre-long community communal dining table that is exclusively for the use of residents so that they can dine together, away from others,’ adds Daniel.
Is it worth the bother?
In conclusion: yes. It may require some careful managing but opening your estate to non-residents can do wonders for your estate on so many levels. As well as the obvious (ensuring these state-of-the-art facilities remain feasible going concerns over the long-term) it can potentially bring in more money in the form of corporate sponsorships and crucial partnerships and elevate your brand both domestically and internationally.
This article was written by the EstateMate in house media team. We are a tech passionate group of people driven by our love to revolutionize the Property Tech space.