Chapter 5 – Product Design

Let me bring you back in time, to mid-2019. The world does not yet know that we are heading towards two years of Covid-19. Therefore, when we were talking about the design then, we did not take into account the coronavirus at all. It did take a significant turn after the Cobid-19 measures, but that I will elaborate on that in the next chapter.

So, what happened in 2019 that made us rethink our product design?

First of all, it is important for me to say that the product of the business is not just the practical aspect of renovating apartments. It can be really good or really bad, depending on the design and planning behind that.

For example, in our line of business, the property itself can be amazing, but the location might not be as good and therefore the investment will not have such a high yield. Similarly, regarding the renovation and use of the apartment: a house that has been renovated and looks great but has not been adapted to the needs of the customer, might produce maintenance problems etc.

What should I focus on, then, to create the ideal product in terms of its aesthetic and the materials we will use?
Arriving in Thessaloniki, there was not much thought behind the design of apartments. The reason was simple: there was no need for further investment in terms of the aesthetic because there were no developers producing new apartments. This led us to produce beautiful new apartments but not to give too much attention to the small details.
Slowly, more and more developers began to build in the city and a product was created in the market called new furnished and renovated apartments. Suddenly, there is competition. (It is important to mention that there was still a crazy lack in the city in terms of quantity of apartments). This made us raise the standard, in order to create differentiation for our customers and raise our renting and selling prices.

We started researching what stood out to renters and buyers when looking at apartments and upgraded it.
A lot of people talked about a beautiful kitchen, so we upgraded the kitchen design.
They talked about the bathrooms – we upgraded them and in most of our apartments since then, we have large and luxuriously designed showers
TV – A lot of people remembered our apartments because we invested in the size of the TV, so we kept doing that.
Bed – The quality of the mattress we had in our apartments set us apart from the rest of the apartments in the city.

We started thinking beyond that too – the long-term costs. An ideal product not only looks good but is also easy to maintain over time. Because we had upgraded our laminated surfaces to the highest quality, we had created a very clear separation between the laminate and surfaces where there would be water contact. This way, we had significantly increased the lifespan of the apartment.

Today, when we show our apartments to potential customers – renters and buyers alike – we know that all the significant points they are looking for will receive the ideal response in our projects.

In the next chapter, I’m going to talk about the division of apartments and the change that the coronavirus brought with it.

Thank you for reading.

Until next time,
Gal Rubin.