Some condo developers are trying to lure buyers by creating customized scents that are aimed at creating positive impressions of a building.
Borrowing from the hotel industry, real estate developers are creating memorable signature scents to sprinkle throughout their buildings, from the reception areas to the fitness center to model units.
For example, developers with the condominium One Thousand Museum, a construction project in Miami, are developing fragrances for the building’s reception area that is meant to “evoke the feeling of a beach breeze on a warm day,” despite the fact that the building isn’t on a beach.
The developers have created a total of four customized scents for the 62-story skyscraper, including a citrus scent with a hint of dark wood for the fitness center and a creamy coconut with a hint of orange flower for the rooftop aquatic center. It has also developed a tea and spice scent for the spa area.
"The sense of smell is something that's most memorable to people," Louis Birdman, one of the developers, told The Wall Street Journal. The building's units range from $5 million to more than $15 million.
In Dallas, a new luxury-rental building, StreetLights Residential, is using a light floral scent in the sales center and lobby and a woodsier smell for its fitness center. The idea is to “try to touch on all five senses,” says Tom Bakewell, chief financial officer of StreetLights Residential in Dallas, who says the signature scent helps with the branding.
He says that when clients view and touch sample finishes such as granite countertops, they also listen to music played in the background, and drink soft drinks, beer, or wine. The fragrance is an additional subtle marketing tool, he says.
Key International’s new building in Miami is also using scents to enhance its woodsy, earthy-feeling lobby, combining sandalwood, vanilla bean, oak, and clove scent. Also, to get buyers to remember that smell, they’re using the scent on their sales materials and invitations to events too.
“When you smell something beautiful, it’s part of your whole first impression,” says Liliana Paez, director of sales.