Increase Resident Satisfaction Through a Wellness Lifestyle
Wellness is a popular buzzword today. According to the Los Angeles Times, while the term “wellness” can be misused or gimmicky, demand for wellness amenities is on the rise significantly both in the U.S. and globally. According to a new report from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), as a result of this rising demand, a new trend has emerged in building and construction, to create “wellness communities” which use architecture, landscaping, sustainability and more to encourage social interaction and active lifestyles.
In fact, the GWI projects that the wellness real estate sector will expand by 6% annually in the next several years, growing to $180 billion by 2022. The United States, along with a few key countries in Asia (China, Australia, India) and Europe (UK, Germany), account for three-quarters of the global wellness real estate market. Consumer demand for wellness lifestyle real estate and communities is on the rise globally.
The GWI believes that residential real estate is the next frontier that will be radically transformed by the wellness movement. Our homes, communities, and surrounding environment directly affect our daily behaviors and lifestyles, and together these determine up to 80-90% of our health outcomes. Since our homes are typically our most important personal investment and expenditure, it is only logical that they should also be an investment in our health and wellbeing.
This trend is the beginning of a new movement in home and community design that tackles our uniquely modern problems of sedentary lives, unhealthy diets, stress, social isolation and loneliness, pollution, nature-deprivation, and more. The new research defines wellness lifestyle real estate as “homes and buildings proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents.”
A wellness community is defined as “a group of people, living close by, who share common goals, interests and experiences, to pursue wellness in a holistic, multidimensional way.” However, wellness real estate does not intrinsically equal a wellness community. Rather, the magic happens when the real estate provides the foundation that enables the wellness community to thrive.
So, with this growing trend, how should your company respond as you design new properties and renovate or reimagine existing ones?
The Keys to Establishing a Wellness Community
The GWI states that rebranding real estate developments as “wellness communities” by simply highlighting a few healthy features and amenities is “well-washing” and confuses consumers. To prevent this, they highlight several key ingredients that move wellness real estate to a true wellness community.
First, wellness communities must support active wellness. To achieve this, residential communities must include exercise facilities as well as design features such as sidewalks, porches, stairways, and strategic placement of parking and public spaces that make it a “default” to engage in healthy activities. These include walking instead of driving, gardening, socializing with other people, and so forth.
Second, wellness communities must include “soft” aspects of the community such as classes, programs, music, arts, and family events. These types of activities draw people together for a common purpose and nurture a real culture of wellness.
Third, wellness communities focus on the collective well-being of residents instead of on the individual. This means that authentic wellness communities should improve social connectivity and establish a broader awareness that our actions affect other people and our planet. It’s about designing housing and environments that are not only net-zero, but net-positive to the social and physical environment.
“Developers are spending more time and space on rooftop gardens and common grilling areas, decks and distinct fitness areas,” said Dean Zander, a CBRE executive vice president who specializes in apartments, when quoted in a recent Los Angeles Times story. He has noticed dedicated rooms for yoga, kickboxing, dog washing or bicycle repair popping up in new and remodeled apartments as builders aim “to bring tenants what they want, which is a healthy environment and a shared sense of community.”
Transforming Your Community to a Wellness-Centric Way of Life
F3 Wellness Connections can assist you in increasing the desirability and value of your property by turning it into a complete wellness community. Whether planning a new build or reimagining a current property, we can assist you in the planning and creation of your wellness communities by bringing positive health benefits and a total wellbeing experience and lifestyle to your residents. Contact us today to design a program that is unique to your property and that meets your residents’ specific needs.