Villawood Properties has created a unique and successful marketing strategy for their innovative Aquarevo housing community in Melbourne, where sustainability and livability are not luxury extras, but the driving forces behind the design.
High-tech sustainability solutions have often been seen as a luxury for many off-the-plan home buyers, who like the idea of solar panels or rain-water showers but don’t always have the budget once the basics have been factored in.
Which is why Aquarevo, a new residential development from Villawood Properties in Lyndhurst in Melbourne’s south east, is so exciting.
“Along with sustainable design features, Villawood Properties has also drawn upon the latest research about livability.”
At Aquarevo, every home will have cutting-edge sustainability solutions, some developed in partnership with Victorian government utility South East Water. These are not luxury add-ons, but integral to the development, bringing sustainable homes at an affordable price to the average home buyer – think of it as Tesla for homes!
Along with sustainable design features, Villawood Properties has also drawn upon the latest research about livability – a concept that encompasses all those factors that make a community enjoyable to live in, such as the quality of the build and natural environment, access to culture, recreation and entertainment, educational opportunities, prosperity, social stability and equity.
A long list of requirements, but one that a well planned sustainable building and landscape design can provide.
The development has been hugely oversubscribed, attracting a large number of multicultural and multi-generational families, drawn to the idea of community-minded, environmentally sustainable development. Modern suburbia has never looked so good!
So what makes this development different?
Villawood Properties has long been committed to sustainable building design, and with Aquarevo, Villawood Properties took this thinking to a new level, forming a unique partnership with government utility South East Water. Together they have designed a plan that includes efficient, sustainable technology to deliver and monitor water and energy use for maximum efficiency in every home.
The team believe that this is a world-first collaboration and one that has given Villawood some great publicity along the way, demonstrating the public’s willingness to embrace sustainable living solutions.
Some of the features include:
- Each home will have three sources of water – drinking water, rain water, and recycled water for use in toilets, the laundry and the garden.
- 2.5KW solar panels will cut the household use of non-renewable energy by up to 50%.
- The home design also allows for battery storage and electric vehicle charging points for future use as technology evolves.
- Open outdoor spaces are prioritised, with five hectares of open space, designed by landscape architects, including wetlands, native gardens, walking trails, playgrounds, exercise equipment, barbecue and picnic areas, free wifi in all public parkland and sculptures by an Australian artist.
- All homes will connect to an onsite water recycling plant located within the development, which will treat and then return the water to homes for use in laundries, toilets and gardens, creating a closed loop of water usage. Already used in Europe and China, this plant is designed to look like a greenhouse, has a low energy footprint and contains odours within the structure. This will reduce the use of drinking water by 70% compared to an average household, with a Rain Tracker to monitor the water supplies of every house.
Meeting the challenges of marketing
Marketing a development that uses cutting-edge technology unfamiliar to many – such as waste-water recycling – requires a balanced marketing approach, where potential home buyers are given all the information they need without being put off by too much technical language.
“The team believe that this is a world-first collaboration and one that has given Villawood some great publicity along the way.”
Villawood’s marketing strategy has included a mix of public appearances and online information underpinned by solid credentials, with factors including:
- The Aquarevo website is comprehensive yet easy to navigate, using a combination of illustrations, explainer videos and text that describe the technology in easy-to-understand language, while also giving potential home buyers the opportunity to ask questions and connect with others via an online forum, with all questions answered by website moderators. An interactive map shows purchasers both the site and local area, with information about schools, public transport, shopping, community and parkland, so they can explore the area and envisage themselves living there from their home computer.
- This user-friendly marketing is underpinned by Villawood Properties’ track record in community work and sustainable initiatives, and the fact that Aquarevo was recently granted the 6 leaf accreditation for EnviroDevelopment. This is a scientifically based rating system designed by the Urban Development Institute of Australia which independently verifies developments that have achieved outstanding sustainability outcomes across all six areas of water, ecosystems, community, waste, materials and energy.
- A building expo gave purchasers an opportunity to talk to many of Villawood’s partner builders and see their designs, which have been produced in line with the development’s sustainable design guidelines, and must be fitted with rainwater tanks and solar panels, alongside the Rain Tracker gadget.
- Aquarevo also recently appeared at the Sustainable Living Festival to showcase their collaboration with South East Water. While this was not primarily a selling exercise, it enabled the company to showcase their expertise in sustainable building design, and so became an excellent brand showcase in its own right.
Image source aquarevo.villawoodproperties.com.au
Meeting the demand
So has it worked? The short answer is yes. Demand for an opportunity to join the community has outstripped supply, and Villawood Properties have taken an innovative and community-minded approach here, too. Rather than simply selling a block to the highest bidder, a ballot was identified as the fairest and most transparent means to allocate blocks in the latest release of land, with 125 people registering to buy one of 49 available blocks at a fixed price. The ballot was held at Lyndhurst Primary School, with TV news crews providing some more great publicity and a positive story in a city where rising house prices are a source of stress for many.
The partnership with South East Water is a ground-breaking collaboration that has gained traction in the media and given Villawood some great publicity along the way. Ultimately, while Villawood’s strategic marketing has been very successful, what truly sets Aquarevo apart is its forward-thinking approach. Gone is the focus on profit at all cost – this is a development where the priority is not only the bottom line but also the community that will form here, the environment and the future.
Banner image source: villawoodproperties.com.au