Dharmendra Venugopal
General Manager – Operations
Royal Ambassador – By Kooheji Development

With signs of the pandemic stabilising back to normal and with the Government of Bahrain announcing one of the largest economic reform programmes – a multiyear national economic growth and fiscal balance plan, Bahrain’s economy is slowly on a recovery phase.

At the same time, various real estate sources have spotted encouraging signs in Bahrain’s real estate market. Records indicate momentum is picking up in the market, with both transactions in the sale and rental market increasing.

Hospitality in Real estate

Gone are those days when a resident used to just look for affordability, spaciousness, location, and brand of the property. Today’s residents are more clear in terms of their needs and requirements, whether it be when renting an apartment or buying it. With the ever-changing lifestyle and behaviour of the residents, property management and hospitality in real estate now play a pivotal role in the rental and sales market.

Changing customer behaviour

The pandemic and the lockdown period had a profound impact on people. During the health crisis, it was observed that the properties with open spaces, amenities and business centres were being rented out faster when compared to ones without. While today one can notice that this has resulted in a paradigm shift in customers’ behaviour when it comes to how they want to live and the kind of lifestyle they want to maintain.

Today’s customers demand an overall 360-degree hospitality experience in residential apartments with 5-star resort-style amenities and services. They prefer to live in spaces with greenery, a jogging track, a gym, co-working spaces and other amenities, which are maintained properly with reception, housekeeping services, maintenance and facility management. They want to experience a complete ‘resident lifecycle experience’, where all their end–to–end needs to meet the highest standard.

These behavioural changes will reshape consumer decision journeys and companies will need to adapt fast to stay competitive.

Hospitality – Birth to new market segments

These changes in customer behaviours and lifestyles have given birth to a new market segment, both in terms of the rental and sale market. Hospitality in the residential real estate sector has changed Bahrain and Saudi’s perceptions of home; today many localities are purchasing luxurious properties offering 5-star resortstyle facilities and hospitality services to call their ‘weekend homes’.

These so-called ‘weekend homes’ offer a complete package to the resident, making sure no stones are left unturned in presenting a ‘wow experience’ to the resident and in turn directly competing with hotels and resorts. These properties provide exclusivity, which hotels can’t offer, i.e; residents have an option to sign a contract to manage their property by a property management company that provides the highest standards.

Adapting and staying relevant

Today properties cannot afford to be just any other property and offer real estate as a space to stay. Rather property managers have to offer an experience along with the usual front desk, housekeeping services, maintenance, facility management, and amenities as a lifestyle package. Moving forward, hospitality services are bound to play a major role in attracting customers and maintaining a high occupancy ratio of the property.

While properties that understand and leverage these ever-evolving customer behavioural and lifestyle changes will boast a high occupancy ratio, or else the properties will become irrelevant sooner or later.

This article was published as part of the eighth edition of Property Finder Bahrain’s Trends Report.