Personal Touch Wins the Day

In many aspects of marketing and business we hear a lot about the impact of AI, social media, the internet of things and lots of other new hi-tech ideas. However, recent research by one of our leading developers has highlighted the importance buyers attached to personal service from the sales team. Face to face contact ranking the highest impact among buyers when they consider factors that influenced their purchase. A professional, helpful and ‘happy’ sales person not only helps win the sale but, when markets might be a little jittery this also gives the buyer added confidence.

Infrastructure Delivery

News today that Australia’s NBN roll-out has been given an ‘F’ for fail mark by one of the major rankings agencies might come as no real surprise. It’s worth wondering what mark some other projects, like Sydney East light rail might score? Is it possible to get worse than ‘F’.  This week Infrastructure Australia also released; Infrastructure Decision-making Principles, with guidelines setting new benchmarks for project transparency and accountability across the country. In the 2016 Australian Infrastructure Plan, highlighted the need for a set of principles to ensure major public infrastructure investment delivers the best outcomes for the community and the best value for taxpayers. However, it appears we still have some room for improvement. Infrastructure is an important factor when people consider where to live and invest so all of these events are important for the development industry.

Cities Need Trees

This Friday 27th July is School Tree Day and Sunday 29thJuly is National Tree Day, which is Australia’s largest tree-planting and nature care event. Trees are important to cities and are greatly value by the population. National Tree Day started in 1996 and since then more than 3.8 million people have planted 24 million trees and plants and it’s still growing. Many cities, including Sydney have established tree planting programs that aim to improve the quality of urban life while contributing to improved air quality and passive cooling of our suburbs.

A Four-Day Week

Could a four-day week become a common reality? Stop and think about that idea and the huge impact it would have on our cities, on traffic on the demand for almost every service and potentially where many of use might live. Who wouldn’t want to work four days for five days’ pay? It’s an idea already tried in several countries and that includes New Zealand where one company’s trial of a four-day working week paid off for both employees and their employer. Staff were offered a day off each week, at their usual five-day pay, if they could do the same work in four days. This and othertrials confirms a link between the ‘value’ placed on employees and their commitment to the job. However, it also brings attention to the work-life balance and beyond how such an idea might impact all of society. Worth keeping an eye on this trend.

Summer Streets

For eleven years New York City has had a popular Summer Streets closure program with nearly 300,000 people attending last year’s event. The program offers the public a unique experience as selected street close to traffic for events and rest-points at various spots along the nearly seven-mile route. Summer Streets helps to reduce crowding on NYC footpaths and offers mixed events for children as well as food and beverage sampling areas. While shutting down one of NYC’s biggest thoroughfares for car access does mean lots of traffic changes, locals love the idea, and given how the Sydney CBD has been impacted for years because of the light rail project, repeating the idea here might be a good way to take the pressure of some of our parks during the Christmas shopping peak and during the Festival of Sydney.

Urban Gardens

For every resident gardens have always been important to the health and feel of a city. For people living in a city like Sydney who are fond of a garden gravitate to pots wherever they can. Despite its lush landscape, Sydney has lagged other Australian cities in developing urban farms. However, the idea and appeal of an Edible City with streets full of food is spreading.Access to land is the biggest challenge to those who want to grow food in Sydney on a large scale. Melbourne and Perth leave Sydney in the shade when it comes to inner city farms. But things are starting to change.Set in Sydney Park, St Peters, on half-a-hectare of land, Sydney City farm allows volunteers to get their hands dirty, but unlike the council’s other community gardens it aims to be financially self-sufficient and will run a farmer’s market to sell what it grows, the city farm trend looks set to spread as is a popular idea with many residents and buyers looking to move into inner city apartments.