We are only a few weeks away from the official beginning of summer, and sunny spring days have been inviting us for quite some time to enjoy the outdoors and spend more time in nature. And while we are slowly leaving the pandemic behind and returning to old habits and life pace, it seems that long quarantine days have motivated us to return to living in harmony with nature and devote more time and attention to our terraces, balconies, and backyards.

It comes as no surprise that outdoor patios have never been more luxurious. New trends and innovations in the decoration of outdoor spaces encourage villa owners to push the boundaries of luxury and comfort. The interiors and exteriors harmoniously complement and intertwine, and the result is an almost idyllic blend of interior and exterior spaces, as befits the Mediterranean way of life that takes place outdoors for most of the year.

Pool area design trends

Lounge area surrounded by greenery

Since all life has turned within four walls, people most often find relaxation zones in nature today, to move away from everyday stress and the monotony of work within the living space. Just facing nature, there is a growing trend of creating lounge zones in the exterior of real estate that is often surrounded by lots of greenery to fulfill the desire to go to nature and rest in it within the living space.

Villa Hedonist Dream

What is widely sought in the field of the landscaping of a such zone is multi-purpose outdoor furniture that will have different ways of use with minimal changes. Taking into account the need for physical distance when gathering, with such furniture in the blink of an eye, the sofa is transformed into several seats that will allow distance. Drinking compartments or simple snacks can also be set up inside the tables and then served to guests. When it comes to designer outdoor furniture, standard traditional materials such as wood and fabrics in soft tones in contrasting wood colors still prevail. Opposite the wood, we come across anthracite rattan with pillows of the same or contrasting color. Indispensable parts of outdoor furniture are corner sets, dining sets, deck chairs, and auxiliary furniture such as relaxation bags, swings, and side tables.

Villa Sunrise

Firepit as a gathering place

Fire has always been a gathering place, and as such, is an indispensable part of the lounge zone of modern villas today. The gathering around the fire comes in several forms, all depending on the wishes of the user. Often part of the lounge zone is an outdoor firepit which during the night becomes a favorite gathering place for family and friends. Around the fire pit usually is located a piece of circular outdoor furniture, with the designer’s signature, which with its decor fits into the very motif of the fire. The second most common form of gathering around the fire is certainly the one around the outdoor fireplace, which will also serve as a place for preparing meals, but also as a place for socializing and talking. Many villas today like to connect incompatibly, so next to, or inside the pool itself, they design a part that will contain a fireplace that will illuminate the pool and its swimmers, especially at night.

Villa Authentic Retreat

Modern swimming pools with sun deck

Today, the relaxation zone extends to the area of the pool itself, where the deckchairs are no longer in their immediate vicinity, but they occupy a position inside the pool itself. This innovation is characterized by specially made lounge ledges that are located in the shallower part of the pool and are partially immersed in water, which allows you to lie down comfortably with constant refreshment by the pool water. An umbrella can be added to these sunbeds so that lying down is carefree even in the early hours.

Villa Appeal

In addition to the pool and sun loungers, you can often find a hot tub as a luxury accessory that equates the relaxation zone with that of the best spa. With the classic whirlpool tubs that can accommodate 2 to 5 people, and are located as a separate unit, today we encounter a growing trend of implementation of whirlpool units within the pools so that they are separated by a safety barrier. This innovative technology allows you to switch from a relaxing position in a hot tub to a slightly more active one in the blink of an eye by swimming from one end of the pool to the other.

Villa Ventura

Innovative luxury accessories – outdoor showers

An indispensable part of every pool area is its outdoor shower, which ensures quick refreshment during hot summer days. Today, there is a unique outdoor shower from the Infinity Luxury company on the market, which with its appearance, represents a luxury sculpture enriched with shower and lighting functions. This innovative combination of natural materials, water, and LED lighting can completely change the design of the exterior of the property and raise it to a completely different level. It is adorned with a modern inverted L design with simple lines that fit into any exterior completely naturally. Showers are a fusion of tradition and innovative technology because they are made of natural materials, while at the same time they contain special technologies for saving water, filtration, and lighting of the shower itself.

Black Marbella Shower (Photo credits: Dominik Benčan)

Infinity Luxury showers come in 3 models: Marbella, Infinity, and Safari. The Marbella model is made of natural stone, the Infinity is adorned with ceramics from the renowned Italian brand Marazzi, while the Safari is created from an environmentally friendly material, HPL. The outdoor shower can be created according to your wishes and the style of the exterior of the property. If you have a traditional-style property made of stone, the Marbella shower is the ideal choice for you. The type of stone is chosen by the client, often the type that corresponds to the one on the front of the property or from the exterior area. If ceramics dominates the property, the Infinity model and a large selection of Marazzi decor will fit best as part of the exterior. The Safari model will fit perfectly with properties of modern design that do not run away from atypical decors and materials, and at the same time, are focused on sustainability.

Marbella Shower  (Villa Crystalline)

Infinity Luxury showers cannot be compared to anything on the market, so they are considered unique in the world, and their approach in making is based on the client’s choice of the model or material, followed by the selection of the desired decor or type of stone, and the additional possibility of ambient lighting of the shower itself. The personalization of this unique sculpture ends with the possibility of engraving the logo or name of the property itself on the front of the shower.
By choosing this eco-friendly shower, the preservation of nature and water is affected regarding the shower’s special ECO-tech shower rose that saves water up to 50%, while the NATURRA water filtration system improves water quality and neutralizes the negative effects of chlorine and its compounds.
When designing the exterior itself, it is possible to plan this shower to ideally fit into the design of the property and its exterior.

Marbella Shower ( Photo credits: Villa Lucija)

We are happy that architects and investors have started to pay particular attention to outdoor spaces. In the Mediterranean, which enjoys a mild climate all year round, the outdoors is a kind of a living rooms extension, so the tendency is to connect the interior and exterior in one harmonious area adopting innovative methods; therefore, the border between the two becomes almost imperceptible since all the beauty and fullness of life in the Mediterranean comes to the fore precisely by staying outdoors in a picturesque environment of magnificent nature and crystal clear sea.

We hope that we have inspired you with the latest trends and innovations in landscaping that enhance the outdoor experience and allow you to enjoy the outdoors even more. Spending more time outdoors has a beneficial effect on health and enriches our everyday life. We are convinced that, with luxury and innovative accessories, you will succeed in creating an idyllic oasis that you will be proud of and enjoy in the company of family and friends.

The year behind us was marked by a global pandemic of unprecedented proportions and consequently with an almost complete halt in all economic activities that ceased abruptly due to restrictive measures, which led to the total collapse of nearly all sectors.

And it is precisely in 2020, an unprecedented year in many ways, that the real estate market experts faced significant challenges. The key to success was in their rapid response and adapting to market conditions and trends that were changing at a relentless pace.

Despite negative statistics and economic indicators that were by no means promising, Sotheby’s International Realty is very proud to announce that our brokers and sales representatives have achieved a record sales result of $150 billion at the global level, marking a continued increase in sales growth year over year.

“Thanks to innovations we pioneered nearly a decade ago, our affiliated companies and agents made the impossible possible. Their adaptability to serve clients safely further extended our position as a leader in luxury real estate,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Modern Technologies and Trends in Property Viewings

As the luxury real estate sector leader, Sotheby’s International Realty guarantees global marketing reach and high advertising standards for both sellers and end buyers looking for their new home or dream vacation villa and constantly offers innovative tools for its loyal customers. At the peak of the pandemic, clients were unable to travel and view real estate in person, and agents were faced with the daunting task of finding new solutions that could replace traditional ways of real estate viewings.

Facing unenviable circumstances, sales representatives invested much energy to fully exploit all available brand tools to present real estate to prospective buyers in the best possible way through virtual platforms. New technologies and innovative marketing solutions that Sotheby’s International Realty is continuously improving have certainly contributed to these record results. The numbers are supported by more than 43 million views on the brand’s official YouTube channel and more than 6,000 properties on the global website that have video materials or provide the possibility of a virtual tour.

Global Trends in the Local Market

As the leading luxury real estate agency in Croatia and a representative of the brand synonymous with a professional approach and commitment to each client, our team of professionals is constantly working to improve their skills and replicate global trends in the Croatian market. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that clients remained loyal to our brand even in extraordinary circumstances, keeping their expectations high as always. Our real estate experts readily accepted the challenge and provided unconditional support to clients by organizing their arrival in Croatia despite restrictive measures and carrying out virtual tours of properties.

Despite the unfavorable global situation and strict measures that were eagerly implemented in almost all countries, our Croatian office followed the global trend of Sotheby’s International Realty and achieved a record sales result. Comparing global trends with the local market situation, we can conclude that clients worldwide increasingly value privacy and isolation and prefer secluded real estate surrounded by large plots, which allows them to enjoy a peaceful stay far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Regardless of skeptical forecasts, the corona crisis leads us again to the conclusion that foreign investors gladly invest in exclusive real estate in unique locations. Given the limited number of properties in premium locations, our offer of such properties very often does not satisfy the clients’ demands. One can easily deduce that this type of real estate arguably does not undergo large oscillations in the asking price, regardless of the current market challenges.

Global Expansion and Strategic Brand Growth

In 2020 Sotheby’s International Realty continues its constant growth in the global market by opening more than 50 new offices worldwide, further enhancing the brand’s global network currently present in more than 75 countries in nearly 1,000 offices with approximately 24,000 sales associates. In addition to opening new offices in existing markets, the brand has expanded to key international markets, establishing offices in seven new territories.

“I am very proud of our brand and the whole team in Croatia. It is a great success that we followed the world trends in the local market and achieved a record sales result in these difficult times”, concluded Marko Pažanin, managing director of Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty and a global partner.

As we are still evaluating the direct and indirect effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy, there has been increasing speculation over the future of the tourism sector in general since it has suffered a huge setback from this crisis and all the challenges it inevitably brings.

Considering that the Croatian economy is extremely dependent on tourism, which directly generates a significant share of the country’s GDP, it is not surprising that investors and rental property owners found themselves in an unenviable situation overnight, facing numerous inquiries from concerned guests who wanted to cancel their reservations or inquired about the current epidemiological situation in the country, as well as the procedures that would be implemented at border crossings. A fierce battle for each and every reservation ensued since the confirmed reservations could have been canceled at any moment due to the introduction of quarantine in certain emitting markets, or the recommendation to postpone travel until further notice, but also due to a number of new rules introduced on a weekly basis.

Exposed to a large amount of often contradictory information, and the recommendation of global booking platforms counseling implementation of high-risk cancellation policy without any penalties for last-minute cancellations, vacation rental owners and travel agents had very modest expectations for the so-called ‘new normal’ tourist season in unprecedented circumstances.

luxury rental market
Villa Endless View

Given that the epidemiological situation in the country has been stable, and that the spread of the virus has been kept under control, Croatia has been recognized as a safe destination, and despite skeptical announcements and cautious forecasts of expected numbers and results, there has been an increased interest in luxury holiday villas.

Tourists’ expectations and demands

What conclusions can be drawn about the profile of travelers who were not discouraged by the Covid-19 and who decided to take their seaside vacation nonetheless?

First of all, it is clear that new time brings new expectations and standards that property owners must successfully meet in order to gain the trust of customers and provide them with absolute security that they can spend their vacation carefree regardless of the challenging circumstances we are currently facing. According to the latest inquiries and trends, most clients seek to book luxury villas in prestigious locations and oftentimes tend to book longer stays and additional services such as daily cleaning, grocery procurement, and a private chef who will take care of all meals during their stay. Such requests were more easily accommodated by the owners of prestigious villas who had previously been in contact with clients who want a little something extra for their vacation and by that, we don’t mean just modern amenities or a picturesque sea view.

A new era of travel – trends, and opportunities

Current trends again lead us to the conclusion that these extraordinary times have not by any means seen a downfall in demand for the most luxurious properties in exclusive locations. Moreover, the demand for facilities of this type seems to greatly exceed the supply, so customers are often compelled to change their plans and choose another destination that can meet their expectations. The largest number of confirmed reservations has been made by guests from neighboring countries who, thanks to the favorable geopolitical position of Croatia and excellent infrastructure, traditionally arrive on vacation by cars, and due to shorter trips prefer to choose holidays in the northern parts of the Adriatic and Istria.

Villa Appeal

It is very difficult to predict future developments in the global market and the dynamic world of the travel industry, but we are certainly at the dawn of a new era of travel that will be defined by adaptation to a new lifestyle promoting strong awareness of values ​​such as health safety, environmental protection, and socially responsible behavior.

With growing awareness of the effects of mass tourism, clients are nowadays looking for more ecologically sustainable destinations and accommodating facilities, therefore we are presented with a unique opportunity to position Croatia as a destination that can meet new challenges and readily accept new conditions that might potentially result in a more responsible and innovative offer tailored to the current market needs.

After the measures are relaxed and the borders are opened, we are again able to organize a tour of the real estate for our clients, of course respecting the minimum security measures. In the past period, not only have we all been eagerly waiting for it to pass, but international clients have also been eager to come to Croatia and continue their search for their dream real estate.

The foundation of our business is nurturing customer relationships and investing in those processes. We have built their trust over the years, always keeping in mind a relationship that will one day, to our mutual satisfaction, be much more than just business. All this will become even more pronounced in the coming period.

A high level of professionalism, correctness, trust, and work ethic will be crucial factors in sales. Why? Primarily due to the offline offer.

Customer relationships are the key

Agents are the ones who will be the critical factor. Buyers ’trust in their agent is endless, as is the seller’s. Agents have all the information in addition to the privileged ones, such as offline real estate offer, real estate for sale on preferential terms – which is not available to the general public … If the owner wants to sell the real estate under confidential conditions, which only he and the agent know, trust is an extremely important factor.

Likewise, the buyer is the one who is willing to wait and patiently search for the property. He believes that the agent he has chosen will share with him information about the property from the offline offer, which for him is an exceptional business investment or an opportunity to buy a property ideal for enjoying and relaxing in a dream location.

Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty has access to unique international clients, we have proven to be a highly professional agency that can be relied on with full confidence, we have successfully cooperated with world-renowned athletes, businessmen, but also ordinary people who absolutely do not want their relatives, friends, and neighbors know they have sold a property that has been kept for generations.

All of the above are the values ​​that guide us in business and the benefits we have invested in for many years. We continue to develop and grow and we want to let all current and future clients know that we are there for them and that they can rely on us with full confidence. Customer relationships are and shall remain a priority to us!

Tourist real estate rental in Croatia has seen a real upswing in recent years. The current circumstances and measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus corona will surely leave a mark on our daily lives and habits, and therefore on the culture of travel that has become an indispensable part of the lifestyle of all generations.

Regardless of the severity of the economic crisis that countries around the world will face after successfully combating the epidemic, we can hardly imagine a world without travel and rest, but it is almost certain that we will have to adapt the market and services to the new needs and expectations of our clients. When looking for a dream holiday villa, clients usually make a selection of several facilities that suit them and then explore the area where the villas are located in order to experience the local lifestyle, and that part of the holiday enjoy the activities that a particular location provides them, because of which will bring unforgettable experiences and memories from the trip.

Villa Authentic

Travel culture in Croatia and the world

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about new generations of young people who are not focused on the material but investing in experiences and journeys that are high on their list of priorities. Luxury vacation renters who offer an authentic destination experience and original services that will provide guests with a unique vacation experience will definitely have an edge in the competitive tourism market. In addition to the quality presentation of each property, as well as the attractions and activities that a certain region provides, we can expect a comparative advantage of renters who recognize the importance of developing the so-called. “eco-friendly” facilities and accommodations that combine ecology and tourism.

Villa Mirabella

It is likely that new generations of travelers will be more responsible for the environment and will carefully select airlines and facilities that meet eco standards, so this is an ideal time to think about how each of us can improve and adapt our accommodation facilities and services, enrich our tourism offer,  and highlight the benefits of natural resources and resources that we, we must acknowledge, are truly not lacking.

Moving away from the mass – luxury real estate rental in Croatia

Numerous positive examples of eco-economies that stand out in terms of supply and quality, as well as luxury self-sustaining buildings that are imposing examples of future construction, are just another factor that indicates that mass tourism will give way to a new era of travel a little. Croatia will be given the opportunity to impose itself as a country rich in cultural and historical heritage, untouched natural beauties, quality local and organic food, as well as friendly hosts who will be happy to introduce guests to local culture, customs and indigenous gastronomic habits or to suggest some of their many activities. for enjoying nature, adrenaline or sports.

Villas Vigneto

Moving away from mass tourism will also be marked by increased interest in luxury real estate rental. Villas and holiday properties that allow you to use luxury amenities and enjoy first-class locations, these characteristics will provide the clientele, and additional services that provide authentic experience and location experience can become a crucial factor when choosing a dream villa in Croatia.

The changes caused by the current pandemic of the new coronavirus have not only affected our daily lives. The effects have been felt by numerous markets and economies, including the real estate market in Croatia and the world.
Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty Director Marko Pažanin takes a look at the current state of the luxury real estate market in Croatia, as well as expectations of real estate sales in the near future.

These days I have had some really interesting conversations with my colleagues about selling luxury villas by the sea. For a large number of investors, the main motive for the construction of such facilities was the tourist rental, and only then the sale.

The popularity of the Croatian coast, both among foreign and domestic guests, has enabled a real boom in tourism in Croatia, which records year after year records in the number of visitors, and thus the amount of revenue generated. The rise in average prices of tourist rent on the Adriatic and the development of cultural, entertainment and sports offerings have brought excellent income to owners of luxury properties during the season and even beyond!

We could also feel the impact of tourist growth on the purchase and sale of luxury real estate.
So far, we have frequently encountered a price formed by sellers that could not be accepted by potential buyers as being realistic. Therefore, the sale of these properties often failed to take place. The owners, more than satisfied with the income they earned through the tourist lease, were not ready to lower the sale price of their villas and apartments.

Luxury real estate in unique locations is a safe investment for foreign investors

This year, we expect much lower tourist rental revenue in the season than in previous years, which will have an effect on adjusting the sales prices set by property owners.
I may be wrong and that may not be the case, but it is certainly the most likely scenario given the logic of business, supply, and demand.

In this uncertain situation, there is another scenario involving the most important rule when investing in real estate, which is “Location, location, location!”. This scenario benefits all owners of properties in unique and exclusive locations.
If you have high-end real estate in a unique location it will not be compromised in a market context.
The drop in prices will be felt the least in the top locations, of course, if the starting price was based on the estimation of a specialist who had the experience to sell this type of real estate.

Foreign buyers are still interested in ultra-luxury real estate

In contact with the clients for whom I seek so-called “trophy real estate”, almost everyone has confirmed their interest in them, even in these conditions. This is a great indicator that investments in luxury real estate will not stop, and that exceptional real estate will always have its buyers, which will not hinder global change.

World-class luxury exists in Croatia, but in limited quantities. Personally, I can hardly wait to have real estate on offer again, such as the famous Villa Castello, as buyers of such properties are ready to make a purchase regardless of the new situation, in which unfortunately the fall in prices for most properties is unavoidable.

Environmental and climate changes caused by human impact have encouraged architects to imagine new ways of living. Self-sustaining havens have been created for a variety of ‘scenarios’, whether it’s organic farming in the middle of the city, escaping civilization into the wasteland or floating in the open sea…

Architecture for a better tomorrow

OFF-GRID is a project that was presented at Milan Design Week as one of the leading trends in living in harmony with nature that in a futuristic way reflects the motto ‘My home, my freedom’. Among the most prominent such projects is Casa Ojalá by Italian architect Beatrice Bonzanigo.

architecture

This miniature mobile building can be set up anywhere and is available in twenty versions to adapt to the environmental and tenants’ needs. In just 27 square meters, Casa Ojalá has a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a terrace. Space can be separated, connected or completely opened to the outside in various ways by manually operated mechanisms. Thanks to the rope system, winches, and levers, the elements of the cottage can be easily ‘slipped’ and ‘rolled’. This kind of micro home is completely self-contained, with solar panels for energy production, a rainwater system, and a special drinking water tank.

THE WATER WORLD may be waiting for us in the future, but let’s hope it won’t be like in the eponymous post-apocalyptic film (Waterworld, 1995), in which the mainland is completely flooded. But because of climate change, we need to develop flooding settlements that are resistant to floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis say Swedish-based architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group). In collaboration with the United Nations, they introduced the Oceanix City project, consisting of ‘islands’ or hexagonal wooden modules.

oceanix

Using them, interconnected villages are formed, each of which can house 1650 people or can be built for 10,000 inhabitants. Oceanix City is designed as a self-sustaining ecosystem powered by wind, water and sun, food farms, natural sewage, based on the seaweed and clams, and complete waste recycling. BIG is building a prototype of this settlement, which will be located on East River, New York, near the United Nations headquarters

Vertical farms

VERTICAL FARMS are actually skyscrapers with gardens – thanks to which tenants do not have to rely on food from mass agricultural production using chemicals. This prevents the pollution of the environment that is otherwise created by the packaging and transportation of food from remote areas. Vertical farms are also important because in urban areas they reconnect people with nature. These gardens also act as air conditioning between the buildings and their surroundings. Plants, on the other hand, have favorable conditions for growth because buildings protect them and provide them with heat.

Waste food can be easily collected and converted into compost. In short, the skyscraper becomes a living organism, explains Chinese-Austrian married couple Fei and Chris Precht, founders of the Precht architecture studio behind The Farmhouse project. It is a skyscraper that is upgraded like a puzzle using triangular modules made of cross-laminated timber – an environmentally friendly and flexible material that is extremely suitable for demanding structures.

 

Author: Ivana Vodogažec / Sensa Magazine

Sensa is a Croatian wellbeing monthly magazine covering topics about personal growth, healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and life/work balance.

Buying valuable real estate in Croatia’s prime location, for many, seems like an unattainable dream, but not for long. Banks offer various favorable lending models when buying real estate. Housing loans with favorable conditions and reasonable interest rates are more accessible today than ever, not only to citizens of the Republic of Croatia but also to foreigners within the Eurozone.

Buying real estate for foreign nationals

If there are finances on the road between you and your dream real estate in Croatia and you are not a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, we believe that you will be cheered by the information that this does not constitute an obstacle to obtaining a home loan at Croatian banks.

Recently, this opportunity is also offered to citizens of the Eurozone, i.e., citizens of countries within the European Union that use the euro as their official currency. It’s time to scroll through your favorite luxury real estate portfolio in Croatia as loans are worth between 20 and 350 thousand euros, in kuna equivalent.

The loan is earmarked for the purchase of a home, home, or apartment, as well as a cottage or apartment where you will spend the most beautiful days on the Croatian coast. To keep your pets safe, you can also use your credit to buy a parking space or garage. Let’s not forget the possibility of letting a property for rent, which makes buying a luxury home or apartment a very profitable investment in the long run.

Repayment periods of up to 20 years are for everyone who invests in real estate for business purposes and those who want to provide themselves and their family with luxury accommodations during vacations or a year-round home while also developing a business or investing in some other areas. If necessary, there is the option of delaying the loan’s repayment for up to 12 months.

Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce that its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved more than $114 billion in global sales volume, the highest annual U.S. sales volume performance in the brand’s history. $102 billion of the global sales volume was achieved in the U.S., marking another record accomplishment for the brand.

“In 2019, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand continued to achieve solid growth,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer for Sotheby’s International Realty. “The brand expanded into new countries and territories and entered new markets in the U.S. We continued to make strategic business decisions that benefitted both our independent sales associates and affiliate companies. I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication from our vast global network, and I look forward to continuing this momentum in 2020.”

2019 Achievements

Propelled by a strategic business move in March 2019, when Sotheby’s International Realty integrated its affiliate network and company-owned brokerage into one global organization, 50 new Sotheby’s International Realty offices were opened, bringing the brand’s presence to 1,000 offices in 70 countries and territories and more than 23,000 affiliated sales associates worldwide.

Sotheby’s International Realty continued to lead the category with the roll-out of exclusive marketing affiliations and first-ever technology launches, announcing it will soon unveil a new, fully integrated website. The brand’s existing website, sothebysrealty.com, saw another record year with more than 34 million visits, a 14 percent increase year-over-year. Besides, Sotheby’s International Realty was the first real estate brand to launch and implement mixed reality to its Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty sm augmented reality app, which merges the real world with virtual home staging. The platform can be utilized in various home buying and selling scenarios, particularly benefit agents and developers, to help prospective buyers envision their new home. To support the daily business needs of the network’s more than 23,000 independent sales associates, the brand unveiled Current by Sotheby’s International Realty®, a robust marketing suite of technology tools consisting of best-in-class and exclusive apps, which provide sales associates with a distinctive and competitive edge in the market. For partnerships, the brand entered into an affiliation with Bloomberg.com as the exclusive launch sponsor for a new luxury properties marketplace.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand and its independent sales associates continued its support for New Story, its charitable partner, and a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As a result, 83 families, who were among those who lost their homes in the 2017 earthquakes, moved into their new homes in Morelos, Mexico. A total of 153 homes in Haiti and Mexico were funded through the initiative.

Global Growth

This year observed significant growth for the brand’s existing affiliate companies in the United States through recruitment efforts and strategic mergers and acquisitions. The brand increased its market presence in Brooklyn, New York, the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts, and Indiana. Last year, the brand also entered several new key markets, expanding the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s presence to 43 states across the country.

Outside the U.S., the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved more than USD 12 billion in sales volume and continued to expand into key markets worldwide. In Europe, the brand grew its presence in Monaco; France; and Berlin and Binz, Germany. New offices were also opened in Doha, Qatar, and Paphos, Cyprus, expanding its global presence in marketing luxury listings. In The Caribbean and South America, the brand saw growth in Zapallar, Chile, an upscale residential community located two hours outside of Santiago; and agreements were signed to expand into the Anguilla territory. In the Asia-Pacific region, new offices were opened in Tauranga, New Zealand; and Port Douglas, Hobart, and Perth, Australia.

About Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning Sotheby’s auction house clients. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 1,000 offices in 70 countries and territories worldwide, including 44 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the auction house operator. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational, and business development resources.

Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.

The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company-owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Both Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

In a quest to create a living environment that exudes peace and tranquility that only nature can bring, the biophilic design will become even more popular in the years to come. Devotees of nature, ecology, and sustainability in the design and decoration of interiors and exteriors, buildings, homes, and offices are looking for solutions that will bring us closer to our innate love and need for nature. In collaboration with Sensa magazine, we bring to you a more detailed insight into this major living trend.

Bring nature into our homes

There is growing scientific evidence that supports the fact that distancing ourselves from nature adversely affects our health and well-being. Many experts believe that behind the stress we accumulate lies the lack of adaptation to life in urban areas. That is – the deficit of nature. Natural greenery relieves stress, depression, anger, frustration, improves mood and physical health, concentration, productivity, creativity…

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Bellaria estate

Nature can also help us transform our living space. This is evidenced by biophilia – a term coined by psychologist Erich Fromm and later, in the 1980s, popularized by Edward O. Wilson, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard. Biophilia represents a genuine human need for connectivity and harmony with nature.

Biophilic design is becoming more and more appealing to designers and architects eager to create a space that is custom made for a more human way of living. This type of design and decor includes, among other things, buildings that resemble shells, homes that rotate in daylight, apartments whose balconies resemble small, green jungles, and homes that encourage residents to grow food and even produce themselves foods such as honey. It is obvious that this type of architecture of the future grew out of the roots of our past.

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Villa Relax

„The biophilic home should, above all, be an oasis and a refuge for the modern person after a busy and stressful day,” defines Nataša Komljenović, an architect and expert in biophilic design from Novi Sad (Serbia), adding that this design is characterized by the urge to reconnect with nature, natural elements and its rhythms. 

7 tips on biophilic design

Amanda Sturgeon, the author of the book Creating Biophilic Buildings, brings the principles of biophilic design into our homes.

Windows to the world

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Villa Narcisse

The home should bring an abundance of fresh air and daylight through numerous windows, skylights, and doors to connect with the outdoors. Through the open windows, we can also hear sounds from nature – rain, wind, birds singing. It connects us with the seasons and the weather. 

Interaction of light and shadows

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Villa Coastal Escape

We are healthier when our biorhythm is in balance and when daylight is available to support it. By watching the shadows around the room we intuitively know what time it is and we instinctively gather in places where there is more sunlight. 

Between interior and exterior

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Villa Unica

In almost every climate, outdoor spaces can be used as a functional study room or living room for at least a few months a year. Spending more time outdoors will make you feel more in tune with nature.

Untouched textures

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Ambiente Estate

Too often our living spaces are sterile, with no sign of wilderness. Include as many natural materials as possible in your home, such as wood, stone, wool, bamboo – materials that are not processed. Different textures and patterns will encourage the variety of sensory experiences we usually experience in nature.

All forms of nature

Today, architecture is mostly dominated by straight lines and right angles. Since every home cannot be inspired by forms from nature, we can use many motifs and shapes from nature as decorative details that will make us feel closer to the location or area in which we live, using authentic plants, branches, shells, fountains…

The spirit of the location

biophilic design, croatia sotheby's
Villa Butterfly

Due to the global economy and the availability of diverse materials and products from all around the world, our homes have lost their sense of belonging – they do not reflect our climate and culture. Whether you live near the sea or near the forest, try to understand the character of the location and use it as a décor guide.

Color variations

Nature is not monotonous, it is spacious – from meadows and dense forests to mountain peaks. By mimicking the nature of the home, try to create a variety of micro spaces that will suit a specific purpose or mood. Create a room that is quiet in some corners and “alive” in others by using vibrant and neutral colors for visual partitions. That way you can mimic the experience of being outdoors.

 

Author: Magda Dežđek/Sensa Magazine

Sensa is a Croatian wellbeing monthly magazine covering topics about personal growth, healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and life/work balance.