A new era for Seeff: Design innovation meets real estate

    Seeff tapped into the creative young minds of BHC for an office design competition

    Ted Frazer, Seeff Property Group's National Marketing Manager, reports that the "new normal" post-pandemic era is ushering in a dramatic transformation in the appearance and function of real estate offices. Historically, real estate branch offices doubled as everything from practical workspaces for Property Practitioners and staff and hubs for back-end operations to a place to meet with clients. Uniformity in appearance was not always a priority.

    Seeff Property Group recognised the need to reconsider the conventional office layout and aesthetic to cater to clients’ evolving perceptions and interactions. While online real estate transactions show no signs of going away, Ted Frazer emphasised the ongoing importance of a physical brand presence that also caters to the more hybrid model.

    Now, for the first time in its 60-year history, Seeff is implementing a customised, comfortable, and innovative office design. The design concept needed to deliver a "satellite office", perfect for a shopping mall setting, with an emphasis on visual appeal. Simultaneously, the design needed to be flexible enough for various locations  - whether in a shopping mall or as a stand-alone office.

    The Idea Behind The Design Competition

    Seeff joined forces with the BHC School of Design in search of a new and groundbreaking concept for the office redesign. The school’s third-year interior students took up the challenge to develop an idea that ensured brand visibility while allowing client engagement and functionality.

    The design needed to work as a freestanding exhibition space, a front-facing store within a shopping mall, and a freestanding office. The prize was R25,000.

    “It needed to be an innovative design, something not seen before. While young students may not have all the practical commercial know-how that usually comes with professional experience, they do have unbridled creativity.” - Ted Frazer, National Marketing Manager for Seeff.

    The Design Process 

    BHC School of Design welcomed the chance to give their students real-life experience with the client brief, budget constraints, and deadlines from Seeff.

    The first thing the students did was explore the essence of the Seeff brand - what it stands for, its history, and its values. Each student conducted comprehensive research before delving into the conceptualisation phase. After that, their creativity was limitless.

    Each student presented their designs to the class and lecturers before seven finalists were selected. The finalists spent another three weeks refining and finalising their submissions before presenting them to Seeff.

    “We had no restrictions except for that it needed to be practical and brand specific in terms of, for example, the correct colour ratios. The students produced the most amazing and original design proposals.” -  Jaco Landman, 3rd-year studio master for BHC School of Design.

    The Winners of The Design Competition

    The final seven contestants were Abby Louwrens, Jonty Michael Danby, Mel Carter, Sara Rose Cobern, Tammy Theron, Abigail Ferreira, and Elke Du Toit.

    Seeff’s licensees voted on their favourite design at Seeff's Annual Licensee Conference. Elke du Toit was then named the winner, with Abigail Ferreira and Abby Louwrens in second and third place.

    Elke du Toit, winner of the office design competition, shaking hands with Ted Frazer

    As we embrace a new era in real estate, the innovation, dynamism, and creativity demonstrated by Seeff Property Group and the bright minds at BHC School of Design showcase the future-ready mindset of Seeff’s brand.

    Whether you're considering buying or selling, reach out to Seeff. You'll discover a real estate partner that's not just ready for the future, but actively shaping it.

    Author: Seeff Property Group
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