Posted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on December 2nd, 2014

The world is drowning in luxury. A plethora of ultra  luxurious new buildings are on the market now in New York and many more are coming over the course of the next 18 months. Each developer is trying to out-do one another with the newest, most distinctive, unique and luxurious finishes, fixtures and amenities. Refrigerated counter-tops? Warm or bright light options for your master bathroom vanity lights? A private swimming pool on you penthouse terrace? The list goes on and on. Every product today catering to the wealthy is ambitiously trying to out-do one another on the luxury scale: have we arrived now at the point where the only luxury left that truly matters is…… time?

While all these luxuries are wonderful and indeed make the lives of those wealthy enough to afford them better and more comfortable and satisfying, in today’s 365-24-7 global economy time is escaping all of us. Our time is being over-consumed by a volume of messaging and communication and other activities unlike any other time before us. So while architects, developers and interior designers of the world over seek out the next finish or fixture, all should be acutely aware that anything and everything that streamlines or saves time should be the guiding force.

Technology that functions well will play an important role in this challenge, but its high time for those designing luxury products everywhere to be more mindful of just how important time is to their audience. Once upon a time electric windows and a sunroof were super-luxury items only found on the most expensive cars: today they are everywhere at every price-point. The traditional
luxuries of the past have become the expected items of today. Sameness in design will simply be unacceptable to the highest end consumers as their tastes and exposure advance. Esthetic awareness keeps expanding and the eyes of our audience are becoming much more sophisticated and tuned in. The high end consumer, while still enjoying the sumptuousness of traditional luxury, is becoming increasingly aware of how limited our time is on earth. Freeing up time for the wealthy (and everyone else) to add time and allow them to enjoy their success more will
deliver fan-club-worthy appreciation and give design a more substantive and human dimension that actually matters and delivers real value. The challenge to all in the real estate community now needs to focus on time as the priority. The seconds add up to minutes. The minutes to hours, and the hours to days.

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