Thinking outside the box
Ascent – the act or process of moving from a lower to higher state. That name was chosen very carefully bythe founders of Ascent Residential Developments, as it reflects the core beliefs and values of a company which pushes the limits in order to take their customers’ needs and wishes to the next level.
Those beliefs were in place right from Ascent’s inception in 2007, when they began by focusing on the development of townhouses in the Brisbane city area. In the intervening years, the company has evolved to also focus on small, boutique projects usually avoided by larger development companies. This gives Ascent a unique hold in the market, and allows them to create bespoke, efficient and streamlined projects that meet the needs of every client.
Louise Fitzgerald-Baker is the Director of the company, and she brings both experience and passion to the table. Shedescribes the growth of Ascent as organic, and explains that they are dedicated to developing projects that are in line with the needs of people and communities. She says that dedicationhas carried the companythrough, despite challenging market conditions.
Louise has been able to exceed buyer expectations through the inclusion of more exclusive appliances and LED lighting fittings, as well as additional bonus expenses for her off-the-plan buyers. Because they go above and beyond the market norm, Ascent’s developments are in high demand throughout the year.This is a rare occurrence in a market which is still recovering from a recession.
The right fit
Louise emphasises the importance of strong relationships with not only their buyers and investors but also their contractors and builders. Developers like Ascent, who take a holistic approach to their projects, understand the importance of building close ties with engineers, town planners and architects in order to produce the best quality work for their buyers. When it comes to builders, Louise says it’s “all about finding the right fit – if you come from a similar standpoint with those you work with, it makes life easier.”
At a time when the world was experiencing one of the worst recessions in history, most developers were having to learn how to deal with a newly conservative market. Ascent, with the trust and support of their contractors and builders, decided upon a “bold” approach. They built high quality developments, despite the intense price sensitivity of the market place. Buyers responded to Ascent’s quality offering, with some of the projects selling out within two weeks of release.
Louise says that popularity exceeded expectations, encouraging her team to continue innovating and taking risks in order to keep their client base growing and satisfied.
The boldness of Ascent’s approach has not gone unnoticed. Since their inception, Ascent has been honoured with winning and being a finalist in many industry awards for strategic management and outstanding developments. In 2010, Louise herself won a UDIA Award for Strategic Management, for example. In 2012, they were also finalists in in the UDIA’s Small to Medium Density Development category.
“It is an honor to be recognized,” Louise says. “We’re still a young company, so we were all pleasantly surprised and encouraged to be honouredso early on in the game.”
Louise credits the company’s award winning streak to their market research, which allows the company to create innovative developments in areas that other developers have neglected. She says that receiving such recognition has only inspired the Ascent team to work harder, and continue thinking outside the box, in order to create the best product for their customer in an efficient, reliable and creative manner.
Currently, Ascent Residential Developments is continuing to develop specialized townhouses with innovative designs, which has historically been the company’s forte. At the moment, they are working on a project located near a private hospital, focusing on the housing of medical staff – which is the kind of specific and interesting project that the company is always on the lookout for, and always ready to innovate on.
“Moving forward, I see us taking inspiration from our existing designs for future projects, but never duplicating them,” Louise concludes. “Each project will have the essence of Ascent, but will never look or appear the same.”
In order to achieve that, the Ascent team will continue to invest in market research, and continue to identify needs in the market that are not being met.That’s been the key to Ascent’s success so far, and Louise anticipates it being the key for a long time to come.