Ascott sets sights on coliving sector in Australia as demand for its coliving brand lyf gains momentum
Following the opening of lyf Collingwood Melbourne in 2022 and lyf Bondi Junction Sydney next year, further expansion plans expected across Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Perth
Melbourne, 29 March 2023 – The Ascott Limited (Ascott), an international lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, celebrated the burgeoning footprint of its coliving brand, lyf, at an event held at lyf Collingwood Melbourne on Tuesday, 28 March 2023.
lyf (pronounced 'life') or ‘live your freedom’ is an accommodation concept specially designed by Ascott for the next-generation guests. The apartments, social spaces and experiential programmes at lyf properties are designed for guests to forge connections and nurture a strong sense of community.
Mr David Mansfield, Managing Director for Ascott Australia, hosted a dinner event which featured renowned Australian chef Scott Pickett, and was attended by over 100 guests comprising key partners, corporate clients and media guests. Scott’s bold personality and deep understanding of seasonality and respect for Australian growers as well as producers, parallel the energy and local connected experiences that the lyf brand stands for.
Tapping the Coliving Segment in Australia
As the largest serviced residence provider in Australia with brands such as Quest, Citadines and Oakwood, Ascott is set to grow its coliving brand, lyf, in Australia.
Mr Mansfield described how the lyf brand answers to the accommodation need in Australia: “The growing demand for novel living solutions that address the challenges of housing affordability and fixed leasing tenures, is evident. Capitalising on this demand, our coliving brand, lyf, plays to the call for a sharing economy within the Australia market.”
“Addressing the rise of global mobility where we see an increasing trend of digital nomads and self-starters preferring to work remotely, lyf also offers guests the opportunity to live their independent style of travel while immersing in the local culture through social connections and experiential programmes. When guests check in to a lyf property, they check in to a community. Following the opening of lyf Collingwood Melbourne in May last year, we saw an amazing ramp up in occupancy within months of opening. With the traction that we have seen at our first lyf property in Australia, we are optimistic about the potential for the growth of lyf here and look forward to our second opening next year – lyf Bondi Junction Sydney. Further expansion plans are expected across Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne and Perth,” added Mr Mansfield.
Since the opening of the first lyf property in Singapore in 2019, lyf has expanded to 22 properties in 18 cities globally. Eight lyf properties are now operational in key gateway cities including Melbourne, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand; Fukuoka, Japan; Hangzhou and Shanghai, China; and Singapore. Ascott expects another 13 lyf properties to open in the next few years, including seven this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Xi’an, China; Tokyo, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand; Cebu and Manila in The Philippines; and Vienna, Austria. The brand will also debut in Paris, France in 2024.
Ms Tan Bee Leng, Managing Director for Brand and Marketing, The Ascott Limited, shared: “lyf is a unique lodging product that combines the best of serviced residences, hotels and coliving apartments. The diversity, flexibility and cost efficiency of the lyf brand, alongside rising consumer interest have provided a compelling option for owners and investors looking at the coliving sector. Our first lyf property in Singapore achieved an 80% occupancy rate within three months of opening in 2019. This in itself, is testament to the strong foothold the lyf brand has, amongst the next-generation guests.”
“We have seen great momentum and believe we are well-positioned to continue expanding the lyf portfolio via our twin engines of growth. In particular, our investment management engine that is anchored by the listed CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) and private lodging funds, as well as the lodging management engine through which it powers our portfolio growth by added management contracts. Harnessing the strength of the lyf brand, our product design and local expertise, Ascott remains optimistic with our ambition to grow the lyf portfolio to a strength of 150 properties by 2030,” added Ms Tan.
· A Dynamic Stay Environment for the Next-Generation Traveller
Targeting next-generation travellers such as digital nomads, technopreneurs, creatives and self-starters, lyf was thoughtfully created to appeal to guests looking for an accommodation choice that was beyond the ordinary. Designed as a dynamic environment where like-minded individuals can come together in a community, lyf properties are equipped to accommodate guests on extended stays while providing the flexibility for short stays. With fully furnished apartments and social spaces for interaction with neighbours at the property, lyf features plenty of flexible communal spaces such as the ‘Connect’ coworking areas which can be easily transformed into zones for workshops or social gatherings. Shared facilities include a fully equipped ‘Bond’ social kitchen, a ‘Wash & Hang’ laundrette, as well as a gymnasium called ‘Burn’.
· Immersive Experiences and Programmes
Seeking to nurture a strong sense of community through forged connections, each lyf property has a dedicated Ambassador of Buzz (AOB) who is based on site to provide residents with advice, recommendations and opportunities to immerse in the local culture through experiential programmes, The creative mind (and hands) at lyf, the AOB plays a key role in translating lyf's core values into social experiences for residents.
Key to the lyf brand is #lyfgoeslocal, the creation of authentic stay experiences through the incorporation of culture, design, attractions and partnerships from the local neighbourhood. Local perks include F&B and lifestyle privileges at neighbouring establishments as well as the development of neighbourhood guides to help guests explore their surroundings.
· Digitally Enabled Coliving Concept
As a digitally enabled coliving concept, lyf properties provide guests with a seamless experience through the Discover ASR mobile app, from room bookings to hassle-free check-in and check-out, keyless room access, cashless payment, management of social spaces and community events, as well as interaction with other guests via a communication board.
With digital innovations playing a key part of the lyf brand, immersive virtual and augmented reality technologies as well as digital experiences for lyf are designed and tested on an ongoing basis at a lyf Innovation Lab, in collaboration with industry partners, domain experts and institutes of higher learning. lyf one-north Singapore currently serves as a living lab for field testing these digital innovations, with successful pilots to be implemented across other properties worldwide.
For more information, please visit discoverasr.com or follow us on Instagram at @live.lyf.here and @lyf.collingwood or Facebook at @live.lyf.here
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