Finland has recently seen an increase in real estate investment and development focusing on a new area for generating additional value, namely, the branding of real estate and creating new concepts for living.

Traditionally, the value of real estate has been viewed from the perspective of tangible factors, such as location, floor plan or number of rooms and the size of the property, as well as its condition, age and requisites for renovation. These factors typically play a large role in generating the value in a real property.

Intangible factors are worth the money

Intangible factors are also a notable factor in the valuation of real property: for instance, the architecture together with interior design is what gives the property its character, “look and feel” and enhances the atmosphere of the property. Some of these elements may be protected by copyright, design rights or even 3D or color trademark rights.

Trademarks and brand premium

There has been a growing trend toward the branding of real property and companies seeking trademark protection for their real estate property and development projects.

Quite often the brand incorporates much more than a name or logo: for example, a real property’s brand can be described as the combination of underlying intangible ideas, a well-thought out concept and a set of registered rights covering the core intellectual property that is protectable, all combined with the traditional tangible values of the real property. This, together, brings added economic value to the investors, creating what is known as a “brand premium”.

Conceptualized offerings – the “Noli Studios” concept

This tendency to brand real estate through a combination of tangible and intangible values constitutes a conceptualized offering which should always be provided at a certain quality and according to the values that the brand represents.

It is also good to have a story or mission to build a strong brand that the customers can relate to and connect with.

When you look at a new innovative concept such as the Finnish “Noli Studios” concept, which offers communal and hotel-like living combined with services and flexibility for the customer, you see a well-functioning and well thought-out concept that offers centrally located studios for short- or long-term stay. The studios are combined with cleaning services, a gym and a spa, as well as communal living spaces, such as, a living room, working spaces and a communal kitchen.

“Noli Studios” is a relatively new brand, but it has very quickly grown to be recognized for the type of amenities and services it offers. With the “Noli Studios” concept, guests are also welcome to join the community on their own terms. People may choose to live in a “Noli Studios” studio instead of somewhere else because it brings added value to them through the hotel-like services it offers, it suits their lifestyle or they are looking for the ease and convenience of a flexible lease at a good and central location.

Building robust and versatile protection

Besides traditional intellectual property protection, additional legislation may protect the investments that companies make in building a brand for real estate property. In Finland, this protection is granted through the Unfair Business Practices Act. Also this legislation can be described as protecting elements relating to intellectual property rights, and even things such as the “look and feel” of a real estate property’s brand.

All elements of protection that are available should be kept in mind and utilized in a flexible manner. When planning and obtaining protection for real estate property one should aim for a robust and versatile solution that is fit for purpose and one’s budget as well.