Real estate developers put considerable thought into the role that obvious factors like location, amenities, and price can play in marketing their properties. But Bryan Ezralow says there’s another, often overlooked factor that can have just as much impact on the success of a project.
That factor is art, and more often than not, it’s treated as an afterthought by most developers. He believes this is a disservice to the project, its investors, and its tenants. This is because art can impact the emotions someone experiences while in a building.
Choose the right art, and you’ll create an empowering environment that fosters excitement, creativity, and collaboration. You’ll put people in a receptive mood where they’re more likely to make a buying decision. And you’ll encourage people to feel good, which cements their experience there firmly into their memories. Choose the wrong art and you’ll get the opposite.
Choosing the right art, however, is neither easy nor quick.
“A lot of thought goes into it,” said Bryan Ezralow, the CEO of the Ezralow Company in Los Angeles. “We’re always thinking about how art can help our spaces from the very beginning of a project.”
It’s not as simple as visiting Amazon.com a week before opening to find a few generic prints or sculptures. The art needs to be relevant to the building and the people who will use it, and ideally, it should be connected to the local community.
That’s why Ezralow believes in working with local artists to nurture strong, organic partnerships. He also relies on art consultants and referrals to help him find the perfect art for each property.
He explains, “We want to start with the community, so we always start there to find artists for our projects. There’s a lot about soaking up the history and the culture in a place that you’re in, so why not do something for locals in the area?”
Local artists have adorned Ezralow’s LA 1446 with swirly wall sculptures and paintings in its apartments, Qwil with framed watercolors, and Bellevue with colorful paintings on bedroom walls. But he doesn’t just buy art for the properties he builds. Ezralow is also an avid art collector himself and owns art by Ed Rusha, Richard Prince, and Wolfgang Tillmans. His passion for art is both personal and business.
Perhaps some of his success can be attributed to how he sees and acts on this concept.
Rather than treating this aspect of a property as just another item to check off on a list, he treats it as an essential part of the development process.
“Art and architecture are always intertwined,” said Ezralow. “Some of the greatest architecture comes from the minds of artists.”
So rather than using art to simply fill empty space in a building, he treats it as an integral part of the overall design of the building. Something that affects the success and emotions of everyone involved long beyond the completion of the project.
As people return to a normal, post-pandemic world, this will be especially important for real estate developers. It will also be a valuable opportunity for artists. Particularly those who have the skills to effectively market themselves to developers.
It’s a powerful synergy where everyone wins.