Recognizing the next trend, innovation, or client need in order to stay ahead of the curve (or your competition) is a constant in the A/E/C industries. As a marketer, you’re tasked with looking ahead and projecting the future of various markets and directions of your firm. But how can you move your marketing and business plan from the printed page into action and innovation? “It’s easy to do easy. It’s not easy to do hard,” says Joanne Wilson, entrepreneur, angel investor, and co-founder of Frame Home. And that’s exactly what she has done—pushed herself and global companies to keep changing and evolving. Whether a flourishing economy or a recession, it’s this attitude and forward-thinking (and doing), that’s fueled her many careers.
Sustainability Is Key
In 2007, Wilson left the corporate world and reinvented herself as an angel investor. Since then, she started Frame Home, a real estate development firm, with her husband. Frame Home was created from the ground up to be nimble and meet the needs of the time, now and later. This meant developing projects that invested in New York City, particularly Brooklyn, that were more creative and lower risk, with long-term positive impacts on the city and the environment. By using sustainable materials and processes, and state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technologies, Frame Home embraces integrated health and wellness, and a carbon-neutral way of living that empowers the most efficient lifestyles.
Frame 283, their flagship rental apartment building in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, comes to market at the end of this year, and it’s unlike any other project in the city due to its unprecedented features. These technologies include: Passive house design to create energy efficiencies Highly efficient electric cooling and heating Triple-pane windows and doors Insulated concrete (exterior) Cross Laminated Timber Solar arrays Connection to New York City’s energy grid for resiliency Private keyed elevators that open directly into each unit
Flipping the Script
The building has two commercial spaces in its base. Instead of finding tenants for these spaces, Frame Home decided to turn them into 26 workspaces—8’ x 8’ pods (each equipped with bipolar ionization in the ducts) that can be rented month to month. Frame 283 sets a precedent for sustainable building practices to move expediently through the city’s regulatory bodies, enabling more sustainable building of this kind.
The building has a move-in date of January 2021 and the next Frame Home is planned for 118 Waverly Place, also in Brooklyn. Wilson says, “So much has changed since COVID-19. What it really did was accelerate the direction Frame Home is heading. We’ve realized that backend technology in every single vertical project is essential, now more than ever. We can’t run smart businesses without it.”
She acknowledges the pandemic has opened her eyes wider when it comes to the climate and has helped with the price of real estate in New York City. She notes, “We need housing desperately, particularly in cities, so there is more equality in creating better and smarter communities.” Wilson believes she has a pulse on the future, and so can you. She acknowledges we’re never returning to the way things were, and while many of us will continue to work at home, others will still need a main office or headquarters. She says, “We need to be thinking differently now more than ever.” She gives this final advice to marketers, “The best way to be ahead of the curve is to invest in and/or direct where you believe things are going. Think forward. Do forward … If you have a great idea, go do it. If not now, then when?”