Q&A: PPS - Tailored Furniture Packages For Developers


PPS Tailored Furniture Solutions is a commercial furniture supply company servicing the residential property developer, property investor, retirement village sector and hotel/resort market.

The business was established in 2005 by Managing Directors Marc Conias and Paul Lane with a combined 40 years experience in property development, project management, furniture design, manufacturing and importing.
Who is PPS and what do you do?

are a furniture package supply company almost exclusively servicing the property developer and property investors. We are a vertically integrated company with all aspects of design, procurement, manufacturing and installation being controlled in house. We are focused on assisting residential developers to accelerate their pre-sales campaigns with incentivising unit sales with a turn-key furniture package suited specific to their development as well as offering an end to end service direct to the property investor to maximise yield on their investment.

What prompted you to enter the furniture industry? 

PPS entered the furniture industry or moreover the development industry in 2005. Prior to this I was involved in residential development and investment and my close friend and now business partner Paul Lane was a third generation furniture trader. We identified a demand where by the developer and also the property investor’s commercial needs were not being met which we set out to change. We pride ourselves having pioneered much ground in making our home town of Brisbane one of the most savvy investment markets that embraces the commercial benefits of a fully-furnished apartment to the rental market.

What sort of projects does PPS focus on? 

Our bread and butter is high rise inner city residential developments within a 5 kilometre ring of any central business district or other regional centres, main reason being is that’s where the corporate demand is for fully-furnished apartments.  We are also involved in the Hotel and Resort market recently completing the boutique 68 room, 5 star Gambaro’s Hotel in Paddington, Brisbane.

What other sectors does PPS supply furniture to? 

We also service retirement villages by fitting our all common areas with a focus on higher end product. We also fit out prize homes such as Mater and Surf Lifesaving Australia.

What benefit does a furniture package bring to a residential developer? 

First and foremost it is net per annum return on investment, there is nothing I have seen that outweighs what a quality investor furniture package can do to increase that return. I often say we are not only in the business of selling packages but also selling units. Over 70% of our package sales are sold direct to the developer who have used our services to incentivise unit sales with a one of our packages.  We are preferred supplier to more than 50% of the significant residential high rise developments going up in Queensland so that represents a lot of unit sales on behalf of the developer.

What is the typical cost of a furniture package and how does this compare to the rental premium achieved? 

A typical 1 bedroom package costs $12-15K and a 2 bedroom package $15-17K for everything - all furniture, bedding, art, accessories, brand name electricals and full kitchen and cleaning package, fully installed.

Depending on whether it is a 1 or a 2 bedroom apartment the rental increase per week sits at $80-100. Even at the lower end of this range a furniture package can yield an additional rental return of 15-20 per cent be paid off in 4 years and last another 4 years!

It is also important to note the demand levels for furnished V unfurnished. As an example in the South Brisbane area where PPS is based, arguably 70 per cent of all new apartments have the demand to be furnished and if I can quote a reputable property manager in the area recently mentioning to me that he was struggling to rent his unfurnished apartments. Overall average inner city demand sits at approximately 30 per cent for furnished apartments.

How does a furniture package increase the investment return for an investor? 

Increase in weekly rental return as stated is the obvious benefit.  Not to be overlooked although is rentability e.g. if 30 per cent of new inner city apartments within a 5 kilometre ring of the CBD has corporate demand for a furnished apartment, then being one of the first 30 per cent of investors within a development to offer a furnished product to the market, your investment will be rented promptly and provide you with a  return almost immediately.

Too often I see prime inner city developments with little or no furnished stock sit vacant for many months after settlement. It is critical for property managers to run an effective marketing campaign to promote furnished stock and also to have the correct balance of furnished apartments ready to go immediately after settlement.

How are furniture packages adapting to a new style of smaller apartment?

 It’s no secret that apartment floor plates have decreased over the last 10 years and fair enough when everything in the world is becoming more compact and design as a whole is becoming more intelligent. As an example TV’s are now slimline thus a narrower entertainment unit only is required. Bedheads are used with ensembles in lieu of the bulky bedframe, and a smart way of creating the illusion of more space is to use armless chairs and glass for tables. The dimensions of our inventory has decreased across the board without diminishing functionality.

What recent projects have PPS completed?

Gambaro’s Hotel in Brisbane’s inner western suburb of Paddington was one of the more significant developments to be undertaken by PPS this year. Being 5 star with a very classic almost European feel, the standard expected from the client and architect was nothing less than of the highest level. PPS worked closely with renowned HBA architects who came up with the original design concept for the Hotel but it was up to PPS to adapt the design brief into functioning furniture pieces. Our design team headed by Paul Lane worked with high end off shore factories and local manufacturers to exceed everyone’s expectations. Proud to say it was recently awarded Best new Hotel in Queensland.

Although the vast majority of our high rise residential work is in SE Qld, we are also very active it working with regional developers to service their FFE requirements as there can be a higher emphasis on short term accommodation in these areas.  Oshen Yeppoon by Concept Living was a 61 unit development where by PPS furnished 58 one and two bedroom apartments as well as $50,000 budget packages for the penthouses. We are also currently closing out the last of the 42 apartment installs at Allure Townsville for a Sydney based development firm who are very active in the area.

What creative inspiration does your design team draw upon? 

 Our design team gets inspiration, new ideas and keeps up to date with latest trends by attending many design shows and exhibitions worldwide. They are also heavily involved in our products overall functionality and longevity – as this is fundamental for all of our clients.

For our furniture packages, we firstly use the developments exterior and interior finishes to begin the package design process – also considering the Clients Marketing and Branding push, along with their target demographic. We then create a design concept to best enhance the interior schemes and design features of the project ensuring a finished product tailored to each space

How do you procure your furniture?

 It depends on the type of project as well as the level of project we are working on and also how much time we have to complete installation. We design and manufacture much of our furniture from overseas factories that specialise in specific furniture pieces.  It is not uncommon for us to use 10 different suppliers from several continents across the globe, for the one project.

For investor furniture packages we look to manufacture and import as much of our product from offshore as possible.  This enables us to control design and also maintain a high level of quality assurance of the product.  It also enables us to provide the very best dollar for dollar furniture package to the market.

Where do you see unit living in 20 years time? 

Interesting question. I read recently that 87% of Gen Y’s have little or no aspiration to ever own their own property and would want to live close to the city and rent rather than buy. Short and long term corporate tenants are also no different and want to be around the action.  Look at the South Brisbane unit market which is within 1 kilometre of the Queen St Mall . Buildings are being completely tenanted before settlement and it is currently the hottest property market in the country. For this reason I see a much higher density in inner city suburbs with an increase is height restriction for inner city suburbs to cater for demand.

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