Insight

Five principles for a great build-to-rent property

Insight

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Since 2007, there has been over a 63% growth in the number of households renting in the UK. As a result of this, we are seeing more and more ‘build to rent’ developments designed for long term rental occupation being built in the UK. Characterised by creating a community feel and placing a key focus in the resident’s experience, what are the main principles to consider when designing a build to rent development?

1. Keep the customer at the heart

What are their habits? What do they value? What technologies do they use? Understand them.

Young Professionals account for 37% of BTR households, and they have very busy lives. Therefore, anything that saves time, or makes things easier, is a major selling point. Value what they value. Plug and play utilities, all-inclusive bills.

According to our research on the rental requirements of millennial movers, 51.6% consider all-inclusive bills important when choosing a place to live.

Convenience offerings such as dry cleaning, flat cleaning and the added security of a 24hour concierge and parcel storage are all desirable.

Millennials strive to be fit, healthy and social which means nearby parks, gyms and supermarkets are all on the list of priorities.

2. Create a sense of community

The creation of a community feel and positive customer experience is the underlying philosophy of any successful Build to Rent scheme. More value is placed on experience than possessions, so being part of a young, professional, well connected, respectful community is key to communal living.

Facebook groups for the building mean you can interact with the people you’re living with, even if you’ve not had time to meet them face to face. It also means events such as BBQs and wine tasting can be easily arranged and give tenants the opportunity to make new friends, which is a big appeal to those who’ve moved to the area for work and don’t know many people.

Social spaces like a rooftop terrace, communal garden, BBQ area, gym, bar or lounge area all help to facilitate these types of events.

3. Design a functional home, not just a place to sleep

Space is a luxury that many millennials can’t afford, which is why creating the illusion of more space is so important. Open plan rooms with built in storage mean tenants have more floor space and feel less claustrophobic.

Lighting plays a massive part in creating a homely space. Natural light is important, but so is relaxing low lighting in the evenings. Dimmer switches and plenty of plug sockets for lamps will ensure your tenants can chill out and create a vibe that suits their mood.

Unit design should be flexible and offer personalisation.

Communal space where people can drink coffee, work or practice yoga are an added bonus as it offers stressed out couples a little more space and privacy without having to actually leave the building.

4. Incorporate cutting edge technology

Choose technology that will enhance the customer experience.

Young professionals do everything online, from streaming shows, to gaming, listening to music, ordering groceries and booking taxis, so having fast, reliable Wi-Fi across multiple devices is a must.

According to our recent research, almost 80% of young professionals said ultrafast speed connectivity is an essential part of renting, and almost 50% own 3-4 Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Build to Rent developers have re imagined the renting experience to incorporate cutting edge technology meaning you have control over all aspects of your home at the touch of a button.

5. Futureproof your building

By investing in a future-proofed infrastructure, you can ensure that your property will offer tenants what they need for generations to come.

Engineering systems need to be integrated so as to not intrude upon the quality of the spaces and mean developers have more floor space to play with.

A fully converged fibre infrastructure makes new services and home automation easy, uses less power resulting in lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint, and will stand the test of time.

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