It can be a lonely world out there, especially if you live in always-on-the go cities like London and Manchester. Their frantic pace can leave people feeling isolated, and they don’t particularly lend themselves to the ideals of a community.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As a Build-to-Rent guru, you’re already well aware of the importance of fostering a community in your living spaces. Yet, achieving a successful balance of creating a community spirit while giving people their own space doesn’t come easy.
For renters to buy into the idea of a community, the ingredients need to be just right. Try too hard, and your efforts may come off as banal and synthetic. Try too little, and nothing will change. So what can you do to create a genuine sense of community that makes your offering stand out from the crowd?
Read on, and find out how to build a community in your Build-to-Rent space.
Create an identity
Being part of a community is a sense of belonging and togetherness. It’s about finding people who fit your ethos as much as it is about them buying into your lifestyle. Our differences are what makes us interesting, but our similarities can bring us together.
Different neighbourhoods appeal to specific personalities, and your Build-to-Rent offering should reflect its local postcode. For example, the Northern Quarter in Manchester appeals to creative bohemian types, while Canary Wharf in London suits those who, well, wear a suit.
Tap into the charms and quirks of the local area, and your Build-to-Rent home becomes an extension of what’s around it. Therefore, the chances of attracting renters who share the same ethos and lifestyles increases, as does the potential to create a community.
You’ve got the snazzy, top-of-the-range Build-to-Rent home with all the trimmings, but you need to earn the trust of your renters too. You can do that by connecting with them and being open to feedback and new ideas. This will help show that your Build-to-Rent home is much more than a place to live.
It’s about creating an environment throughout the entire building where everything is designed around the lives of modern-day renters. Technology enables communities by letting people stay connected, whether it’s using an app to report issues or having access to someone who can provide information about the building and local area.
The quality of service from your side goes a long way to creating trust. Renters who feel like they’re in an environment where they can trust the service around them are much more likely to buy into the lifestyle on offer.
Bring everyone together
Now that you have renters’ trust, it’s time to bring everyone together. Placing emphasis on communal areas like residents’ lounges, co-working spaces and shared dining provides a foundation for community living.
But these spaces need to be more than the sum of their parts and offer an atmosphere that genuinely makes renters want to spend time in them. Getting the ambiance right is one thing, but the focus should be on regular social events that encourages participation.
From cooking lessons to quiz nights and even group movie sittings, there’s no better way to foster good ol’ community vibes than by putting people in an environment where they start talking to each other (except maybe during the movie screenings, of course).
Then give them space
As important as it is to bring people together in your search for a community, there also needs to come a time where space is provided. Remember: it’s all about balance. No one wants to hear the dreaded, “it’s not me, it’s you”. Which is why you need to let renters know all these great facilities are there for them, but there’s no urgency to use them. It’s chill. It’s chill.
Providing great homes where renters can enjoy privacy and escape from the world for a few hours is particularly helpful for offering space. Some renters will be chomping at the bit to explore their new community. But others might be more reserved to begin with, and that’s fine. It’ll come eventually if they’re given the right environment.
Reward and validate
As the community grows at your Build-to-Rent home, people will desire to become more involved and participate as active members. Such behaviour should be rewarded, whether it’s through loyalty schemes or member perks.
If members of your community feel rewarded for their participation, they will likely continue being part of the community while also championing it to others. Perks like free stuff (who doesn’t like free stuff?) from local businesses who you partner with (a community extends further than a building) are small touches that can have long-term value.
From community to family
You started with bricks and mortar, which became a fully-functioning Build-to-Rent home. That home then offered the settings to begin a community that grew from strength to strength. Once you have a fully-fledged community where everyone is happy and actively taking part, you graduate to a family. And right now, that feeling of family and togetherness in larger cities is needed more than ever.