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Build-to-Rent apartments

Should You Convert Your Building Into a Build-to-Rent Community?

27 August 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 2 min
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Simon Banks

Planning permission in the UK continues to get the green light for more new homes as developers aim to solve the demand v supply problem on these shores. Of those new builds, many are primed to be high-end apartment blocks with all the trimmings.

But instead of selling units off to buyers, developers are instead turning them into Build-to-Rent communities – even if that wasn’t the initial plan. The reason? Selling hundreds of units can be tricky, especially in the current climate we find ourselves in.

Renting them out, however, is proving to be the smart move, as the rental market continues its rapid growth. In this article, we’re looking at whether you should turn your soon-to-be-completed apartment block into a brand-spanking-new Build-to-Rent community.

Meeting renter demand

The rental sector is set to account for 25% of the housing market by next year, with London consisting of 60% of renters by 2025. Generation Rent is on the rise, and it’s not merely because they can’t afford to buy.

Demand v Supply

For many, renting is a lifestyle choice, as they prioritise other aspects of their lives financially. If you’re planning a new apartment building or are in the final stages of completing one, your potential target market of renters is growing exponentially.

With tenancies lasting longer (an average of just over four years), and renters willing to spend a little more for good-quality homes, Build-to-Rent communities –with their renter-focused lifestyle options – are in a good position to capitalise on increased demand.

Greater flexibility

Buying a home is a huge decision. For the majority of us, it’s the most expensive purchase we’re ever going to make and requires borrowing large sums of money from a mortgage lender. It’s safe to say that it’s a large commitment with significant financial outlay.

However, renting is much more flexible and doesn’t cost anywhere near the figures involved with buying. Renters are happy moving into a place, knowing that, in the worst-case scenario, if they don’t like it they can move on in a few months’ time. The turnaround time is also much quicker for renting a home. Where a property sale can take three months, renters can be in your building in no time at all.

Better marketing tools available

If you’re considering turning your building into a Build-to-Rent community, you’re already starting from a position of strength. After all, there is plenty of renter demand already. And there are even more options on the market for finding renters too than if you decided to sell.

Movebubble One home

Here at Movebubble, we’re a renter-first platform that has access to more than 700,000 professional renters. Our Movebubble One page highlights the best Build-to-Rent communities, including the local neighbourhoods where they’re located. Renters can also find, view and secure a home on our platform, meaning they could literally be in your new Build-to-Rent community in days.

It also means you have a greater means of advertising to your target audience, with key Build-to-Rent and general renter insights available. Overall, Build-to-Rent operators can tap into vast amounts of information and get direct access to modern-day renters.

Catering to renter needs

If you’re edging towards launching a Build-to-Rent community, you might be wondering how you can make them more renter-friendly. If your building already has snazzy amenities like lounges, gyms and co-working spaces, you’re well on your way to a renter-exclusive home that will be in high demand.

Other actions that you can take include making homes pet-friendly, offering zero deposit schemes and flexible tenancies. Catering to tech-savvy renters with a technology-led property management system will also go a long way to getting them on board while dramatically cutting down your maintenance times.

If you build it, they will come

For many building operators, Build-to-Rent is becoming the obvious choice as it reduces the time a building is empty and has an excellent turnover rate. It’s why so many buildings that were initially planned for the sales market have become Build-to-Rent communities. Could yours be next and cater to the high demand from renters in the housing market?

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