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What Do You Need to Set Up a Build-to-Rent Community?

28 August 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

Build-to-Rent is enjoying a boom period at the moment, and it looks set to enjoy long-term success too. A growing number of communities are cropping up around the UK – especially in London and Manchester – and are catering to the demand from renters who want more options in the rental market.

If you’re an operator looking to set up shop at your next building or are planning on constructing a community, you might be wondering which key ingredients make for a successful Build-to-Rent venture. After all, modern-day renters have high demands, which operators need to meet to ensure a successful set-up.

We’ve put this handy guide together, looking at what you need to set up a Build-to-Rent community. From understanding your local neighbourhood to configuring amenities, here are our top tips for becoming an excellent Build-to-Rent player.

Understand the local neighbourhood

Build-to-Rent apartments are a community where renters come together and experience similar lifestyles. But the buildings need to reflect their local neighbourhood. That means you should have an in-depth understanding of the area where your community is located.

Local neighbourhood

From knowing the makeup of residents, all the way to the inner workings of the neighbourhood, you’ll need to get it when it comes to the local postcode. Communities should be organic, and the only way that will happen is if your Build-to-Rent apartments mirror the local community.

Full house or Co-Living?

Build-to-Rent isn’t rooted to one guise, with Co-Living offering an alternative to the full apartment options found in most communities. Before you create your masterpiece, you will need to decide which type of renters you want to attract. This, in turn, will help you decide on the type of Build-to-Rent community you want to configure. 

The Co-Living option places even more emphasis on the social aspects, appealing to people who like to come and go without committing to long-term contracts. Instead of living in an apartment, renters live in rooms and use the rest of the community – the kitchen, lounge et cetera – as a shared living space. 

Regular Build-to-Rent, on the other hand, offers residents a full apartment with access to entertainment-driven social spaces. Both options have proven to be big hits, but you’ll need to define your community before you can build it.

All the amenities

There’s no beating around the bush: the amenities are a huge draw when it comes to Build-to-Rent. Renters love having social spaces like a residents’ lounge, screening rooms and a fitness centre that’s just a hop and skip away from their apartment.

Build-to-Rent gym

Some Build-to-Rent developments take it to another level with on-site steam rooms, saunas and swimming pools. While you don’t necessarily need to go down the five-star spa route, getting the right amenities in place that foster a community spirit will help attract renters when it comes to letting your homes and help you compete with other options on the market. 

Access to renters

The key ingredient to any successful Build-to-Rent community is, of course, the renters. With the aim of filling buildings up as quickly as possible, you’ll want to make sure you know where to find professional renters.

At Movebubble, we’re a renter-first platform. That means we have access to 700,000-plus verified renters who are move-in ready. Our Movebubble One feature even highlights Build-to-Rent communities, focusing on the buildings and local area.

And with Home Walkthrough and Instant Booking, renters can find, view and secure their new home without even leaving the couch. The result is quicker move-in times, which creates faster lets.

Tech-minded thinking

These days, renters are tech-savvy and always thinking about how technology can enhance their living experience. That's why a Build-to-Rent community should place emphasis on technology when it comes to a renters’ in-life tenancy.

Using an online portal or an app so they can report maintenance issues and keep up to date with repair requests will go a long way to attracting renters. As will the ability to use the app to manage their tenancy, including document access and booking social spaces for private use from time to time.

Creating a community

As the demographic of people renting grows, your decision to curate a Build-to-Rent community means that you’re providing high-quality homes for the market. Get the fundamentals right, and your Build-to-Rent option will prove to be a big hit with renters looking for homes designed exclusively for them.

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