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What Makes the Perfect Build-to-Rent Community?

15 November 2020 Lucy Brice Read time: 3 min
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Lucy Brice

With 150,000 communities either completed, under construction or in planning, it’s clear to see that Build-to-Rent is proving to be a popular trend in the UK. Renters can choose from tastefully designed homes that are catered exclusively for their needs, and that’s excellent news.

When it comes to defining a Build-to-Rent community, several factors go into determining whether or not it’s a success. And it just so happens that we have put this list together detailing the key components needed for a winning formula. So read on and find out what it takes to create a tip-top Build-to-Rent community.

Neighbourhood

London and Manchester have proven to be hotspots for Build-to-Rent communities, but it’s the neighbourhoods where they are located that intrigue. Some Build-to-Rent operators place their communities in the inner city, with Essential Living’s Vantage Point a prime example of a community that reflects its surroundings.

Postcode for a neighbourhood in London where a Build-to-Rent community might feature

Then there’s Fizzy Living, who has gone down the route of suburban neighbourhoods with its Hayes community on the outskirts of West London. In Manchester, Salford – which is just outside the city centre – has proven to be a hotspot for Build-to-Rent. Whichever option you choose, the neighbourhood sets the tone for your community. 

Community

A Build-to-Rent space lives or dies by its community. The word can easily become marketing buzz, with renters moving into soulless buildings that don’t live up to their promises. As an operator, you should ensure that you nail the community aspect to avoid merely becoming just another block of apartments.

Decide whether to offer full homes or a Co-Living space and define the type of community you want. Then think about the day-to-day running and how renters fit into the bigger picture. This might evolve through regular community events and creating in-life tenancies where resters can easily access information and make requests, such as maintenance repairs.

Amenities and social spaces

There is no doubting the role of social spaces and amenities in the success of Build-to-Rent communities. But you can’t chuck any old feature in and expect it to resonate with residents. Instead, think about your community and how spaces like a residents’ lounge, terrace or co-working area fit into the larger picture.

Stylish swimming pool in a Build-to-Rent community

A growing number of Build-to-Rent communities are coming onto the market, and the real winners will be the ones who feature amenities that match the building and its local surroundings. Instead of merely having something like a games room, why not explore unique options, such as a room for games consoles, sports’ room or old school board games room? Putting a new twist on existing trends is a surefire winner. 

Size

Do you go big or small? A smaller boutique option should help with the feeling of exclusiveness and community. It’s easier to hold events for residents, and people like the feeling of being part of something unique.

That doesn’t mean a larger Build-to-Rent community won’t work, though. From a lease-up point of view, larger options offer more financial opportunities. Yet, they need to keep that strong feeling of community, as it will ultimately define your Build-to-Rent offering.

Technology

Renters are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, and therefore expect technology to feature in their day-to-day living experiences. Just like Uber, Netflix, and online banking have given them instant accessibility to rides, entertainment and finance, your building should provide them with convenient options for living.

Mobile phone technology in a Build-to-Rent building

Residents should be able to use an app or web application to arrange repairs, ask questions about their tenancy, see when the rent is due, access documents and book social spaces. Property managers should then supplement the use of technology, boosting the overall customer service on offer. 

If you build it, they will come

Renter demand is increasing by the day, and Build-to-Rent communities offer a different level of housing. Nail the aspects that define your community, and renters will flock there in abundance, seeing you as the de facto Build-to-Rent operator when it comes to defining the modern-day renter experience.

But how do you find those renters? Partnering with Movebubble means you’ll get access to 750,000-plus verified renters looking for their next home, and we’re Build-to-Rent specialists with our community guides and reviews that highlight the best communities. To find out more, along with how we use video walkthroughs and instant bookings, fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.

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