Build to rent developments are being erected across the UK at great speed, with over 240,000 units being in planning, construction or completed at the time of writing. However, with the number of build to rent developments increasing by approximately 20 per cent year on year, it can be difficult for developers to stand out from the crowd and attract the right type of tenants. After all, competition across this quickly evolving property sector is seemingly increasing by the minute. So, how do you ensure that your build to rent development attracts quality, long term tenants in such a bustling market? Here are four areas to focus on to boost the appeal of your build to rent scheme:
It is imperative that your build to rent development is situated in an area that is appealing to prospective tenants. This transcends being close to appealing amenities that increase demand in your area – your development should be commutable for those travelling to work or university, with nearby bus, train and tram stops being ideal for those not commuting by car. Furthermore, your build to rent development should be close to green spaces or provide a green space within the development itself, especially if you are considering building your development in a dense inner-city area where tenants may feel trapped in a ‘concrete jungle’. This is particularly important for tenants that are fitness fanatics looking to find a new spot for their morning run, casual walkers and alfresco lovers as well as dog owners that will prefer green spaces for walks with their furry friend. Whist pet’s aren’t normally the primary audience for build to rent developments it’s well worth considering, as a large majority of build to rent schemes are pet friendly, making them an obvious choice for those looking to move with an animal. Lastly, you should focus on locating your development in an area that has a good reputation ideally set to benefit benefit from nearby regeneration. Not only will this make tenants feel safe at your development, but this will amplify your tenant retention as your residents will be more likely to stay at your site in the long-term if they feel that they are in a secure, reputable area.
You can have all of the best amenities, in the best location, for a superb price, but none of this will matter unless you market your development properly, and to the right people. As such, to attract tenants to your development you must master your marketing and understand what makes your ideal tenant tick. For those looking to appeal to students, advertise your development on student forums and on social media where younger people will be most likely to search for their next home. If you are hoping to appeal to more senior tenants, consider advertising your build to rent scheme via direct mail or in local magazines rather than online, as older home movers may be more adverse to using technology to find their next home. For more information on how to market your build to rent scheme to appeal to the right tenants, check out our dedicated blog here.
If you have a pet, it can be difficult to find rental accommodation that allows you to move in with your furry friend. Private landlords and many PRS units may be resistant to allowing animals inside of their property, which makes BTR developments a clear option for those with pets, or those planning to adopt an animal in the future. However, developers are not making the most of this valuable USP to attract tenants. According to the British Property Federation, 82 per cent of build to rent schemes are open to accepting pets, but less than half of schemes openly promote their willingness to accept animals on their premises. This is a significant missed opportunity for developers to appeal to a growing demographic of potential tenants, especially after the pandemic where pet ownership soared to the highest on record, with 62 per cent of households having an animal. Such high numbers of pet ownership, paired with the current discrepancy between supply and demand, can make the promotion of pet-friendly tenancies at your build to rent development extremely attractive to tenants.
Tenants, in most cases, are eager to save money where they can, and many build to rent developments offer some great opportunities to slice bills significantly. Whether you’re working from a communal working space within your development to save on commuting costs and electricity; cutting costs on Wi-Fi that comes included with some build to rent rental fees; or saving on gym fees thanks to the convenience of your on-site gym – build to rent developments can offer multiple ways for tenants to save money. Better yet, your tenants will not have to spend money implementing the most up to date energy saving technologies across their homes in the same way that their home-owning counterparts will have to, as your build to rent development will provide them with all of the modern amenities to help reduce energy expenditure. With energy prices soaring and British tenants and homeowners paying the highest energy bills in the entire world, money-saving home hacks are creeping to the top of your prospective tenant’s agenda. By offering your build to rent scheme as a solution to your tenant’s money woes, you can easily boost the appeal of your development.
VICI by Centrick is here to help you optimise performance from your build to rent site(s) – from inception to construction, onboarding to long-term performance strategy. With over fifteen years of experience advising developers and investors and a wealth of practical, hands on experience managing build to rent developments, we know what makes tenants tick, which allows us to provide tailored advice to build to rent developers to help them enhance their purpose built communities. For more information on the difference VICI can make to your build to rent development’s appeal and performance, contact the team using the form below, or check out the VICI hub here.
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