It’s high time BTR ditched the mantra ‘build it and they will come’

The Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector’s ability to cater to a new generation of renters is second to none.

More and more, private tenants — and particularly those that live in big cities — are being lured to BTR and its abundance of schemes offering flexibility, high-quality amenities and service.

For those who have grown accustomed to the traditional private rented sector (PRS), the transition to living in a BTR development, where they are treated as customers and not merely tenants, can be a stark one.

The sector knows full-well that simplifying the rental process is the name of the game. By offering all-inclusive utility bills, furnished apartments and on-site handyman services, BTR has spearheaded a great leap forward in PRS and is turbocharging the changing expectations of renters.

Streamlining the onboarding process is the next critical priority for operators – but can only be achieved through embracing technology. And although the property industry has, at times, been accused of being slow off the mark, BTR operators are today leading the way when it comes to tech.

For instance, flatfair has already partnered with a range of big players in the BTR world, including Greystar, Invesco, Apo by Ecoworld, Platform, Places for People, Touchstone, Ascend and, most recently, Fizzy Living.

Tim Holden, Director of Residential Development and Asset Management at Cording Group, had this to say:

“We decided to offer flatfair to our tenants as a deposit alternative to lower the initial cost to the tenant in a transparent and fair way. Obviously, as a Build-to-Rent operator, we want to provide as much accessibility to those tenants who may have the means to afford the rent but cannot afford a large upfront deposit.

“The ability to offer an affordable alternative that helps to reduce void periods has to be a good thing for residents and landlords. Our experience with flatfair has been a good one, delivering a high percentage of flatfair tenancies to our tenants.”

Harry Downes, managing director Fizzy Living, added:

“Our slogan ‘reinventing renting’ reflects a straightforward, uncomplicated way of renting. We don’t rest on our laurels and are constantly seeking out ways to make everything simpler and easier for our tenants who are at the heart of everything we do.

“flatfair’s ‘No Deposit’ solution is a great example of that, and we’re pleased to have partnered with it to offer this game-changing alternative to the traditional deposit”.

The rapid saturation of the BTR market dictates that onboarding is no longer simply a case of ‘build it and they will come’, but rather ‘simplify to succeed’. Removing off-putting, up-front costs and admin-related headaches for prospective tenants should be the next hurdle operators seek to overcome.

Not only does flatfair’s cutting-edge technology do away with these altogether, we also deliver up to 12 weeks of damage protection to our partners, as opposed to the maximum of five permitted through a traditional deposit, while simultaneously minimising void periods.

Build-to-Rent’s potential is, without a doubt, enormous – but will only be fully realised if it works hand-in-hand with proptech to deliver a genuinely better deal for Generation Rent.

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