“The customer is critical to the Build To Rent business thesis - it starts with the customer and not the land”. A few years ago, many people in residential property would have disagreed profoundly with this statement. Nowadays most people in BTR would agree with the sentiment, though maybe not with the detail. The quote was the central idea for a session at the recent UKAA BTR Fayre and understanding what this really means and more importantly how to deliver it is one of the fundamental challenges facing all of us in BTR and one that The UKAA is looking to address.
Of course a BTR scheme can’t happen without a site, but without customers a BTR scheme has no income and without income, it has no value. Identifying the potential customers for any scheme must be the first step in any decision-making process. Understanding who those customers are in detail, their aspirations, what they value and what they dislike are increasingly important as more BTR schemes come to market and having a new building with lots of 2 bed flats and professional management aren’t enough to deliver a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage...
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