A new subsector of the private rented sector, arguably the most significant of all subsectors, has emerged and it is driving investment levels. The build to rent (BTR) industry builds high-quality properties in city centres, fully managed by professional management teams and located within a community of residents with shared values.
While the BTR industry is getting all the attention, a thriving community will need an efficient FM infrastructure to provide the operators with the confidence to deliver a resident-centric service.
FM teams typically have regimented mindsets and robust processes due to the necessity to act swiftly and efficiently. Bringing that FM mindset and embedding it into BTR communities will ensure quality services and promote positive living.
In recent months, the need for high-speed and reliable connectivity has been critical. With working from home likely remaining the norm for many even in a hybrid working model, connectivity will continue to be one of the most important factors for a community. However, it’s also one of those services that residents expect to work flawlessly – they don’t want to have to think about it. Connectivity will be expected in all BTR communities, from individual units and communal spaces, including outdoor areas; therefore, it must be considered in any PPM programme to ensure a smooth and happy resident base.
A strong FM ethos will foster an environment where being proactive is ingrained in the identity of the operator; for example, the proper FM infrastructure is likely to discover an issue early, find the right contractor to outsource to or find suitable solutions without it being raised by a resident.
Needless to say, the commercial benefits are a low turnover of residents, reduced time handling complaints and an enhanced reputation, all resulting in a steady rental income that can be achievable with a robust FM infrastructure in place.
Shumon Choudhury is residential property manager at Lendlease