There are many reasons why people are renting more and more in the UK, whether it be because of the changing and uncertain housing market or the struggle to save for a deposit.
There has been an increase in the number of households renting in England with 20% of households now privately renting, subsequently, ‘build-to-rent’ developments designed for long-term occupation are on the rise.
These properties need to be designed with the tenants in mind and so, community and resident experience need to be considered carefully. To help, broadband and utilities provider, Glide, has put together five top priorities to consider when designing a build-to-rent development.
Understand your customer
With over a third (37%) of build-to-rent households being occupied by young professionals, it is important that you understand what they are looking for. All inclusive bills are a high priority when choosing a place to live according to over half (52%) of millennial movers. Any other ways to save time and make things as convenient as possible for your tenant, such as parcel storage or dry cleaning, are also desirable.
As many young professionals commute to work, it is a good idea to consider this when choosing areas in which to develop. According to recent research, two in five (40%) of those without children factor in distance to work when choosing a rental home and one in five (21%) also prefer to live near public transport links or airports.
Sense of community
As experiences are valued highly among young professionals, creating a sense of community is key. Your professional audience needs to feel part of a well connected and respectful communal living environment.
A good way of ensuring a positive community atmosphere is a Facebook group for the building. This can be a good way for tenants to interact with other people they are living with and create social events such as BBQs and meet ups. This is particularly appealing to those who have only recently moved to the area for work and don’t know many people before they move in.
In order to accommodate and promote this social setting, spaces such as a rooftop terrace, communal garden or lounge area are a good idea for tenants to socialise and relax outside of their own property.
It’s not just a place to sleep
Creating space, or the illusion of space, is very important for ensuring that tenants don’t feel too claustrophobic.
Inbuilt storage facilities will mean more floor space and open plan rooms, which are more appealing to millennials.
Lighting is crucial for making rooms appear light and spacious, so natural light is a must have. However being able to wind down with more relaxed lighting is also essential. Therefore, well sized windows and dimmer light switches will help facilitate this. There should be lots of plug sockets available so your tenant can use lamps, and other items such as electricals like chargers and tablets, to create a personalised vibe.
Stay up to date with technology
Cutting edge technology is vital to enhance the customer experience. Millennials rely heavily on fast and reliable Wi-Fi in their lives, from streaming TV shows and movies to ordering their weekly groceries online. High speed connectivity is an essential part of renting for 80% of young professionals.
Being able to control all aspects of your home at the tap of a screen is becoming more popular. You should be sure to incorporate this and any other upcoming home technologies into any build to rent developments.
As tenants are looking to rent long term, they will be keen to live in a building that is set to last. You should invest in solid infrastructure so you can ensure that your tenants have what they need for years to come.
Integrating engineering systems allows for a high quality of space which means developers have more floor space to play with.
In order to use less power, consequently providing lower energy bills, you should use a full fibre infrastructure that will stand the test of time.This will also reduce the tenants carbon footprint which is a key and topical issue for millennials.