Four steps to establish an effective branding proposition in a new Build to Rent scheme
A key concern in the Best Practice Guide is how residents, the customers of Build to Rent (BTR), are best served and delighted. BTR operators have an interest in customer retention over time, and this manifests in ensuring that customers are well-understood and have their needs met. Understanding your customer also helps with branding and pricing a BTR product correctly.
The way this is done combines both art and science. The science involves examining and understanding key customer identities and what they are looking for from their home, which is seldom a one-and-for-all process but supplemented by seeking their feedback and encouraging dialogue through surveys. It also entails looking beyond simple purchasing behaviour and trying to identify values and behaviours with a view to seeking to anticipate what residents may need, but have left unarticulated. This approach has led to some notable innovations in BTR, including more relaxed approaches toward decorating rental apartments, permitting pets in lets, and low and no deposit renting.
Positive customer experience also depends on having a cohort of advocates, and this entails creating a great employee culture that is suffused with the value of customer care. This is an art, but there are analogues and approaches that are well-established in BTR as well as learnings to be obtained from other sectors. A chief tenet is to employ well, and to look after staff welfare, however.
How you serve customers and mobilise employees toward a common goal can be assisted through a sound branding strategy. Informed by customer insight and your own company strategy, this enables articulation of what you stand for and why your BTR product exists. Such a brand can help to inform and/or be informed by your investment strategy and approaches toward scheme and interior design and to guide decisions when it comes to setting up relationships with delivery partners to ensure that the partner understands and shares your approach.
Benchmarked against a profile of the wider private rented sector in London, this report provides an insight into who lives in Build-to-Rent homes in London. A collaborative effort by the British Property Federation, London First, the UKAA, Apo Group, Grainger PLC, GetLiving, DataLoft and HomeViews.
Love to Rent Week launched in May 2021 to raise awareness of quality rented homes to customers. It did so by promoting that they are available for a range of budgets and lifestyles, provide real stories, dispel myths about renting and gain further recognition from decision makers that Build to Rent is both a viable and growing part of the housing sector. The campaign was launched by Love to Rent with support of UKAA, British Property Federation and The Oracle Group.