Build To Rent 101

Branding in BTR: The essentials

A coherent strategy underpinned by research is vital for creating a scheme which will attract customers and outpace the competition

Build to Rent (BTR) is all about the customer; delivering excellent spaces at good value, along with a comprehensive service to renters.   
Brand plays a key role. It brings every element of an offer together as a cohesive experience for its customers and as an organising principle for your people.   
Brand also offsets investment risk and generates value. According to Colliers International Rental Insights Survey, branded BTR schemes command a 25% premium over comparable buy-to-lets than their unbranded counterparts. 
Here are the essential steps for establishing an effective branding proposition for a new BTR development.  
These steps can be helpful for:  

  1. Smaller companies without access to expert advice that wish to bootstrap their own brand strategy 
  2. Companies wishing to commission expert advice around a branding or rebranding strategy 
  3. Non-branding specialists wishing to understand where branding sits within the broader value proposition of their company, and how it relates to their role  
Delivering successful BTR communities entails understanding your audience, reviewing key competitors and keeping that knowledge current

1. Establish your audience   

Delivering successful BTR communities entails understanding your audience, reviewing key competitors and keeping that knowledge current. This will help you understand if your offer and proposition are truly unique. 
First, define who you’re trying to reach.  
Consider the stakeholders in your scheme, from your current investors and partners to prospective residents and employees. It can be useful to create personas or archetypes to ‘get to know them better’. 
Each stakeholder group will have a unique set of requirements, expectations, and challenges that you’ll need to consider:  

  • What are their interests? 
  • What challenges do they face? 
  • What are their wants and needs? 
  • What are their real frustrations? 

These stakeholder personas can then be informed, tested and refined through direct consultation, for example, via interviews, surveys and workshops. With this knowledge, you can resolve how your offer will meet their varied needs, which help validate whether your proposition serves your objectives and the needs of your target market.   
What you need:   

  • Local market and demography insights from pre-acquisition, which should be supplemented with further consultation during planning. 
  • Stakeholder personas that turn prospective-customer data into pen portraits, to understand customers real wants and needs.   
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