At the start of my last week as CEO, it seems opportune to reflect on my time at the UKAA and to give my sense of what makes the future so bright for the organisation and the sector.
I have been privileged to lead a wonderful team through some extraordinary and challenging times. We have overcome these through hard work and with resilience, which it feels is starting to pay off. We have moved from being a start-up to an organisation that, with the support of the membership, has the scale and energy to make a real difference to the development of the Build to Rent sector. The challenge for my successor is where to focus that capability over the next few years.
The opportunities opening up around the central ambition to improve our customers’ experience of renting their homes are many and varied, both in core BTR activities and the convergence of related “living” asset classes. I look forward to both observing and maybe contributing in some small way as I retire from working full-time to a more casual day or so a week.
In thinking about what’s been special about my time at the UKAA. I keep coming back to the warmth of the welcome shown to me and the openness of members to new ideas and sharing knowledge. I really hope that I have been able to replicate this warmth and openness within the UKAA and to foster them as key values in our behaviour. Let’s nurture this spirit and grow it particularly around the sharing of data. I am certain that benchmarks will emerge and the UKAA will be central to them, even if this takes longer than any of us believe that it should.
Innovation is another core value I hope we have consistently displayed, particularly in our events, and I look forward to going out in style at the 2022 Expo. Whether online or in person, paid for or free, I have always believed that our job is to entertain and challenge our audience so that they enjoy, remember and learn from our events. Just because we’re working in residential real estate doesn’t mean we’re not putting on a show!
This week’s Expo is on course to be the biggest dedicated BTR event ever held in the UK. I am relishing the prospect of a packed Business Design Centre and a chance to say thank you to everyone who has been so kind and generous in their support. It also promises to be a great opportunity to share a drink with lots of old and new friends – so see you on Thursday!