By James Spooner, MD, Triadic Labs
The burgeoning Build to Rent sector hit a stumbling block during lockdown. With most brands commanding higher rents as a premium for the provision of amenities and services, the ability to deliver on this during lockdown meant developers and operators needed to think outside the box.
Many utilised technology as a quick stop-gap to deliver events and experiences as well as online services to supplement the usual front of house concierge.
But, as lockdown continues in various tiers, people get used to an increasingly online experience, and working from home looks set to become the ‘norm’ for many – and serious consideration should be given to the Build to Rent model and how the lessons learned during the pandemic can in fact accelerate a much more resilient and future focused experience for customers.
With Build to Rent becoming a lifestyle choice from young professionals to retirees, the ‘sales’ process needs to more closely mirror that of a new build development. Viewings need to be virtual, more sensory and sophisticated, providing choice, control and customisation to the prospective renter.
Triadic Labs had Build to Rent in mind when it added new features to its Triadic Dash platform, which enables the marketing of rooms much earlier than practical completion – thanks to the ability to create entire developments virtually for prospective customers to view and make offers in a fully online and immersive experience.
The platform provides the customer with complete control as to where they view in their own time – they’re not restricted to a show apartment 360 video. They can virtually walk through the entire development if they so choose, looking at different apartments, communal spaces and amenities – without the 3D glasses of headsets previously required for virtual reality technology.
Savvy operators are white labelling Triadic Labs’ technology to build entire developments from day one, enabling them to start the targeting and sales process earlier. Customers can choose which style of layout and kitchen they want in their apartment in real time during the viewing, and if they want to rent furniture, which style they prefer and then have their preferences saved and emailed to them. They can also change the date and time of their viewing to see the natural light on different dates during the year – natural light being an emerging requirement for many cooped up during lockdown.
Another emerging requirement is the Home Office Ready Space. Young professionals in particular are time poor, and if locked down at home for significant periods of time, need suitable space from which to work – with wifi, light and comfort key considerations. The next wave of Build to Rent should be planning Covid-friendly amenity spaces as part of their design.
We’ve looked at how a Covid-compliant Build to Rent space will look and built renders that are easy to drop into developments to help plan for this inevitable change in layout and interior design going forward.
No one really knows what the future holds but it’s safe to say that technology, flexibility and workspace will be key focus points – not just in Build to Rent, but across the whole lifecycle of property and its assets.
That’s why a strategy now to invest in tech and in workspace is the right thing to do and why we, as a business, have quickly reshaped our plan to include alternative, mixed and commercial strategies to support the pioneers and first movers in these fast-changing times.
Find out more about Triadic Labs.