The Build to Rent sector in the UK continued to go from strength to strength throughout 2023, with figures from Savills showing that investment in the sector had reached a record 10% of total real estate investment in the year to Q3 2023. With current stock sitting just over 90,000 completed homes and a further 170,000 in the pipeline, it is an important part of the UK’s economy.
Investing in the development of new properties is critical for growth and addressing the UK’s housing supply and demand issues – but what comes after the build is complete is just as important for return on investment. Getting it right when it comes to managing your buildings and tenants is critical – after all, owning Build to Rent real estate is pointless and wasteful if no one wants to live there.
Parcel management and logistics is just one part of the picture when it comes to managing a Build to Rent property, but it is essential for keeping things running smoothly. The wrong set-up can be labour intensive, time-demanding and expensive, as well as creating an unsafe or undesirable environment for tenants. It deserves due time and attention, especially given shifting consumer behaviour and beliefs.
The growing problem of parcels
In 2022, the UK shipped, received and returned 5.1 billion parcels – the equivalent of 76 per person in the UK. Not only does this have a significant impact on the environment, traffic on our roads, and parcel delivery firms, it also increases the strain on the facilities managers and concierge services that are increasingly spending time receiving deliveries on behalf of residents.
With even small properties taking in thousands of parcels each year, having an efficient and safe system is critical. There has been an alarming rise in parcel theft in the UK, particularly in densely populated urban areas like London. According to research MyPup conducted last year, nearly half (45%) of private tenants living in the capital have been victims of parcel theft in the past five years, with one in five (22%) being affected in the past 12 months. As a result of increasing theft, tenants are becoming fearful and frustrated with many even hesitating to have parcels delivered to their homes.
Tenants expect those responsible for their homes to keep their parcels safe, so when parcels go missing, landlords and property managers often bear the brunt of their frustration. Complaints can mount up quickly, adding to the time and financial burden of managing properties that were expected to be ‘light touch’ at the point of investment.
Increasing instances of parcel theft also raise the wider issue of property safety. While missing parcels may seem like a relatively small issue in the grand scheme of things, with no resident being physically harmed, the psychological impact has the power to affect your property’s reputation and desirability. Safety concerns can quickly snowball and play heavy on the minds of your tenants; if someone is able to enter the property and steal parcels, they could also try to access one of the residential units.
A parcel management system could address this issue. MyPup consolidates all parcels for one building or site from all delivery companies at a separate location before one courier delivers them in one go to secure parcel lockers. This means that instead of 10s of couriers coming in and out of the building, you’ll receive just one, which relieves pressure facilities staff as well as keeping your properties more secure. The high-tech parcel lockers MyPup installs in the building also keep parcels safe and secure until residents are ready to collect using their unique code.
Not only does this provide a better service for your building residents, it also shows that you take issues that are important to them seriously, increasing resident satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of multiple vacancies that are difficult to fill.
Addressing growing environmental concerns
While safety is perhaps the most significant concern for your tenants, consumers increasingly care about the environmental impact of their behaviour, including where they live. Offering services that align with prospective tenants’ goals and values could prove helpful in attracting high quality tenants. With services like MyPup, that can include how they receive their deliveries at home.
While you must show plans for sustainability at the point of planning, this often falls down the list of priorities once a building is up and running. When your property receives deliveries for hundreds or even thousands of residents, you could have multiple vans from every single delivery provider arriving each day, which increases emissions and creates more pollution around the site that could be hazardous to your tenants.
As MyPup offers parcel consolidation as well as delivery, only one courier delivers to each property each day via carbon-neutral transport. This approach has earned the company B Corp status, after it saved nearly 150,000kg of CO2 in 2023 – the equivalent of more than 1,000 flights between Amsterdam and London – through reduced traffic and emissions. Some buildings have even been able to receive innovation credits under BREEAM.
At a time when the UK economy is poised for recession after months of high inflation, with the cost of borrowing on the rise, property investors and managers need to do what they can to reduce vacancies. Much can be achieved through the service and safety provided to the tenants that reside in your properties, and addressing parcel theft while improving the sustainability of your real estate portfolio kills two birds with one stone.
MyPup is already working with real estate companies like Greystar in the UK, taking full responsibility for the last mile, and making it easier to manage deliveries into the building, resolve issues with missing parcels and keep residents safe. You, too, can protect parcels, tenants and the environment with MyPup’s unique service.