Do residents understand the BTR value proposition?

Value consistently receives the lowest rating on HomeViews, but in the past year, its ratings for Build to Rent has seen the most significant increase.

Park Central West by Lendlease - winners of the mystery shopping carried out by hereSay - HomeViews | BTR News
Park Central West by Lendlease - winners of the mystery shopping carried out by hereSay.

This year’s free HomeViews 2022 National Build to Rent Report is based on reviews from 64% of completed Build to Rent developments in the UK – giving the most in-depth insight into the resident experience for this growing sector. Value has consistently received the lowest average rating of any of HomeViews’ five review categories.

By Hannah Marsh, Co-founder, HomeViews

However, Value ratings for Build to Rent saw the most significant increase in the past year on HomeViews, which was driven by better ratings for developments outside London. This suggests that there has never been a better time for Build to Rent to make residents its biggest advocates.

Value ratings over time for Build to Rent:BTS | BTR News

What makes a Build to Rent development good value?

Reviews suggested that tenants saw value in facilities, additional services and having amenities such as Wi-Fi included in bills, as well as a sense that their experience surpassed their expectations. Residents felt that their accommodation represented good value when every part of their experience was better than they had expected.

HomeViews compared ratings for the Value and Management categories. 79% of residents gave Value a rating of four or five out of five for Build to Rent, and the same percentage gave this to Management. The difference in the overall average rating stems from the fact that more residents gave a five-star rating for Management, rather than a four-star rating.

At the other end of the spectrum, 10% of residents gave their Management a one or two out of five. In comparison, only 6% gave the Value of their development a one or two out of five.

Percentage of tenants scoring Value and Management | BTR News

Selling the dream

Among the 6% of residents who rated the Value of their development one or two out of five, many spoke of a disconnect between what they had been sold and the reality they experienced. HomeViews explored this further in collaboration with hereSAY.

In 2021, hereSAY (part of SAY, the property consultancy) reported on the Build to Rent viewing experience in their Mystery Shopping Report. HomeViews has compared hereSAY’s data with the ratings and reviews of 644 HomeViews Verified Tenants who rated the lived experience of the same developments their mystery shoppers went on viewings for.

In the hereSAY analysis, 39% did not agree that the development offered good value for money. In comparison, HomeViews has seen the tenant perception of value increased year on year to 4.16 out of five.

Resident reviews on HomeViews gave a percent recommend and Customer Service rating 35% higher than mystery shoppers who went on a viewing. Build to Rent residents appear to be understanding the value proposition well, but with a poor follow-up rate and lower scores, the sector is not successfully communicating this to prospective residents during viewings.