Knight Frank and Moda release ‘game changing’ BTR research

Knight Frank and Moda’s ‘game changing’ Build to Rent research evidences the link between resident happiness, liveability and operational performance.

Knight Frank and Moda’s ‘game changing’ research | BTR News

New research conducted by global property consultancy Knight Frank in conjunction with Moda Living provides evidence of the link between resident happiness, BTR liveability and operational performance.

With data collected from 247 Build to Rent schemes across the UK, the BTR Resident Experience Index provides a unique insight into what ‘best in class’ looks like within the UK Build to Rent market. 

“The significance of resident experience in Build to Rent cannot be understated. Our research shows that resident experience drives operational performance by maximising occupancy and income while also reducing costs. This analysis establishes what best in class looks like by identifying commonalities between the top-rated schemes. This information is game-changing; for the first time it allows us to accurately quantify the features that will ensure a scheme delivers top resident experience.”

Lizzie Breckner, Head of BTR Research, Knight Frank

Researchers at Knight Frank identified 21 unique social and economic indicators or ‘features’, grouped into six categories: quality of scheme, affordability, accessibility, sustainability, health and wellbeing and tenant satisfaction.

Knight Frank’s researchers believe that within the six categories – which includes amenity provision, walkability, energy costs, energy efficiency, air pollution and local crime levels – it influences the residents experience of living within a Build to Rent development.

By conducting this analysis, Knight Frank has been able to pinpoint the exact specifications that will deliver the highest satisfaction for residents. The company’s Head of Research highlights its importance to the sector.

“This is important because it can be used to inform site selection, design and management strategy. The results of the index are not set in stone as the elements relating to resident experience can change over time. We can use this analysis to understand how both individual schemes and the sector can improve.”

Lizzie Breckner, Head of BTR Research, Knight Frank

The Build to Rent research revealed a clear link between higher quality, well-located and sustainable schemes and overall resident satisfaction. The analysis underpinning the index provides each scheme with a resident experience score, which allows investors, developers and operators to understand the impact that location, design and satisfaction can have on residents lived experiences, and the impact on operational performance.

Scoring schemes out of 100, Band A grouped those with scores of 70 or above, with bands reducing in ten-point increments down to Band E (30 or below). The data found that the optimum scheme includes an average unit size of 67 m2, seven amenities, and a range of amenities within a 15-minute walk of the development.

The research also found that the ESG credentials of a scheme impacted the resident experience. Build to Rent schemes with high scores had EPC ratings of B or above, low carbon emissions and energy costs below £4.70 per sqm on average.

Poll of Moda Living’s residents

A poll of Moda Living’s residents was also conducted. The data showed that 70% of residents value community, 77% are willing to pay a premium for higher quality amenities, and 90% said that where they live has a big impact on their wellbeing. 

The score for all operational Moda Living schemes came in above 70, placing them in Band A. Analysis of the developer-operator’s operational data revealed above average lease-up rates, rental growth premiums and strong renewal rates.

The high resident experience scores at Moda Living’s schemes are likely to be a key contributing factor to the operator’s excellent operational performance. 

“At Moda Living we are dedicated to delivering the best possible experience for our residents. Building a lifestyle into the neighbourhoods we’re developing and then operating long term is fundamental to every decision we make across the business, and we are keen to work with industry partners to define and quantify what a fantastic resident experience is to ensure those decisions are always the best ones for our communities. As a relatively embryonic sector, it’s about working together to uncover key data and trends which will lead us to a happier, healthier rental cohort. 

“It’s been fantastic to work with Knight Frank on what we hope will prove a valuable steppingstone towards that definition and look forward to working with the team in the months and years to come to evolve the Resident Experience Index into a model that will deliver valuable insight to industry peers, stakeholders and, crucially, our residents for the long term.”

Oscar Brooks, Executive Director, Moda Living