Customer Experience

Professional property management and facilities are hallmarks of the Build to Rent sector and its aim of offering a unique customer experience for every renter. Providing the UK’s renters with more choice, increasing competition and driving better standards along with making customer experience a priority are key differentiators of the Build to Rent sector.

A key concern in the Best Practice Guide is how residents, the customers of Build to Rent (BTR), are best served and delighted. BTR operators have an interest in customer retention over time, and this manifests in ensuring that customers are well-understood and have their needs met. Understanding your customer also helps with branding and pricing a BTR product correctly.

The way this is done combines both art and science. The science involves examining and understanding key customer identities and what they are looking for from their home, which is seldom a one-and-for-all process but supplemented by seeking their feedback and encouraging dialogue through surveys. It also entails looking beyond simple purchasing behaviour and trying to identify values and behaviours with a view to seeking to anticipate what residents may need, but have left unarticulated. This approach has led to some notable innovations in BTR, including more relaxed approaches toward decorating rental apartments, permitting pets in lets, and low and no deposit renting.

Positive customer experience also depends on having a cohort of advocates, and this entails creating a great employee culture that is suffused with the value of customer care. This is an art, but there are analogues and approaches that are well-established in BTR as well as learnings to be obtained from other sectors. A chief tenet is to employ well, and to look after staff welfare, however.

How you serve customers and mobilise employees toward a common goal can be assisted through a sound branding strategy. Informed by customer insight and your own company strategy, this enables articulation of what you stand for and why your BTR product exists. Such a brand can help to inform and/or be informed by your investment strategy and approaches toward scheme and interior design and to guide decisions when it comes to setting up relationships with delivery partners to ensure that the partner understands and shares your approach. 

Further Resources

Benchmarked against a profile of the wider private rented sector in London, this report provides an insight into who lives in Build-to-Rent homes in London. A collaborative effort by the British Property Federation, London First, the UKAA, Apo Group, Grainger PLC, GetLiving, DataLoft and HomeViews.

Who Lives in Build to Rent report

Love to Rent Week launched in May 2021 to raise awareness of quality rented homes to customers. It did so by promoting that they are available for a range of budgets and lifestyles, provide real stories, dispel myths about renting and gain further recognition from decision makers that Build to Rent is both a viable and growing part of the housing sector. The campaign was launched by Love to Rent with support of UKAA, British Property Federation and The Oracle Group.

Love to Rent Week Campaign

Featured articles in Customer Experience

Branding in BTR: the essentials

Four steps to establish an effective branding proposition in a new Build to Rent scheme


Gathering independent resident feedback in BTR

Gathering feedback from residents enables issues to be resolved quickly, improves retention and provides internal and external benchmarks


Interior design process in planning a BTR scheme

Turning a BTR scheme into buildings which feel like home is not a simple process of buying the right wallpaper and a sofa


Flat share households in BTR

Flat sharing can be a match for customers and for operators.


Designing for co-working amenity

A guide to accommodating new behaviours in flexible working amongst customers.