Covid 19 – CEO’s Update: Friday 3rd April

Another week and staying at home, apart from my 15-minute lunchtime walk is starting to seem normal (Sadly as is running out of energy at 4pm and being told to put my phone away and rest for an hour) 

The week has just flown by and its actually been full of good things being done by amazing people We’ve been running our Senior Leaders calls for two  weeks now and so many people across the industry have taken part who are working their socks off to support their teams and their customers and residents. I’m really pleased that we are able to provide a place to share these learning. Today we ran our first weekly Operator’s Forum with 45 people sharing real details from the coal face, that will really make a difference in the coming weeks – from virtual wine clubs with real wine for all residents to a focus on how to help residents maintain their health and wellbeing (aren’t they the same things?) 

Next week we launch more forums – for suppliers, lenders and investors and sessions on specific topics. If you’re a UKAA member, either watch out for an invite or drop me a note. Helping our members to sustain and grow their businesses by sharing information and insights is the heart of our mission.  

We are also working with the BPF’s Ian Fletcher to gather data on the impact of COVID 19 and provide evidence to shape government policy changes. The first two pieces of data we are looking at are the reduction in rent roll collected at April 1 and the impact of Council tax on completed but empty units. If you haven’t had an email from me or Ian and have relevant data do contact me urgently We also continue to support Ian and others in getting important issues in front of the Secretary of State and others this week we have continued to work on Lift Safety Inspections and defining critical safety functions carried out be staff and contractors – See the Covid 19 website page for details. 

However other things are still happening  and probably the most stimulating event I took part in this week was the virtual presentation by four teams of post graduate students in the School of Design at the Royal College of Art on their insights into  BTR and projects on“How we might make rental living the preferred model for living?”.  

The projects presented ranged from tokenisation of BTR to linking employment and housing to a radical (but practical) view of how to redesign buildings (BTR 2.0) and an eminently deliverable proposal on how to make BTR work better for the overseas student market.  The students are part way through their projects and will be spending next term turning them into real business proposals – thanks to everyone who has helped esp. Brendan Geraghty. We are looking at how we might get these really exciting projects in front of a wider BTR audience – watch this space.  

We have our first UKAA webinar next Friday at 9.30am hosted by Inventory Hive on performing property management visits remotely. Please try to join as it would be great to see our members engaging on this matter.  More deatils can be found on our events page.

Finally another shout out for  people doing good for the sector, Debra Yudolph’s Do Some Good Initiative is going from strength to strength in its efforts to support the NHS – please do what you can to provide operational support, medical supplies or accommodation 

Don’t forget the BTRs – The Build To Rent Talent Recognition Awards. Recognizing the unique circumstances and that our front line and back office staff will be the ones who make a difference over the next few months, we’re going to hold open nominations until Covid 19 has passed. So if you see someone making a difference, nominate them here. 

More next week, in the meantime stay safe. 

Dave Butler