Covid 19 – CEO’s Update Saturday 18th April 2020: The value of a trade association part 1

Wow – do you remember Easter? It just seemed to come and go without any change in the days. Zoom still seemed to be everywhere – from a virtual Easter Egg hunt (sadly no eggs for me) to almost 100 UKAA members joining a webinar on Good Friday.

Anyway, I used the break to think about the future of the UKAA which were crystallised at the UKAA board meeting on Wednesday. These were the key conclusions:

  1. For the UKAA to have a future it must show how it uniquely adds value to its members:
  2. The value and how it is delivered must make it easy to demonstrate not only to those who take part in our activities but also to anyone who decides whether to spend money on a subscription or an event.
  3. That whilst we are doing some really good work now, we must also work out what we are going to do as we exit lockdown and how we are going to add value differently in world- post COVID 19.
  4. There is now a huge opportunity for the Build To Rent sector to demonstrate that it can provide a better way of life for residents, a more effective way of delivering housing rapidly and a superior opportunity for investors and operators. The UKAA has a key role to play in seizing this opportunity.

I will return to these themes in future blogs, but today I wanted to talk about what we are doing to deliver value for our members.

So how are we adding value uniquely to our members? What is that today justifies joining or renewing your membership or sponsorship? For me this goes back to our core objective as a trade association for the Build To Rent sector which is:

  • To grow the sector and our members’ businesses faster than they would do otherwise.
  • To do this by sharing information that enables our members to learn from each other and to develop best practice, raise standards and focus on our customers.

The focus here is on sharing information in a way that helps our members grow their businesses through a better understanding of the sector, the pain that others have gone through and the new opportunities that are out there. We are lucky that BTR is a sector with a huge potential, but it is competitive, and the cost of failure is real.

Right now, by taking part in a UKAA forum or webinar and contributing your experience you should be able to test your ideas, find out ways of keeping your customers happier and potentially avoid costly mistakes that affect your bottom line. We have set up forums that are meeting weekly or fortnightly for Senior management to share what is happening across the sector and to hear and shape the latest thinking from government, for Operators to understand at a detailed level what is working and what is not on the front line and for Suppliers to share and work out the issues that they are facing now and in the future.

In addition, there are at least one and often two webinars each week enabling members to learn from experts – from a legal super-panel of 6 leading law firms to CX expert, Audra Lamoon of Livewire sharing her knowledge in her inimical style.

Why is this unique in BTR? Because the UKAA has no axe to grind, we are run by our members for our members benefit and the agenda for our activities is set by our members. The team Emma, Leena and Amanda spend their time listening to what you want and doing their best to deliver it.

I am really proud of the team’s efforts and judging by the feedback lots of you, our members, think so too.

Next week I want to think about how we demonstrate our value and what we should be doing going forward, but in the meantime stay safe.