Moda Living Bolsters Senior Team with Former De Vere & Marriott Executive

Moda Living announces that Richard Smith has been appointed as the Managing Director of Moda Life Management Ltd, the operational arm of its £2.5bn portfolio supported by funder Apache Capital Partners.

This is a newly created role that will further strengthen the hospitality credentials of Moda’s Build-to-Rent business. An accomplished executive, Richard has held senior positions at Marriott and De Vere hospitality chains. He will be tasked with building Moda Life into the UK’s preeminent serviced living & lifestyle platform.

As Brand & Operations Director at De Vere Richard was responsible for the creation and delivery of the Vision/Values/Operational standards and full implementation of significant capital investments and the following revenue/profit growth. He had full P&L responsibility delivering a new-look brand, guest experiences and analysis, plus a vast array of community engagement programmes for the portfolio of 22 De Vere hotels & conference centres in the UK.

A big believer in leading from the front, Richard will live and work in Moda’s Next Generation Neighbourhoods across the UK, mentoring the teams he recruits. Having had hands-on experience in many different roles over his career he recognises the value of the team at every level. His core focus initially will be Talent Mapping, onboarding a best-in-class team of Moda Life Ambassadors in every Moda neighbourhood, including a General Manager and Community Manager.


His intention is to engage and employ local people which supports his vision for brand immersion in local communities and bring those wider community values into Moda Neighbourhoods through an innovative Concierge Service that leverages the local knowledge, experience, and contacts of Moda’s team.

“Getting the right teams in place is the key ingredient in bringing the essence of Moda to life, and by employing local people, our values will flood out into the local community organically,” Richard Smith says. “We want our own team to be as powerful brand ambassadors as our residents and to show the community that we are a neighbour.”

Smith will bring hospitality to BTR for the first time at scale and in doing so nurture a long-term culture for the Moda Brand with a big focus on Customer Experience and Resident Interaction. His mission is for Moda to be recognised as an industry-leading employee brand with consistent world-class operational standards.

“By communicating that a Moda neighbourhood is so much more than 4 walls, we can transform the residential sector and deliver experiences to residents previously associated with an exclusive hospitality environment.” Smith continues: “There is still much work to be done on educating what BTR really represents in the UK. We will build a community culture that is customised to whichever city we are operating in, whilst ensuring that siloed teams across the UK maintain a core set of brand standards to align our Next Generation Neighbourhoods irrespective of location or target resident.

Richard will be a key member of the executive team, tasked with developing a housing brand synonymous with professionalism, quality, and experience. With locations under development across the UK, this appointment will go some way to helping Moda execute on its vision.