Future-Proof Your Build to Rent with Smart Tech

By: Amelia Woolard

Neighborhood of Build to Rent homes.Neighborhood of Build to Rent homes.Neighborhood of Build to Rent homes.Neighborhood of Build to Rent homes.

It’s a great time to be a Build to Rent developer. UK-based Build to Rent developments are currently attracting a lot of attention from investors, with Knight Frank and Homeviews reporting £4 billion in investment at the end of 2020, up from the year-on-year average of £2.7 billion.

While this is a fantastic mark of things to come, BTR’s rapid growth places a lot of pressure on owners to get development right the first time, while also ensuring long-term success.

Developers’ best bet for future-proof BTR developments lies in smart home technology. The opportunities for expansion are endless with smart tech, which offers the following benefits.

Interested in outfitting your BTR portfolio with smart home automation? Request a SmartRent demo and we’ll show you how smart tech makes the most of your investment.

Enjoy lasting energy efficiency

In 2019, the UK announced a plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. One of the best ways to achieve this, according to point 7 of the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, is by constructing greener buildings.

These buildings will not only reduce the energy needed to power spaces where we live and work – which accounts for 40% of the UK’s total energy usage – but it will also ensure that new buildings are “fit for the future.” Not to mention, they will appeal to UK residents who gravitate toward sustainable lifestyles.

Smart technology is the most promising way to cement a development’s future success. With smart tech in place, BTR operators exercise greater control over their surroundings, while also driving down utility costs and boosting efficiency. Plus, research shows that a 10% reduction in energy use can increase NOI by 1.5%. Smarten up your BTR asset, and it will be primed for lasting success.

Tap into residents’ need for connectivity

The pandemic receives a lot of credit for necessitating connectivity. In reality, connectivity was always top-of-mind for UK residents, who tend to experience unreliable connectivity in their homes.

Before Covid-19, a report from WiredScore Home and the Home Owners Alliance found that 85% of people experienced connectivity issues at home. Of these participants, over a quarter of them said that they would have never moved into the property, had they known about these issues beforehand. Now that roughly 52% of Britons work from home, connectivity is no longer a luxury, but a crucial component of the modern living space.

The results are in: UK residents are in great need of reliable connectivity. Offering smart home solutions can be a very attractive selling point for Britons, who will begin to consistently choose smart BTRs over the alternative.

The smart home of the future

Outfitting Build to Rent developments with smart home technology is a great way to arm your asset with the tools needed to appeal to eco-conscious, connectivity-minded residents, now and for years to come. With the right hardware and services, BTR owners and operators can manage their properties in exciting and unprecedented ways, while also appealing to the needs of current and future occupants.

One such service is climate control. Smart thermostats give residents and operators remote control of their devices, which makes it easy for residents to adjust their thermostats while commuting to work. Operators can also manage the climate of a unit when vacated. In both use cases, energy consumption is lowered and utility bills are slimmed.

Access control slashes labor costs and boosts overall efficiency with benefits such as remote access and lock-out resolution. Leak detection devices offer round-the-clock asset protection and alert managers to potential leaks at a moment’s notice. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a leak, which can be catastrophic from both an environmental and financial perspective.

The Build to Rent market is heating up in the UK, as renters flock to developments that offer more than simple shelter. With many studies indicating that the BTR of the future will be eco-conscious and hyper-connected, it’s clear that smart home capabilities are a must-have for any BTR build seeking profitability now and in the long term.

Curious to learn more about BTR-specific smart home features? Request a complimentary demo now.