If people now expect an exceptional customer experience, how can we think differently about renting?
Amenities are appreciated. In the UK, where 63,950 BTR apartments are complete and another 140,000-plus are under construction or in planning, BTR is recognised as an “unparalleled renting experience”. While each BTR development is different, British Property Federation
analysis finds a few consistent features: 78% have a shared garden or roof terrace; 73% offer a dedicated concierge; 73% offer a calendar of events; 61% boast coworking spaces and resident lounges; and 53% have gyms or wellbeing centres.
But Hogg emphasises the importance of customer experience over amenity. He talks about Ipsos’
“six forces of customer experience”: fair treatment; control; status; enjoyment; belonging and certainty. “The aim is to create more human-centred businesses – something that is currently missing from the rental experience,” he says.
“As we step through the stages of the rental process, few of the forces of customer experience are embedded into the system. This is why it has to change. We know, from speaking to many customers, that they want certainty, control and fair treatment when they are shopping around for an apartment and when they make a choice.
“When living in the property, people want to enjoy their home and feel like they belong – that is overwhelmingly what our customers are telling us. But they don’t get to enjoy the property because they are always worried about the future. They don’t have certainty.
“And then when they move out, 70% of customers say that control is the major issue. They want transparency in the process, so they know where they stand on their security bond, for example.”
“Effortless” is a word Hogg uses frequently. “If we make the process effortless, it takes the stress out of renting and creates a greater sense of belonging. We want people to feel welcome and to stay as long as they like because they belong in the community and the customer experience is exceptional.”
“If we make the process effortless, it takes the stress out of renting and creates a greater sense of belonging.”
Michael Hogg, General Manager – Build to Rent, Investa