As the UK’s rental sector changes, innovators are popping up to support landlords to maximise the potential of their assets. And with the pace of build to rent developments increasing, operators have never been under more pressure to find tenants fast for the homes they’re building.
The British Property Federation (BPF) figures show London is the epicentre of demand for build to rent accommodation. London accounts for 73,974 build to rent units (including completed units, those under construction and those with planning permission). The entire rest of the country accounts for 66,116.
London’s units, with an average rent of £2,000 pcm, has an average value of £1.776 billion of rent rolling in per year. Houzen, a build to rent revenue generation partner can save operators between 30-50 per cent. So, with at least a 30 per cent saving, that’s an additional £532 million in revenue.
Houzen finds premium tenants fast and pairs those who are prepared to pay for the build to rent sector’s hotel-style services with the right accommodation. The company secures short and long lets up to five times quicker than other players in the market. And they specialise in leasing out entire blocks. For build to rent schemes, they can fill vacancies in short timescale, even when hundreds of units come on stream at the same time. The result can mean a significant revenue boost for the operator and its investors.
Houzen’s founder, Saurabh Saxena, explains: “Institutional portfolios lose on average 30-50 per cent revenue by not leasing or selling fast enough. Our emphasis on speed turns this around – but not at the expense of the quality of the tenants we find.
“Our matching engine considers socioeconomic characteristics and willingness to pay for the ‘added extras’ that build to rent schemes provide when pairing tenants and properties. This means that our demographic analysis delivers suitable tenant-property matches, with higher longevity and lifetime value.”
Some of the industry’s big players are now taking notice, such as Greystar, Grainer Plc, Invesco, Kennedy Wilson, The Collective and Quintain.
Houzen’s clever model harnesses the power of technology, curating and aggregating Big Data while blending it with an essential human element. The company intelligently pulls applicant data from 2,000+ partners globally to find the best tenant for each vacancy. It’s a solution that seems to deliver impressive results.
In Ilford, Houzen leased 300 units for a large US build to rent developer in nine months, against a lease out target of 15 months. For a major US build to rent developer in Vauxhall, it took only 10 months to lease 118 units, against a target of 15 months. The speed of the lease-outs and avoidance of voids at these schemes saved the developers almost £2 million and around £1 million respectively.
Saxena, continues: “Build to rent is still a relatively new concept for the majority of the UK’s tenants. Houzen uses demographic models and advanced statistics to educate and pre-sell build to rent properties to high-value, premium applicants who appreciate the advantages that come with hotel-inspired living and who are willing to pay extra in order to enjoy those benefits.”