Looking out over hidden grandeur, the UKAA held their Summer drinks reception last night at the gleaming modern offices of KPMG: One St Peters Square in Manchester.
Talks from both Michael Green, Chief Executive of UKAA and Michael Howard, Managing Director of Urbanbubble resonated a message that was loud and clear to the audience – the focus is on the tenant and they are causing quite a stir.
Prior to this revolution, the tenant had become somewhat of an afterthought and once the apartment was built and the unit was occupied then many felt that their work was complete.
In 2010 the government ran the Private Landlords survey, a nationwide analysis of the social and economic spread of private landlords and the results were surprising. More than three quarters of all landlords only owned a single dwelling with a only a mere 8% claiming their occupation as a full-time landlord.
Seven years on and ideologies have shifted.
The UKAA was founded in April of last year aiming to bring together all stakeholders of the professional rental market and sharing a wealth of experience to ensure best practise in such a fast-growing sector. It is now the leading membership organisation for all those involved in the build-to-rent sector and has a vast and ranging list of members from architects and sound-proofing engineers to consultancy firms and developers.
Innovative thinker and head of the UKAA, Michael Green leads the company with the same attitude towards customer service that he has carried with him throughout his career. 20 years at Marks and Spencer and chief executive of BCSC (British Council of Shopping Centres), Michael has transferred these skills seamlessly into the PRS market with his approach adding real value to rented apartments and those who run them.
This viewpoint is reiterated with Urbanbubble, the North West’s fastest-growing residential property management company. Michael Howard was frustrated with the lack of care that his existing property management company were showing and the drive to do things the right way allowed him to take over management of the 70 apartments in his block – enter Urbanbubble. With a vision to ‘care, love and tend to your home as you would yourself’ they are leading the way along with a handful of other property managers for a tenant-focused approach.
PRS has come on leaps and bounds and as companies are finding new way to engage with their tenants they are uncovering both social changes and technological advances. Gyms, coffee shops, BBQ spaces and public events are now being bundled together as an offering for tenants. While some of the more innovative companies are introducing residential smart locks which allow you to unlock your front door through an app, resident-matching with dating-style questionnaires and choosing the colour of your walls ready for when you move in.
The message here is that the rental market is growing at an alarming rate and by recognising tenants as individuals, organisations such as UKAA and Urbanbubble create a social, welcoming place to live meaning longer stays and less empty apartments moves.
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