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What is the Build to Rent sector? Your guide to a career in BTR

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​In recent years, the real estate landscape has witnessed a significant shift towards a new and rapidly growing sector known as Build-to-Rent (BTR).

This emerging market caters specifically to renters by offering purpose-built residential properties designed for long-term leasing.

But, what exactly does this sector entail, and what does it take to thrive within it?

Understanding Build-to-Rent

Build-to-Rent refers to the development of residential properties that are constructed to be rented out rather than sold. However, unlike traditional rental properties, BTR developments are often managed by a single entity or landlord, offering tenants a sense of community and consistent management standards.

These developments typically feature amenities such as gyms, communal spaces, and high-quality furnishings, aimed at attracting long-term renters seeking both comfort and convenience. The BTR model emphasises tenant satisfaction and retention, thereby fostering a more stable and predictable income stream for investors and developers.

Below are some pictures from Build to Rent developments our recruitment consultants have visited. Ranging from businesses such as Uncle, urbanbubble and Native.

Opportunities and roles within the Build-to-Rent market

The Build-to-Rent market can be an excellent career choice for property professionals looking to join a new market and develop their career, or professionals in other fields such as hospitality and leisure.

Making this sector even more appealing is its rapid growth in recent years as mentioned above. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, UK BTR investments hit £1.3 billion, up 21% year-on-year. This is the highest figure recorded for a first quarter, according to Knight Frank. And it doesn’t stop there. The market is looking to scale massively. The BTR market currently adds 14,000 homes each year and caters for around 1.9% of all privately rented households in the UK. If it continues at this rate, by 2030 this will increase to 3.4%.

This not only means growth for the property sector but also growth in the number of career opportunities within the sector. Growth can’t be achieved without top talent and people like you.

With that said, there are various professions that the market offers, from development to property management, which means the market is rife with diverse opportunities.

Below are some examples of roles you can step into and what is involved.

Development and investment

Professionals involved in Build-to-Rent (BTR) development and investment oversee the entire lifecycle of a project, from initial site acquisition and design to construction and ongoing management. Their role requires a keen understanding of market trends to identify prime locations and design preferences that appeal to renters.

Additionally, they must excel in financial analysis to ensure the project remains within budget and delivers a strong return on investment. Their comprehensive expertise ensures that each project not only meets but exceeds expectations, contributing to the overall success of the development.

Community management

A Community Manager in the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector plays a pivotal role in fostering a vibrant and engaged residential community. They are responsible for creating a welcoming atmosphere that enhances tenant satisfaction and retention. This involves organising community events, managing social activities, and addressing tenant concerns promptly and effectively. Community Managers also act as the primary point of contact between tenants and property management, ensuring smooth communication and efficient resolution of issues.

Additionally, they oversee the upkeep of communal areas, promote a positive living environment, and implement initiatives that enhance the quality of life for residents. Their goal is to build a sense of community, making the BTR development not just a place to live, but a place to call home.

Property Management

Property managers play a crucial role in maintaining Build-to-Rent (BTR) developments and ensuring tenant satisfaction. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the property, which includes everything from managing tenant relations and addressing resident concerns to ensuring the upkeep and maintenance of amenities.

Their duties often involve coordinating with maintenance staff, handling lease agreements, and organising community events to foster a positive living environment. Strong interpersonal skills and a customer-centric approach are essential in this role, as property managers must effectively communicate with tenants, resolve issues promptly, and create a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.

Maintenance operatives

Maintenance Operatives play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation and upkeep of Build to Rent properties. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, including routine inspections, repairs and preventative maintenance of facilities such as plumbing, electrical systems and hearing.

They will also be responsible for maintaining communal areas, responding to tenant service requests promptly and ensuring safety compliance throughout the property. By providing high-quality maintenance services, these operatives help create a comfortable, safe and well-maintained living environment.

Resident service managers

In the Build-to-rent industry, a Resident Service Manager is pivotal in enhancing the tenant experience and fostering a strong sense of community within the residential property. They primarily manage tenant relations, address resident concerns and ensure high levels of customer service. They coordinate with maintenance teams to resolve issues swiftly, oversee the move-in and move-out process and organise community events to promote engagement and satisfaction.

Additionally, they handle administrative tasks such as lease renewal and compliance with property policies.

You can learn more about the types of roles within BTR here.

Transferable skills you can bring to the Build-to-Rent market

Several industries provide a strong foundation of skills and knowledge that can be directly applicable to the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector, especially within operational roles.

Our expert consultants have placed many professionals in the Build to Rent sector who have previously worked in industries outside the property market, such as hospitality and leisure, that are now thriving in BTR.

These industries offer transferable skills to enhance your ability to succeed in BTR roles. Below are some further examples…

The retail industry

Professionals with a background in retail bring valuable skills to the table, particularly in customer service, sales, and operations - crucial aspects for effectively managing tenant relationships within Build to Rent (BTR) properties. Moreover, their experience in staff supervision and customer engagement can significantly elevate the operational efficiency and overall tenant satisfaction in BTR developments. Their adeptness in these areas not only ensures smooth day-to-day operations but also fosters a positive environment that enhances the tenant experience.

Hospitality and tourism

The hospitality industry focuses on providing exceptional guest experiences, similar to ensuring tenant satisfaction in BTR properties. Skills in hospitality management, event coordination, and concierge services can be valuable in creating a welcoming community atmosphere during a BTR development, and vital in contributing to high tenant satisfaction and retention rates.

Human resources

Human resources professionals bring expertise in managing people, resolving conflicts and fostering a positive organisational culture, all of which are important in tenant and staff management. Skills in recruitment, training and employee relations can help build and maintain a strong property management team.

The Build-to-Rent sector offers diverse career opportunities. With its focus on long-term rental solutions and tenant-centric amenities, this market continues to expand globally, presenting promising prospects for individuals passionate about real estate and customer service. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring newcomer, cultivating the right skills and knowledge will pave the way for a rewarding career in this industry.

We have a team of Build to Rent recruitment expert consultants on hand to provide you with guidance on how you can enter the BTR market and advice on how you can progress in your career.

Looking to get hired? You can get in touch below!