25th Nov 2022|BTR & Asset Management|

What Makes A Successful Build To Rent Development?

Despite being a relatively new concept in the property world, purpose built rental developments are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, 45% of local councils have build to rent developments in the pipeline ready to be constructed, which is the highest number on record. If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve and curate the optimal build to rent development that takes the market by storm, check out Centrick’s seven key ingredients for a success below…

A distinct identity

A successful build to rent development should have its own identity which is distinctive, recognisable and respected by its community, including both residents and locals within the neighbourhood. This can be achieved by creating a unique brand that can be directly associated with the development – here are a few ideas:

  • A recognisable colour scheme and logo
  • Distinctive architecture that stands out from nearby developments. This can involve the inclusion of certain shapes, materials and colours
  • Impressive and unique amenity offerings that are not available in other build to rent developments in the area, or at your price range

These features can be instrumental in attracting your ideal target audience, with certain demographics having different preferences when it comes to amenities, style, and community. By evaluating what your ideal tenant would be searching for in a build to rent property, you can seek to factor these things into your development from the start.

A sense of community

Successful build to rent developments are set apart by their distinctive sense of community that is rooted in the fact that all residents are on a level playing field. Each resident is responsible to the same authority, pay their rent to the same business, and there is no mixture of owner-occupiers and tenants. This creates a greater sense of community and reduces conflicts that may arise from many different parties being involved and owner occupiers having different priorities to renters. It also means that build to rent developments tend to be better maintained, as the developer has sole responsibility for the upkeep of the building and its communal areas. Furthermore, there is a greater sense of dynamism in build to rent developments thanks to this community spirit – residents feel more comfortable making friends, utilising communal facilities and positively contributing to their neighbourhood. This, in turn, improves tenant retention and can justify charging more premium rental rates.


Build to rent developments are perhaps best known for their amenities that set them apart from other properties in their location or price range. Included in a resident’s rent comes a variety of amenities that can help them save money elsewhere whilst having the ultimate in convenient living right on their doorstep. Consider a development with a gymnasium – this can help your residents save time and money commuting to their closest gym, whilst also slashing their costs on gym memberships. As such, high quality amenities can be a great way to justify more premium rental costs, whilst also setting your development apart from your competitors.

A recent survey carried out by UK Build To Rent unveiled that the top rated build to rent amenities included communal spaces, concierge services, gymnasiums and parking facilities, all of which offer greater convenience for residents. Pet friendly developments were also sought after, especially in the wake of the pandemic where pet ownership soared. Community driven events were high on residents’ priority lists, reinforcing the appetite for neighbourly initiatives and ample opportunities to socialise.

The right location

It is all well having a premium build to rent development with every amenity imaginable, but is it close to shops, train stations and workplaces? Having your development in the right location is key to its appeal – after all, residents tend to search for their next home based upon district or postcode, so targeting a region or neighbourhood that is more sought after by your target audience is paramount to the creation of a successful build to rent development. Here are a few things to consider when planning your next development:

  • Is there a gap in the rental market that is ready to be seized by a build to rent development?
  • How affordable are properties to purchase outright, and does this leave an appetite for build to rent units?
  • Is there much investment and regeneration planned nearby that would appeal to residents?
  • Are there shops, doctor’s surgeries, post offices, supermarkets, and other key amenities that residents will require nearby?
  • Which industries are big employers nearby, and will residents have ample opportunity to commute to their workplaces from your development?


Not every resident will have the same criteria when searching for their next rental unit, which is why property diversity is important when planning a successful build to rent development launch. Some residents may be moving alone and will only require a studio space. Others may want ample room for a home office and may require an additional bedroom. This also allows you to avoid void periods if one type of unit becomes unpopular. It is therefore important to diversify your rental offerings to appeal to as many tenants as possible, whilst simultaneously maintaining your distinct appeal and carefully targeting specific audiences.

Good facilities management

Build to rent developments should be streamlined in their management, with a distinct hierarchy from cleaners and gym staff to property managers and security, all of whom can interact with each other for the smooth running of the development. These staff members should be responsive to any errors or problems that need fixing, whilst remaining receptive to feedback and willing to continually improve to stay competitive in the build to rent market.

Thoughtful design

Successful build to rent schemes should be designed with the future in mind – they should be timeless and adaptable to remain futureproofed and avoid becoming outdated too quickly. This mainly pertains to technological infrastructure, such as broadband and WiFi connectivity, which should be easily accessible for residents and upgradable for the future – this allows you to keep up with tenant trends and remain competitive on the market. Similarly, sustainability should factor into the structure of your build to rent development, as research indicates that sustainable living practices are becoming increasingly important to individual residents, as well as national and global bodies. This also indicates that the developer is conscious of their wider impact, and have created a development with morality at its core, which will appeal to those invested in the green movement.

Looking to create a successful Build To Rent development?

Centrick’s pioneering Build To Rent division is at the forefront of innovative property development across the UK. With an astute understanding of what tenants want and the best up and coming hotspots for property development, Centrick can help developers create units that don’t just reap fantastic yields, but have a positive impact on the wider community, as well as being able to support throughout the lifecycle of your build to rent development. For more information on how we can amplify your build to rent success, contact us using the form below:

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