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Using Perceived Value to Decide Which Amenities your BTR Residents Will Value

Regan Botham, Business Development Manager for Parcel Locker Solutions at Parcel Pending by Quadient, tells us about his experience as a mobilisation and lettings manager within the BTR sector.

My previous role as a mobilisation and lettings manager within BTR gave me experience working on a number of portfolios across the UK. The role entailed going onto sites before project completion and working with the operator to put together a pricing and leasing model for the apartments.

A vital aspect of the role was understanding perceived value. This entailed a deep analysis of the building, the services and amenities on offer, and the features within each individual apartment to calculate how much someone would be willing to pay to live there, and then suggest a pricing strategy to the owner/operator.

Pricing an apartment based on perceived value can be challenging because it relies heavily on subjective factors that vary from person to person. If you took a BTR property, and cloned it brick for brick, with exactly the same sized apartments, the same amenities and service offerings, the perceived value of those apartments could be very different to residents in another location, resulting in a completely different pricing or leasing model.

Perceived value is influenced by a multitude of factors such as location, amenities, aesthetics, and personal preferences, making it inherently difficult to quantify objectively. What one person might consider a luxurious feature, another may not find appealing or necessary. Additionally, market conditions, economic factors, and trends can fluctuate, further complicating the assessment of perceived value.

Consequently, determining the right price for an apartment often involves a delicate balance between market analysis and understanding the diverse perspectives and expectations of potential buyers or renters.

It’s important to look at the competitive landscape in order to understand how you can stand out against your competitors. Do any of your proposed amenities already exist within the local community (e.g. gyms, co-working spaces etc.), and how much do they charge? Would you prefer to offer more, or higher quality amenities and charge more, or perhaps scale back on some of the luxury and create a lower to mid-level price point? There are definitely ways to do both within the same building.

One of the keys to success lies in strategically tailoring your amenities to match what the majority of your residents need and use on a daily basis. These strategic choices can significantly enhance the quality of life for both your residents and your staff.

Consider parcel management services as a prime example. Virtually all your residents will receive parcels regularly, a fact that’s become even more pronounced in recent times. On average, individuals receive 74 parcels annually, in a BTR block with several hundred residents the number of parcels delivered daily quickly adds up.

It’s no secret that unmanaged parcels cause chaos. With parcel thefts increasing almost 300% between 2019-2022, and property management teams struggling to cope, a solution is necessary. This is where a well-placed parcel locker system can truly shine. It not only simplifies parcel collections by automating the process but also ensures the security of your residents’ deliveries.

Receiving parcels securely might seem like a basic expectation, but it’s precisely when this process falters that residents can become understandably frustrated and feel let down. By proactively addressing this, you not only enhance resident satisfaction but also demonstrate your commitment to making everyday life smoother for everyone involved.

When BTR operators include efficient parcel delivery solutions, such as parcel lockers, prospective residents already see them as a valuable amenity. In one of our customer success stories – The Keel, professionally let and managed by Allsop, Joe Cooper, Assistant Manager said – “The lockers are definitely a value-add when people come to view the apartments. Prospective residents are generally aware of lockers, and how they work, so when they find out we have them onsite, they’re really pleased.”

Parcel solutions are a direct boost to resident satisfaction, as evidenced in the 2023 Build to Rent Report by HomeViews. Residents commend amenities like electronic concierge lockers as “exceptional.” Conversely, apartments lacking proper parcel solutions frequently receive feedback urging improvements in parcel management, leaving feedback such as “I can’t in good faith allow prospective tenants to move in without knowing how difficult it is to live here. Security is the primary issue. Parcels are frequently stolen…”

In my role now I am lucky enough to work with operators on projects at all stages. Whether that’s working with the architects and build team to include our residential parcel lockers right from the start, or visiting existing properties and working with the property managers to find a solution that works for their already operational building.

With all building projects, the cost to install any amenity is much easier to fit into a building budget, than wait until the building is fully running and then try to fit them into an already stretched operational budget. Either way, efficient parcel management saves you time and money since no additional staff is needed to manage parcels. This is why we campaign for property owners to think about parcel management from the start.

As my experience within the BTR industry has grown, I’ve gained a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the seemingly simple but highly effective amenities. No matter where a property is on the scale of luxury, when operators nail the basics, their properties really do flourish and in turn the perceived value increases. In the competitive real estate landscape, small adjustments like these can set you apart from the rest. So, remember to analyse your market, adapt your offerings wisely, and invest in amenities that truly matter to your residents.

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Regan Botham Business Development Manager, Parcel Locker Solutions

Parcel Pending by Quadient UK & Ireland