Resi must respond to new customer demands

Unlike other industries such as retail and banking that have been transformed in recent years, the world of residential property management has hardly changed. The way properties were managed two decades ago remains remarkably similar to the way they are managed today. Even commercial property management has evolved faster in recent years in the face of changes in technology and customer expectations.

However, things are beginning to change in our relatively sleepy sector. Traditional managers have recognised that they need to move quickly to avoid being outmanoeuvred by newer, more nimble operators.

The need for change

One of the key catalysts for change has been the changing lifestyle expectations of consumers, which have led property managers to increase the breadth and quality of their services. Another important driver has been the professionalisation of our asset class. Large professional investors have moved into the residential market and demand higher, more consistent standards from property managers. Their expectations are similar to those of large commercial property investors. As well as demanding the highest standards in areas like health and safety, they also want a partner who can help them deliver their projected returns.

Linked to this is the rise of the build-to-rent (BTR) market, which is affecting property management in a number of different ways. In the past, property managers were brought in only once a block of flats had been constructed. Now, we are being called upon much earlier in the process by BTR developers who have a different perspective to traditional residential developers. They want to know what makes a building successful over the long term because it is in their interests to ensure that their properties are as attractive in a decade’s time as they are today.

Read the full article in Property Week