Paul Borrmann, Managing Director at Dandara Living shares his thoughts on the build to rent sector in Manchester and the wider north west region.
Why are landlords moving into management, and at the same time there is an opportunity for start-ups in the management sector?
“Historically, a buy-to-let landlord would buy an apartment block, appoint a management company and have very little ability to make their resident’s life better or easier. However, putting residents first increases customer loyalty, longer-term tenancies and income, and that’s why we’re now starting to see landlords making the move into management.
“At Dandara Living we have always approached the renting lifecycle holistically. This means that from the outset, we design our properties with occupants in mind. From layouts to amenities and even the quality of customer service - we have complete control of the experience to ensure it is second-to-none.
“While there may be opportunities for start ups in this sector, we believe this end-to-end approach to renting offers the best recipe for success, as it ensures occupants are the absolute priority throughout.”
What are the pros and cons of both approaches?
“Without control of the whole process, landlords have no certainty of service delivery or operating costs. – but our model gives us that certainty.
“Our operational, mobilisation and estate teams all feed into the process from the pre-planning stage, which has huge benefits for our residents.
“We take a long-term view to all our developments to ensure we create the best possible homes. This is completely different from a developer who might be trying to reduce costs, or a management company that may not be appointed beyond the next twelve months.
“For example, it is in our interest to ensure we have high-quality finishes that don’t require future repairs, and that even the smallest details are carefully considered so that our residents are completely satisfied.”
Every member of our team is committed to providing an excellent service. It’s thanks to their dedication that we have received so many five-star reviews across our portfolio.
Paul Borrmann, Director of Operations - Dandara Living
What are the critical success factors to make a scheme work from a management perspective, and how have these changed, if at all?
“Critical mass is really important as our Manchester and Leeds schemes at 995 and 744 units demonstrate. By building and managing hundreds of homes in one location, we can do some really great things, like offering exceptional service levels and innovative amenities to deliver a truly unique offering in the current rental market.”
How is the industry responding to criticism that these blocks are built for investors, not tenants?
“Irrespective of the funding or ownership structure, Dandara Living homes are designed and delivered for the local rental market community.
“If sought at a development-wide level, external funding can help bring more homes to the market, more quickly at a time when the Government is well behind housing targets. This is a positive for the local rental communities that want high-quality, well-priced and well-managed rental homes.