Despite market conditions slowing housebuilding activity in the UK, the number of completed Build-to-Rent homes in the UK has increased 13% in the past year, according to the British Property Federation (BPF). However, despite this buoyancy, competing in a landscape of rising mortgage rates, the ongoing energy crisis, the cost-of-living crisis, and economic slowdown, 2023 has presented countless challenges for property developers and BtR decision makers.
However, there are numerous levers that property developers can pull to ensure they are on the right footing in 2024. One such lever is the impact that smart technologies can have in helping BtR developers drive efficiencies in the running costs of their buildings, as well as being attractive to today’s tenants who are increasingly prioritising energy efficiency and seamless connectivity in their homes.
And as property developers find ways to diversify their portfolio to offer greater choice in the marketplace, smart technologies can help them to tailor their offer at all ends of the price spectrum – democratising access to smart technologies through additional financial support via services like Samsung Capital.
To turn these challenges into opportunities as we head into 2024, and to help developers attract new investment, they must focus their attention on ways they can meet the discerning needs of a new wave of tenants. Here’s how smart technology will get them there:
Adding value to BtR properties
The inclusion of energy saving devices and technologies in homes can help developers counterbalance potentially higher BtR rental prices as they can deliver monthly savings for tenants in terms of energy bills. According to Samsung’s Smart Home Buyers Index, which looks into the overarching themes permeating consumer conversations regarding home moving decisions, UK homeowners would pay an average of 6.5% more for a fully equipped smart home because of the perceived benefits associated with these types of properties.
Creating dynamic living spaces
In today’s fast paced and connected world, people demand more from their homes. Property developers are providing homes focused on creating dynamic living spaces that are future fit, and therefore attractive to renters. People expect a frictionless experience when it comes to technology and smart tech enabled developments give renters the full package, allowing homes to play multiple roles each day. For example, the ever-evolving Samsung SmartThings app allows users to control their home appliances and environment from anywhere.
Driving energy efficiency and optimal sustainability
Energy saving devices are essential for prospective home movers. In fact, Samsung’s Smart Home Buyers Index revealed that 2 in 5 (84%) of consumers cite saving money on energy bills using technology as being important in choosing their new home. At CES this year, Samsung unveiled new home technologies which are placing sustainability at the core of the user experience, making it easier for consumers to reduce their impact on the environment.
Empowering users to save money
Young people are becoming increasingly connected and more empowered than ever to invest in the latest technology to make their lives more cost effective. When asked why they would move to a home kitted with smart technology, our Index revealed more than half (56%) said it was because it would save them money. By acting now and considering smart home technology in the early stages of construction projects, developers are preparing for the demands of the future.
As energy efficient technology develops, smart home solutions will take centre stage in BtR developments in a bid to appeal to the new, more environmentally conscious generation of renters. This will require developers to invest in systems that drive efficiencies in terms of building management, as well future proofing their rental pipeline, which will ultimately drive profits and investment. How people aspire to live is changing fast, and as the cost of energy rises and people seek to mitigate their impact on the environment, we’ll need homes fit for the future.
By Taz Bukhari, Strategic Enterprise Partnerships Europe & UK at Samsung Electronics