Building blocks of happy communities

  • 27th Feb 23
Building blocks of happy communities

How tech is turning Build to Rent developments into communities and beating the rising problems of loneliness.

Lonely in London

It’s a fast-paced city and one that attracts the best and brightest minds. However, there is a sadder part of living in the capital that doesn’t often get spoken about. Findings of ‘The Reconceptualising Loneliness in London Report’, commissioned by the GLA, found that 700,000 people in the capital feel lonely most or all the time. The report also found that overall, 8% of Londoners experienced severe loneliness, this percentage rises to 12% for young Londoners and 15% for LGBTQ+ Londoners. Similarly, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 45% of adults in the UK feel occasionally, sometimes, or often lonely.

How to keep customers happy

Creating a sense of community is not just a tick box exercise, Build to Rent developers understand it makes good business sense too. People are 62% more likely to renew their tenancies if they have seven or more friends in their building. The value of community is dramatically reducing renter turnover, increasing profits, and creating happier customers.

Why community matters

Being part of a community gives us a sense of belonging and camaraderie. In fact, as humans, it isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity to our well-being. Connecting meaningfully with others gives us a feeling that we are part of something bigger and being part of an active community, can influence our environment for the better.

What renters want

The stereotype of renters in the UK is that they are a transient population with little emotional investment into their home. However, a survey by Dataloft showed that this was not the case and the sense of the community in the local area significantly affected the length of time they stayed in the home.

  • 91% of responders consider pleasant neighbours to be very important or important.
  • It was the highest for 35- to 44-year-olds.
  • 79% of renters rated local community as very important or important.
  • 72% of renters said they would rent longer if there was a sense of community in the local area.
  • Sense of community within the building would persuade 69% of renters to rent longer but this was even higher (74%) amongst people aged 18-24.

Connectivity for residents

Experts believe that a thriving community is strongly linked to happiness and wellbeing. In today’s world of technology and a fast, frenetic pace of life, it is all too easy to feel isolated. Build to Rent developers have recognised this and are usilising technology to enable tenants to communicate based on shared interests and activities. This secure chat function for groups, events and messaging across buildings means residents can organise anything from running clubs, to dog walking to dinner parties.

Smart technology

Technology can also ensure that Build to Rent developers are delivering exactly what customers want. By managing and encouraging interactions, property managers get a sense of what is important and ensure they are catering to their needs, ultimately creating better retention that will further enhance the community atmosphere.

Benefits to customers

Whether you are moving into a new city, have split up from a partner or have struggled to meet work colleagues since the pandemic, the benefit of living in a Build to Rent development where there is technology that can help facilitate a sense of belonging, not only combats loneliness, but also drives engagement and opportunities, bringing a whole new level of potential offerings to the area. There are also financial benefits too. The added value of community means that people are more likely to stay in their home for longer, meaning the costs associated with moving are lessened.



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