Can technology help us improve our amenities?

23 Jul 2018

A recent report into the value of providing quality amenity for purpose built rental residential developments (Build to Rent or BtR), by property consultancy CAST, suggests that a 10% rental premium can be achieved with good quality amenities, but the real value of providing something more to customers is perhaps harder to quantify.

Russ Edwards

Design and Technical Director, Development, Europe

Elephant & Castle is becoming something of a BtR hub, with providers, Uncle and Get Living, operating significant assets in very close proximity to our projects. In this type of environment, we need to make sure we differentiate ourselves, whilst offering something complimentary to the customer and wider community. The amenity offer must remain relevant, and we need to give ourselves flexibility to respond to changing demographics, trends and cultural phenomena.

Even five years ago, very few could have predicted the proliferation of co-working practices in London. Now they are a staple for successful BtR projects. We need to retain the ability to reshape our customer offer over the lifecycle of the asset to make sure that we retain our competitive advantage.
Lendlease’s investment in technology will have a huge role to play in this. We are looking to adopt a range of smart technologies to enable a more responsive, perhaps pre-emptive customer offer – predicting maintenance issues before they appear and ensuring the physical environments in our developments are optimal, but also using machine learning and smart technologies to better understand use patterns of individuals and households so that we can tailor our offer. Other areas we are exploring include facial recognition to assist with understanding our customer health and wellbeing, and even Artificial Intelligence to provide a virtual concierge to our residents helping ensure customer satisfaction. 
The intrinsic value of good quality amenity to a BtR development is clear, and an exciting opportunity for the next generation of Lendlease projects.