Why are we talking about it?
BTR is not necessarily new, but it’s an emerging asset class for property investors. While it is still in its infancy in Australasia, recent reports indicate that the investment appetite is on the rise – with potential investment returns on rent of around 5 to 6percent.
At Ignite, we see BTR as an opportunity to harness best-practice design insight from the full range of our design disciplines to create a long-term asset for our client. With a deep understanding of the customer, we apply this cross-sector expertise to craft a bespoke design that speaks to the lifestyles and amenity needs of the residents. High-quality, efficient homes are complemented by vibrant hospitality spaces, boutique retail offerings, and connected community areas that support a feeling of belonging. Perhaps the customer demographic requires a flexible work-from-home lounge? Or maybe it requires an open green space for children to play? With BTR, we can design for the human demand – not just the market demand.
With our broad track record in the aged care sector, we can also draw several parallels between BTR schemes overseas and the retirement village model used in Australasia. Like retirement villages, BTR developments tend to be institutionally owned and operated. They both place the tenant’s satisfaction at the centre of the living experience with quality homes, long-term occupancy, and convenient amenities. During the design process, both building models can be approached as a whole asset to minimise operational expenses, while placemaking and social connectivity is prioritised with communal spaces, hubs, and circulation paths. While the demographic needs might be a little different in BTR, the core design drivers remain: design with empathy for the end-user and create a long-term, high-quality asset for our client.
At its core, BTR is about placemaking. The design response must create a tailored, convenient living experience that fosters a sense of community and keeps people coming back for more. We think the market should be exploring the BTR model as an option. In the next few years, we will likely see the benefits become more tangible for the rental market, investors, and tenants alike.