Market Insight

Prop tech partnership to transform rental market?

July 18, 2017

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working in property at the moment. There is so much change and innovation going on, as property developers and investors seek new ways to do business and maximise returns.

But real estate is about much more than bricks, mortar and the bottom line.

A lot of the latest developments in property are technologically innovative, with aims to help improve sustainability, improve congestion or reduce pollution.

One such innovation is the recently announced partnership between Uber and housing developer, Moda Living, to reduce car ownership in some of the UK’s largest cities.

The announcement has been dubbed transformative, and is hoped to lead the charge in the future of the build to rent market.

What is it, and how will it work?

With over 30 million cars in the UK, it is hoped that the partnership will cut car ownership, congestion and pollution. But how?

The idea is, that by developing an app for residents, the developer will be able to cut out the need for car ownership by giving residents a monthly credit allowance to be used to book transport through Uber.

Residents will only be able to access this allowance if they agree not to have a car parking space within a development.

In return, the developer will be able to swap the space previously used for car parking, in favour of greater amenities within the development, including fitness centres and media rooms.

This is the first prop tech development of its kind in the UK, but it doesn’t end there. The app will also allow tenants to connect with each other, control heating and entertainment, as well as order food and transport.

What’s interesting about this is that the housing developer is really thinking hard about what its future tenants will want and need from their buildings.

By embracing future technology and being willing to collaborate, we’re seeing more and more developers seeking to design better buildings with more space for social interaction – something which the advent of the high rise completely wiped out during the Thatcher years.

Not only that, by using prop tech in this way, developers are sending out a clear message to civic leaders that they want to help the lives of renters, whilst also investing in the communities around the buildings they construct for rent.

Whether or not this will lead to a transformation in the build to rent market is yet to be seen, but it’s certainly a refreshing and innovative idea to help address some of the challenges that our cities of the future face.