BTR viewings shown to be underselling benefits

BTR viewings shown to be underselling benefits

In the current economic climate, BTR developments must present their strongest case on the value they offer to prospective tenants. In our 2022 Build to Rent Report we collaborated with hereSAY to compare the results of their 2021 Mystery Shopping Report with our review data on residents’ lived experience of Build to Rent. The results revealed a key area where BTR can improve how it presents benefits to potential new residents.

In 2021, hereSAY reported on the BTR viewing experience in their Mystery Shopping Report. 68 mystery shoppers were sent on viewings across 22 developments and asked to rate their experience via 100 questions. After these viewings, 39% did not agree that the development offered good value for money.

Residents better understand BTR value proposition

For comparison, HomeViews looked at the ratings and reviews of 644 HomeViews Verified Tenants who rated the lived experience of the same 22 developments in 2021. In contrast, residents gave average Value ratings of 3.98 out of 5 – a significant 52% higher than the ratings given by the mystery shoppers who only attended a viewing.

BTR residents gave 52% higher average Value ratings than the ratings given by the mystery shoppers who only attended a viewing

HomeViews Build to Rent Report 2022
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This suggests that once people become residents they better understand all that is being offered and appreciate the value proposition. This combined data also suggests that, at the viewing stage, communication on the amenities available, the benefits of BTR and the incentives on offer is poor. As a result there is a negative view of the value for money being offered.

Clear opportunity for improvement

Higher ratings for other criteria were also seen from residents when compared with those who had only gone on viewings. Facilities and amenities were rated 24% higher by residents compared with those who attended a viewing. This was supported by feedback from hereSAY mystery shoppers, who said many of the amenities were not shown to them.

Overall, tenants on HomeViews rated their experience of the developments 26% higher than prospective residents following a viewing. As a further indication of the poor quality of BTR viewings being conducted, 50% of hereSAY’s mystery shoppers did not receive any follow up in the seven days after their viewing.

“With 50% of hereSAY’s mystery shoppers not receiving any follow up in the seven days after their viewing, there are key practical steps that are being missed. The cost of acquiring a prospective resident is high, so to fail to follow up is baffling and results in disappointingly low recommendation scores. With such high scores from residents who are living in and experiencing BTR there are missed opportunities to convert those on viewings to becoming new residents.”
Esme Webb, Head of hereSAY

“What is hard for us to compare is the missed opportunities and lost prospective tenants who did not move into these 22 developments. Despite the overall quality of BTR being high and tenants being, in general, satisfied with the lived experience, this is clearly not being effectively communicated to prospective tenants.”
Hannah Marsh, Co-founder of HomeViews

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.

hereSAY is the first benchmarked mystery shopping service for the residential sector, created by SAY – RESI Consultancy of the Year 2021. hereSAY offers retained or one-off mystery shopping, with your scheme benchmarked against others in the industry and with expert advice and feedback from SAY’s award-winning consultants.

To purchase the hereSAY Mystery Shopping Report please email

written by

Jan Moys

A residential property expert with over 15 years’ experience creating content... Read all

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