Introducing UNCLE, a Build to Rent property management operator with developments in London and Manchester.
UNCLE wants to take the ‘lord’ attitude out of ‘landlord’. The company is focused on service, being kind to customers and giving residents a simpler renting experience. It’s all about flexibility. There’s no contract, so if you move in and don’t like it, you can easily move out. Uncle also offers a service guarantee – if something is broken and it doesn’t get fixed within 48 hours, you’ll get a day’s rent back.
The HomeViews team sat down with Ryan Prince, the Founder of UNCLE to find out more…
Thanks for joining us Ryan! Company values seem to be really important to you and your team. What led you to create UNCLE?
The entire renting experience just appeared to be stuck in the past. You look around at the impact of technology on behaviour and culture and it was clear that a new type of brand/rental business was needed. UNCLE was born out of Realstar’s experience of working in the hotel industry, where there are a multitude of brand and experience principles you can easily bring to renting.
How do you deliver values such as kindness?
The core of our brand is promises with consequences, so we want to ensure we give all our residents a set of consistent and realistic brand promises. That is the least a renter should expect, as renting is the largest financial commitment you make every month. Every renter deserves to be respected and listened to.
Why do you believe UNCLE is needed within the current rental market?
Well without revealing our secrets, we believe the rental market needs more brands in this space, not just property businesses. UNCLE is a property brand.
UNCLE is a Build to Rent operator – what does BTR mean to you and how is it different to the typical renting experience?
I don’t think BTR means anything outside of the property industry, so frankly it doesn’t mean much. We are far more interested in what residents and consumers want and need. If you talk to the general public the level of knowledge around BTR is really low. Until the industry wakes up to that fact, I think they will always struggle to promote the concept of a ‘professional landlord’.
What does success look like for your team?
Buildings full of happy, kind renters is a good start. We are also committed to building a brand, so success long term is about the public understanding what we do, why we do it and talking about it with their peers.
You regularly share your customer feedback, why do you believe this is important?
Transparency, internally and externally, is very important to UNCLE. We are only as good as the last review, so feedback from our residents is at the very core of what we are about. Plus, it is vital that potential residents can read and decide for themselves before booking a viewing or signing a contract. They already do that for every single product and service out there so why not for renting?
What role do you believe HomeViews can play in supporting your mission?
If HomeViews can provide transparency to the process of renting a home then we are right behind that. The renting industry needs to wake up and change how it thinks and behaves. Renters deserve more.