TLJ bringing best practice to the UKAA

As long-standing members of the UK Apartment Association (UKAA) we're excited to be involved in the creation of their BTR Best Practice Guide

Launching in November, to coincide with the UKAA's annual conference, the Guide aims to harness the practical knowledge gained in the development and operation of BTR schemes over the last decade. It will update the forward-looking guidance contained in the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Design Guide and compliment the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Guide to Financing Principles.

Integrated street-to-sofa Access Control is vital to BTR

TLJ's contribution will demystify the often-overlooked, but vitally important, area of access control in a modern BTR setting. Going beyond the important concerns of safety and security, access control should integrate with the lifestyles of BTR residents. And it's the idea of ‘integration’ which is key: access control solutions can no longer be treated as as separate entity, rather they must be integrated with the building's proptech/IoT devices, as well as the digital-first demands of residents, visitors and staff. Furthermore, lock fittings have to appeal to the architects and interior designers with their ability to blend with the aesthetic of the building. 

We talk a lot about street-to-sofa access, and at TLJ we have worked hard to deliver mobile app-based solutions that include main entrance VoIP intercoms, smart parcel lockers, elevator controllers and state-of-the art electronic door locks that are almost infinitely configurable to match the building décor.  We also believe access control has a role to play in mitigating infection and disease transmission in a post-Covid world. Contactless operation is vital in reducing the number of physical touch points, in and around the building. 

Inspiration for the Best Practice Guide

The guide will be a dynamic and comprehensive on-line interactive tool that will keep its currency with regular updated from members and contributors. It will help industry practitioners to do their jobs and identify how to achieve best practice across the BTR sector, in an unbiased and pragmatic way. 

The idea of the guide arose from concerns by UKAA members that there is no readily available source of information addressing a range of issues the industry faces, adding risk, cost and pressure in a period when the sector is growing rapidly.

The initial release will focus on answering the most important questions asked and issues faced by investors, developers, and operators. These will be determined by the editorial team and expert contributors against three key considerations:

  1. How far does this question / issue impact on the success (financial or otherwise) of the scheme?
  2. How far does this question / issue impact on the customer experience?
  3. How far does this question / issue impact on the sustainability / ESG impact of the scheme?

Content will be delivered in various forms including written, video and audio, as best suited to the topic. It will also include “BTR 101” – an overview and introduction aimed at users new to the sector.

Getting involved

Support for a project to develop the guide was widespread across the UKAA membership. Lesley Roberts, UKAA President and Partner, Build To Rent at Allsop, commented 

This is a vital step for the UK’s rapidly expanding BTR industry. Sharing best practice and showing what good looks like in our sector will reduce risk for investors, make life easier for developers and operators, and tap into the expertise of those supplying products and services. Ours is still a new product in the UK and the guide will help us collectively address common issues and inform discussions with stakeholders in government, the media and elsewhere about the benefits of BTR.

Sean Wilson, TLJ Marketing Director, added

We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Best Practice Guide. There is an urgent need for a clear, plain-speaking and non-partisan guide to help inform stakeholders at every level in BTR. I believe that, along with other supplier-members of the UKAA, we have much to offer in terms of expertise and insights. If it has the added benefit of encouraging the media and political lobbyists to fly the flag for our sector, then all the better. 

Call for papers and funding began at the end of June; click here to learn more and get involved!