Author : Maryanne Bowring
We’re all used to hearing about the myriad ways that build to rent providers are coming up with to entice renters to sign up. Everything from laundry services, dog walking and yoga classes is on offer somewhere if you’re happy to pay the right provider. But here’s something we haven’t come across before. The Moorfield Group is promoting its Duet Salford Quays development in Manchester as “socially conscious living”.
According to Dougie Orton-Wade who is the general manager of the MediaCityUK-located scheme: “Duet is about more than just enjoyable communal living, it is about the wider community we’re a part of and it wouldn’t be right not to try and give something back”. Sounds good, but what does that mean in practice?
Well, socially conscious living turns out to be more than a bunch of buzzwords. It includes some genuinely great, community-minded ideas. These include regular litter-picks to help keep the local environment clean and tidy, an on-site collection point for the Salford Food Bank and clothing donation points. Duet residents can donate unwanted clothes and accessories to White Rose, an online second hand clothing and accessories retailer that donates all its proceeds to Aegis, an international organisation working to prevent genocide. And all that is in addition to Duet's involvement in Manchester's City of Trees initiative earlier this year where 300 trees were planted - one for each resident - to help reduce carbon emissions and improve the local landscape.
It’s hard to argue with any of that. And residents like it too. The management team at Duet has had a really positive response, with their tenants taking a lot of satisfaction in being able to do their bit for other people – often without having to leave the development. In these Covid times – and with Manchester facing the biggest spike in coronavirus cases in the country - residents at Duet can still make a contribution to their local community, even if they find their block in lockdown.
And that’s the key take-away here. If you make it easy for people to change their behaviour for the better, they probably will. So a hat tip to the team at Duet. Let’s hope other operators will follow suit. Helping BTR residents take an active part in the local community has to be a positive move – and it doesn’t mean they can’t have a gym or a dog grooming service too!
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.