A new kind of fluidity in the property sector

Huw George
Huw George

We at Engage work with a variety of property clients including letting agents, housing associations, developers and residential landlords and are in a unique position to observe trends and behaviours from people in many different roles and functions, all across the property spectrum.

Over the last few years we have seen a blurring of the lines that used to separate the roles within the real estate sector. There used to be clear siloes that could be characterised, for example, as Funding, Developing, Selling/Letting, and finally Managing property that people or organisations used to see as their primary role and would stick to. The emergence of the Build to Rent sector and large-scale student housing has led to a breaking down of this siloed approach.

It is now common place for the entire lifecycle of a property to be dealt with in house. This may be for a number of reasons:

  • Build greater market share
  • More control of their brand
  • Increased margins
  • Maximising their economies of scale

Specific companies exhibiting this trend

Companies like Get Living London led the way with taking an end-to end approach of the letting and managing of the rental process following the acquisition of the former athlete’s village on the Olympic Park. Lendlease, who built the apartment buildings GLL acquired, have just announced plans to broaden their remit from development to enter the fray in the Build to Rent market, adding the marketing, letting and managing roles to their already strong build function.

National house builders like Barratt Homes and Galliard are now managing the developments they build rather than contracting out to third party Managing Agents. Arguably this is a good move given they will know the buildings inside out having designed and built them, but it also gives them the opportunity to create brand loyalty from their buyers, turning the relatively short buying lifecycle into a much longer relationship with numerous opportunities to interact and turn a one-off transaction into further sales opportunities.

What’s next?

I see this trend continuing in 2018 whilst immense pressure is put on the sector to add more value for the customer and control costs. The key to successful diversification is ensuring that new processes are introduced efficiently, that teams are trained well and that the customer experience is always carefully considered.

Property sector graph

Huw George

Business Development Manager

Huw George

Self-service Services Community Professional services