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Growing BTR firm says it will be keeping its services ‘all in-house’

Cortland says its success in the US has been built on keeping control of service quality, its UK boss says.

Nigel Lewis

cortland build to rent BTR

The boss of a US build-to-rent (BTR) operator making significant progress in the UK says her company is keen not to use third-party ‘outsourced’ services such as letting agents to manage its growing stock of developments.

Victorian Quinlan, who heads up the firm’s operations in Europe and in particular the UK, says Cortland wants to replicate its success in the US over here.

That includes keeping its operations almost entirely in-house including building its own developments and managing its own stock and tenants, all under the Cortland name – although it is ‘forward funding’ several projects in partnership with UK builders.

“We want to help professionalise the private rented sector and bring in greater choice for tenants who want developments with more amenities and where they won’t feel like second-class citizens,” she says.

20% of stock

Her comments will be of concern for agents hoping to find new lettings business from the growing BTR sector, which already represents 20% of rental stock in London and 4% nationally.

While many more asset-driven BTR operators do use agents to manage their huge blocks, an increasing number of more ‘brand focussed’ ones want to control the tenant experience in-house.

In-house

“We do everything in-house from an operational point of view and the idea behind that is we put the resident at the heart of everything we do [so] we don’t want any intermediaries [because we want to hear] all the feedback direct,” says Quinlan.

Her company, like many other BTR brands, is positioning itself as the answer to the UK’s housing crisis, and Quinlan says this is because, while the sales market can fluctuate from boom to crash very quickly, BTR developers can carry on building and letting through recessions and ensure supply to the private rented sector is more predictable.

May 10, 2022

One comment

  1. Govt are loving this:

    “We want to help professionalise the private rented sector and bring in greater choice for tenants who want developments with more amenities and where they won’t feel like second-class citizens,” she says.

    However as again, who is housing the Benefit tenants?

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