The South has taken the lead in addressing the nationwide housing shortage through built-to-rent (BTR) construction, with Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas at the forefront.
Over just the past year, BTR made up a record-breaking 7.3% of all single-family construction starts – a significant increase compared to just 2% between 1975 and 2007.
By the end of the first quarter of 2023, there were 68,000 BTR construction starts, demonstrating a robust year-over-year growth rate of 15.3%.
According to Axios, Arizona has by far the most BTR housing per capita with 2,011 units planned or under construction per million residents, followed by North Carolina (1,071) and Texas (856). Florida has 583 units per million residents, while northern states such as Minnesota and Illinois trail behind with 212 and 193 respectively. The national average stands at 345 BTR units per million inhabitants.
As BTR developments are often managed by large-scale property management companies, mom-and-pop firms face growing competition. To help level the playing field, many are investing in property management software and smart home technology to streamline operations and save on per-unit costs.
But they’re not merely playing catch-up – they are focusing on what they do best; providing a more personalized and community-centric experience that larger corporations may struggle to deliver.
Rather than compete, some smaller property management businesses can explore collaboration opportunities with BTR developers. For example, they may manage smaller segments within their developments, creating a win-win situation for both parties and the country’s rental market.
Jeff Taylor, managing director of Mphasis Digital Risk, suggests reaching out to a developer or builder and offering leasing services for a fee. Be prepared to explain the benefits you can bring, such as specialized service or local expertise.
CEO of Wolfson Development Adam Wolfson says property managers can also “help developers locate land for development or existing properties that could be adapted.”
The first step is always to initiate a conversation with a BTR developer and demonstrate how your property management business can add value to their new neighborhood of single-family rentals.
More build-to-rent headlines
Greystar starts first built-to-rent community in Houston area – The Real Deal
Build-for-rent construction rising in all but 10 states – Housing Wire