Build to Rent: Six essential steps to delivering your investment and ESG goals

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By 2032 the number of completed Build to Rent (BTR) homes in the UK is predicted to increase by 400% – creating a sector worth £170bn. Discover why your choice of mailbox and parcel box could help you meet key investment and ESG goals – and future-proof your asset.

In 2022, BTR investment hit record levels for the 4th consecutive year. With research indicating that 8% of UK homes for rent will be purpose-built by 2032.* A decade after the Montague Review heralded the arrival of the modern BTR sector, it’s safe to say its core objective of unlocking long-term, institutional investment into homes for rent has been achieved.

According to Savills Director of Residential Research, Jaqui Daly “What is clear, is that the demand for high-quality, professionally managed homes for rent is only going to increase.”

However, maximising the investment potential of your BTR property will require careful planning and attention to detail at every level of building design, construction and management.

And it begins in the reception area.

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Step 1: Develop a Parcel Strategy

Since Covid, 93% of us have shopped online. This is creating huge problems in the entrances and lobbies of buildings where not enough secure delivery or storage space has been factored in for the increasing number of packages. As well as being a potential fire and safety risk, a new phenomenon, ‘Parcel Piracy’ ¬– the theft of packages from buildings ¬– is a growing concern. The Citizens Advice Bureau report that ten parcels are lost or stolen in the UK every minute. But that’s not all. Another crime that’s on the increase as a result of Parcel Piracy is potentially even more serious: identity theft.

Whether you’re a building’s architect, owner or manager, parcel theft isn’t just a loss for your occupants, it can damage your reputation and ultimately your investment too. But by planning a Parcel Strategy right from the outset, and selecting a mailbox and parcel box partner that’s approved by Secured By Design (the Police Preferred Specification for all security products that can deter or reduce crime) it can be easily avoided.

Why every building needs a Parcel Strategy

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Step 2: Meet and exceed safety regulations

June 14th 2017 saw the deadliest structural fire in the United Kingdom for over 30 years at Grenfell Tower. Following Dame Judith Hackitt’s rigorous report into the fire, the government introduced its ‘Building a Safer Future’ policy and the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1230) came into force.

We were the first instigator and creator of 1hr fire-rated mailboxes to the previous BS 476 Part 22 standard, but following Grenfell we made the decision to extend our specification even further to ensure our fire-rated products were capable of holding back or containing a fire for an even greater length of time. We are now proud to have become the first company to achieve full Fire Rating (two hour integrity) to BS EN 1363-1:2012, on this specifically created group of products, where failure in service is simply not an option. Talking to us at an early stage of building development or refurbishment could prevent you specifying non-compliant products.

Find out more about mailbox and parcel box safety

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Step 3: Be Smart ­­and secure

Smart concepts are more important than ever in the Built Environment and in 2022 global spending on the Internet of Things hit $1 trillion. Your residents will expect you to be ahead of the curve and secure, digital, contactless 24/7 access to deliveries could be a given.

Our intelligent ‘MyRENZbox’ parcel systems enable residents to receive and send parcels anytime with ease via an app – regardless of the parcel delivery service and even if no one’s at home. Using the latest IT solutions, residents, parcel delivery services (and building managers/caretakers if you wish) are all perfectly networked in the myRENZbox system which is controlled by the Renz internet portal, the myRENZ app and touch display.

But with increased connectivity and convenience comes growing concern about cyber security which needs to be factored into your BTR development strategy from day one.

Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) is an organisation working alongside a network of almost 300 expert organisations across the UK and beyond to help advise and certify organisations of all sizes in both cyber security and counter fraud. The scheme aligns with all 13 provisions of the worldwide standard in IoT cyber security, ETSI EN 303 645 and with the UK IoT security legislation and guidance.

We are the very first mailbox and parcel box manufacturer on the market to be accredited with the IASME IoT Cyber Assurance Level 2, the highest level of certification. As a Secured By Design member company it enables us to also use the Secured By Design Cyber assurance mark on our ‘myRENZbox’ parcel systems.

Find out more about our Smart, secure solutions

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Step 4: Don’t just tick the ESG box

Your stakeholders and tenants want you to prove you take sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance responsibilities seriously. We invest time, money, research and careful consideration into manufacturing the most compliant and sustainable products on the market.

Backed by the UK’s top organisations for the built environment, the Supply Chain Sustainability School helps to meet the challenging sustainability targets set out by the UK Construction Strategy 2025 and we are delighted to have been awarded Sustainability School GOLD level.

With many of the other mailboxes and parcel boxes on the market being sourced from China ­– and subject to less stringent manufacturing and environmental standards and involving long journeys by sea or air ­­– audit trails, sustainability credentials and carbon footprints are, at best, unclear.

We’re a responsible British manufacturer using locally sourced materials, recycling our waste legally and responsibly and, with the help of our new powder coating process (with a waterfall system that reuses water) reducing water consumption and mitigating pollution.

Not only that, at our factory in Wales we have a proud history of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and supporting our local community, and our CEO sits on groups lobbying for best practice in our industry.

See our complete list of ESG policies

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Step 5: Future-proof your assets

Forward-funded deals need underwriting and a parcel strategy often isn’t built-in from the beginning. But for the future value and appeal of your property it could be crucial.

Parcel delivery globally – at an average of 41 parcels per person, per year – is massive. In the UK, where we have seen the average delivery volume per home double since 2021, that figure is now 80 parcels per person. Multiply that by the number of residences in your property, and the number of people per household, and you can begin to see the scale of the challenge.

You should also factor in that what you have on the drawing board today may not be occupied for another two to three years. The next milestone on the horizon for parcel numbers is predicted to be 2026 – when forecasts suggest that the UK will experience just over double the delivery volume seen in 2020, increasing from 4.2 billion to 8.5 billion deliveries.

The up-front costs of our parcel box and mailbox solutions are easily off-set by saving the ongoing cost, time and hassle of a dedicated person managing parcels all day every day. It also increases the aesthetics of your building, adds capital value and provides a great resident service. Payback on investment in our mailbox and parcel box solutions is typically within two to three years.

See how careful upfront planning combined aesthetics with compliance and enhanced the asset of one of the UK’s largest landlords here.

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Step 6: See how we can help

At The Safety Letterbox Company we’re passionate about innovative, yet practical, high-quality mailbox and parcel box solutions that create a balance of aesthetics and security to enhance your BTR investment. Over the last 37 years we’ve designed, manufactured and supplied over 2 million mailboxes and parcel boxes across UK sites and 22 other countries worldwide. From social housing blocks to luxury towers including high profile, prestige sites such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and everything in-between. In 2012 we became part of the 98 year-old mail and parcel box manufacturing RENZ group, with facilities in Germany, France and Poland, as well as here in the UK with the Safety Letterbox Company.

Our Research & Development team is constantly working with architects, contractors, building owners and managers on solutions that comply to the latest standards and push boundaries in testing, innovation and design. We offer over 180 individual models and working with clients on a daily basis allows us to understand fully your aspirations, pain points and all aspects of the entire delivery process that could be improved.

Talking to us at an early stage of building development or refurbishment could make your property more attractive to tenants and prevent you specifying non-compliant products. In addition to our expert product guidance, we can help you choose the best siting locations and ensure your mailboxes are securely fixed in a safe area.

Find out how working with The Safety Letter Box Company gives you the best advice, service and products in the market whilst also meeting key ESG and investment goals. Get in touch today.

*British Property Federation (BPF)/Savills

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No-obligation consultation

We welcome the chance to discuss your project and we can share all that is current in terms of standards and product options totally free of charge.

Simply complete and submit the form and we will get back in touch to talk through your requirements.

We also provide Autocad drawings as required – it’s all part of the service!

safety letterbox mailbox Grid Icon

No-obligation consultation

We welcome the chance to discuss your project and we can share all that is current in terms of standards and product options totally free of charge.

Simply complete and submit the form and we will get back in touch to talk through your requirements.

We also provide Autocad drawings as required – it’s all part of the service!

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