One Swallow Street

Release date:
Summer 2016

Brief and solution:
Originally converted from offices under Permitted Development rules, the scheme was initially intended to be held for long term let by the original owner, Salmon Harvester. However, due to a change in strategy they elected to liquidate the asset and pursue other avenues.

Smart Living had been involved in the design and specification consultancy from a very early stage, and were assured of the operations instruction upon completion. As such, we moved swiftly once we learned of the change in tack and were part of the team who introduced a purchaser; DTZ Investors on behalf of Strathclyde Pension Fund.

With the Fund being new to residential property, Smart Living led the project, advising on and coordinating the furnishing of each unit, to a specification befitting of the building, location and rental audience.

A keen understanding of the micro-location and the specific needs of tenants in the area was vital to both the fit out, and the success of securing lets on all 55 units inside two weeks. A major draw for the building was the offer of all-inclusive utility packages. A number of different packages were designed to suit the demographic, and tenants could choose to enhance their broadband provision, as well as benefit from regular cleaning services, via one easy monthly bill.

*average void calculation takes into account a 1 week transition period between tenancies.

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units
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avergage void*
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average occupancy rate
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achieved against advertised rental figures

Mica Point

Release date:
Spring 2009

Brief and solution:
The city centre build division of Willmott Dixon, Inspace Homes, designed and delivered 62 units with completion scheduled for early 2009. Economic factors intervened meaning residential sales were no longer an option, but the internal team had little to no experience with the residential lettings market.

The team at Smart Living (then at FleetMilne Property) pitched to solve this issue by bringing market and industry expertise to the table, in order to facilitate ongoing strong performance on the lettings market. The team also brought management experience, making the unexpected situation more palatable to the team at Inspace Homes.

Inspace Homes were able to realise a full price for this asset upon sale in early 2014, in no small part due to the management approach adopted by the team at Smart Living. There were no arrears, or outstanding maintenance issues, upon handover to the new owners.

*average void calculation takes into account a 1 week transition period between tenancies.

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units
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average void*
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average occupancy
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rental increases year on year

Latitude

Release date:
Autumn 2010

Brief and solution:
In an unexpected partnership due to the shift in economic flexibilities and banking attitudes, Taylor Wimpey and Balli Developments released 120 units onto the residential lettings market, 8 months later than originally anticipated, and 2 months after the summer peak had subsided. The scheme consisted of a traditional mix of studio, one and two bedroom apartments nestled in Southside.

The aforementioned economic factors meant that selling the units on the open market was no longer the option it had once been, and the team were limited by a lack of experience with residential lettings operations and compliance.

Smart Living’s team (then at FleetMilne Property) over-delivered against their most important task of letting 80% of the units before the Christmas break; they agreed lets on all 120 units. The team also brought a large and consistent management team, with the right experience to make the unexpected situation more palatable to the team at the partnership.

In the summer of 2015, the partnership took the decision to resume the open market sales strategy, and found purchasers for all 120 units. At the time of writing, FleetMilne continue to deliver as letting agent, ensuring Latitude continues to perform in a competitive city centre marketplace. The partnership of Balli and Taylor Wimpey sold a large percentage to buy-to-let investors, principally due to the strong rental levels achieved by the team.

*average void calculation takes into account a 1 week transition period between tenancies.

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units
%
average void*
%
average occupancy
%
rental increase year on year