Real Estate and Property Awards 2023

BUILD Real Estate & Property Awards 2023 | 33 Best Property Development & Management Platform 2023 - UK Founded in 2016, PLATFORM_ was the first company to deliver a branded concept of institutional-quality Build-to-Rent (BTR) neighbourhoods across the UK. Here we take a closer look, and learn from CEO Jean-Marc Vandevivere, as the company wins its title in the Real Estate and Property Awards 2023. As a fully integrated investor, developer, and operator, PLATFORM_ is able to leverage synergies and learnings across the entire value chain from acquisition, through to planning, development, asset management, and property management. Utilising a forensic approach to identifying sites and aiming to be affordable to more than 50% of the local workforce sets PLATFORM_ apart from its competitors and aligns with the needs of the local community. PLATFORM_ has demonstrated impressive growth over the last year, including nearly tripling the size of its operational BTR portfolio, launching the first BTR scheme in Wales, and expanding its operational portfolio and development pipeline to 4,000 apartments with a total gross value exceeding £1 billion. In 2023 PLATFORM_ launched its 6th, 7th and 8th BTR schemes in Cardiff, Sheffield and Glasgow respectively. Locations now span England, Wales and Scotland, and include Bedford, Bracknell, Cardiff, Crawley, Exeter, Glasgow, Sheffield, and Stevenage. PLATFORM_’s mission is to reshape the UK's rental landscape by delivering design conscious, techenabled, sustainable homes at affordable rents. The company’s dedication to thoughtful design is evident in its intuitive floor plans, designer fixtures, tailored lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows and stylish fully-appointed kitchens and bathrooms. Residents can manage their homes conveniently using smart technology like the PLATFORM_ Portal app, keyless entry, and remote utility monitoring, all underpinned by pre-installed superfast broadband. High-spec amenity spaces cater to residents' lifestyles, whether they want to hit the gym, enjoy city views from a rooftop terrace, or watch a movie in the on-site cinema room. Residents also benefit from a smart parcel management system, bespoke complimentary community events and a loyalty scheme offering discounts across a range of local and national businesses. PLATFORM_ also excels in customer service, with a dedicated resident services team at each scheme offering a swift, professional, and helpful service. Furthermore, PLATFORM_ is committed to sustainability, being the first UK BTR portfolio to achieve BREEAM In-Use certification and targeting a net-zero operational portfolio by 2030. With a team that collectively has managed over £6 billion in real estate assets worldwide, PLATFORM_ leverages expertise from the real estate, hospitality, retail, and technology industries, alongside proprietary asset management tools, including dynamic revenue management to deliver marketleading returns for itself and its investors. One of PLATFORM_'s most significant projects is the £500 million transformation of Sweet Street West in Leeds. Earlier in 2023, PLATFORM_ secured planning approval for the new 1.3 million sq. ft. mixeduse quarter including 1,350 BTR homes, 150,000 sq. ft of grade A offices, as well as extensive local amenities. PLATFORM_ is investing substantially in this new neighbourhood, emphasising community and sustainability, integrating green technology and aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating for the commercial element of the neighbourhood, showcasing its dedication to a sustainable future. From air-source heat pumps to electric vehicle charging points, PLATFORM_ is designing with the future in mind, creating a modern, sustainable community in the heart of Leeds. PLATFORM_ CEO, Jean-Marc Vandevivere provides an overview of the BTR market and the challenges it is facing: “The sector has come a long way over the last 10 years, but it has definitely not been plain sailing for any of us, as we have faced not one, but several once-in-a-generation storms along the way, in the name of Brexit, Covid, and the Ukraine war; the latter fuelling historic high inflation. This has slowed us all down, but during these testing times, the BTR market has definitely emerged as a major investable real estate sector, as investors have come to realise the resilience and the inflation-hedge qualities of our BTR cash flows. “I am sure we will come across new storms in the years to come, but I strongly believe that the growing BTR sector will continue to weather them. We believe that the most successful developers will be those with the operational capabilities to provide a high-quality resident experience at affordable rents, whilst delivering buildings which stand the test of time in the context of evolving building safety and sustainability requirements.” Looking ahead, PLATFORM_ is actively expanding its BTR portfolio to include Edinburgh which is under construction and scheduled to be completed by mid-2024. With a superior track record and a dedication to providing residents with exceptional BTR living, PLATFORM_ will continue to reimagine the rental landscape in the UK. Contact Details Contact: Jean-Marc Vandevivere Company: PLATFORM_ Web Address: ‘PLATFORM_ in Glasgow’