Courtesy Zonda

Looking to network with peers and gain more knowledge in the evolving build-to-rent (BTR) sector, industry professionals, including owners, operators, builders, capital partners, and more, gathered Jan. 29 to 30 at Zonda’s Build-to-Rent conference in Dallas.

Attendees had the opportunity to listen in to 13 different sessions with over 30 experienced panelists on a range of topics, from financing future projects to BTR community design drivers to improving resident experiences. But, for those that didn’t get a chance to be there in person, here are 13 high-level takeaways that could help shape future BTR companies and communities.

1. It costs more to own than rent today: With elevated home prices and high interest rates, renting is a more affordable play for people right now. Tim Sullivan, chief advisory officer at Zonda, said currently “90% of markets are more expensive for ownership than renting.” Ultimately, this means there is huge demand for BTR product, given its look and feel and financial attractiveness.

2. Today’s BTR offerings are diverse: Kimberly Byrum, managing principal of multifamily at Zonda, delved into all the BTR products being offered today in her session. They include cottage, single-family detached, single-family attached, townhome, and hybrid. Although it will vary by market, townhome is emerging over cottage, but cottage is still absorbing the quickest, according to her findings.

3. There are lots of paths to success in BTR: The speakers on the Rental REIT and Institutional Investment Trends panel, including executives from Tricon Residential, Invitation Homes, and Pretium, stated there’s lots of runway for various paths of BTR, whether who you’re targeting or where or what you’re building. “We’re still in the pre-season of this,” they said.

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