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hereSAY (heer-sey): A detailed account, shared by a person about their experience of viewing a place to live.

hereSAY is the first mystery shopping service that benchmarks the viewing experience across the build to rent (BTR) industry in the UK.

An initial 22 BTR schemes were mystery shopped in 2021 and shoppers responded to over 100 questions across eight categories, providing in-depth and exclusive insight into the quality of the customer service, the offered services and amenities, and the quality of each development.

A trend report has been published which reveals the top five developments, as well as the key themes and findings.

The winner of the benchmark is Park Central West, by Lendlease, a development in Elephant and Castle in London. This scheme received a well-deserved ‘excellent’ rating overall, with high scores in all eight categories. Our shoppers were particularly impressed by the passion, professionalism and enthusiasm of the team they met, which really separated them from the others.

The other schemes that achieved a place in the top five of the benchmark are revealed in the report. For these developments, 93% of shoppers agreed that the development lived up to their expectations and the guide took an interest in their needs. By comparison, at the bottom five developments, only 53% of shoppers agreed that the guide was friendly or took an interest in them.

Some interesting and eye-opening industry wide findings have emerged. Of the 22 developments that were mystery shopped:

  • There was no correlation between price of rent and total score in the benchmark. The top 5 schemes fell across every rental band, proving that more expensive doesn’t always mean better quality.
  • 50% of the shoppers did not receive ANY follow up within 7 days of their viewing. Even in the top five, only 42% of viewings were followed up within 7 days.
  • 90% of shoppers considered the quality of the apartments to be high, so the viewing and customer experience is the main differentiator in the rankings.

The names of the other 17 schemes shopped are revealed in the trend report, however their positions in the benchmark will not be made publicly available.

This study provides much needed insight into how well the industry is performing, as well as identifying key trends across the sector. The Build to Rent sector has promoted itself by promising high-quality homes and exceptional customer experience and now for the first time, the sector can be held accountable with the insight from the hereSAY benchmark and mystery shopping service.

To purchase the trend report at a cost of £450, please contact Esme Webb. 

hereSAY mystery shopping service

Armed with this knowledge and experience, we are now offering a benchmarked mystery shopping service for BTR and other residential asset types.

A professionally trained mystery shopper will visit your scheme and respond to over 100 questions in eight categories, providing feedback on all elements of their experience, from visiting your website, the viewing itself, through to the post-viewing experience.

What are the benefits for your business?

  • You will receive easy to digest and objective data as well as verbatim quotes from our shoppers that provide real insight into your customers’ experiences.
  • You will see where your strengths and weaknesses lie, enabling you to provide detailed and specific feedback to your team.
  • For BTR schemes we will compare your results to the scores from our 22 benchmarked schemes, so you will know whether you under or over performed compared to your competitors.

There are three options available:

A) A retained service which is offered for a minimum of one year across your portfolio, with one report provided per quarter.

We can shop all your schemes or rotate shops to visit a different set of schemes each quarter. Regular mystery shops mean we can compare your scores each quarter and track changes within each of the eight categories.

You can add 20 bespoke questions to reflect your specific service offer.

B) A retained service for a minimum of one year for one scheme (12 shops) with four reports.

You can add 20 bespoke questions to reflect your specific service offer.

C) A one-off mystery shopping service (3 shops) with one report.

This option does not include bespoke questions.

If you would like to find out more and discuss the options and costs, please contact Esme Webb at SAY:

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