Pocket Living combines affordable, space-efficient flats with an approach that’s focused on building communities as well as new developments. Chosen as the block manager for Pocket’s developments, HAUS shares this ethos. We’re using our expertise to support this innovative developer’s vision for home ownership.
Privately owned developer Pocket Living specialises in affordable one-bedroom homes. Its award-winning designs use space so efficiently that Pocket can offer flats at a discount of 20% below the local market rate. Purchasers must be first- time buyers on a middle income and already living or working in the borough of the development.
With 15 blocks (each averaging 25 flats) due for development in the next 18 months and a 5-year pipeline of a further 5,000 flats, Pocket went to tender for a block manager in January 2016. The tender was the largest and most detailed that HAUS has undertaken to date. The successful block manager would need to advise and get involved in marketing, project management and delivery, work alongside Pocket’s legal partners at all stages of the setup and marketing process, and help buyers familiarise themselves with the buildings.
Pocket also planned to give owners greater control by transferring management powers to a Residents Management Company. The successful block manager would also need to oversee this process and educate leaseholders about it.
Measured by units of management, HAUS was the smallest company taking part in the tender process. We needed to demonstrate that we had the capacity to deliver (which would be regularly monitored through KPIs) and that we could grow alongside Pocket without compromising service delivery.
THE LARGEST AND MOST DETAILED TENDER HAUS HAS UNDERTAKEN
HAUS won the tender in competition with a larger firm and once appointed, we quickly developed our partnership with Pocket.One of our first tasks was to help their marketing department create a guide for leaseholders. From our point of view it was very satisfying to work with a developer who put so much thought into the longevity of the developments and the experience of the people that lived there. We provided advice on the major issues in block management and how they can be reduced or avoided by careful planning and education. We then created a bespoke suite of letters and literature for buyers and residents that were aligned with the Pocket style. We also created a “directors guide” for leaseholders who wanted to learn about becoming a director of the RMC. [/three_fifth] [two_fifth spacing="yes" last="yes" center_content="no" hide_on_mobile="no" background_color="" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" link="" hover_type="none" border_position="all" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding="" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" animation_type="0" animation_direction="down" animation_speed="0.1" animation_offset="" class="" id=""] [separator style_type="none" top_margin="10px" bottom_margin="10px" sep_color="" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" class="" id=""] [/two_fifth]
Pocket Living are really excited to be working with HAUS. Pocket homes are all owned by first time buyers and they need a little bit more hand-holding throughout the process of becoming a homeowner. HAUS really understood the need to explain the role of a RMC in simple consumer language and have encouraged our owners to invest their time in their building’s management and develop a strong community.
Sales and Marketing Director at Pocket
Our involvement with each development before and during completion has been very hands-on. Prior to completions, Pocket organises a social get-together for all the buyers so they can get to know their future neighbours: we attend too, so buyers can meet the HAUS team and speak to their block manager. The sense of community this creates is at the opposite end of the spectrum from buildings where the majority of flats are sold to overseas investors and often left unoccupied.
With the average price of a flat becoming off-limits to most middle-income earners, the Pocket model is one that the government should be incentivising developers to adopt across all cities, not just London. Young adults are what make the city thrive. These ‘city makers’, as Pocket calls them, should not be driven out by rising rents and house prices. To be a part of this more long-term and thoughtful approach to development is very exciting for HAUS –we look forward to a bright future with Pocket.
IT’S EXCITING TO BE PART OF A LONG-TERM, THOUGHTFUL APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT