Homes for Students and Navana partner to launch specialist BTR consultancy and operations business

05th Jul 2021

Navana Property Group has joined forces with Homes for Students, the UK’s second largest student accommodation operator, to launch a dedicated, national build-to-rent (BTR) operating and consultancy business called VervLife.

VervLife will provide specialist support for BTR developers and investors right across the life cycle of projects – from site acquisition, branding and design consultancy through to operational management and lettings.  Its emphasis will be on meeting the needs of a new generation of renters, as more people make an active lifestyle choice to rent in the UK.

Marrying Navana’s sharp focus on customer experience and proptech with Homes for Students’ longstanding expertise in multi-residential management, VervLife will cross-fertilize skills to enhance the living experience for renters across the country.  It will support tenant retention and take away the hassle for asset owners and investors by delivering integrated lettings, resident engagement and operational management.

Resident wellbeing and sustainable management will be at the heart of the business, reflecting trends in how people want to live and the property industry’s drive to deliver greater social value through projects and meet investor expectations around ESG. 

Drawing on Homes for Students’ established operational infrastructure, VervLife will use this capacity and expertise to scale quickly within the next five years.  It will support new and existing clients looking to branch out or further expand into BTR, working across urban and suburban developments, multi-family and single-family homes.  It will focus on the UK and Ireland initially.

The new business is led by Katherine Rose who has moved across from her role as director of BTR and PRS at Navana Property Group to become managing director. Brent Stojanovic, one of the original co-founders of Navana, has also joined as a director. The team will be supported by Martin Corbett, Chief Executive Officer of Homes for Students and Kelly Bream, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Navana, who are also directors.

Martin Corbett, Chief Executive Officer at Homes for Students, said: “We’ve been watching what the team at Navana have been doing and liked their fresh approach and drive.  They are the perfect fit with our team and we are confident that together we can hit our growth ambitions in the BTR and PRS sectors.  By drawing on Homes for Students’ experience and nationwide footprint, VervLife can scale at speed.  Leveraging this existing supply chain, the business will unlock development value for clients across the UK.”

Kelly Bream, Chief Operating Officer of Navana, said: “There are huge opportunities in the BTR and PRS sectors as the structure of the UK residential market continues to evolve. More and more people of all ages choose to rent rather than own their homes and investors and developers are responding by bringing forward more diverse and innovative rental homes. VervLife’s laser-like focus on BTR and PRS means we can really unlock this potential for our clients. 

“Combining Navana’s technology-led approach and focus on the renter with Homes for Students’ knowledge of multi-residential operations, VervLife is ideally placed to inject some fresh energy into BTR.”