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  • Writer's pictureZach Gendron

Why You Should Consider Build-to-Rent (BTR) in Your Portfolio (August 2023 Insights)

Our goal at Limitless Investing is to consistently provide high-quality, alternative real estate opportunities to our Investment Club.

While we continue to believe strongly in the investment thesis for multifamily apartments, we also recognize that there are other real estate asset classes that can provide additional layers of diversification, while also offering unique risk/return profiles. Examples of this include Self-Storage and Industrial.

Let’s dive into an overview of Build-to-Rent (BTR) and why you should consider it in your portfolio.

What is BTR?

A BTR home is one that has been built for the purpose of long-term rental. Unlike standard apartments and similar, multifamily structures, build-to-rent homes are specifically intended to be an ideal option for individuals searching for a long-term rental residence (so, several years or more vs. short-term leases).

Whereas typical communities are developed with prospective buyers in mind, BTR communities are created for long-term tenants. This can factor into the home and property designs and the overall set-up of the community. Often, BTR developments aim for a balance of versatility and luxury, to offer an attractive alternative to traditional rental options.

What is the Investment Strategy for BTR?

BTR developments are new residential communities, increasing U.S. housing supply and helping to address the nation’s housing shortage. Favorable BTR fundamentals are capturing significant attention from institutional investors. Most of the institutional investor interest is relatively new because the BTR sector only began scaling in most markets over the last five years.

The BTR model rests on the advantage of brand new, Class A units that aim to provide much better cash flow than homes built decades earlier. As such, the stabilized yield-on-cost for BTR exceeds the cap rates for existing portfolios.

What are the Demand Drivers for BTR?

Present market dynamics are highly favorable to BTR investing, with key drivers such as:

  • A national housing shortage

  • Surge of millennials creating families and outgrowing traditional apartments

  • Baby boomers downsizing, with some choosing the flexibility and low-maintenance lifestyle of renting

  • Increased housing demand in suburbs and exurbs accelerated by COVID remote work trends

  • Limited BTR supply, exacerbated by a constrained construction lending environment and entitlement challenges in many locations

What are the Advantages of Investing in Self-Storage?

Investing in BTR offers several key benefits, including:

  • Rising market demand from shifts in housing preferences

  • BTR helps satisfy unmet demand for single-family living by increasing housing supply

  • Favorable market fundamentals, leading to superior revenue growth

  • Lower resident turnover than traditional multifamily

  • Exit optionality to sell units to individual homebuyers


We believe BTR’s ability to offer a differentiated product with similar operating features as traditional multifamily makes it a logical addition to investor portfolios.

Attractive rental growth combined with more efficient operating capabilities has led to strong institutional investors’ conviction in BTR. Additionally, BTR has the exit optionality of continuing to operate as a rental community or selling to individual home buyers.

Interested in Learning More?

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