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Local. Un-breaking the rental market for good

Danish Chan

Renting in Australia is broken. Mostly unaffordable and the experience sucks. But what it if it didn't have to be.

Setting the scene

Local is an Australian Build-to-Rent start-up looking to re-shape the rental landscape.

First things first, Build-to-rent (BTR) is a new model that creates homes for the rental market where the buildings are owned by brands not individuals.

Melbourne is home to more than half of all the BTR projects completed in Australia in 2022.

So when Local, a new brand, backed by Macquarie Bank, decided to enter the market it needed to challenge both Australian’s legacy issues around renting and cut through a quickly cluttered market.

The real challenge

In a category designed for second class citizens, Local needed to create a uniquely aspirational rental brand when every other BTR brands are trying to own “the future of renting”?

There are a few things you need to know about Local. 

  1. A proportion of every building is dedicated to ‘impact housing’. Affordable housing options for women over 55 who are at risk of homelessness, key workers who are vital to our communities, and those in need of specialist disability accommodation who don’t currently have suitable homes.
  2. The buildings are designed with the environment in mind. Local are already operating at net zero, fully electric, utilising maximum renewable energy while producing minimal waste. 

The truth

Renting by its very definition perpetuates a power imbalance.

What we offer is more than just granting temporary possession. 
We want more than a transactional contract for using our property.

In fact, renting sounds like the opposite of what makes Local special. 


The Strategy

If renting is toxic and every other BTR brand is trying to own ‘the future of renting’, then let’s not play that game.

We don’t just lease space, we create access.

We don’t regulate how people live, we enable community and belonging.

We don’t have tenants, we have members.

This is what living at Local promises. 

Local would become a membership to the best of modern Australian living.

The strategic idea:

Inspired by life, diversity and the originality of the neighbourhoods we live in. 

Designed to be the highest quality, sustainable homes to an eclectic community of sophisticated socially minded Australians.

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Danish Chan

→ Danish is one of the most awarded strategists in the world, having worked on some of the most iconic brands in the last decade including Virgin Atlantic, Coca Cola, and Volvo. Danish spent his career helping to make modern, connected strategy integral to world-class effective work. A co-founder of Untangld, and a founding partner of By The Network, Danish is also a regular judge at the Effies and WARC Global Effectiveness Awards and a contributor to popular industry rags.

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