The professionalising of the private rented sector is creating some interesting dynamics. We are debating what build-to-rent should be called, who is in and who is out and even whether a renter should be given amenities and ancillary services to enhance their living experience (13.11.15).

In my mind, the most important thing is to make sure that the residential market improves and raises its standards of customer service and delivery to ensure all renters are given the best possible experience in their homes.

Can we benefit from following the American model? Do we need controls? Do we need everyone to work together? The answer to all these questions is yes. The challenge is how we achieve it.

Howard Crocker of Delph Property Group expressed his perspective on rental management, believing the American model is not needed and that we should keep it simple. This is plain crazy. It is precisely because a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach cannot work that the American model is useful. If we can learn from the US and if we can work together to deliver a more professional market, surely that has to be embraced. If we can use their research and experience to improve our market it must a good thing. If we can give renters better service then that is most definitely a good thing.

Recently a fund manager told me he had been unable to find research anywhere on a very specific point. Within 12 hours, courtesy of the US’s National Apartment Association, I had the research in his hands.

The power of working together is enormous and we have to take advantage of that as much as we can to professionalise the market and give the best possible service.

Roger Southam, chairman and chief executive, Chainbow