The student housing market is showing no signs of slowing down, with an estimated value of nearly $10 billion in 2019. It’s more crucial than ever before to gain every advantage you can in your business operations to outshine the competition and take over more leases. With high occupancy rates and low turnover property managers are starting to gravitate towards the industry in hopes of expanding their portfolio revenue.
However, the student housing niche is one that many managers fail to get a grasp on and quickly revert to managing residential houses exclusively.
Keep reading to educate yourself on some of the emerging trends happening across student housing in 2019, how property inspection software can supercharge your operations and increase your lease rate.
Is The Leasing Process Changing?
The world is now digital, and if your companies management process isn’t already, it soon will be. Many student housing companies are placing a significant emphasis on turning their entire business digital from advertising their properties to using property inspection software.
Advertising is Digital
Students hang out online, meaning the internet is a natural, familiar way for them to find new leases, receive property inspections and communicate with their community manager.
2019 will see an increased effort from student housing companies across the board advertising leases online. The ones that include enticing photos, videos, house tours, and catchy descriptions are the ones that will win over more leases. Students have been sold to their whole life and are used to it. The conventional online advertisement was merely listing the property layout, and its minimal features won’t have anywhere near the same effect.
In addition to lease advertisements holding more weight for companies, Property inspection software will play a large part in 2019 for student housing companies. Some software options now can let your student tenants perform routine inspections of the property and email them to the community manager to sign off on via digital signature.
Another aspect in which technology is disrupting the student housing lease process is during the student turn. You can now bring up to compare the previous move-in inspection against the current move-out inspection in real time via your mobile device. This allows you to pick up on any damage/ wear or tear instantly, Request maintenance jobs on the spot via email automation and also settle disputes respectively and calmly.
Student housing managers know that any dispute over whos at fault for damage can be a long and tedious process, especially when parents are involved. Property inspection software allows you to cut that process out by providing the students/parents with time and date stamped inspections that point out where and when the damage was caused. This tool allows managers to continue working through their turn without being caught up an isolated issue.
Perhaps the most useful feature of integrating property inspection software into your business is the ability to automate back-end admin heavy tasks. Property inspection software can automatically generate reports, send emails, request maintenance and find trends occurring throughout your property, e.g., broken dishwashers, carpet fading, etc.
In a market that demands you to be as productive as possible, property inspection software can give your business the tools it needs to cut inspection time, report formatting and various management tasks in half.
What type of living space are students looking for?
Students in today’s world want more from their properties than they traditionally have in the past. They want to live in modern housing, with new fit-outs, furniture, and amenities. They also typically want all their utilities, and add-ons consolidated into one bill. In terms of actual property type students are attracted to apartments for the privacy, second is a sharehouse or flat with housemates for the cheaper price point. The more affordable a housing situation is, the more popular it will be.
Managers have to continually be reviewing their living spaces and assessing where they can improve, renovate and uplift the overall standard of each property. A simple way to navigate your student housing tenants needs is by asking them to complete a short survey at the end of their lease.
Ask questions like: If you could improve one thing about your stay what would it be? What did you do right? What went wrong? Try to cover all bases to get an insightful understanding of what you need to do to move forward.
Student housing is a stressful industry to work in. If you do your best to constantly stay up to date with new trends, emerging technology and what the consumers want, you automatically are placed above your competition. You can not stay in the same spot you were a year or even six months ago. SnapInspect suggests reviewing your practices at least once a month to see if there are any areas in which you can improve on to deliver a better experience for your tenants.