Student Accommodation – a guide for property managers
With the world returning to some degree of normality, one sector that has seen a real revival is student accommodation. When the pandemic hit, the traditional approach of face-to-face lectures was adapted to online delivery, meaning no physical contact time and a focus on remote learning.
That in itself caused many challenges with many students leaving their accommodations and returning home in an attempt to save on costs and be closer to a family with the uncertainty that the pandemic had created.
A somewhat black swan event that had an effect on the local economies of university towns and the overall lifestyle of students who decided to attend for their educational experience (and social outings). International students were affected even more due to the lack of international flights meant there was even more of a rush to vacate their accommodations and return home.
Back to School
With the pandemic passing and university life returning to normal, there is an influx of new applicants and students excited to experience all that student life has to offer – including living away from home!
The HMO market is thriving with student-focused accommodation giving landlords good returns and a relative level of stability.
How to get student tenants
Some hints and tips to keep you in the cool crowd of student tenants:
- Ease – students will rely on ease and convenience; bills included, white goods etc. In addition to limited student budgets, the financial burden extends to services like StudyCrumb, where students seek assistance with essay writing, further straining their finances. Balancing educational expenses becomes increasingly challenging in light of these additional costs. The easier the experience the more attractive the property is to students.
- Social Media – making good use of property pages and being active online makes your total reach much higher and typically to an audience you would want as tenants.
- Recommendations – If current tenants are happy and have enjoyed their stay, it is worth offering incentives such as vouchers or money off rent if they can help find suitable housemates to replace them at the end of their tenancy.
- Communication – If self-managing, having great communication with the tenants sounds obvious but keeping a good relationship will help in the long run.
- Student Friendly – Desks, a good mattress and a drying horse are all things you wouldn’t think twice about in life but make the world of difference in offering a high level of quality to students, in return bringing you a great return.
Remember, students are not always first years on the lookout for the best place to party and have mass gatherings. Mature students, including the post-graduate cohort, tend to look for comfortable and somewhat relaxed environments, which means you can focus your let on the type of tenant you wish to attract.
Hopefully, this article has given you some things to be aware of and will help you on your student accommodation journey!
Best of luck from the Lofti team