Consider these Tips if You’re Leasing to College Students
While renting to college students might appear to be a simple affair— students need housing— oftentimes, this endeavor proves to be quite the challenge. With more people attending a university every year, the market for student housing is also increasing. Not only are you as a renter competing with other leasing agencies, but you’re also competing against the university itself. Therefore, it’s important to keep on your toes when showing apartments and seeking out students who will sign the lease with your company. With fall semester coming up, bringing in an influx of new and existing students hunting for a place to stay, consider these apartment marketing tips for leasing to college students:
Maintain a Good Relationship with Current Residents
Given the accessibility of the internet, it’s easy to fall victim to negative ratings left by current and previous residents. A bad internet rating on Google can make the difference between a vacant apartment and one filled with reliable residents. Maintain a friendly relationship with your residents by completing maintenance requests in a timely fashion, being fair with pricing, and always keeping true to your side of the leasing contract. Through a good resident/agency relationship, you can find yourself with a full apartment year after year.
Contact the University
Oftentimes, especially at bigger universities, on campus housing is only available to underclassmen. This then opens up the off campus market to upperclassmen in need of a place to stay for their final years. Some universities offer a service that helps connect students with reliable off campus housing on their website. Contact the local university with information on houses and apartments that haven’t been leased yet. If the university doesn’t offer this service, contact the student newspaper who usually have an ad program. This can be an easy door opener to connecting with students in need of a nice home!
Be Flexible with Pricing
Most college students aren’t working full time jobs and therefore are budgeting when it comes to housing. Through understanding the needs of students as well as the prices your competitors are offering, you can find ways to make your apartment affordable to students while also making a profit. Whether this is achieved through lowering the rent altogether or bundling utilities with the lease is dependent on the market and how much flexibility you’re able to maintain. Luckily, CLASS’s apartment marketing consultants offer several training services that could help you discover ways to effectively configure pricing and get your apartments filled as soon as possible.
Understand the Best Leasing Dates
Again, most college students are budgeting. Therefore, they might be reluctant to sign a lease that begins in June when their classes start in September. Make an effort to understand when students are going to be looking to move in and attempt to make lease start dates closest to those start times. You’re more likely to fill homes when you’re planning around students’ needs instead of configuring leases that are most convenient for you and your company.
Make Additions that Will Reduce Damage
While white carpets and pristine high end walls might look nice at first, it’s important to understand your demographic. College students are likely to decorate the walls of their home with pictures and tapestries using nails to do so, which could be hard to fix depending on the walls. Additionally, your college aged residents are bound to throw at least one party which might result in stains and scratches. These damages could be prevented with flooring that’s easy to clean (or that masks spills) and walls that are easy to repair. Not only will this make cleaning after residents a cheap and easy task, but it will also make it more welcoming to future students.
Constantly Update the House
While students might not always be the pickiest when it comes to housing due to a tight budget, they’re still going to be looking for places that are updated and livable. Not only will updating your apartment make it more livable, but it could also save you money in the long run. For example, updating lighting with LED lights could reduce the cost of electricity and making sure plumbing is up to date will cut down on water waste. These updates can additionally be used to leverage your lease qualities and get your homes filled quickly. Gain even more experience with updating by contacting CLASS today.
Lower the Application Fee
While background and credit checks could cost an initial fee, lowering them or waiving them altogether could be the difference between a potential resident signing with you or signing with your competitor. Don’t let your application fee get in the way of filling your home and work with budgeting students needs. The initial cost will save you money in the future.