Student Housing Trends: The WOW Factor
With around 1.6 million students expected to graduate from college this year, the opportunity for the multifamily market to capture both inbound and outbound business is high.
For those graduating, a good portion will be looking to rent their first apartment as an adult. For those recently vacant units, the expectation of a new class of students means developers and property managers have an opportunity to not only improve their properties, but to increase their market share by attracting more of the current market as a result of those renovations.
So, what does it take to cater to this new millennial class?
For starters, we’ve got to identify those things that the modern student values in their private lives. We need to look at the types of amenities that might be found in today’s higher-end hotels, cutting edge restaurants, and hip shops.
Gone – or being phased out quickly – are the old, hardcore, concrete dorm rooms of the past. Instead, student housing is shifting its focus to market the types of units and amenities that are seen as enhancements to the student resident. Up-to-date technology and pop culture-infused design is seen as desirable and the ability to provide productive environments for both enlightenment and social activity essential.
For the higher-end communities, consider the cultural status one might achieve by having something like a luxury spa on the premises. The amenity can be built to include everything from a manicure and hairstyling to massages and tanning facilities.
Millennials also value their ability to workout and relax poolside in between classes and will expect to have an above average fitness facility and pool area complete with cabanas and room to gather on days when the weather is nice.
When it comes to cutting edge, today’s young achievers have expectations that demand the best when it comes to connectivity. Surveys show that 95% of today’s college students go online daily and that over 80% of them are connecting on social media through wireless laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Properties need to not only offer high-speed wireless connections, but be prepared to upgrade those connection services as new updates become available.
Consider looking at innovative ways of commingling the property’s facilities with the residents’ existing gadgets and desire to constantly be connected. Things like having the ability to check Facebook while working out on high-tech exercise equipment, automatic heating and cooling sensors that detect the resident’s presence, or even wash facilities that send the tenant a text or email message when it’s time to switch the laundry over.
In addition, consider creating multipurpose theater rooms that can be used for everything from movie nights to social gatherings. Think about adding interactivity to the theater by adding gaming consoles and gaming console plug-in’s that can allow a large number of residents to play games with one another on large HD projection screens.
It doesn’t have to end there–units can be designed to give roommates identical, but separate space. Space can be designed to maximize storage and include convertible elements like those seen in some international high-rise communities.
Are you prepared to bring the “wow” factor to your multifamily community?
Looking for more on the state of multifamily student housing? If so, be sure to check out this year’s 2014 AIM Conference and the breakout session titled, “Graduation Day: Nurturing Student Housing Residents into Apartments.” Hosted by Casey Van Zandt and featuring speakers Kim Cory, Director of Student Media at ForRent Media Solutions and the National Director of Leasing and Marketing for Campus Advantage, Katy Smerko. This session will cover digital marketing strategies, what to expect from this next wave of renters, and how to develop results-driven marketing ideas that will help to make your communities desirable to these next generation renters.
Rentlytics provides deep analytics for apartment property owners and managers. Through Rentlytics, stakeholders can view and analyze their property’s operational and financial metrics more effectively and identify issues more quickly through our Apartment Intelligence platform, resulting in increased revenue and reduced expenses at each property across your entire portfolio. Connect with us via our “Multifamily Data Experts” LinkedIn group or email us at email@example.com.