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Potential Reasons Why Landlords May Not Be Getting Rental Inquiries From Students

Potential Reasons Why Landlords May Not Be Getting Rental Inquiries From Students
First thing’s first, don’t panic! Often the reasons for a lack of rental inquiries are easily diagnosed and can be remedied without much difficulty. This blog post will highlight some of the key reasons why a rental advertisement may not be performing well and how it can be tweaked, with the specific goal to increase call volumes and tenant inquiries.   Before placing a rental advertisement, the first step every landlord and property manager should take is to do some basic research into the rental market. It’s important to understand what the competition is offering. To accomplish this, simply look at other properties advertised online and compare them to your rental. The important things to review are what the average rental rate is, what utilities and amenities are included, the standard lease term, what information is detailed in the description, type of pictures showcased, and so forth. Often the biggest deterrent and reason why potential tenants don’t respond to a listing is that the rental rate is too high. In the student housing market, pricing a rental unit competitively is incredibly important, as students are often on a relatively tight budget. If other property owners are renting out rooms between $500 to $600/month, it’s important to try and stay within this range as well. On occasion, exceeding this average range is acceptable, but the property must have great selling points that justify the higher price. Pricing may vary greatly in different rental markets, but that is not generally the norm.   Another ......
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Should Landlords Rent By The Room Or By The Unit?

Should Landlords Rent By The Room Or By The Unit?
Every student housing market is a little different but one thing remains consistent - all rental property owners wish to maximize profits and keep vacancies low.   In order to accomplish this, some property owners have adopted the idea of renting by-the-room, instead of by-the-unit, especially in competitive rental markets. There are both benefits and drawbacks of both to consider.In student housing, a landlord will often rent a property to multiple unrelated individuals. When the only option for students is to rent an entire unit, they must group together ahead of time. Many students don’t have groups of friends or know other students who are searching for housing as well, especially if they are first-year students.  As a result, they often prefer to rent a place individually. If these students cannot afford an entire unit on their own, then their rental options can be limited. This is why many students prefer to rent by-the-room.  In addition, it saves them time and the situation of trying to find a reliable group of peers to share a unit with.Renting by-the-room also absolves students of the concern and potential expense of a roommate not paying rent or causing damage to the unit. When renting by-the-unit, the lease typically requires all roommates to be responsible for the rent and condition of the unit. This is generally known as the Joint and Several Liability clause, where in the event one roommate stops paying rent, the others will have to cover the amount.   A factor to c......
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The Amenities Race In Student Housing

The Amenities Race In Student Housing
The growing popularity of purpose-built student housing has created what some call an amenities race, as student housing operators compete to lure in student renters.   With no end in sight, this amenities race is one where each new purpose-built student housing center attempts to trump its competition by offering anything from lavish recreational facilities to tanning beds. But are these unique offerings and non-traditional amenities what student renters really want? Some would argue no.   While a heated indoor pool and decked-out recreational room for residents may sound nice, students are often more concerned about the rental rate and distance to campus. In 2012, J Turner Research surveyed over 11,000 students and discovered that the top two most important factors for students when selecting an apartment were rental rate (47%) and location – specifically proximity to campus (22%). Surprisingly only 2% of respondents indicated that community features and amenities were most important when selecting an apartment. The survey also asked parents the same questions and only 1% of parents indicated that community features and amenities were the most important factor. The top two priorities for parents were security (34%) and location – again proximity to campus (29%).   It’s also interesting to note that in this survey, both students and parents were asked what service or utility upgrade they were willing to pay more for.  It was surprising to see that the top ranking responses was none (no service/utility upgrade), with parents clocking in at 42% and students at 26%.   To a......
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The Importance of Rental Market Research in Student Housing

The Importance of Rental Market Research in Student Housing
A wise investor knows that market research is absolutely crucial before investing both time and money into a project. Investment in student housing can be a very profitable venture, but it’s important to have a solid understanding of the market first. Information can be a very valuable asset to property owners; but exactly what information should be researched for the student housing market?The most vital piece of information property owners need to know in any rental market is how competitive it is – what’s the availability of rentals in that area?   There are two general types of markets; renters and tenants. A renter’s market is one that favors property owners, as there tends to be limited availability of rentals, which can drive rental prices up. A tenant’s market is one that favors tenants, where there are many rental options and it isn’t overly competitive for tenants.   Discovering what type of market exists in an area is fairly simple – just take a look at what is available and talk to tenants. Tenants will be your best source for this kind of information, as they will have firsthand experience on what the market is like. By asking prospective tenants some simple questions such as, “How difficult is it to find a good rental?” a prospective owner can discover invaluable information.   Determining the going rental rate would be the next piece of vital information. Pricing a rental rate too high can cause a lack of interest in the property, resulting in fewer inquiries. Meanwhile, pricing a rental rate too l......
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Do Short Leases Attract Student Renters?

Do Short Leases Attract Student Renters?
  Many students who are searching for housing face the challenge of finding a lease that matches the length of their academic year. In most college and university cities, it’s fairly common for landlords and property managers to offer a twelve month lease; however, many students are only in school for eight to nine months. With the majority of these students returning home for the summer, they are left paying for three to four months of rent, when they aren’t occupying the accommodations. This leads to the question - do short leases attract students?  YES! There are three primary reasons why students are attracted to shorter leases:  Students have a limited income and typically cannot afford to lose money on rent. Students often don’t have the need for housing over summer, as most students return home. Shorter leases eliminate the need to sublease.   What does this mean for landlords and property managers of student housing?Some landlords and property managers may have success offering a twelve month lease, particularly if it is considered standard within their rental market. However, in some college and university cities that have a highly competitive rental market, it would be beneficial to offer a more flexible lease term, as eight to nine month leases would be more appealing to student renters.   What about the lost income for landlords and property managers? Often they will prorate the rental rate slightly and/or secure short-term leases during the summer months. Many cities have seasonal visitors such as tourists, sports teams......
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Student Housing Preferences - What Do Students Really Want?

Student Housing Preferences - What Do Students Really Want?
Have you ever wondered what amenities and features students are most interested in for their housing accommodations? We have compiled some valuable information for landlords and property managers of student housing, to answer this question.J. Turner research surveyed 7,095 students across the United States regarding their housing preferences and produced an insightful report titled, What Millennials Want – Residential Preferences in Student Housing Design and Amenities. We’ve compiled some key statistics and findings from this report, to shine a light on what student renters are most interested in.   Key Findings: 69% of students reported it's more expensive to live on-campus at their school, than it is to live off-campus. If everything was equal between on and off-campus housing expenses, respondents indicated they would be willing to pay an average of $85.01 more per month to live off-campus.   Most Important Amenities: Students were asked to rank the most important amenities with their housing accommodations. In-unit washer & dryer = 79% Each roommate has their own bathroom = 68% Extended cable / Wi-Fi included = 54% Parking included = 42% Big refrigerator = 27%   Distance to Campus: Students were asked how far they would be willing to live from campus and their ideal means of transportation. More than half of students surveyed indicated they would rather live close to campus. - 15% = a few blocks from campus - 16% = no more than one mile from campus - 16% = no more than two miles from campus - 14% = no ......
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Top 15 Tips For Renting to Students

Top 15 Tips For Renting to Students
Wouldn’t it be great if landlords could use a crystal ball to determine which applicants would make the best tenants?  It would certainly make a property manager’s job easier!  Wrong choices can often lead to problems down the road and affect the landlord’s bottom line negatively.Now more than ever, landlords need to utilize effective marketing tools and pre-screening methods, rather than a crystal ball.  Often, it’s just easier to resort back to the same demographic of tenants they have always rented to.  But is that always the best option?We recommend leasing agents ask themselves the question, “Have I considered renting to students?”  Often landlords avoid student tenants because of the typical stereotype -students will party non-stop, bother other residents and damage the property!  However, in recent years, this stereotype has started to diminish as landlords are learning that students make great tenants.   Many colleges and universities are implementing Be a Good Neighbour Programs and educating students on how to behave responsibly in their communities.  Students want to find a home away from home while studying.  The student rental market is a growing industry throughout North America.  Academic institutions are experiencing record enrollments, due to high unemployment rates and competitive job markets.  As a result, the need for student housing accommodations in their surrounding communities is increasing.  Property management companies and private owners are starting to embrace this concept more and are welcoming students into their rental communities.The following list has been created to help landlords market to students effectively, adjust to the needs of students, a......
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The Best Time to Advertise for Student Housing

The Best Time to Advertise for Student Housing
This is a fairly common question that our staff often receive from landlords - When is the best time to post my rental property advertisement for students?   Unfortunately, there is no absolute answer to this question. But as a rule, we generally find that the old saying usually applies - The early bird gets the worm!   Many students often plan ahead and start looking for housing options long before they start school. In addition, after 10 years of experience in the off-campus housing industry, we have learned that students move around throughout the year, especially if they are dissatisfied with their current place of residence.   Having said that, there are other factors to consider: academic calendars, how competitive the rental market is in your city, when students get their housing assignments and much more! It is our goal to help landlords and property managers analyze these factors and successfully fill their vacancies!   Generally speaking, most schools have two major start dates - one which begins in September (fall term) and one which begins in January (winter/spring term). Keep in mind that each academic institution’s programs are unique and many schools now offer short term courses with varying start dates. As well, many programs involve co-op terms which may require students to move. Landlords can visit most school websites for clarification of program start dates and details.   Students typically start searching for accommodations a few months before their term starts. In competitive rental markets, students often begin searching for a place six or m......
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