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Student Housing Blog - Places4Students

Meet The Parents: The Decision Makers In Student Housing

Meet The Parents: The Decision Makers In Student Housing

In saying ‘meet the parents’, we’re not referring to that comedy with Ben Stiller and Robert Deniro.  We’re talking about meeting the decision-makers in student housing – the student’s parents.


More often than not, parents are the real decision makers. Quite often, they are the financers for the rental accommodation too. The reality is that many underclassmen in college and university are still relatively dependent on their parents. This is why meeting the parents is kind of a big deal when it comes to student housing.


In a recent study conducted by J Turner Research and the National Apartment Association, over 3,600 parents were asked about their preferences and involvement in choosing student housing for their children. There were some interesting findings that strengthen the notion that parents are in fact the real decision makers:


  • 56% of parents reported that their children paid 0% of their student housing costs.
  • Only 13% of parents reported that their children paid 100% of their student housing costs.
  • Other than rent, 71% of students receive $200 or more per month in financial assistance from their parents. Only 14% of parents reported giving their children $0 in assistance per month.


These statistics demonstrate that parents play a pivotal role in financing both a student’s living accommodations, as well as providing additional financial assistance for general living expenses. Without a doubt, parents have a heavy influence on the decision-making process for student housing, which is why landlords and property managers should focus on appealing not only to students, but also their parents.


So what exactly do parents want when it comes to finding an ideal place for their children to live?


  • 34% of parents reported the most important factor when selecting an apartment for their children was security.
  • Besides pricing and location, the most important community amenities for parents are that the student’s friends live in the community (31%) and the community has a professional leasing and management staff (27%).
  • The most important apartment feature parents seek for their children are private bedrooms/bathrooms, resting at 62%.


Chances are that when a student comes to visit a potential student rental property, their parents will likely accompany them. This is when student housing owners and operators get to ‘meet the parents’. Creating a positive first impression with the parents is imperative, as in many cases, the parents will have the final say as to where their children will be living while attending school. This does not mean that student housing owners and operators should dismiss student interests and consider them secondary to the parents, but it’s an indication that appealing to both parties is of equal importance.


While students often have the power of influence to steer their parents in a certain direction for their student housing choice, at the end of the day, the final decision often boils down to what the parents think is best. 


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