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Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?

Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?
The number $22,958 represents the average cost of tuition and fees in 2014-15 for out-of-state students attending a public university, according to the College Board. On top of that, room and board is estimated to cost $9,804 per year, bringing the grand total to $32,762 per year to attend a public, out-of-state university. These figures explain why many students will rely on their parents for financial assistance with their academic careers.   In many instances, parents will not only help finance a student’s tuition, but also their rent. In 2012, the National Apartment Association surveyed 3,605 parents with children attending college or university and found that 56% of respondents paid for 100% of their students rent. Only 13% reported that their children paid for rent entirely by themselves.   This is likely why some parents contemplate the option of purchasing student housing, instead of paying rent to landlords. But is it a smart financial move for parents to purchase student housing for their children?   The answer isn’t exactly a definitive “yes” or “no” and several considerations come into play. There is a calculated risk involved with making a financial commitment and investing in student housing. Too often, parents make their decision by only looking at the “potential” amount of money they could save, but fail to take into account other important factors.    Here are several factors that need to be assessed before making the decision to invest in student housing for your children.   1. Profitability: In certain instances, inexperienced student housing landlords can overshoot the profitabili......
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How To Increase Lease Renewals By Using Renewal Incentives

How To Increase Lease Renewals By Using Renewal Incentives
Resident retention is a particularly challenging facet of student housing. This is largely due to the renting tendencies of students, who are often considered as transient renters. What we mean by transient renters is that they frequently change their living accommodations over the course of their academic careers. This can be rather taxing to landlords and property managers, as low renewal rates create the constant need to find replacement tenants. But what if there was a simple way to boost lease renewals? Renewal incentives are incredibly easy to implement and often aren’t particularly costly; yet surprisingly, they aren’t very common in the student housing sector. In many cases, renewal incentives can help boost lease renewal rates and can also increase tenant satisfaction.A survey was conducted by The Rent Roll, which contains valuable information about what types of incentives are preferred. Some of the key findings were: Rent discounts were the most widely preferred monetary incentive. Covered parking facilities and gym memberships were the most preferred non-monetary incentives. The best time to offer incentives was during the lease signing or right before a tenant’s lease expires. Furthermore, the survey listed four key types of incentives and asked respondents their preferred type: Monetary – 52% Unit Upgrade – 27% Free Service – 11% Household Item – 11% Without a doubt, monetary incentives hold the most weight. The survey went on to detail what types of monetary incentives were most preferred: Discount on rent – 58% Cash – 28% Security deposit rebate – 10% Gift card to a popular r......
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The 7 Most Outrageous Student Housing Amenities

The 7 Most Outrageous Student Housing Amenities
As student housing expectations continue to rise, an increased number of unique and luxurious communities are being built; individual units are also being renovated. Along with this, property owners are including some crazy amenities. For example, some of the facilities below have placed great emphasis on standing out in their community.  University of Twente - Exterior Rockclimbing Wall This dorm is a 9-story building built with shipping containers; it has 87 apartments. Not only is this eco-friendly and cost saving, it also has the added excitement of a rock-climbing wall on the exterior! Why not take a break from your studies to catch a fresh breeze out on the wall. University of North Florida - Lazy RiverAt first glance, many might mistake this as a luxurious Florida vacation resort; but in fact, it is student housing at the University of North Florida. Residents of Osprey Fountains dorm enjoy a beautifully crafted lazy-river and spacious pool area.  The Castillan - Gaming & Arcade RoomPing-pong, foosball and billiards tables, plus multiple arcade games; what more could a student ask for? The Castillan takes leisure to the next level by offering an elaborate arcade and gaming room where residents can let their inner-child out to play. High Point University's Residence Halls - Prime Steakhouse Most students at the university are required to live on campus until senior year, but who would contest to the onsite 1924 Prime steakhouse! It provides 5 course meals and can be accommodated through meal plan points. Dress codes apply!......
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Canada Vs. The United States: Comparing Student Housing Markets

Canada Vs. The United States: Comparing Student Housing Markets
Over the past decade, the student housing market in the United States has been rapidly expanding with the boom of purpose-built student housing. With each passing year, the number of student housing bed deliveries seems to be increasing alongside enrollment rates. The same, however, cannot be said about Canada. Yes, enrollment rates are increasing in Canada, but student housing isn’t advancing in conjunction with these rates.   There are a variety of potential reasons why Canada is lagging behind USA, such as smaller population, regional disparity, lack of market research, unwillingness from major REITs to invest and more. Despite this lack of advancement in the student-housing sector for Canada, great investment potential still exists. So why is Canada so far behind?   According to the Canadian University Survey Consortium, in 2011, only 16 percent of undergraduate students in Canada lived in on-campus housing. American REITs that have witnessed this statistic in the American market have invested heavily in student housing. Yet for some reason, this investment potential has been largely overlooked by many major REITs in Canada. Perhaps these REITs see the Canadian market as a gamble, since there isn’t a great deal of research or statistics on the Canadian student housing market. In actuality, this market is full of potential, but there isn’t a lot of off-campus housing development happening around major Canadian colleges or universities by REITs or third-party investors.   The CFAA Rental Housing Business Magazine released the 2014 RHB Student Housing Report, which states that the United States has 10 ti......
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The 10 Most Luxurious Student Housing Communities in North America

The 10 Most Luxurious Student Housing Communities in North America
Over the past decade, we've witnessed the trend of luxury student housing and its exponential growth. Virtually every major college and university town is now home to at least one purpose-built, luxury-laden student housing community. Here’s a look at some of the most luxurious student housing properties in North America.    The Hub at Tuscon - Tuscon, AZ Talk about luxury! This fully furnished student housing facility has everything from a sparkling rooftop infinity edge pool to a 22-Foot LED Outdoor TV Screen amongst the comfort of hammocks. Not only does it have a variety of great amenities and is in a convenient location, it has all the security features most parents could ever ask for. A student’s paradise and a parent’s dream!   The Lorenzo, Los Angeles, CA The Lorenzo is a brand new, jaw-dropping student housing Renaissance. It exhibits a Dancing Water Bellagio Style Interactive Fountain, a spa with steam showers and high intensity tanning domes. It has a spectacular balance between social activities and creative study accommodations. It accommodates commuting needs until wee hours of the morning.   Micro Boutique Living, NSMicro Boutique Living takes a unique, creative approach to luxury student housing. They offer minimal, yet highly functional, suites with cutting-edge designs. The suites have gorgeous kitchens, chic bathrooms with massage showers, queen beds with plush pillow-top mattresses, as well as floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and shelving units. Micro Boutique Living accommodates any desired length of stay from a few days to year round. These fully furnished suites are hidde......
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Is Student Housing Still A Niche Market?

Is Student Housing Still A Niche Market?
Rewind to a decade ago and major REITs would have quickly dismissed student housing as a small niche market with minimal investment potential. The concept of purpose built student housing was almost exclusive to on-campus housing; aside from a few early adopters who helped usher in a new era of student focused accommodations. Outside of on-campus housing, students would by and large rent properties from independent landlords or local apartments. However, in 2015, the student housing sector has seemingly outgrown its status as a small niche market. A niche market is typically characterized as serving a very specific need to a relatively small market segment. While student housing can still technically be considered a niche market, the size of the market has grown to a point where it’s drifting from this characterization. This holds particularly true in the United States, where in 2014 alone, nearly 60,000 new private student housing beds were delivered to the market. The Canadian market, on the other hand, has seen slower growth; but it too is developing quickly. Rock Advisors stated that in 2013, there were over 950,000 full-time students enrolled at the 82 largest university campuses in Canada and 55% of these students attend universities outside of the communities they grew up in. Rock Advisors go on to say that there are over half a million students in need of places to live. This number will continue to increase, and as it does, the Canadian student housing sector will inevitably follow a similar path to its American counterpart. One of t......
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Going Green: The Top 7 Green-Friendly Student Housing Communities

Going Green: The Top 7 Green-Friendly Student Housing Communities
There's often a lot of focus about the luxury segment of the student housing market, which can sometimes overshadow other parts, such as sustainable student housing. While sustainable student housing doesn't share the same popularity as amenity-laden luxury student housing, there have been some very fascinating green-friendly projects popping up.   Here’s a look at some of the most creative and sustainable student housing projects around the world: 1. Mill Junction Student Housing by Citiq, Johannesburg We've never seen anything like this before. The Mill Junction is one of a kind - a series of stacked colorful shipping containers have been neatly propped up on old silos. Citiq put these old unused grain silos to good use, without having to demolish them and rebuild.  2. Crou Student Housing by Olgga, Le Havre, France The repurposing of shipping containers seems to be a trend that's catching on for green-friendly student housing. Crou student housing used 100 shipping containers, stacked in a pyramid-like fashion, with each container being a separate unit.      3. Grünerløkka Studenthus by HRTB Arkiteker, Oslo, Norway   While the Mill Junction decided to build on top of old silos, the Grünerløkka Studenthus was built directly into old unused grain silos. This 19-story student housing complex is a rather unique design with most of the apartments being round.      4. Charles David Keeling Apartments by Kieran Timberlake, University of California, San Diego Many of the leading green-friendly student accommodations are located in Europe, but the Charles David Keeling Apartments are by far the f......
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Brilliant Millennial Marketing

Brilliant Millennial Marketing

In 2013, Grand Theft Auto V broke six world records, including "Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours" and the "Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion".  Those are some big time numbers, making it one of the biggest game franchises in the world.  A few days ago I ran across a marketing video for GAS Coffee in Kursk, Russia, that was absolutely brilliant in its use of this popular game series to drive attention to its brand.  The video uses live action actors, but shot in a way to mimic the mechanics of early Grand Theft Auto games, and is titled, "GTA Kursk City", formatted just like the games.  It is uncanny how the video creates the video-game like feel, along with exaggerated motions from the characters.  Yes, there are "mature" elements of the video, including murder, which you would normally not associate with marketing a coffee shop, but the target market of this video won't care about that at all, and will find this video absolutely engrossing.  And not only is the concept incredible, but it also weaves the target company into the video seamlessly, as the character steals a car and makes his way to the final destination, GAS Coffee. From our industry's perspective, this type of marketing is probably geared most towards student housing, as it would completely miss the mark with conventional multifamily.  But for that student housing market, it would be a huge hit.  I hope you enjoy this unique marketing example!......
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Resident Retention 101 - A Game Of Cheese And Mouse? - Whom Is Which?!?!

Part 1 of 3 In the game of resident retention, perception is key and dependent upon your customer service and leadership ability as a management team, it will determine if your are "Team Cheese" or "Team Mouse".To be honest, neither actually sound very appealing because after a while both begin to stink - if the game isn't played more so like chess than checkers. Resident retention is all a game that if played correctly will go in your favor every time. So on that note ... let us begin.Scenario #1: Resident of Building 8890 Apartment 1B comes into the office. She states that she came in to discuss her lease renewal options on her lease that is expiring in 75 days. She states that she can not afford another $20 increase and if that is the case, would have to move out. You tell her that her lease would be indeed increasing by another $20. Instead of wanting to discuss another thing further, she asks for a sheet of paper and proceeds to write you a 75 days notice to vacate (The fact that she wrote you a 75 day notice says a lot in itself.). You accept and she then walks out of the office only to return in 75 days with her keys, stating that she is ready when you are to complete her move out inspection. She patiently waits 27 minutes while you complete your monthly close-out. To your surprise, she has cleaned the entire unit and the unit is completely free of......
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7 Things Student Housing Landlords Should Do Before The End of September

7 Things Student Housing Landlords Should Do Before The End of September
September is without a doubt one of the most hectic and stressful months for student housing landlords and operators. We previously talked about how to prepare for the student housing turn season and what to do once it’s arrived.   Here are several things landlords should aim to tackle sometime in September.   1.    Take New Photos of each Rental and Document its Condition: The beginning of September is a perfect time to take new property photos before the new tenants move in. There are two reasons why September is an ideal time for new photos: The unit will be vacant, allowing for photo staging. These photos will provide photo documentation of the condition each unit was in, prior to the new tenants arriving.  2.    Talk Lease Renewals: Is it too early to talk lease renewals in September? Definitely not! Tenant retention is a process that begins the second tenants sign the lease. It never hurts to simply mention that if they like the place and wish to extend their lease, it can be done anytime. Offer incentives or discounts to encourage early lease renewals.   3.    Discuss Renter’s Insurance: In most cases, renter’s insurance is not a mandatory requirement for tenants; but it’s something that should be discussed. Student tenants are often unaware that their possessions are not covered by the landlord’s property insurance or that the cost of renter’s insurance is quite reasonable.   4.     Transfer Utilities into the Tenant’s Name OR Talk All-Inclusive Limitations: If a rental unit is non-inclus......
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