For property owners and managers in the off-campus housing space, learning how to market student housing, including co-living properties, is essential. Effective marketing can help your property to keep units filled, stand out in a competitive marketplace, and cultivate a great community of residents. Though the prospect of keeping up with the fast-paced world of modern marketing can be intimidating for property managers, there are many simple ways you can distinguish your community both locally and online.
Here are 5 tips for building buzz and bringing in tenants to your student housing or co-living complex:
Emphasize Your Amenities
This is where student housing and co-living complexes can truly stand apart. A nice website and friendly leasing agents are great, but they won’t go nearly as far toward differentiating your community as providing unique amenities. From patios to pools, garden tubs to ice makers, make sure that you highlight every amenity you offer in your marketing materials. Many prospective residents have a list of amenities they’re looking for – make sure the unique benefits of your co-living/student housing property are clear.
If your co-living residence or student apartment is lacking in the amenities department, don’t despair! Not all amenities are costly investments. There are many ways to help your student housing complex stand out without breaking the bank. You can research rare, overlooked, and cost-effective amenities to increase your offerings with ease.
Today’s student renters and those interested in co-living prefer a mostly digital process, where they can spend time evaluating a property online before they ever pick up the phone to schedule an in-person tour. This means that your online presentation is extremely important; you want to provide high-quality pictures, videos, or 360-degree walkthroughs so prospective tenants can get a feel for the co-living property before they commit any time or effort to connect with you. This also allows tenants to learn about your student housing or co-living property when they would be more likely to look for it – after class and on weekends, when your front office is likely to be closed.
Never Underestimate Social Media
Sharing pictures and videos is a great way to show off your student property and co-living complex as well as their amenities. Offering little sneak peeks on social media can get people interested in your co-living property – just make sure to show your property’s good side! Make sure everything is clean before you post: a messy or poorly maintained student or co-living property can be a dealbreaker for many prospective tenants. It can help to have a gorgeous, well-maintained model property to display.
Pro tip: when creating social media posts that show off your student housing or co-living community, try for a more conversational, clever, or fun style. Gen Z is great at recognizing ads (and scrolling past them) almost instantly, but if you can catch their attention with something funny, interesting, or worthwhile, they may start stopping to see what you have to say about your co-living property. Don’t be afraid to use a little humor or incorporate a trend into your marketing!
Offer Specials and Limited-Time Deals
This basic sales technique can be particularly effective for student housing and co-living apartment complexes. Housing costs are among the most significant recurring expenses for almost anyone; for many Americans, saving money on rent is an especially attractive benefit. Not only can specials, sales, and limited offerings bring in more students and co-living tenants, but the savings provide a clear benefit for the people that will be living in your co-living community. You can fill units faster, and your tenants will be grateful for the money you’re saving them. This can be a great way to invest in a long-term tenancy.
Sponsor Local Groups and Events
It’s important to get your co-living/student property in front of the right sets of eyes, especially for student housing properties with a limited pool of potential tenants. One way to start building connections is to get involved in the community. Many college towns have local groups and community events that need sponsorship, support, or simply don’t mind having a few extra brochures around. However you decide to do it, make sure you’re well-known in the community and well-represented in the local housing discussion.
With such a high concentration of student properties/co-living communities and tenants in one place, student housing can be a very competitive market. If you want to set your co-living property apart from the rest, the importance of investing time and effort into your marketing cannot be understated.
Tripalink creates co-living communities and student housing opportunities across the United States. We simplify the apartment search to reduce the cost of living, create beautiful homes, and help both students and young professionals find a community in their city. For more information about Tripalink and co-living, please see www.tripalink.com.