Students have long been a key driver in the rental real estate sector, but how do you reach out to this crucial consumer demographic through an effective marketing campaign?
Why should you target students?
The very thought of renting to college students strikes fear in the hearts of some apartment community owners. The international real estate firm Joe Fairless acknowledges that student-focused rental properties “may end up with messes, parties, and careless behavior,” but this detracts little from the awesome power of the student demographic in the apartment complex sector.
Because students are often far from home while attending college, they must find temporary housing either on campus or off. And as the price tag on dorm living continues to rise, more and more students are turning to off-campus apartments.
Other benefits of specifically targeting college student renters include predictable periods of annual tenant changeover and frequent upfront rental payments from parents/guarantors.
Tips for reaching out to college students
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when targeting college student populations with your apartment community marketing campaign.
1. Consider Price and Value First and Foremost
On the subject of cost, Multifamily Executive Magazine quotes Campus Advantage COO Scott Duckett, who points to the fact that many students grew up during the Great Recession. “That turned them into more cost-conscious consumers,” he says. Whatever the reason, today’s college students are more price-conscious than ever before. However, apartment marketers would be wise to keep class differences firmly in mind as well. In short, different students will have different lifestyle expectations, but they will all want to get the most apartment value for their buck.
2. Remember the Importance of Location
Is your apartment community close to campus? Is it close to public transportation or trendy shops, bars, or entertainment options? Students often get around on foot, so be sure to highlight location in your marketing materials.
3. Mitigate the Risk of Property Damage
Because student renters are typically less fussy than other consumer demographics, they may be perfectly satiated with older appliances and more basic decor. This can significantly reduce your overhead costs. To help protect your property, be sure to collect a reasonable deposit and clearly explain your deposit policy to every tenant.
4. Offer Key Amenities
Basic and practical amenities such as fast Internet and dedicated parking spaces may be deal-makers for some students. Other perks that commonly attract students range from on-site fitness centers to secure bicycle storage.
5. Take Advantage of On-Campus Advertising
Depending on the specific policies of the colleges/universities near your property, you may be able to advertise on-campus and/or on official college/university websites. This is a great way to specifically target your consumer base and save big on your overall marketing costs.
6. Focus on Social Media
Multifamily Executive Magazine echoes countless researchers in declaring social media the absolute best place to reach the modern-day student. Not only do students use social media heavily, but they tend to respond positively to social media marketing.
For more information
If you want to learn more about the value of college student renters and how best to target them in the consumer marketplace, contact a skilled and knowledgeable apartment marketing and property development marketing professional at Bigeye today. A foreword-thinking agency with an eye on the future, Bigeye has a proven ability to connect with students of all ages.