Ever wonder what goes into a student’s decision when they’re looking for a place to live? If you answered yes, you’re thinking about the right things when it comes to finding new student tenants. If you answered no … what’s the deal? These are the occupants that keep your units full – you should be taking what they want into consideration.
Being a leader in this industry doesn’t happen by overlooking the small details. Knowing what filters students are clicking on might seem like a small detail, but understanding these patterns is really understanding the things that matter most to the students who are in the comparison stage of looking for a place to live. Knowing how students function here will help you improve your listing and how you navigate converting your leads to leases.
So what was popular? Pools? Tanning beds? Coffee bars? Nah. Students keep it much more simple than you’d think.
Let’s be honest, students are tight on money. Finding a rent price within their (or their parent’s) budget is the top priority. The top rent prices students look for are $600 and $800 with $1,000 trailing right behind that. Our best advice is to include your rent prices in your listing.
Students don’t want to call you to get the information they were expecting to find online and it could lead to a waste of your time if students call and immediately rule your price out.
Number of Bedrooms
Finding a place with the right number of bedrooms is also top of mind for students. Our data showed that filtering for 1 bedroom options was most common with 2 bedrooms right behind it.
So while students are tight on money, they also want their own space, which is very likely due to their experience at residence halls. You can use this knowledge as power and make sure you’re accurately listing the number of bedrooms your unit has.
Students want utilities included in the cost of rent. The filter most often used by students for utilities was air conditioning, with dishwashers coming in a close second. If you don’t have any utilities included in the cost of your rent, we suggest considering it if you can.
The more features your properties provide, the more students will see you when they filter down search results.
Building Type (House vs. Apartment)
For students, there is a huge difference between living in an apartment or a house near campus. Surprisingly, the number of times these filters were used was the same. We found that the difference between apartment and house searches is the season.
Students who are looking to live in a house will start searching way in advance since there is a higher demand and more planning that needs to be done. On the flip side, students looking to move into an apartment start their search later in the season since the demand is lower, and there is way less planning involved.
The key here is to understand the seasonality. When you’re promoting your listings, put your resources to your larger units first and hold off on those one bedrooms and studios until later in the leasing season.
Students spend enough time (and money) dodging parking tickets on campus, so we can’t really blame them for not wanting to do it at their house or apartment either. If you have parking available, or in close proximity to your house or apartment building, list it. You’ll pop up on those filters and catch the eyes of students. If you want to be a real rock star landlord, keep the price of your parking in mind, too.
Want to get more students interesting in your place? Focus less on what makes your listing luxurious and focus more on what makes your listing realistic for a student renter. Applying these filter options to your listing will help you gain more interest, generate more leads, and get more leases signed.