August 22, 2019
Joe Fairless

What Students Will be Looking for in Housing Real Estate this Fall

The fall semester is around the corner, and, as a real estate investor, you couldn’t be more excited. 

You love renting out properties to college students, as these tenants offer consistent income during the fall and spring semesters. The question is, as you focus on filling vacant units, do you truly understand what students will be looking for in housing real estate this fall?

Here’s a rundown on what co-eds expect in their student housing real estate so that you can stay one step ahead of the competition with your housing amenities both now and in the future. 

Offer Value

A large number of students today claim that living in dorms on campus is becoming increasingly expensive. After all, although parents were historically the ones concerned about housing costs, budget-conscious students are now the ones looking for affordable options.

Specifically, research shows that students are conducting online research and shopping around for the best housing deals. In addition, they are not as easily motivated by giveaways as they were in the past. For example, giving a tenant a gift card or complimentary iPad when he or she signs a lease at your apartment community is not as enticing as simply offering an affordable, yet quality, housing option.

So, be sure to offer rent amounts that align with today’s fair market prices while still being relatively affordable to college students. Also, note that many students will divide their rent with roommates in an effort to lower their personal costs and, thus, more easily cover other expenses. 

There Are Many Options for Student Housing Real Estate

Today’s student tenants are also looking for many housing options at several price points. So, even though the current trend is toward budget-conscious housing, it is a wise move to offer options that will appeal to students with varying budgets. This is the same strategy that has been used in the hospitality world for decades.

For example, you may want to promote lower-cost apartment real estate options to undergraduate students, whereas you can target graduate students for your higher-rent properties. After all, graduate students tend to spend more money on housing than their undergraduate counterparts do.

Student Housing Real Estate with Excellent Housing Amenities

Today’s students are looking for practical amenities. For instance, it’s critical that you offer perks, such as parking, a gym, furnished units, and fast Internet. 

You’ll make your rental units more appealing if you optimize them to come with high-quality Internet with package and provider options. In addition, you could make Wi-Fi a bonus housing amenity that you wrap up in your rent prices or offer for free. In doing this, you eliminate a bill for students and provide them with the added convenience they’re looking for.

Convenient Laundry Capability

Offering a common laundry room or washers and dryers in your rental units is also a good idea if you want to attract students to your student housing real estate this fall. 

As a general rule of thumb, most busy students find it a hassle to go to the laundromat. Therefore, if you make washing their clothes easier for them, you’ll quickly become a winner in their eyes. 

Additional Popular Housing Amenities

Students are also interested in having access to a center where they can print items for free, and they wouldn’t mind having access to a fitness center. Popular amenities also include dedicated parking spots for tenants, along with plenty of storage space, excellent cell phone reception, and private bathrooms. 

Note that furnished apartments are also a major priority for today’s student tenants. So, be sure that each rental unit features basic appliances in the kitchen, tableware, and furnishings in the living room and bedrooms. Offering bathroom necessities, like shower curtains, can also make your units more attractive in a simple and inexpensive way. 

Student Housing Real Estate That is Near Campus and the City

This is, naturally, a major priority for many college students, so it’s a wise idea to purchase rental properties that are as close to campus as possible. Note that students generally want to be able to walk rather than having to bike or drive to their classes, campus jobs, or extracurricular activities. Therefore, housing within a mile of the college campus is preferable. 

Also, offer units within walking distance to entertainment, shopping, and dining. In this way, your properties will be more convenient for students all around and will also save them on fuel or bus fee costs. Even if your housing isn’t necessarily within walking distance to town, it should be near public transportation so that your tenants can easily get to town when they need to.

Start Attracting Students to Your Student Housing Real Estate Properties This Fall!

Drawing students to your student housing real estate option with the right housing amenities can seem like a daunting task considering the vast competition you face near a college campus. 

Start with developing an understanding of your target audience in your area and offer housing options that will appeal to them semester after semester. Work with me to learn more about how to maximize your potential as a real estate investor in a college town this year and the years ahead.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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