In today’s competitive market, landlords and letting agents are increasingly looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. Some experts argue that we’re heading towards saturation point in the student accommodation market, but that hasn’t stopped investors pumping billions of pounds into the sector. As a smaller player, it can sometimes feel impossible to compete.
Below, we’ve put together five fun marketing ideas to help you attract more student tenants.
We all love a freebie. Students even more so. If you’re struggling to fill your accommodation for the year ahead, you could consider giving away a year’s free rent to one lucky student. It might sound silly, but there’s method to our madness. Competitions on social media have a conversion rate of almost 34%, and with the right targeting, your campaign could go viral. It’s simple: in order for someone to enter your giveaway, they’ll need to share it with their friends who will, in turn, enter the competition and share it with their network on Facebook. Soon, you’ll have thousands of people interested in your accommodation - all of whom will like your page and stick around for future content. Some of those could convert into future tenants.
Another popular strategy that landlords and letting agents are experimenting with is bundling student accommodation rent and bills. Whether you let out apartments or shared houses, it’s possible to use a student bills package provider such as Billing Better to take the pressure off your tenants. As a student moving away from home for the first time, knowing all of your bills are covered and that you don’t have to worry about broadband and TV licenses is a huge weight off your shoulders; as a landlord, that’s a pretty attractive selling proposition!
Leveraging influencers to promote your student accommodation brand is another good idea. Think hyperlocal micro-influencers rather than figures like Zoella who would charge a small fortune for a brand mention. Whether you offer them discounted rates for their own time at university or pay them to create a video tour of your accommodation, there are lots of ways that you can piggyback off of established audiences and increase demand for your properties. Be creative and do your research before handing over the cash - followers don’t always equate to sales.
If it’s good enough for Greggs, it’s good enough for us. One of the biggest problems student landlords face is loyalty and retention. It’s common for students to stay in your property in their first year and then move somewhere else in years two and three of their studies. When you introduce a loyalty and referral scheme, you can increase the likelihood of renewed tenancies and make your life much easier. For example, tenants could be offered 10% off their accommodation if they renew for a second year, or be given a £50 Amazon voucher if they refer a friend. Make it more engaging with stamps and points to get students involved.
Finally, consider going behind-the-scenes and let students get to know more about you and your firm. You might record a room renovation makeover during the summer so prospective students can see what your bedrooms look like, or do a “day in the life as a lettings agent” on Twitter and encourage tenants to ask questions. Breaking down the barriers helps to build brand awareness, loyalty, and allows you to outmanoeuvre the competition.
To find out more about using Billing Better as a landlord or lettings agency, click here.