With the UK student housing market forecast to hit an eye-watering £53 billion this year, it’s little wonder why more landlords and property management companies are targeting the sector. Student numbers are soaring, universities cannot keep up with the demand for accommodation, and yields are often higher than in the traditional private rental market.
Indeed, there’s a strong and consistent demand for student accommodation and students typically look to secure 9- to 12-month leases, meaning you can rent out apartments and housing over the summer months to interns, professionals, and graduates looking for jobs.
However, in order to maximise your return on investment, you must find reliable students to rent from you. Below, we’ve put together some of the best ways to market your properties…
If you’re an experienced landlord or property management firm, you’ll likely have spent some time listing your properties on property portals such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket - great starting points for spreading the word about lets. However, you may not have considered contacting universities and colleges, as many have platforms where you can let directly to students. Build a relationship with nearby establishments - many institutions will recommend reliable landlords and property management companies, so a little work can go a long way.
Do not underestimate the importance of photography. Today’s Gen Z consumers are more demanding than ever before, so consider staging your properties for the rental market and hiring a professional photographer to capture your accommodation in the best possible light.
Great images can have a significant impact online - particularly if you’re listing a property in a competitive market, so take your time and ensure your property stands out from the crowd.
It may be that you need to refresh tired accommodation to meet the demands of tenants, but you can pass on those costs by raising your rent by a couple of hundred pounds per year.
Whether you’re a private landlord, an agency or a property management company, take the time to develop a presence on social media and connect with potential tenants on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by tapping into existing communities, such as promoting your properties in Freshers Facebook Groups and piggybacking off of Instagram hashtags.
You should be mindful not to be too promotional - make your properties part of the university experience rather than directly selling every day, and you’ll build a loyal following online.
Many young people hold off from securing their student accommodation until they receive their A-level results and their university place has been confirmed, so tie in your promotions around results day (2020 A level results day is 13th August 2020, though some exam boards and colleges issue results throughout the year).
Set up a landing page on your website, use Facebook Advertising to reach potential customers, and capitalise on the excitement and frantic nature of finding accommodation before the university season kicks off in September.
Finally, consider standing out from the crowd by offering an alternative approach to student accommodation.
In big cities where consumers have more choice, an all-in-one package where students can pay a fixed monthly sum for their rent, energy, water, broadband, TV, and cleaner can be an attractive value proposition, and it’s worked for a number of companies across the UK. Not only does this help you to generate more revenue from your tenants, but it means you don’t have to worry about unpaid bills at the end of their tenancy.
At Billing Better, we help tenants to pay one monthly amount for all their household bills, whilst providing dedicated customer support throughout a tenancy to ensure all household bills are paid for. Click here to find out more and arrange a free demo of our service today.