Unfortunately, renting to college students is no easy task. Property managers are confronted with the reality that while all college students may not be horrible residents, there are some that tarnish the reputation for all of them.
When renting to students, landlords have to consider certain risks, such as lack of responsibility, increased chance of damages, and sudden lease breaks. As a student, living on your own for the first time is hard as well because of all of the added responsibility and the extra freedom that comes with leaving your parents home and being by yourself.
Though many think that having a positive relationship with your property manager is impossible, there are things that can be done on both the end of the landlord and the student resident that can make the duration of time of the lease more pleasurable. Are you a property manager looking for ways to help your student residents for not only their benefit but for you as well?
Check out my five tips below on how to contribute to student self-care and decrease stress on not only your end but their end as well!
1. Combine amenities
Most students have a hard time maintaining their bills and being financially responsible. Between managing the costs of items needed for school, such as supplies and textbooks, food and groceries, and other expenses such as cable and internet, forgetting to balance bills and being behind on payments becomes easy to do.
To help students balance their bills for rent, electricity, and A/C and heat, combine the amenities into the rent to reduce the number of physical bills for students to keep track of and ensure that you receive your payments on time!
2. Automatic withdrawal
To further secure that you get your rent and additional payments on time, have an option for students to have their payments automatically taken out of their (or the payer’s) bank account at the beginning of the month. Students would then have E-bills that could be paid automatically instead of worrying about sending out payments on time.
In addition to the added benefits for you, students can easily maintain their payment plan on their phones/tablets/and laptops, which can help them keep track of when they need to pay and how much they will need.
As a property manager, you know that there are some careless student residents that will wreck their apartment and ignore the rules of their signed lease. This can not only cost more for you to fix the damages but also affect the chances of you renting the unit to another resident in the future.
To give your student residents the incentive to treat their unit with respect and according to their lease rules, reward them with gift cards to places that could be beneficial to them, such as a school supply store or Amazon.
4. Security and safety meetings
Campus safety and security around an apartment complex is an important aspect of students and parents deciding whether or not to rent a unit. As a means to make students and parents confident of the security and safety around your unit, hold mandatory meetings with residents and security guards/security team to discuss campus safety around the apartment building.
This can further assure residents that you, as well as the management of your property group, is dedicated to making sure proper measures are taken so everyone is protected.
5. Establish a common area
When it comes to studying, college students appreciate having public spaces to study like the library or a café. In order to further ensure student safety, create a common area with tables and chairs as well as open Wi-Fi for students to work and study. This will inspire other student residents to move into your complex and help keep your current student residents safe as it gives them the incentive to stay inside instead of studying late at night in the library or elsewhere.
Though some student residents can be difficult to deal with, most just want to be able to have a place of their own and learn adult responsibilities. By establishing payment plans, safety meetings, good behavior incentives and open areas, you will be able to facilitate a better relationship with student residents (as well as their parents) and make your job a little easier.
After all, these few options and changes can make your property attractive in the future and help you gain even more residents! As always, good luck!