As a property manager, you want to keep your residents safe and happy so they not only have a good living experience but are likely to continue to live in your property and renew their leases in the future.
To that end, it’s important you place your residents’ needs high on your list of priorities; but what exactly do students expect out of their property managers? Here are some student expectations you should meet in order to be a good property manager to them.
1. Responsiveness. A very basic expectation students have for their property managers is that they be responsive. No matter what time of day or what the problem is, be reachable to your renters. When they make a complaint or ask a question, you need to respond quickly and efficiently to maintain a good relationship.
Right when they move in, let your student renters know the best way to contact you and promise them you will always respond within 24 hours. Make sure they know you’re here for them and want their experience living at your property to be the best — and that you’re willing to do whatever you can (within reason) to facilitate that.
Even when you’re called or emailed with a non-emergency issue or question, try to respond as quickly as you can — it’s inconsiderate and annoying to not hear anything back from your property manager for a while. Plus, if you don’t get back to your student renters in a timely fashion, they’ll probably continue to try to get in touch with you in multiple ways until you respond.
2. Availability. A big issue for student renters is when their property manager is never available. Some property managers seem to disappear or never respond when an issue arises and needs attention. When there is a problem at one of your properties, try to be visible on-site so your residents know that you’re available and deal with or oversee big fixes personally and that you keep your finger on the pulse of your properties.
Even when it’s inconvenient or after hours, be as available as you can to your student residents — problems don’t just occur from 9-5 or when you’re in the office for the day.
3. Communication. No resident wants to wake up in the morning only to find out the hot water’s been turned off for a few hours so the boiler can be repaired. Communication is an easy expectation to meet and will help you forge a good relationship with your student renters. Start by waving to residents or stopping by to chat when you’re on the property or send out emails to wish them good luck on finals or remind them to lock up everything when going out of town for break.
When there’s maintenance happening in the building, send out a message beforehand so they know what’s going on and can expect noise or unfamiliar people to be around. If you know you’re going to be out of contact over the holidays or at some other point, email your residents another number they can call with issues. By communicating openly and often with your residents, you’ll meet their expectations of what a good property manager should do.
4. Be better. Don’t just settle for keeping your properties livable — do more than the bare minimum so it’s easy to see you take pride in your properties and are diligent about their upkeep and maintenance. When students move in, they expect a clean and updated rental; as such, don’t skimp when it comes to keeping your properties nice. If students’ expectations for the property aren’t met, while they may be stuck living there for the duration of their lease, they definitely won’t re-sign a contract with you. The extra expense of keeping your properties updated and maintained will pay off in the long run as the maintenance you’ll need to do during the year will be less since the overall quality of your units is higher and more durable.
5. Respect. Student renters will expect you to treat them with respect. They are paying to rent one of your properties and deserve to be treated respectfully when you deal with them — no matter the circumstances. Understand that they are under a lot of stress as they deal with classes, schoolwork, jobs, etc., and try to be patient with them even if they’re being short with you. If you meet their other expectations, students shouldn’t be frustrated when they contact you and will be more likely to treat you with respect as well.
Now that you know some of the expectations students will have for their property managers, you can incorporate and implement these practices so you’ll be a better property manager and meet the expectations of your student renters.