Maximizing the Benefits of Location: How Conventional Communities Should Capitalize on Their Proximity to a College or University

Ten years ago, purpose-built student housing was not the widely accepted niche that it is today.  It has moved beyond the stereotypes of communities that closely resemble a scene from “Animal House”, to a highly coveted segment of the multifamily industry.  Wall Street recognizes it’s power, and everyone from Independent Rental Owners to REIT’s are looking for a piece of the action.
 
Here’s the kicker: a property doesn’t have to be a purpose-built student housing community to take advantage of the student population.  The reality is, not all students want to live on-campus or in an off-campus student community.  There is a significant segment of this demographic in most markets that do not want to live in a “student housing” environment for one reason or another. 
 
Hear that sound?  That’s opportunity knocking for conventional communities that are within a close radius of a college or University campus.  The demand for a different type of atmosphere is there, and the communities that are not afraid to rent to students are the ones that will capitalize on this huge opportunity.
 
Some conventional communities have been pioneers in tapping the student demographic, but most are still in fear.  Fear of damage to the property.  Fear of higher delinquency.  Fear of driving out the conventional renters.  Fear of turning a quiet community into a 24/7 party zone.  The reality of all these fears may come as a shock to those who have yet to target the student renter.
 
Operational uncertainties increase hesitancy to rent to students as well.  Do I have to lease by the bed? How do I qualify a student to live here? What lease terms do I offer? Do I have to roommate match students? What changes have to be made for turnover or from a facilities perspective? Again, the answers to all of these questions may surprise you.
 
Any conventional community in that close radius of a college campus is, at least partially, in the student housing business.  Whether or not they choose to embrace it and capitalize on it is another question.  This session will debunk the myths behind student renters, explore why they are such an important demographic to the conventional properties, and explain the operational considerations and protocol for renting to students.
 
This is a “must attend” session for any owner or operator of a conventional community near a college or University campus.  The fear of the unknown is the only obstacle preventing you from increasing occupancy, decreasing delinquency, and filling various needs from student renters that purpose-built communities cannot accommodate.
 
Please join us on Friday, June 29 at 12:45 p.m. at the 2012 NAA Education Conference and Exposition for Maximizing the Benefits of Location: How Conventional Communities Should Capitalize on their Proximity to a College or University with Heather Sizemore and Miles Orth. Learn more about our session online.