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A Simple Amenity Students Will Love

By Paul R. Bergeron III

One student housing operator is finding great interest in this cloud-based app.

It seems that just about anything can be found “on the cloud” these days, and Generation Z residents especially rely on this capability.

The cloud is best described as a data center that offers multiple Internet users computing power and storage without direct interaction to a device.

Cloud printing enables renters to print anything stored on their cloud at any time with the touch of a button from their phones, computers, laptops, iPads or other electronic devices.

To utilize cloud printing, residents must be connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data. Then they can send their file to the printer, punch in an eight-digit secure release code and insert their payment type to retrieve their files.

Depending on the type of system used by the apartment community, geolocation options are also available, which allows residents to send files to the apartment’s printer from nearby locations. This desire for immediate results while also being unplugged is something apartment operators need to keep top of mind when trying to attract younger renters. It is likely that cloud printing will soon be a must-have for student housing, as universities continue to take a more digital approach.

GMH is offering cloud printing across its student housing portfolio.

“We’ve found the demand for this technology to be higher at these properties due to students' workload,” Rand Ginsburg, Senior Vice President of Asset Services for GMH Capital Partners says. “However, we are in the process of rolling out this amenity across our conventional communities as well, where residents currently have access to traditional printing.”

Residents are not charged through their access fobs/cards for the service. Funds are loaded monthly for them to print 100 to 150 pages without charge.

“We found that number to be more than adequate for student residents,” Ginsburg says.

If residents exceed that count, they can purchase additional pages directly at the printer. The cost is nominal and varies based on whether color ink is used and how many pages are printed.

The community uses a stand-alone business printer with capabilities to print, fax, copy and scan. These printers are offered in communal areas, such as the co-working spaces or the study rooms at each of its student housing properties.

“The process is very user-friendly, and is enabled via the Internet,” Ginsburg says. “Residents can print from essentially anywhere as long as they have Internet or Wi-Fi connection, the proper software downloaded on their device and their fob or access cards handy."