5 Things to Consider When Choosing Student Housing Management Software - Property Vista

April 10, 2018

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Student Housing Management Software

In property management, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach for every tenant type. And some residents necessitate specific technology requirements that not all property management software can accommodate.

Case in point: Student renters.

Student housing presents unique demands for property managers, particularly if you have a varied portfolio. That doesn’t mean there aren’t suitable software solutions to manage student housing. It does mean, however, that you have to know what to look for.

Student Housing Checklist

When choosing property management software for your student rentals, consider the following:

1. Are there flexible payments options?
Most student renters have good intentions, but the fact remains that they’re inexperienced. Your property could well be their first rental, and they may not be used to balancing budgets and paying bills. What does that mean for you? A greater risk of bounced (or simply forgotten) cheques. And because student housing is often leased to multiple residents, rent could be split among housemates, further complicating the issue. Eliminate the risk of late payments by making things as convenient as possible for your tenants. Choose a software solution that features built-in rent splitting for roommates and offers modern payment options (for students as well as their parents), such as EFT, debit or credit card.

2. Does it have the ability to immediately post vacancies?
The semester system means that students come and go en masse at specific times of the year. It’s a mad dash to find housing, so your property management software must be able to automate its ILS listings and easily update them. With that in place, you’ll be able to quickly post vacancies on ILS, and manage photos, property specifications and availability all from one central hub.

3. Is there an online portal for student tenants?
Today’s students grew up using the Internet. They expect to be able to get things done online. It’s essential that you satisfy that expectation. Use a property management system that enables students to conduct all rental transactions online. That includes checking their rent status and due dates, making rent payments, placing maintenance requests and communicating with your property management company.

4. Does it make maintenance as easy as possible?
Poor response to maintenance issues is one of the biggest reasons that renters choose to move out. Find a software solution that makes maintenance requests and workflow as streamlined as possible. For regularly scheduled maintenance and emergency repairs, the module must be automated and easy to use. Students, contractors and property management should be able to send and access messages, as well as photos and videos of maintenance work. Each party must also be able to monitor progress on any active work orders. And the system should keep a record of all requests and repairs so you can identify problem areas and perform preventative maintenance across your portfolio.

5. Is the finding-to-applying process Gen Z friendly?
More than any other resource, today’s students rely on mobile devices. Their smartphones are their primary source of information for everything from socializing to scheduling to researching. That means they’ll be looking to their screens when seeking student housing – if you want to remain competitive, make sure that your property management software is mobile friendly. From viewing the properties on your website right through to the application, everything needs to be done easily on a mobile device.

How Property Vista Helps

With Property Vista, you can automate many of the tasks involved with leasing, payments and inspections, making “en masse” move-ins and outs a snap. To see pricing and arrange a demo, visit us at https://www.propertyvista.com/pricing/

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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