January 29, 2019
The Basics of Student Housing Property Management Software
So, you’ve invested in a property near campus. And, your rent rate is attractive for prospective tenants. Now, how can you manage your property in the best way to ensure the best possible return?
Technology is here to help you maximize your time and boost your revenues. Let’s dig into how.
Get Your Vacancies Seen Faster
Without property management software you are uploading your ad to various ILS listings manually. WITH property management software you can post vacancies faster on ILS and manage photos, info and availability in one centralized place.
Make it Mobile Friendly
Students live on their mobile devices! From chatting with friends to researching housing, they use their phones. That means they’ll be looking to their screens when seeking student housing – if you want to remain competitive, make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Sophisticated student property management software, like Property Vista’s, gives you the tools to easily make a website on the fly, and populate it with photos, floor plans and online applications, which brings us to…
Enable Online Applications
If you’ve ever dealt with student housing, you know it can be very intense during certain times of the year. In the summer months alone it’s possible to have 100% turnover. All the kids are looking for a place to live in June and July before the September term starts. If students have to wait until your office opens to apply for a vacancy, you’ve lost that lead. Today’s students expect to do everything online, 24/7, and that includes submitting a rental application.
The ability to have an online application for your vacancies means that you can increase application submissions while decreasing manual data entry errors and the time that you have to re-key information into your system from a paper application.
An online application means that you capture all the information at once. Students usually don’t have any rental history, and they typically require a guarantor. So, make it easy. Make sure that your property website features online applications that can capture all data, including that of a guarantor, in one place.
Support Faster Move-Ins
Once they’ve applied, you can even automate the leasing process so that paperwork is drawn up, sent, signed and received with minimal involvement on your part. You can even send a welcome package that includes rules and regulations, how to arrange the key and, where applicable, how to reserve an elevator.
When you walk your new tenants through the unit for the move-in inspection, you can easily capture photos of the current state of the apartment or house. Digital inspection checklists help quickly review units and are accessed on any device.
Make Rent Easy – For Students, Parents and You
Your property could well be their first rental, and many students aren’t used to paying rent. What does that mean for you? If you are asking for monthly checks, you’re asking for trouble. Students want convenient ways to pay their rent, just like they pay their phone bills. You need to have a system that can automatically deduct rent from their bank account. Some parents prefer to have their child’s rent payment charged to their credit card. (This ensures that rent money is used for rent, rather than for other extracurricular activities that may involve the local student bar!)
And because student housing is often leased to multiple roommates, rent needs to be split amongst them, further complicating the issue. 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.
Look Ma, No Phone Calls!
Despite the fact that most students love their phone, students don’t like to make phone calls to their landlord. Smart landlords harness technology to make it a snap for their renters to contact them via SMS or online portal about maintenance and repairs issues, or any other communication. A cloud-based software solution makes maintenance requests and workflow as streamlined as possible, for both the student and the landlord or property manager. It’s easy to send and access messages, as well as upload photos and videos of maintenance work.
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 move-outs a snap. Click here to see pricing and arrange a demo.