Universities are finding that they must increase the amenities offered in their student dwellings to attract and retain students. Our research shows the top 5 trends that students value in a student housing property.
Servitas conducts surveys of students at colleges and universities across the country to gain valuable insight into the features and amenities students value in on- and off-campus student housing properties. Below are five of the top trends that emerged from our research.
As many students have become more aware of their carbon footprints, sustainable housing has steadily gained appeal to college students inhabiting on- and off-campus apartments. Renting spaces that are more energy efficient without compromising comfort, are attractive to students and universities alike, as seen at our Bayview property on the campus of Florida International University. Even though students enjoy the benefits of living in environmentally friendly housing, they do not want to pay higher rents over the term of their lease. The reality of sustainable design is that lower energy costs, improved air quality through eco-friendly filtration systems, and aesthetically pleasing designs equate to higher rental rates. Many times, the burden of the increased cost of green housing falls on the shoulders of the developer who must absorb the additional cost.
When students are considering renting an apartment, they gravitate towards properties that have luxurious community amenities. Outdoor swimming pools, fitness centers, and tanning beds are high on the list of popular communal spaces among students searching for an apartment. Properties not having these types of amenities risk being overlooked by students. However, most residents of a student housing property do not use these types of communal spaces.
All Bills Paid
One of the most popular trends in student housing is bundling utilities, cable, and internet into the monthly rent payment. Not only do students enjoy the predictability of knowing their housing expenses upfront, but it also makes budgeting their other expenses easier. Students also do not have the hassle of paying initial deposits for turning on electricity, cable, and/or internet services when moving into an apartment. Parents also like the “all bills paid” approach to student housing. It allows them to write one check for the same amount every month instead of writing multiple checks for varying amounts on different due dates throughout the month.
Reliable wireless networks with lightning fast speeds, such as the networks used at our Park West development, are one of the largest investments for student housing developers. High speed wireless internet with the bandwidth to connect multiple devices, is a highly sought after commodity by students with course work, entertainment, and social activities requiring them to keep their mobile devices nearby. With technology constantly evolving, developers are routinely reinvesting in leading-edge wireless networks to stay current with the latest hardware and protocols.
With the rise of online shopping services, such as Amazon Prime, student housing properties are seeing an increase in the number of packages being delivered. This has increased the liability that these properties face since they must maintain accountability for each package received. In addition to the increased number of hours property management personnel are spending receiving and sorting packages, convenience in picking up their packages is also becoming an issue with students. To solve these problems, many student housing properties are using package rooms or lockers.
Packages delivered to students are placed in the package room or locker by a mail carrier eliminating the involvement of property management personnel. An access code is electronically sent after delivery for students to use to retrieve their packages when it’s convenient for them. The package rooms or lockers are secured 24/7, and many are even monitored via continuous CCTV monitoring.
The current trends in student housing show the value students place on cost effectiveness, convenience, and reliability in their living environments. Universities are finding that they must increase the amenities offered in their student dwellings to attract and retain students. As technology continues to evolve and become more prevalent, unexpected new trends may emerge in student housing over time.