It’s about that time of year: college students are graduating or heading out for the summer and many of them will be looking for a place to live. Particularly for those whose university experience is over, or for those who plan to live off-campus in the fall, they will be seeking out apartments of all kinds to begin their new, independent lives. Renting to college students comes with a slew of benefits and consequences, and though this demographic has its own unique points of contention, the list is no longer than that of the possibilities of renting to anyone else (more or less).
Time to Consider Renting to College Students
If you are a new residential property manager, you may not have the experience of renting to college students. Even if you do, each new year brings new opportunities and experiences, both good and bad. Benefits can be attributed to any specific group of renters and so can potential risks, so it’s best to understand the situation in an informative and well-rounded way before making a decision one way or the other.
When considering renting to college students, keep in mind the following: your area matters. If you are close to a university, you’ll likely be targeted by students who are still attending the institution and simply want (or need) to move off campus. If you aren’t particularly close to a school but are near a popular metropolitan area, the late spring and early summer will likely still bring in young adults of this age group who have graduated and are looking to begin their post-university lives. Those lives are usually centered around jobs in central locations, hence their being drawn to apartments in the area.
Some of the benefits to consider are related to costs. If the students who live on campus are paying a premium for room and board, then you’re able to keep a higher level of rent to be competitive (though, it’ll likely still be lower than the on-campus option, making you seem more valuable to these young people). Also, in many cases, the parents will be at least somewhat involved in rent payments, so they will help to keep their son or daughter better behaved on your property to avoid unnecessary fees and damage costs. Even if there is an incident at one point, if you know their parents are involved, there’s a good chance that it won’t happen again as parents threaten to stop payments or similarly unfortunate punishments. Additionally, these same parents may see it as easier to pay up front, giving you that much sought-after advance, which can be a boost.
Renting to college students can mean that you will be renting to people who aren’t as fussy as you’re used to about the details of the apartment. If the decor or appliances aren’t as high-tech as other buildings, this group may just brush it off in exchange for the location and price. College kids like things to be uncomplicated, and because they’re stereotypically not as prim and proper as older adults, they may not have as high standards about their living conditions.
A final, positive consideration is that you may have an aid in advertising, which can then boost your numbers: the university may be willing to help to promote your space. Particularly if the school is running out of space in their own dormitories, they may need to “outsource” some of their students to ensure that they all are living within a reasonable distance. The institution wants to help their students as much as possible, and this means helping to find them quality housing if they cannot provide it.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks involved with just about anyone you rent to that at least need to be considered. In this case, it comes with the nature of renting to college students, specifically, who may be “on their own for the first time.” If they aren’t used to cooking, cleaning, and having neighbors close by, these details could be evident before long. Hazards include hallway garbage pileup, food preparation mishaps, and excessive noise. Those who are only staying there for a semester or year of school are prone to be more careless about the upkeep of the unit as a result of the length of their stay, but remember that graduates will make a more solid commitment since they intend to rent for longer. Don’t judge by age: rather, assess the students on a case by case basis, looking at their financial situation, the involvement of parents, and the reputation of their university’s student body, and then make a decision.
Whatever the demographic that you’re working with, you don’t want to go at it alone. Any professional property manager, particularly a residential one who will be renting to college students, should have the assistance of a versatile software solution for their business. Consider Budgetrac Property Management software, the training for which is offered by Anton Systems. This easy-to-use technology can provide you with the tools you need to manage every aspect of your property more efficiently than ever. For a “suite of solutions” that is tailored to your management needs, consult with Anton Systems about this robust offering.