Most parents and students begin their search for their new college home online. They browse search results, look for the necessary amenities, compare rates, and plan tours. Some may fill out an application right then and there. Most will take home a pamphlet, go over the websites again, and then decide where they want to live. Some even make their decision solely off the website without ever stepping foot in a model unit.
For the parents and students that do not have time or would just rather not make multiple trips to fill out applications and then sign a lease, online applications and leases can save a lot of time and effort. In fact, most potential renters no longer see online applications as a luxury, but as a necessity.
The ability to apply and sign a lease online allows the property manager to connect with the students in a more organized manner, save time for students, parents, and staff, and consolidate paperwork for a more efficient and organized work flow. The Varsity at College Park, off-campus student housing for the University of Maryland, showed a 70% successful online leasing rate when they applied this online method.
To supplement the online application and leasing, the community’s website should feature easy navigation, live chat or staff ready to quickly reply to emails, integrated digital marketing including e-blasts and social media posts, and consistent marketing materials.
With an effective online leasing campaign, student housing communities should see an impressive improvement with their online application and leases and, consequently, a increase in student residents.