The UK remains one of the most popular countries in the world to attend university, laying the foundations for a thriving student accommodation market. For property managers, though, student tenants are often seen as high risk due to students generally lacking credit history and having an unreliable income. However, this is more than compensated by high demand and above-average returns compared to standard residential lets.
Like with any sector within property management, there are potential challenges throughout the student tenancy management process. By looking at each stage of the value chain, it is possible to identify and solve the challenges that may arise during the tenancy journey. In 2020, there are now many solutions available as the result of a recent boom in start-ups covering the entire value chain, providing either point solutions or more complex end-to-end solutions. Every day new tools designed to help tenancy managers are being released. This is primarily as a result of low barriers to innovation within the sector.
Despite the plethora of tech solutions available, universities tend to use legacy software, provided by established players, who make it difficult for new entrants to gain a foothold in the market.
The main reason for this is that there are a number of barriers to getting tenancy managers to adopt this software. Further barriers also exist preventing small to medium property managers from effectively scaling their portfolio. To ensure success, it is important that property managers are aware of future industry trends in order to prepare and be able to adapt to them.
All these issues and ways to overcome them are explored in-depth in the white paper, ‘The Future of Student Accommodation 2020 – How PropTech is being used to drive scale’, which you can find an extract of below.
Issues & Challenges Faced by Student Tenancy Managers
The following section highlights and explores the potential challenges faced throughout the student tenancy management process.
Search & Selection: a disorganised process
When it comes to finding tenants, the challenge is to get precise information from students on what exactly they are looking for in their future homes. Many students are new to the rental process and are therefore likely to only provide limited information regarding their requirements (number of bedrooms, bills incl./excl., etc)
For most students, this is the first time that they’ve looked for a property independently. International students are also contending with new environments.
A recurring issue that tenancy managers face is that due to students being more disorganised, they will often have to arrange multiple viewings of the property with the same group of tenants. In addition, the students’ decision-making process generally takes longer which can result in lost time for the manager.
The solution? Streamlining and automating the on-boarding process
A proven solution to manage the on-boarding process more efficiently can be found in technology. Enabling students to apply online with bespoke forms and managing bookings via an online scheduling system (as well as the option of incorporating 3D tours, videos and much more), allows tenancy managers to reassign their time towards creating a better experience for their tenants.
“What I expect from my property management software is that it helps my staff cut down on repetitive tasks, so they can focus on making the experience of living with us better. At the end of the day, our clients spend a lot of money with us and they are expecting a certain level of service.” (Stewart Moore, CEO at CRM Students).
Download the full white paper here.