The spring semester is coming to an end and the time has come to refresh and rethink some practices and procedures in your student housing property. Soon, the hordes of students will return to campus back to their dorms and off-campus apartments. Unlike traditional property management, student housing has more detailed items to consider such as stricter safety protocol, managing financial aid (if applies to your property), managing furnishings, and increased maintenance of the property itself. Here’s some of the best practices to save your property’s bottom line and your managers some time:
Overcommunicate on Move-In Day
The experience of move-in day plays a huge role in resident retention. Was it difficult to move in? Did the facility help drive some neighbor to neighbor communication? How were the parents involved? To avoid any mishaps and boost resident sentiment, whether new or existing, follow these tips.
Set the Rules Before, During, and After. Prior to move-in day, send out an email – and if possible even a text – with the rules and procedures of move-in. Then send it again. In order for this message to be top of mind and read you need to make sure it’s in medium residents utilize and the rules are reiterated before they arrive. A great schedule would be two weeks prior (for the intro), one week prior (as a reminder), three days prior (so they prepare), and the morning of (for those who ignored the rest). Keeping this info available on signs or flyers as soon as the residents arrive is crucial as well. Move-in day is chaotic. Signs to control traffic flow and reiterate procedures help keep the flow of traffic moving and reduce the time your team needs to invest in getting everyone settled in.
Two-Way Communication On the Day-to-Day
Residents have questions! This is true of any property. To help manage the influx of inquiries, implement more than just email and phone calls. Text services or live chat are great ways to manage inbound maintenance requests, complaints, or just general inquiries. Bonus points if you can use a system with an auto-responder. These answer frequently asked questions for your team, reducing their workload and the time it takes for residents to hear back from your team. It is a wonderful way to improve resident experience and increase resident engagement.
Newsletters and things of that nature are great on their own, but without a reply-to email or a way for residents to ask questions, often communications can be misunderstood or even ignored.
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Package Management is a Must
Students love to shop online. A package room alone is not enough to ensure these packages are not in your team’s possession forever. With the e-commerce boom during COVID, package volumes have nearly tripled since fall semester 2019. Setting up a package management software that sends automated reminders and scans in and out package information can same your team immense liability, time, and many awkward conversations with students.
You can even opt for a kiosk-mode-enabled software that allows your residents to scan packages and out on their own!
The Big Picture
The day-to-day of student housing property management is a lot of communication, so set your team up with the right tools to accomplish this without overwhelming them with work.
As the “first day of school” approaches, consider scheduling a demo of Notifii Connect, a communications tool designed for property managers to keep in touch with automations, auto-responder FAQs, and text capabilities.