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Marketing to Todays Student Renter - ForRentUniversity.com Whitepaper

ForRentUniversity.com conducted a survey from January 13 - February 14, 2014. The survey had a distribution of 704 respondents, 90% of which were current college students, 40% of respondents lived in an off-campus apartment, 31% were commuter students, 24% of which lived off campus, and 5% responded other.

This interactive white paper uncovers valuable insights about today's student renter, and provides your community with tools and advice to connect with this unique demographic.

Visit bit.ly/studentrenter for more details.

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Marketing to Todays Student Renter - ForRentUniversity.com Whitepaper

  2. 2. ForRentUniversity.com is an all-inclusive Internet Listing Service (ILS) uniquely designed to guide students and parents searching for off-campus housing. EMORLEARN
  4. 4. An online survey was conducted from January 13 - February 14, 2014 through email invitations, website advertisements on ForRentUniversity.com™ , a blog post, and on social media outlets. A $350 incentive was used to encourage participation. The survey had a distribution of 704 respondents, 90% of which were current college students. 40% of respondents lived in an off-campus apartment, 31% were commuter students, 24% of which lived off-campus and 5% responded other. EMORLEARN
  7. 7. COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.Recommendations have quickly become an important part of the off-campus housing search process. How important? Let’s take a look.
  8. 8. When it comes to finding an off-campus apartment, peer reviews and recommendations are of paramount importance to students. Whether they turn to their friends and parents for trusted advice, or scour online review sites, students rely heavily on other’s feedback when searching for apartments. students rely heavily on recommendations... 68% ...and they like to share theirs as well Conventional wisdom would lead one to think that students rely solely on review sites and social media when rating and reviewing off-campus communities. While the Internet is pervasive in every aspect of college life, college students trust and prefer word of mouth recommendations over ones on social media and review sites. Yes, that’s right — OVER social media and traditional media review sites. said recommendations were an important factor in their decisions word of mouth social media review site Howdidyoushareyourrecommendationwithothers?
  9. 9. KEEP THEIR PARENTS IN MIND.For many, college serves as a time of transition. Over the course of four years, students slowly become less reliant on their parents and become more independent, including when it comes to finding an off-campus apartment.
  10. 10. As college students become functioning adults, their relationship with their parents changes as well. Parents don’t wield as much influence on day-to-day decisions, but instead become trusted advisors and confidants on major decisions. When it comes to choosing an off-campus apartment, most students conduct their search without any assistance from their parents. most students search for apartments independently... ...but some parents serve as trusted advisors Of the 25% of students who searched for off-campus housing with their parents, most said that their parents served as a resource, answering questions and providing advice. A high number of students also responded that their parents went on a community tour with them. The level of parent involvement could be due to the age of the student, as sophomores would likely lean more heavily on their parents than upperclassmen. yes no doesn’t apply SERVED AS A RESOURCE WENT ON A TOUR CONDUCTED PRELIMINARY RESEARCH CONTACTED COMMUNITIES Didyourparentsassist youinyouroff-campus housingsearch? Howdidyour parentsassist youinthe off-campus housingsearch?
  11. 11. GET THEIR ATTENTION.It goes without saying, but without the local university, you’d have a pretty high vacancy rate. At the same time, some universities are hesitant to allow off-campus communities to promote and advertise their services on campus. This can be quite the dilemma. Here are a few tips on when to market on and off campus.
  12. 12. How heavily do students rely on the university to help find an off-campus apartment? Should you promote your brand on campus when students don’t utilize any on campus resources to find their apartments? Predictably, students typically utilize ILSs like ForRentUniversity.com to find off-campus housing. Of the students who do utilize university resources, most consulted the university’s off-campus housing office and accompanying website. which of the following university resources did you use in your off-campus housing search?* OTHER DID NOT USE UNIVERSITY RESOURCES OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING WEBSITE OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING OFFICE PROFESSORS * Respondents were asked to check all that apply 15% 46% 3% 10% 26%
  13. 13. DRAW THEM IN.The goal of your online advertising is simple: Draw students in, to connect and engage with them. Here are a few insights on how to grab students’ attention and make it easy for them to reach out to you.
  14. 14. Students are often drawn in by two different parts of your listing: visual elements and community descriptions. In terms of visual elements, both photos and floor plans give students a sense of what the apartment looks like, and whether or not it will accommodate their lifestyle. From a community description perspective, make sure that your property description and amenities descriptions highlight your community’s strongest, most student-friendly features and are search engine optimized. use visual elements to provide a glimpse of your community and resident life be ready to answer the phone For an expense as large and as important as an apartment, students wants to speak to a real person who is knowledgeable and patient enough to answer all their questions. Due to the inexperience of some student renters, they will most likely ask more questions than a seasoned renter, and their interest in your community may depend on how helpful your staff is in answering their questions. Whenyoufoundafewcommunities thatyouwantedtolearnmore about,howdidyoucontactthem? # 1Phone # 2Email # 3OnlineForm
  15. 15. POST FREQUENTLY.For some students, handing in their rent check is the only interaction they have with their off-campus housing community. With the increase in social media use, some communities have made an honest attempt to connect with their residents on a more regular basis and instill a sense of community. Here are a few social media insights.
  16. 16. students prefer facebook when engaging... There is a myth that college students have “moved on” from Facebook and that they no longer use it. The truth is clear: Facebook is still the most popular social media site when it comes to connecting with your community. ...and like seeing a mix of news and resident life Overall, it seems that students interact with their communities via social media for two main reasons: to receive news and updates, and to see community and resident life. Be sure to strike a good balance between posting updates and showcasing your community lifestyle. Whatsocialmedia applicationsdoyoupreferto usewhenconnectingwith yourcurrentoff-campus apartmentcommunity? Whydoyouuse socialmedia toconnectwith yourcommunity? Community Alerts Peer Interaction Photos Campus News Giveaways
  17. 17. EMORLEARN
  18. 18. ABOUT ForRentUniversity.com™ offers property managers and off-campus communities increased online exposure through multiple advertising opportunities. The mission of ForRentUniversity.com is to enhance the visibility of communities through dynamic search outlets on the website and an expansive network of linked services. ForRentUniversity.com utilizes innovative listing tactics to promote communities, and also offers communities direct engagement with residents through Facebook and Twitter.