If you own a property near one of Philadelphia’s colleges, you may consider renting your property to students. Like everything in life, renting to students comes with its pros and cons. However, owning a property near a quality college campus can have many benefits that you can use to your advantage when leasing your property. For one, as long as the college near your property maintains its status as a quality school, the location of your property should remain relevant. This can often translate into increased value or rental prices for a property over time.
What Are College Students Looking For In A Rental Property?
To attract a student tenant, you need to think like a student tenant. In other words, what do students want in a rental property? When searching for a rental property, students typically look for certain characteristics such as the property’s proximity to campus. While your distance to campus is somewhat impossible to change, there are many small and inexpensive improvements that you can make to your property which will attract student renters.
Below are a few common things that most students are looking for:
While it is not exactly possible to up and move your property closer to campus, there are other important convenience factors that students will consider.
For example, one thing that many college students look for is reliable property maintenance. Inevitably, there will be maintenance issues along the way and many tenants will require assistance in fixing some of the more serious problems. Reliable property maintenance is often more important to student tenants than it is to say a young family moving in together because students tend to require more help with maintenance issues. Furthermore, students will tend to appreciate consistent and timely maintenance when they need help. Depending on your time and skill set, you may be able to handle this yourself. However, if you are not able to provide round the clock maintenance, you can hire a property management company to handle these types of issues.
With today’s student loan issues, price is on the mind of just about every student when it comes to renting a property. In most cases, the closer to the center of campus you are, the higher price you can charge. However, don’t worry if your property is not in the center of campus. Being a bit further away from campus is not the end of the world, and can actually be advantageous in some instances. In fact, a significant portion of students look for “off campus” properties. It may be difficult to charge the high monthly rental fees associated with houses in the center of campus, but you can be sure that there are plenty of students searching for more economic options.
Basic Essential Furnishings
Most college students rent a property for only a few years and some even rent for a year or less depending on their circumstances. One of the biggest headaches for students who move in together is deciding how to divide up the expenses for furnishings and basic essentials. Does everyone split the cost of each item? Who gets to keep what at the end of the lease?
- Basic Utensils
Figuring out how to fairly divide the costs for these and other shared items can be a nightmare. On top of this, moving large equipment such as couches and beds into a house can be quite frustrating and can potentially damage the interior of your property if not done carefully. By including some basic amenities you can help students avoid these complications while differentiating your property from others.
If you can provide access to important student amenities without hassle, then you will attract student tenants. With that being said, what is important to the modern student?
Nowadays, many students split their time study time between the library and their house or apartment. If you own a smaller apartment, you may want to consider adding a small desk or little study area. In a larger property that can house multiple students, you may even consider converting an extra room into a study area. This can be especially useful in properties that are further away from the school’s library.
Another feature that today’s students need is high speed internet. Providing quality internet can give you a differentiating factor to highlight in your property listing and can help the student transition. The included Internet expense can be something that you can add to the original rental price that you had in mind. In other words, by providing “free internet” what you are really providing students with is convenience. Obviously, this will require you to be on top of paying the monthly internet bill each month so you will need to consider the cost in your time compared to the benefit.
If applicable, useful student amenities should always be highlighted when creating your property listing.
Ultimately, when it comes to attracting student tenants you want to help them out. The main goal is to provide real value to your potential student tenants by making small improvements tailored to their lifestyle. This can often be done with little expense and can have a huge impact on attracting more students to your property. Additionally, these improvements may even allow you to charge a premium for rent compared to other properties if done correctly.
Aside from adding a rooftop pool and custom beer pong table, the above suggestions should go a long way in attracting new student tenants year after year!