Buying rental property in a college town comes with several advantages and disadvantages that, as a property investor, you need to keep in mind to maximize profits and maintain full occupancy. Catering to your client will also allow you to build a favorable reputation around campus.
College students have different needs and problems that you may not experience with tenants, not in a college town. To be successful, you need to consider the amenities that college students are looking for when considering where to live. For example, college students need either close proximity to the campus or transportation options. If you are catering to students that have vehicles, they are going to be concerned with adequate free parking.
In addition to parking, this includes spacious common areas that will allow them to work, read, relax, and entertain friends. When taking photos, take plenty of the common areas and use a wide-angle lens to ensure you make them look as spacious as possible.
College students also value outdoor living spaces. If your apartments have decks, balconies, or shared areas outside where students can gather, grill, eat, and hang out, those aspects should be well photographed and emphasized in the ads for the apartments.
College students are also more visual than older tenants tend to be because they are young enough to be fully immersed in social media. For that reason, you want to focus your marketing efforts on online and social media marketing, as well as personal referrals. You also need to have a wide array of well-taken photos of each rental unit.
When you own multiple units, it may seem overwhelming to have 20 or more photos of each apartment and keep them well-organized. However, with a photo manager like Meet ibi, you can take all the images you need and keep them sorted and organized for easy access. That way, when you are ready to market an apartment, you can quickly pull up all the photos of that apartment to incorporate into your online advertisements.
Another aspect of renting to college students that you may not be accustomed to is the fact that college students tend to live with one or more roommates to keep their living costs down. That may mean having four or six individual applicants for a single apartment. There are several ways to work with this arrangement successfully, and a property management system like Turbo Tenant will help you accomplish that.
One option is to rent the rooms individually. The advantage of this is you will open the place up to more students that may not be able to find enough friends to rent a place to consider your apartment. The disadvantage to this is you will need to coordinate lease agreements with each tenant, and you may run into more problems with tenant conflict. Another advantage is that even if you are not at full capacity if you have any tenants in the apartment, you are making some money.
While having multiple leases for one apartment can seem complicated, you can utilize Turbo Tenant to keep everything organized. You will be able to keep all leases organized by address, so you know exactly who is living in each unit. You will be able to track all necessary forms and payments by the tenant.
You can take a lot of photos, organize them with your photo manager and then try different photos in the ads to see which ones get the most attention. Once you know what photos get the best responses and most attention, you can delete the oness you do not and take more of the amenities that get the most attention.