There are a number of things a student looks at when considering renting at your property — amenities, bedroom size, distance to school — but a survey by CORT recently revealed that cost is a student’s primary driver for moving off of campus.
With this realization, it can be tempting to focus on offering rental specials above all else. But there is much more to cost than a simple dollar value. With the price of rent comes a bevy of oftentimes hidden value of which students and even properties may not be aware. The key to appealing to these budget-conscious students is showcasing your property’s value. Just because another property may offer lower rent prices, it does not mean that this property is a greater value to the student.
There are two key ways to ensure your potential renters understand the value of your property. The first is through education on value versus sheer cost, and the second is showcasing the value of your property versus other properties in the area.
Value vs. Cost
Think of cost as representing a dollar figure that factors into value whereas value represents the overall experience. Cost is only one spoke in the value wheel. In order to have great value, something must not cost much more than it is worth, but there are many factors in addition to cost that impact value. Take a used car as an example. Low cost is great, but what if your low cost car requires a great deal of expensive maintenance? What if it breaks down at inconvenient times and you have to take alternate transportation? In this scenario, the car has a low cost but not a great value. The buyer would be much better off spending slightly more on a reliable car. In the long run, the additional cost of the car would surely save the buyer in maintenance costs.
The same is true when a student is selecting an apartment. While they may be tempted to sign a lease at the lowest cost property, they must also consider whether it is a good value. This is where you can help your potential renters make the right decision!
How to Showcase Your Property’s Value
When determining how to showcase your property’s value to potential renters, put yourself in the student’s shoes. What is important to you? What might add to a property’s overall value in your mind? The following are a few ways to showcase value:
Consider Added Costs: Utilities, parking and laundry rooms are just a few things that may add to the cost of rent each month for students. These can strategically be used to your property’s advantage. For example, are utilities included in rent? Are washer/dryer included at no additional charge? Is parking free? These are just a few ways you can showcase all of the additional value included in the cost of rent. If these costs are not included at your property, you can compare what the additional fee is at neighboring properties, and, if it is lower, you can showcase this value to students.
Make It an Easy Ride: Transportation can be a significant cost, and potential headache, for students. If your property is walking distance to school, or near inexpensive public transportation, these are great values to highlight.
Amenities = Added Value: Is entertainment built into rent? Highlight amenities to potential renters like a pool, game room and gym. Not only are these offerings enjoyable, they also offer students entertainment that doesn’t cost them a dime.
Furnished or Unfurnished? Furniture can be a major cost and burden to students renting their first apartment. Show your property’s value by offering to furnish their apartment using CORT. This can be an economical and hassle-free alternative for students looking to live off-campus affordably. By renting furniture, parents, students and roommates know the exact cost of furnishings for the entire year and do not have to factor in hidden expenses such as moving vans and fuel prices, storing furniture and repairing broken items. Packages can easily be shared between roommates, and renting offers you high quality pieces at a fraction of the cost.
— Jessica Ragsdale is the National Higher Education Sales Manager at CORT.