Student housing is an essential need for many institutions of higher learning. Even if dorms are available on campus, there are going to be students who want to have off-site housing as well. If you manage a student housing complex, then both groups can be targeted with an effective marketing campaign so that your occupation rates can stay nice and high. That’s what these ideas are intended to help you do.
It all begins with your efforts to provide an honest value to students and their families. College tuition is expensive enough as it is and many families need an affordable option for their students that is convenient, but doesn’t compromise their safety. If you can provide that, then you’re ready to begin your marketing journey.
Best Student Housing Marketing Ideas
1. Free Clothing Always Works
One of the most effective ways to advertise your student housing is to create t-shirts and other apparel that advertises your property. Make sure to invest into quality products for your branding because no one likes to wear cheap clothes in public. Leave off the heavy marketing efforts too, like the phone number. Stick to your brand, maybe a logo if you have one, and you’ll build awareness.
2. Parents Are an Excellent Resource
Parents are often the ones who will make the final decision and it is important to include them in your marketing efforts. If they do decide to use your student housing, then be sure to send them a small thank you gift as well.
3. Run Special Events
If you have a courtyard, then you have an amazing opportunity to provide students with added value. You can run movies out there and let everyone bring snacks with them, have a small fair, or even create games for the students to play for prizes. You can invite prospects to these events to see what student life is like in the complex for real.
4. Have a Good Mascot
You’re going to need a good mascot to help with your marketing efforts because it is an easy way to identify your specific property. The mascot helps you out in a number of ways as well because you can create contests with him, improve your social media presence, and it all works to spread the word about the value that you offer.
5. Engage with People Online
Many student housing projects leave the “social” out of social media and it hurts them long-term. You’ve got to engage with people online and show them that you care about meeting their needs. It takes a little time, but it’s worth the investment of sweat equity.
6. Turn Social Media Into a Currency
Students love free stuff because budgets are tight and nothing is better than a free cup of coffee. Nothing! Work with a local coffee shop and provide a certain amount of free drinks. Make it necessary for people to tag your student housing social media accounts to receive the free drink and you’ll turn your social media presence into a currency that pays for more traffic.
7. Create a Brand Ambassador
Your marketing focus needs to be on retention too and a brand ambassador can help communicate with everyone why life in your student housing is awesome! A blog is a great way to make this happen and you can have all of your residents contribute to it. Your prospects will see what life really would be like and that can create excitement that turns into occupied rooms.
8. Hire Sign Spinners
A sign on a busy street corner is a great way to advertise but there are rarely any billboards out there. It’s a public sidewalk, however, which means you can hire a sign spinner with your own signage to promote awareness of your complex. It’s more effective than a walking billboard and you’ll hit the demographic that holds most of the influence: the parent.
9. Work With the Student Newspaper
The campus newspaper is undoubtedly looking for incoming revenue and it is a more affordable way to advertise than other traditional methods. You’ll get in touch with your target demographic and this can inspire moves very quickly.
10. Have RA’s Recommend You
For students living in dorms, an effective way to reach out to them is through their RA. A recommendation from them will have them automatically look at your student housing.
11. Make Sure the School Knows You
Students move in and out all the time and the school administration often has some influence on how this happens. If you are known as a valuable resource to that school, then you’re more likely to receive a recommendation when someone wants to have new housing.
12. Have Solid Broadband Internet
The modern student needs the vast resources of the internet to help them finish up class projects effectively. With broadband wired into your rooms and provided for free or a subsidized cost, you’ll give students a lot of value that will attract them to your property.
13. Get On the College Website
Advertising in strategic places will almost always work and the best online presence you can have is on the college’s website. See if you can purchase advertising space on there in a strategic location and you’ll get exposure every time someone looks at the college site for more information.
14. Create a Guerrilla Campaign
Students appreciate creative marketing efforts and a guerrilla campaign will do wonders for your local exposure. Take the concept of the topless car wash, for example, where all you do is wash the top of the cars that come in.
15. Think About Bed Leases
If you allow students to lease beds instead of rooms then you’re going to help them save money and have some protection against a lousy roommate if there are multiple beds in a room.
16. Text Marketing Rocks
Almost every student today has a mobile phone and this means a text from you is likely to be opened. Give them a good deal through this text, engage with them, and you’ll fill your beds in no time at all.