Every summer, the same dread comes to pass for managers of apartments near University of Calgary and other off-campus housing properties. They have to figure out a way to lure students to their doors and get them to sign a lease for the next school year.
Effective marketing is critical for off-campus housing complexes, but managers also need to maximize their marketing budget so they can’t always use the trial and error method of finding out what works. As such, here are some tried and true marketing strategies for off-campus housing complexes.
Team Up With Local Businesses
One of the main features of off-campus housing that students look for is proximity to amenities. This gives you an opportunity to partner with businesses that are within walking distance of your complex to display your brochures, offer discounts, or even create co-branded swag that will remind students of your accommodations whenever they use it.
One great idea is to offer students who tour your complex a coupon for a free item at a local business. This not only drives prospective students to your property but increases traffic for the business as well.
These types of partnerships also strengthen your bond within the student community, which will pay dividends in other ways throughout the year, especially once students make that connection.
Host a Giveaway
Everyone likes a contest, particularly if the prize is worth the effort to enter. Offer every student who tours your property an entry into a giveaway for a desirable prize. This might be a nice piece of furniture that looks great in your units, a gift certificate to a popular restaurant near your complex, or even a public transportation pass that will encourage them to sign with you so they can make use of it.
Whatever you choose to give away, it needs to be on brand for your complex. Since you specialize in student housing, make sure the item is something a student wants. Then, loudly advertise the giveaway on social media, with flyers in local businesses, and on student bulletin boards around campus.
Offer additional entries for mentioning your complex on social media, posting a picture of them touring your facility, and sharing the contest with others via email or text.
Have a Bring-a-Friend Event
Referrals are often your best source of new leases, so host a bring-a-friend event for current residents. If you have a pool, a summer pool party is perfect for this type of activity. If you don’t have a pool, choose one of your amenities to highlight and host it there.
For example, if you have a gorgeous courtyard, host the event there. If you have a high-tech community room, what better way to showcase your complex’s technology?
Provide food and other refreshments at the event and have plenty of representatives available to give friends tours and answer questions. Make sure to capture the friends’ contact information and interest level in joining your community by having a drawing for a prize or signing up for a later event.
The pressure to keep your occupancy levels high in an off-campus housing property can be massive. Use these marketing techniques to lower your stress levels and bring in more prospective renters.