Much like multi-family, hospitality, office, and retail, student housing is also a segment of commercial real estate. Many modern property management companies specialize in this domain, such as Nelson Partners. Student housing basically is a subset of multifamily asset class, and tends to be characterized by serving as an accommodation of undergraduate or graduate college students. This real estate sector is renowned for its dependable cash flows and the rising demand trends in higher education. The resilient nature of student housing properties during economic downturns especially magnetizes a good degree of interest.
One of the key differences between conventional apartments and student housing is the level of operational intensity demanded by the resident base and the academic calendar. Hence, it becomes much more feasible for property owners to delegate their responsibilities to property management companies like Nelson Partners, instead of having to go through the headache of dealing with them independently. Property management companies are involved in activities like leasing, marketing, event planning, and emergency management, and hence are able to make the lives of property owners a lot easier.
Here are a few features of typical student housing properties:
- Location and connectivity: A student housing property must be located at a close proximity to a major college campus, in order to magnetize its students. It must also enjoy a good connectivity to supermarkets and popular hangout spots of the region like sports clubs, coffee shops and pubs. It is pretty probable that a college going student might not have their own car. Hence, many well placed student apartments enjoy a proper availability of good public transportation in the vicinity.
- Affordable: College students have quite a limited budget. They have to think of college fees, house rent, and other miscellaneous expenditure. They cannot afford to spend too lavishly on their housing. In fact, most students agree to share rooms in order to keep the rent to the minimum. This also means that rather than state-of-the-art amenities, college students simply seek out certain basic amenities to meet their everyday needs.
- Furniture and furnishings: In addition to basic utilities like electricity and water, in many student housing units there are certain additional benefits provided like important furniture, a Wi-Fi connection, as well as kitchen gadgets and television. Students generally look for such facilities when opting for all-inclusive rental units.
In most student housing properties, leasing is offered by room or bed, rather than an entire unit. This tends to represent the nature of shared accommodations, with an almost universal “roommate” living arrangements. This system allows individual renters to be charged on the basis of their specific bed and share of the applicable common areas. In most of the cases, easing terms are of one-year durations. This leads to a high annual turnover, as well as an active shortened leasing cycle requiring intense marketing. Companies like Nelson Partners particularly specialize in student housing apartments in a variety of states close to colleges.