The student population in off-campus housing is a huge opportunity in multifamily property management. According to a 2016 New York Times article, 87% of students live off campus. With such a large target market, it’s important to have the right offerings that provide meaningful value to them.
College tuition is expensive, and many students (and their parents) feel stretched financially during these years. Multifamily property management companies should consider providing a service that will benefit their financial wellbeing for the long run.
Here are our top recommendations for offering a value-add amenity to the student population in multifamily:
1. Offer Credit-Building with Rent Reporting
College students often enter the “real world” with zero existing credit or credit history. Some top ways college students can build their credit are through student credit cards, paying off student loans, and reporting student rent payments to build their credit.
Reporting their timely rent payments to credit bureaus gives them a risk-free opportunity to build their credit in a proven and efficient way. All they have to do is pay their rent as they normally would, and the payments are reported to build and maintain positive credit. Offering this perk specifically to college students and their parents sets your properties apart from the local competition.
Especially where parents are often paying rent on their students behalf, it’s an added-benefit to many parents to have their timely payments reported as well. You can watch this short video to hear from the experts at the Credit Builders Alliance to learn more about how rent reporting builds credit.
2. Offer Budgeting Tools & Financial Education
Students frequently get sunk into credit card debt, not knowing or having practiced good budgeting skills prior to leaving home. Help them avoid this negative trap by offering budgeting tools and financial education (as well as rental payment reporting) as part of your student housing financial health package.
Outside of tuition, rent is likely the second highest expense for college students. With so many options for on and off-campus housing, it’s important for students to understand what fits in their budget, and the pros and cons to both.
As part of your off-campus housing incentives, offer students budgeting tools to help build healthy financial habits early on. You can help college students understand their budget by offering tools that lay out their monthly costs, and track spending against their financial goals.
You can even provide a generic income estimator based on the current monthly rent costs and average utilities expense for your property (we recommend rent and utilities totaling around 30% of a student’s income). By helping students understand what they can afford, they will be less likely to overextend themselves. This helps them practice good credit habits from the get-go, which in turn further helps them build credit as a college student.
As you talk to students and potentially their parents, you can talk through the benefits of having good credit so they understand the importance of developing good habits early. Some of these benefits include improved loan rates, lower mortgage and refinancing rates, lower rates for cars/boats/ATV’s, etc., lower or waived deposits for rentals and utilities, increased negotiating power, and more.
3. Offer Identity Protection
The fastest growing crime in America is identity theft, with an identity being stolen every 3.5 seconds. RentPlus Credit Monitoring is just one more asset you can offer college students and their parents who want to protect their kids’ financial wellbeing. Not only does it provide credit monitoring, real-time alerts, and fraud prevention, but it can help with identity restoration and recovery services so college students and their parents can rest easy knowing you have them covered.
How Rent Dynamics can help
Rent Dynamics offers a unique and easy way to implement rent reporting in a tool called RentPlus. Using an advanced encryption technology to securely provide data to credit bureaus, RentPlus does all the work for you to report timely rent payments on your residents behalf. Your tenants simply sign up, pay rent on time, and RentPlus takes care of the rest. There are no hidden transaction fees, no middle-man, and no third-party processors required.
On top of rent reporting, budgeting tools, a customized financial education program, Rent Dynamics’ RentPlus also provides a $1 million protection policy (think “LifeLock”).
Contact us today at email@example.com to see how we can help you get started with RentPlus, our financial health amenity for college students.