This week marks a special time for many college students: the beginning of the fall semester. Students may be feeling the pressure of getting all their books, supplies, and living essentials in order, especially if this is their first time away from home. One aspect that many may overlook or not spend enough thought on is exactly where they’re going to live. Students may be unfamiliar with the area and unsure of what to look for in a student housing community. Many have already made their living arrangements but there’s still an opportunity for “late registrations.” Here are the top things students look for in a community.
Proximity to Campus
Students will seek communities close to campus. However, these communities fill up and are more than likely completely leased. On the flip side, don’t count out students who are seeking a good deal on rent. If your community can’t offer a short distance to campus, make up for it through affordable rent. Students will trade a longer commute for savings in the long run.
Student Room Sizes
College dorms can be the equivalent of living inside a closet. That’s why many seek off-campus housing. Students need room to study in peace; there’s nothing worse than having a roommate playing video games three feet away from you while studying for the big exam. They also desire privacy; that’s why they’re interested in an off-campus community. Show students how you can provide space and privacy and you’ll have an upper hand.
Think about this from a student’s perspective: the less they have to move, the more appealing a community is. Beyond the obvious, such as a bed and furniture, consider offering higher-end accommodations. These come in the form of installed televisions, kitchen utensils, and anything you can think of. Students move a lot when in college; give them an incentive to keep coming back. Making their lives easier for moving in can also help you with rent prices.
College is an important time in a person’s life. Your community can appeal to new student residents by finding a good balance of the list above. If your community isn’t that close to campus, have your rent reflect it, but know when to draw a line. Provide generously sized rooms and community spaces for peace and quiet. Finally, the less they have to move, the more likely they’ll come to you. If you can provide these staples, you’ll get more than just an “A for effort!”
Apartment Living Essentials
While it’s still scorching outside, summer is giving way to fall and for many, it’s moving time! From normal moves into new communities to students gearing up for the upcoming semester, prepare to see moving trucks soon. Moving can be a difficult, timely and stressful event even for the most experienced. Without fail, you’ll reach a point where you’re asking yourself “Where did I put ______?” or “Do I have _____?” You may not even realize you need something after throwing it away during the process. So, we made a list of the top 15 apartment living essentials, along with a brief explanation just in case you don’t see the whole picture. You may not even be moving, but this list serves all apartment residents.
- Trash bags – Definitely number one on our apartment living essentials list. Ever run out of these and had to make a late night run to combat overflowing garbage? It’s not fun, so always have a surplus!
- Proper Bedding – We’re going to assume you already have a bed here, but good bedding goes a long way. Nice sheets, a comforter, pillows, etc. We also recommend having two different sets; one on the bed and the other cleaned and stored away. You never know when a loved one may need to spend a night.
- Towels – There’s no such thing as too many towels. If it requires absorption, towels can save the day.
- Basic Utensils – We’re not living in the Stone Age so cutlery and kitchen utensils are a must. Even if you don’t cook, don’t assume the delivery guy has a plethora of sporks to hand out!
- Emergency Supplies – Keep a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries and candles in your apartment for an unlikely emergency. You’ll find comfort in knowing you’re prepared during a power outage or dinner prep gone bad.
- Furniture – Another obvious one but a nice couch, table, chairs and coffee table can transform an apartment. Also, who wants to spend time in an apartment with just a bed? You might creep your friends out too. Clean and functional furniture doesn’t have to be expensive. Crates do NOT count as chairs!
- Good Blinds or Drapes – Not all, but some apartments don’t have either of these when moving in. Even if you do have blinds or drapes, a good set can be serious savings on electricity. Look at what makes sense but the darker they can make your apartment, the more money you save on utilities.
- Lamps – Sometimes overhead lighting in an apartment is lackluster or even nonexistent! Cheap floor lamps will do the trick to keep you out of the dark.
- Electrical Accessories – It’s better have too much than not enough when it comes to these items. We’re talking about power strips, extension cords or device chargers etc. You’ll kick yourself if you’re one inch from the wall outlet or if a power surge ruins your coffee machine.
- Toilet Paper – We aren’t going into detail on this one. Buy in bulk!
- Artwork – Like furniture, nice artwork can brighten up a room and help set a tone. It doesn’t have to be costly either; some framed posters of famous art can do the trick. If you’re feeling more adventurous, go to flea markets and garage sales for cheap and one of a kind piece.
- Toolset – Even if it’s a cheap one, you’ll end up using it. How else are you going to hang your art around so your apartment doesn’t look like a hospital room? Make sure it has the most basic essentials: Flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers, hammer and pliers can work wonders.
- Cleaning Supplies – Keep your apartment clean! Simple cleaning kits are available at most drugstores and supermarkets. A simple sponge and soap can make a huge difference.
- Spare Set of Keys – This is the last one on our list but it’s essential. Make a spare set of your keys and give them to a loved one in case of emergency or you lock yourself out. Alternatively, hide them under a doormat or somewhere outside your door. Paying for a locksmith comes out of YOUR pocket and it’s an expensive mistake to make!
Your Apartment = Your Home
These 15 apartment living essentials will make your apartment a happy home. They seem like common sense but some can go unnoticed. It’s better to have them on hand instead of going out to get them one-by-one. You can even order these items straight from Amazon.com if you have time to spare. You may have some of these already, but take some time on your next shopping trip to round off the list. Doing so will keep your apartment and life in good shape!
In our last blog, we discussed the hottest amenities for 2017. One amenity caught the eyes of our readers: gardens and vegetation. Having greenery around a property is nothing new, but showcasing it as an amenity is. Take Fuse Cambridge for example. This year, they installed a Living Green Wall (seen above) by Cityscapes, which has more benefits than just visual appeal. Content producer Lauren Shanesy writes, “In addition to complementing Fuse’s LEED Silver certification, the plants themselves aid in providing natural air filtration, sound insulation, and thermal regulation within the space while reducing residents’ stress levels, as well”. A wall of vegetation may not work for your community, but a community garden might. With communities competing for new residents, appealing to green thumbs can be a great angle. Here are three reasons why a community garden is a way to separate your community from others.
Save on produce costs
A community garden is great way to give residents a way to grow their own produce. Health conscience residents will spend top dollar at the grocery store for organic produce. What if you gave residents a way to grow produce that meets their needs? If you can market this interest, it can be a selling point. Residents may love the idea, but may have never had a garden. Nothing a community event can’t solve! Current green thumbs may see interest in leading a few community classes to help. This can help your community get more social while growing healthy produce for all to enjoy! Sounds like a win/win to us.
Low Costs for Gardens
The cost of starting a community garden can vary, but the majority of the cost is up front. This will be in the form of tools, fencing and other gardening staples but the investment is worth the costs. Todd Tibbits, senior vice president of property services for Post Properties states: “Community gardens pay for themselves in the same way a community pool or tennis court does – in resident satisfaction.” Plus, many communities cover costs through plot rental fees. The cost is low since the residents are responsible for the care, but going back to point number one, money for produce goes into the garden and not the grocery store.
Increased Property Values
Studies have shown that high-quality community gardens can increase property values in neighborhoods. The largest increases are in lower-income communities but higher-income communities see a bump too. To keep the garden higher quality, a landscape professional can provide some consultations and advice. This will help everyone in the community understand how to maintain the investment. Higher property values can give a boost to your revenue in the long term so protect your asset!
Community gardens are a great way to engage with residents. With the right marketing, residents find value in knowing where their produce comes from. The cost of starting a garden is upfront and can offset with minor plot rental fees. Finally, the garden can boost property value. Interested in finding out more? Consult with a local landscaping professional to see what’s possible. Never forget that a little green goes a long way!
Amenities play a major role for residents joining a community. There are the typical amenities, such as a clubhouse and a gym, but apartment renters expect unique offerings to make a community their home. Amenities are a deciding factor. Like all things, amenities are subject to trends and popularity. While 2017 seems far away, the newest trends in amenities are coming into the spotlight. If you’re responsible for the budget, you should take these amenities into consideration before letting the ink dry.
Yep, 2017 is the year of the garden! From living art walls to herb and vegetable gardens, community vegetation is on the rise. Not only do they promote social interactions amongst residents, they provide access to healthy food! Many city communities are adopting these ideas so residents can step out of the urban jungle while they’re home. While they’ve been around for a while, expect to see a significant increase in 2017. Read more about community gardens in our next blog!
When residents come home from a hard day of work, they want to relax. There are a few ways to do this and in 2017, having a taste of the good life will be a selling point. What could be better than grabbing a bottle of your favorite wine from the secure on-site wine cellar? Maybe a massage from the on-call masseuse in a private therapy room is more your speed. There are communities even starting to install commercial grade kitchens for guest chefs and test kitchen events. We bet a few people could get used to that kind of life.
Package management has been a hot amenity for the past few years, but the trend will continue to grow since capabilities have expanded. Examples include dry cleaning pickup and outbound shipping from the lockers themselves. The customization levels have also improved; custom colors and even seasonal wraps are available. The peak of innovation hasn’t hit this amenity yet! Expect package management to be a more “standard” amenity starting in 2017.
Amenities of Tomorrow, Today
2017 is just around the corner. Providing amenities that draw residents in has always been important, but the difference today is in the diversity. These three amenities are a good way to stand out from the competition and they could be a deciding factor for new residents and for renewals. Knowing what your community wants is important, but providing what they didn’t know they wanted works wonders. An amenity today can mean happy residents and more profit tomorrow!