Student accommodation webinar resources

We recently delivered free training and student insights for the accommodation sector, to help them support students during the Covid-19 crisis.
We’ve seen a 40% increase in posts in our Accommodation forum since March 2020.
Watch the video recording and read the key takeaways below.

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Watch the video: Student accommodation webinar

In this video, experts Grace Joyce (Community Manager) and Mike Coxon (Key Accommodation Specialist) reveal the secrets to survival and success for student accommodation providers:

  • Understanding young people’s needs – how students are thinking, feeling and behaving (based on our data and in-depth knowledge of students)
  • Effective communication strategies – how to engage with young people who are making accommodation decisions and address their pain points
  • Ways we can support you in 2020 in light of Covid-19

“Will I be able to move away from home?”
“How will I view accommodation I’m interested in?”
“Am I still tied into a [rental] contract?”
Users on The Student Room

Tips for accommodation providers

Thank you to everyone who joined our accommodation webinar. Read on for powerful strategies you can put into place to future-proof your business:

  • Develop a clear content strategy to engage students
    • Showcase what you have to offer by creating articles, videos and useful content (remember students can’t visit, so they’re hungry for extra information)
    • Get involved in student conversations about accommodation and answer questions using your Official Rep and Rep Alerts (you can set up notifications for watched forum topics)
    • Provide support and be clear about your policies regarding tenants’ contracts and rent payments during covid-19
    • Regular communication is key – keep engaging with students and offering your expert advice, it’s a stressful time so show empathy, support and patience

  • 15% of university students we polled are considering changing their university choice as a direct result of covid-19
    • This might mean changing to universities nearer to home. Some are worried that they have firmed university choices and may not be allowed to move.
  • Don’t be insensitive
    • Be aware that students are human beings, so don’t be opportunistic and copy and paste your marketing spiel without actively listening for the need (this turns students off brands)


How will covid-19 affect accommodation providers?

Times are uncertain, but we’re sharing the best information we have with you to help you plan your strategy:

Opportunity

  • A highly attentive and receptive audience: many students still want a ‘normal’ university experience and want to hear from you about how to make this possible, so reach out.
  • 40% more posts on our Accommodation forums: our users are still asking for guidance about university accommodation, signalling strong intent in specific locations.

 Risk

  • Autumn exams and deferred university entry: students might be resitting exams in September if they’re not happy with their results (expected by the end of July according to Ofqual). There’s no guarantee universities will be open in September.
  • Distance learning: students studying from home may no longer need accommodation near university. Some universities may offer online teaching in the short-term. This makes it more important than ever to make the most of every opportunity.

*Sources: The Student Room onsite activity tracking. The word cloud is from accommodation posts in the first week of April.


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