Accommodation planned exclusively for student use has increased greatly – private sector halls are growing in volume and at present house well over 100,000 students. PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) ranges from simple blocks of flats, to terraced houses in city-centres, to more luxury lodging.
With the PBSA market growing at such a rapid pace over the last 20 years not all housing providers have been able to keep up accordingly. Sure the basics are provided however, what about the small things that really end up being major contributors to whether a student decides to continue tenancy? Well nowadays there are a number of organisations such as Savills and Student Crowd who take into account what the students are actually looking for in housing. Property investors/managers can now analyse this data to gain a greater understanding of their target market and offer a much more appealing property, which in turn would get a better ROI for their PBSA investments.
Based on reviews collected by Student Crowd’s The 2017 Best Student Accommodation Winners we’ve collated elements that actual students like and want from their accommodation providers.
Value for Money
Items like flooring, carpeting, bathroom finishes, kitchen fixtures, and gadgets may not seem substantial at the first glance. However, for the student they could be deciding factors. In fact, students are even willing to pay extra to have items like a flat screen TV, large refrigerator or a separate washer and dryer.
"Lovely and modern accommodation with good living space, kitchen and a superb internet connection." From a review for - Grizedale College - Lancaster University
“Wessex is the best halls because its so social! I've made so many friends from other kitchens and halls because the corridors are open. the jcr are also amazing and I just love it. Its also been done up so its the best value for money!” From a review for - Wessex Hall, University of Reading
Most student renters want to be close to campus. Many don’t have vehicles and and therefore want housing that's within walking distance of campus, or at least near campus bus routes. Students tend to focus on proximity to campus, amenities, and easy access to transportation when considering off campus accommodation.
“The best campus ever, everything within walking distance and it's all old and beautiful. Can't be beaten.” From a review for University of St Andrews
“Personally I think this is the best location out of all the halls in Loughborough. 1 Min away from the LSU, 15min walk from town, it off campus all your needs are in one space. Its a big ,Hall so plenty of friends to make. Everyone knows Bill Mo Pre's are the best.” From a review for William Morris - Loughborough University
“Without a doubt, the best accommodation available on campus. Had a great time living here; close proximity to the gym, cafes and Vesper bar.” From a review for - Nightingale Hall - University of Nottingham
The cleaning regiment will vary among along all the residential halls in the UK depending on the size, location and management. Some have cleaners that will do the basics a few days a week while others will provide a full service. Here’s what students thought about cleanliness at some of these halls.
“Really good Rooms and kitchens are always cleaned- cleaners give biscuits if your kitchen is completely clean which is really nice!” From a review for William Morris - Loughborough University
“Rigg-Rut has the best community feel, due to the small size everyone knows everyone making it feel like home. The rooms are modern and kitchens are cleaned every week (however the cleaning standard is not as good as it could be).” From a review for Hazlerigg - Rutland - Loughborough University (Now they know what to fix)
Common room / Social spaces
In a business where space is crucial, common social areas may not seem like an economical use of resources. However, with university student preferences now shifting, common areas are becoming more of a priority and can even influence whether a tenant chooses to rent or not.
“The common room was also available a lot of the time for us to relax and wind down which was good to. Overall, the hall had a real community vibe which was excellent.” From a review for - William Morris - Loughborough University
"Amazing. Best social life on campus due to the common areas and dining hall. Would recommend to anybody wanting to study in Lboro." From a review for St Pancras Way - University College London
Internet / Wifi
Being connected is almost a necessity nowadays. Items ranging from paying rent to purchasing groceries all require some type of basic internet. To meet demands, many property managers are now offering free basic Wi-Fi as an attractive benefit for tenants who do basic tasks such as email and the occasional YouTube videos. Renters requiring more bandwidth can make their own arrangements.
“Love the university, dubious about the wifi.” From a review for University of St Andrews
"Park Terrace is both convenient and comfortable. There is great inter-flat interaction and the internet is more than fast enough." From a review for Park Terrace - Newcastle University
As a specialist student accommodation accounting services provider we’ve noticed that property managers who prioritise tenants and have the processes in place to minimise overhead expenses usually dominate the student accommodation market. Having the correct processes in place will not only reduce costs but also provide greater business flexibility. To know how our systems can free up your company’s existing resources email our student accommodation expert Ravi Kurani on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 838 2592.