Beyond the Dorms: How to Convince Students to Rent Your Apartments

By Elana Goodwin on August 11, 2017

College students typically start considering moving off-campus by their sophomore year and are usually determined to be in their own off-campus home for their junior and senior years.

With that in mind, there are many ways you can entice students to rent an apartment from you when they’re looking into moving out of the dorms and into an off-campus apartment. Here’s how to convince students to rent your apartments.

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Set competitive rental rates. If you’re charging an exorbitant amount of money for rent, you’re going to discourage potential college students from renting your apartments. Unless that rent money is well worth it — meaning your apartment complex is top-of-the-line, has a pool and gym, each unit is large and luxurious, etc. — students will look at other off-campus housing options and not seriously consider yours.

If the apartment you’re renting out is smaller sized, don’t set a rent rate as if the renter will be getting a big and spacious unit. You want your fees to be fair for what the resident will get in their unit and for the value of living in your apartment complex versus another housing option.

Update your website. An easy way to start convincing students to rent apartments from you is to update your website and keep it current. College students typically start the apartment hunting process online and if your information is outdated, you’ll lose potential renters quickly as they seek off-campus options elsewhere.

Make sure you include all the basic information, such as how much rent is per property and whether that rent is per person or for the entire home, how long the lease period is, the address of the apartment, the size and square footage of each rental, etc. Each apartment listing should have its own rental rate posted on there and you may want to make it easier for students to find apartments or houses within their budget by allowing them to search using certain parameters, such as price.

Photos are likewise important to include on your website, as they’ll draw in potential renters, especially since some students may not be able to actually visit the apartment they’re considering renting in-person. Post plenty of interior photos along with a few exterior shots of each property — and if your complex has an outdoor space, a common room, its own gym, or any other attractive feature, snap some photos of that too!

Also, create a testimonial section and ask current renters for some positive quotes about you as a landlord/rental property manager, the apartment or house they’re renting, why they chose the property they did, etc., to include on a testimonials page. This way, potential student renters can read what other actual renters had to say about their apartments or houses that they leased through you and about the rental process with your office, which will make them that much more likely to rent an apartment from you.

Lastly, if your apartments are very close to campus or close to public transportation stops, you may want to put that information on your website too as that’s a major draw students will look for when considering whether they should rent an apartment too. If your apartments are close to any other local attractions or points of interest, you can boast about that too.

Offer perks & amenities. Students love their perks — so offering some sort of incentives to motivate students to choose your apartment over others is a good way to get them to rent from you. Basic amenities like having an online payment system for convenience, an outdoor space, bike racks, on-site laundry, ample parking, and more, will be factors that draw students to your apartments.

The laundry and parking don’t even have to be free (though that would get students to rent from you in a heartbeat), as long as they are offered as part of the apartment complex’s amenities. Other perks or amenities you should consider including in the rent or offering for an additional fee are inclusive Wi-Fi and gas and/or water. Publicizing your apartment complex’s safety features is also something that may influence students to rent your off-campus apartment.

Be a good property manager. Being responsive, available, communicative, and honest are all traits that will increase students’ desire to rent apartments from you. Take the time to answer their questions, do your best to be available when they may want to see the apartment, and be prompt when responding to their issues.

Being a good property manager to the tenants you have will cause them to say good things about you to potential renters, who will then be that much more likely to actually rent from you since they’ll have heard current residents sing your praises.

Keep these factors in mind when you’re trying to get students to rent your apartments from you and you should have no trouble attracting new college tenants!

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
Ohio State
I love reading, writing, and sweater weather. Also, dogs. That is all. Follow me on Twitter at @EllaRayy!

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