Student housing is an exciting marketplace full of opportunities and its own set of challenges. Agents and investors need to be aware of its unique features that challenge managers of such developments. When designing student housing developments, one question an investor should consider is whether to provide furnished apartments as opposed the traditional unfurnished option.We all know that furnishing a student apartment will incur in an additional cost similar to what happens in the hotel industry. In fact, all of us, book our hotel accommodation based on the level of comfort the room will provide along with the added benefits such as location, breakfast, swimming pool, air-conditioning, etc.… The same is happening indeed with student accommodation.
It should be considered that a well- furnished apartment needs a comfortable bed for every tenant, a desk, tables and chairs for the dining and living room areas and, in the luxury student housing residences, flat screen televisions and air-conditioning.
The new trend: luxury student housing
This is a trend that is happening in every country where luxury accommodation is offered to those students that have the means to pay for a more comfortable stay during their studies.These students prefer a hassle-free moving and living arrangement and will pay a premium for these extras. Benefits such as free wireless Internet, and sport amenities will attract attention of students looking for accommodation for the new academic year.
Furnished apartments can also save property managers money at the end of lease, since making the move-in process will be more similar to that of a hotel protecting the property from damage since it has everything the guest needs. As for the risk of getting the furniture damaged, it is a problem that can be managed and covered through the use of security deposits.
No furniture: is it advantageous?
If you decide not to furnish your student accommodation there are some clear advantages. Sometimes a blank slate and the possibility to pick your own furniture will give the student a sense of being at home that he may not get with a furnished one. Also, once the family moves in the student’s things and bed, there is a big chance that the student will stay for a longer period. This will reduce the property manager’s need to look for new tenants so often.
Another obvious advantage is that the property manager will save the cost of providing furniture.In general it is better to have an unfurnished apartment than to have a badly furnished one with old furniture especially if you want to compete in the student housing market.
The decision to furnish your apartment or not to furnish it will vary depending on the portion of the student housing marketplace you decide to address. Nicely-furnished apartments will stand out in the luxury market and attract the attention of more people, but it will incur in higher costs so it may appeal to a smaller portion of the student market.
Do your local research
The student housing market is rapidly changing and demanding more amenities. Do your research on what is offered in the area and know your competition to realise what is your competitive edge. We are in the middle of the high season of student housing so best of luck to all the property and student housing managers out there.