The Other Half: A missing piece of your target market

Did you know there’s a huge chunk of the student housing market you may be missing out on? With just a little shift in focus, Sprout can help you fix that!

Today I’d like to challenge you, as student housing professionals, to look at your usual target market in a slightly different way. Let’s start out by stating the obvious: The student housing market is set up to target university students. I mean, your property exists to house STUDENTS! But let’s take a look at the what the stats have to say about who else matters in this situation.

CreditCards.com gives us a crucial statistic: “Our national poll of 1,092 U.S. adults with children aged 18 and older found that 74 percent have helped their adult kids pay living expenses or debts”... SAY WHAT!? 74%!? That’s HUGE! And, let’s be real, many of us know the struggle of being in a financial pinch as a student. Not all students are able to hold a job while simultaneously studying full time... cue the parents!

Let’s talk about how you can do a better job of marketing towards that big 75% of your target market aka the parents.

You’ve gotta hit them in a few major sweet spots:

  • Their wallet

  • A parent-friendly website

Sweet spot #1: Their wallet. One thing’s for sure, a child’s rent is usually not the only financial responsibility parents have. You’ve got to give families the info they need to budget and determine whether or not your community is a viable option for them. Oh, and check out this interesting fact: According to CLASS, when parents are searching online for their students new home, the number one thing those polled said they were looking for on the community’s website are rental rates. The easy solution here is to have your property’s rental rates, or at least approximate ranges, posted clearly on your website for all to see.

Sweet spot #2: Continuing along with the topic of websites, let’s talk resident portals. Your best bet to please both residents and their parents is to keep it simple. Make sure the online portal is as user friendly and practical as can be. Have all your important information laid out in a clear and concise manner. Everything from rent and fees to contact info needs to be easily accessible and easy to find. Let’s be real, how many times have our own parents asked us for help with technology?! One too many, so let’s make it easy on them and on us!! Less frustration with technology = happier residents and parents.

Now you’re speaking their language! So, you see, while the student housing market’s audience is constituted mainly of students, there is also another population to target that is essential to keeping your community afloat. Keep these three key strategies in mind when you’re building outreach marketing campaigns and working on your online presence - you’ll surely get the attention you want and need!