student housing operations

Tackling the Challenges of Today’s Student Housing Operations

It’s a good time to be in student housing. While conventional multifamily housing grapples with slowing rent growth, fueled by a surge in new supply, student housing remains a hot commodity. Occupancy rates are high, rents are growing, and demand is through the roof. 

Preleasing for the fall 2024 school year reached a new record in January, rising to 54.5 percent, according to the latest Yardi Matrix student housing report. By comparison, in December 2022 the preleasing rate stood at 38.4 percent. Despite year-over-year rent growth slowing (down from 6.3 percent a year ago) it remains solid at 4.4 percent.

Naturally, the industry wants to keep the good times rolling, but significant challenges remain, particularly as it relates to turn season.

Key challenges for student housing operations

There is nothing quite like the student housing turn. The panic, the dread, the sense of relief at the end of the longest two weeks of the year. It’s a feeling only student housing operators can relate to. As the market grows, what are the common issues holding operators back? And, what can be done to make things easier?

Lack of visibility and consistency 

One of the biggest challenges on-site teams face is the creation and maintenance of turnboards. In student housing operations it’s not uncommon for each property to have its own turnboard. This makes it nearly impossible for regional managers to see a clear picture of other properties should any issues arise. 

Oftentimes, these turnboards still live in Excel – a tool limited in functionality and open to the vulnerability of human error. Imagine if a property manager were to accidentally click “sort” in an Excel turnboard, the results could be disastrous. Work orders may slip through the cracks, teams might not be able to catch errors with enough time to correct them, resulting in over-spending just to get the job done in time. 

How technology helps: Leonardo247 and Turnable simplify your turn processes by allowing you to manage everything in one location, with automated features, in an easy to navigate environment. From key returns, to inspections, to vendor invoicing, whether you manage a single property, or an entire portfolio, our software allows you to navigate between projects quickly for optimal visibility.

Training support for on-site staff 

With employee retention challenges in the industry, training programs and ongoing support are crucial for operational excellence. If a property is struggling, managers or support staff may not always have the ability to provide hands-on assistance. Wth the added pressure of turn, the capability to keep teams connected from anywhere is essential. 

Operators who invest in their employees by improving the tools and technology available to them will see fewer human errors, improved efficiency, and a significant reduction in turn support costs. 

How technology helps: You can leverage tools such as Leonardo247 and Turnable to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). By integrating KPIs into performance evaluations and conversations related to compensation, salary increases, and advancements, businesses can synchronize employee motivations with operational success.

Access to real-time data 

Turn is compressed into such a short amount of time. The availability of real-time data and analytics, the ability to monitor all properties with a single click, and the capability to keep teams connected from anywhere is essential. Without the right data in the right hands at the right time, properties risk having incorrect unit inspections, not catching inadequate vendor work, and moving residents into poorly turned units.

How technology helps: With Leonardo247 and Turnable, you can manage your properties from anywhere, anytime with custom dashboards and reporting. Have real-time visibility into what’s happening — or not happening — across your portfolio. Easily identify those properties that are performing well and those that may require some extra attention. Integrations with leading industry software means better data at every phase of turn.

Technology designed to make turn easier

When the turn rolls around, do you feel yourself automatically going into survival mode? With the right tools, you could go from feeling like you’re surviving a turn to feeling like you’re winning. 

With the combination of Turnable and Leonardo247, you now have one platform for all their maintenance, student housing operations, and turn needs. Learn more.

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