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Mastering the Student Housing Turn: Strategies for Success

Zeb Thomas Apartment Academy podcast
2024 Episodes
Mastering the Student Housing Turn: Strategies for Success
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Zeb Thomas, Director of Operations at The Scion Group, joins Daniel Cunningham on Apartment Academy to discuss the best practices for managing student housing turnovers, drawing from his own experiences in the field.

THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF PLANNING IN STUDENT TURNS

Student housing operations, particularly the turnover or “turn” period, can be daunting. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically two weeks of pure madness, mass move outs, mass move ins, and juggling vendor after vendor after vendor. Zeb explains success begins long before the turnover starts, with preparations and vendor engagements scheduled months in advance.

“Students move in starting in August or September,“ says Zeb. “We are in the units in October and November, checking furniture, looking at what we didn’t replace. What is this overall status now, placing those orders in December and it’s being thoughtful of that mindset of why do we shove everything into a two week window? What can we do outside of that two week window to lower stress, to lower the staff turnover, to help boost morale for our team? Let’s be a proactive company and not a reactive company.”

TECHNOLOGY AT THE HEART OF OPERATIONS 

To streamline the intense turnover process, Zeb emphasizes the vital role of technology, particularly the use of Turnable, which integrates directly with their property management systems. 

Your main drivers, the common goals that are with every single company is going to be your, your vendor services – your paint, your cleaning, your carpet cleaning, and carpet or flooring replacements,” says Zeb. “The great thing we love about Turnable is it is a direct integration with Entrata. So it’s pulling in all of our unit data, all of our leasing data. So we immediately know where our renewals are, where our new leases are, where our transfer ins, transfer outs.”

PROACTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH RESIDENTS

Effective communication with residents is another key aspect of successful turn management. The Scion Group aims to keep residents well-informed about what to expect during turn, significantly enhancing resident satisfaction.

“We are truly outlined,” says Zeb. “We have a very detailed communication calendar. What communication templates are sending. It’s all pre done for them. What days- is it a 90-day, 30-day, 20-day, 14-day, 7-day, 48 hours. And who are the actual groups that they need to create in our message center to send it out? So a lot of planning goes into it as far as this is our policy on communication.”

EPISODE LINKS

Follow Daniel Cunningham on LinkedIn: Daniel’s LinkedIn

Follow Zeb Thomas on LinkedIn: Zeb’s LinkedIn

Follow Apartment Academy on LinkedIn: Apartment Academy LinkedIn

Learn more about The Scion Group: The Scion Group Website

About the Apartment Academy: Hosted by Leonardo247 founder and CEO Daniel Cunningham, each episode of the Apartment Academy delves into the multifamily industry’s operational challenges and strategies. Tune in for insightful conversations that are shaping the future of property operations.

For a full transcript of this episode or to catch up on previous seasons, visit: Request a Transcript