Recent years have seen a drastic change in the student accommodation market. The days when a Landlord could buy and rent out a property to Students with second hand furniture and old fashioned carpets are well and truly gone. Students now expect quality, and wise investors realise if they are to stand out in a very competitive rental market they need to make sure the property fits the demands of the modern Student.
In recent times, Manchester has become a market leader with regards to quality with some of the country’s leading Landlords and Property Developers ploughing vast amounts of money into developing Student Pods, Student Apartments and Student HMO Houses to meet the demand of the modern Student.
So, who are these “modern Students” ?
Just like generations before them, the modern Student (generally born after 1990) has their own attitudes, values and quirks. Obviously not everyone fits neatly in a box, but research shows that overall many modern Students belong to a generation that are highly educated, self-confident, technologically savvy and ambitious.
What does this mean for you, the Student Property Investor?
Well, this means that your property should aim to cater to this generation’s needs to become a desirable home for them. Many Students now expect to see flat screen TVs, broadband/wireless internet access (included in the rent) as well as other conveniences such as dishwashers, preferably in a hip, modern kitchen.
One of the most important factors in any property is the Students bedroom where the students will spend most of their time - investing in quality, comfortable furniture that will not only be robust, but will also appeal to this young and expressive generation is very important.......Grandma's junk drawer hand-me-downs with saggy curtains in the window just doesn`t cut the mustard anymore.
Also bear in mind that any Student, regardless of how big their room is will always fall short when it comes to storage. As a basic rule make sure you provide the following items in each bedroom as a minimum:
Bed (Double or Three Quarter Beds are expected these days)
Wardrobe (very important that this is not too small)
Chest Of Drawers
Optional extras that will make a difference to the comfort in the bedroom but are not expected:
Shelving (you can never have too much storage)
Black Out Blinds (they not only make sleeping easier but blinds tend to make the house look neater internally and externally)
Wooden/Laminate Flooring (looks modern and is much easier to keep clean, plus it tends to last longer)
Bed Side Cabinet (most will have had this at home for their alarm clock, pictures etc)
Mattress Topper (not only provides extra comfort but also adds protection to the mattress)
What are the benefits to you, the Student Landlord ?
In addition to maintaining a higher long term rental value, we have also found that Students tend to treat a refurbished property differently to a property that hasn’t seen a paintbrush in a while. This is mainly due to this generation’s high expectations in regards to how they wish to be treated as a potential “customer”. By offering the Student a product (and of course a management service) that is seen to be of a high quality, the students in return will normally reciprocate and treat your property with respect.
We have found the Modern Student is willing to pay a premium for quality instead of settling for a second-rate, cheaper property. They have been brought up with a desire to have the latest mobile phone, most hi-tech games console or the latest designer clothing, all of which cost a premium.
With purpose-built Student accommodation developments springing up all over Manchester, making sure your property stays competitive and offers students good quality accommodation that is seen as value for money will give you a competitive edge in an ever increasing market.
If you would like any advice or help to become more competitive in the Student accommodation market or would simply like to leave any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.