Move-in day for student housing is hectic, no doubt about it. It takes a lot of organization just to get through it and get everyone settled in. Even with the best plans, chaos can reign supreme. Turn time is the best time to lay the groundwork for streamlined processes and smooth relationships with your new and returning tenants.
Here are three tips that fit into any move-in day plan. They’ll help save staff time, reduce late payments and cultivate responsible residents long after move-in day is over.
- Get all their contact information up front—in advance is best. Phone, email, social media. Students usually have multiple contact points. Get it all. And make sure you get all the contact information for their parents, too. Keeping parents in the loop greatly increases your ability to get responses and results. Get as much information as you can prior to move-in day. It may be mission impossible trying to obtain it after.
- Rent guarantee agreements may be legally binding, but reminders trump collections any day! This is where having all the students’ and parents’ contact information is critical. It’s much easier to send a reminder—and it’s effective, too—than to try to collect delinquent rent. Message notification services like One Call Now make it easy. Use it to send voice and text messages via land lines, mobile phones, email and social media. Automated features save loads of staff time. Create and store messages and schedule delivery dates and times. Multiple delivery points for each message make it simple to include parents in your reminder messages. If it’s feasible, consider sending reminders regarding other housing expenses: utility bills, insurance premiums, and parking permits. If it affects your property, it affects you.
- Let them know what you’ll do. You may already have something in place—your website, literature—to let your residents [tenants] know their responsibilities. But don’t fall short when it comes to letting them know your responsibilities. What you will do when a repair is needed; when there’s property damage; when rental payments are late; when they become delinquent. Let residents and parents know the steps you will take. What they can expect. Knowing that there’s a process in place inspires confidence and satisfaction. And understanding the consequences when they default on their responsibilities fosters compliance. The steps you take up front to establish your resident [tenant]/parent communications will payoff throughout the term of the lease.