You might feel hesitant to rent to students. Maybe you’ve heard stories of wild parties where students trash their house, or maybe you’re concerned that students don’t make enough money to pay rent on time every month.
However, if you screen every tenant thoroughly and clearly explain your rules, you might find that renting to college students is one of the best actions you can take to power your rental property business forward and maximize your ROI. Here’s why:
- Demand for student housing is often high. If you own properties near a college campus (like Montgomery College in Montgomery County), there’s a good chance you’ll be able to attract the interest of many student renters.
- Students aren’t usually looking for anything fancy. That means that you’ll probably end up with lots of low-maintenance renters if you regularly place students in your properties, which can help you save time and money.
- Parents often cover rent payments. For this reason, renting to college students can be a pretty safe bet financially. Their parents might even pay you in advance to take the hassle out of regular monthly rent payments! Just make sure you require a parent (or someone else who can be held responsible for rent) to co-sign the lease. That way, you can feel confident knowing rent will be paid on time every month, regardless of the student’s financial situation.
Now that you know the benefits of renting to college students, you’re ready to learn what amenities they look for in a property and how you can entice them to pick your property while they attend school.
5 Amenities Montgomery County College Students Want in a Rental Property
We’ve already discussed that college students aren’t usually looking for fancy amenities when they rent a property. Instead, they look for the following essential amenities that help make their life easier while they juggle school and work.
This is one of the most in-demand amenities for college students. Not only do they use WiFi for homework – they use it for all kinds of entertainment and to cut down on data usage on their cell phone bill (which we all know can get pricey!). So, consider offering free WiFi services or including it with the overall price of your property if you want to gain an edge over the competition.
Tip: You may want to bundle electricity and water with the WiFi and rent payment too. That way, all of the expenses for the property can be conveniently handled by the student (or their parents) in one simple payment!
2. A washer and dryer
Having to go to a laundromat can be a huge inconvenience for a college student. Students are so busy with school and work that the last thing they want to do is spend hours waiting to wash and dry their clothes.
So, it’s easy to understand why a washer and dryer can be such attractive amenities for them. They may even be willing to pay more for your property if living there will allow them to avoid the hassle of regular laundromat visits!
3. A great location
No college student wants to waste hours every day driving to and from school. That’s why you should prioritize location if you want to invest in properties that attract students.
Try to find properties within walking distance of campus. If you can do that, it should be easy for you to attract tons of student renters to your property.
If you can’t purchase a property next to the college campus, try to find one within 10-15 minutes of it and market it as a location near campus. When you’re marketing to attract students, also include information about the property’s proximity to other popular college student locations, like coffee shops, bars, and places where students work.
4. Ample storage space
Students who live within walking distance of their college campus often choose to ride their bike to school, so they appreciate storage space to safely put away their bike.
On top of that, college students tend to look for a place with a large closet and a bedroom that is big enough to accommodate all of their belongings. That means if the bedrooms in your property aren’t big enough to fit a bed and desk comfortably, they may keep looking for a property with more space to offer.
5. Security features
If you want to get a college student’s parent to approve of your property, adding security features may be your best bet. After all, parents are often concerned for their child’s safety first and foremost – especially if it is the child’s first time living on their own.
Here are some security features you can consider adding to your property:
- A deadbolt lock
- An alarm system
- External security cameras
- Ample external lighting
If you opt for these features, be sure you mention them to the college student and their parent when they tour the home. You’ll also want to mention security features in your property ads and throughout your marketing efforts since security can be a determining factor when a parent is choosing between a few similar properties for their child.
Tips for Attracting College Student Renters in Montgomery County
Maybe you have a perfect property for student renters, but you aren’t quite sure how to make them aware of your property and entice them to live there.
If that’s the case, consider these 3 tips:
- Advertise where students are looking. Try Craigslist and other online resources like Zillow and Trulia. Chances are, students are looking there as opposed to a newspaper (like the Montgomery County Sentinel) or other places.
- Mention the amenities in your property ads. Be sure to put the most in-demand amenities at the top of the ad. That way, students can understand the benefits of living in your property right away!
- Offer competitive rent rates. Make sure your property is affordable for student renters without undercharging. If you aren’t sure how much your tenants should pay for rent, research some of the other properties in the area that are often rented to students successfully.
Make sure you’re prepared to talk to each student’s parents as well – if you can convince them that your property is the best place for their child to live, there’s a good chance they’ll buy in.
Related reading: The Maryland Landlord’s Guide to Renting to College Students
If you need help using marketing tactics to attract student renters, consider partnering with a Montgomery County property manager at Bay Management Group. In addition to marketing, we can take care of rent collection, maintenance services, and more so you can take a hands-off approach to running your rental property business.
To learn more about how we can help your business, contact us today.