How Social Media Influences Student Housing Design in 2022

The Latest Social Media Trends Affecting Student Housing Design

SouthPark Interiors principal, Lisa Pulsinelli, recently presented at NAA Apartmentalize in San Diego on the topic of social media’s influence on student housing design. In this blog, we highlight:

It’s no secret that social media has a stronghold over society. With more than 3.6 billion social media users worldwide as of 2020, these platforms have the power to influence virtually every aspect of our lives — including interior design.

Especially for younger generations, living in a space that’s “share-able” on social media is of the utmost importance. Not only is it critical for students to have an Instagram-worthy living space, but student housing owners and property managers can leverage these design trends to attract new tenants and increase profitability.

Pandemic-Induced Design Trends & Social Media

While nearly all schools are fully open across the United States following the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide shutdowns from 2020 have still made a huge impact on what residents need from their living spaces. Some of the most popular pandemic-induced design trends to arise on social media include:

  • Outdoor Gathering Spots: Whether it’s a rooftop lounge, resort-style pool, or outdoor kitchen, residents are longing for the opportunity to spend time outside now more than ever.
  • Multi-purpose Community Spaces: One of the biggest changes that the pandemic brought was the need to stay at home, making it necessary for student housing properties to create multifunctional community areas for their tenants that can be used for community events but are also flexible to be set up for private study or co-working spaces. With more people permanently working from home, designers have to consider creating additional working spaces throughout a property in unconventional areas like the mail room and outdoor courtyards for example.
  • Bespoke Amenities: Creating an amenity space unique to your property based on your target resident and local culture is massively impactful. For example, if the property is in a music centered neighborhood or university, you may include a music room where residents can listen to a collection of vinyl records and jam out with friends. Or if you’re in a technology based environment, a podcasting studio is an attractive and unique amenity to prospective residents.

How Social Media Determines Design Success or Failure

Social media’s power of persuasion cannot be underestimated. Property managers can infer what’s popular and what’s not simply by checking how many likes/shares a photo receives of a student housing interior. Photos that don’t receive much attention might tell a property manager one of two things: 1) The image hasn’t been properly optimized to reach the most amount of people, or 2) the design may not resonate with current or future tenants.

Top 3 Most Innovative Interior Design Trends for Student Housing in 2022

By keeping their finger on the pulse of what their tenants are sharing on social media, property managers will be better able to tailor their amenities to their residents’ needs and desires. The following are just three of the most innovative ways that student housing managers have capitalized on emerging interior design trends seen on social media:

  • Sustainability: Whether it’s incorporating biophilic design with live and faux plants, including ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, or offering electric vehicle parking spaces, eco-friendliness has become a top priority for student housing property managers seeking to show residents that they care about the environment.
  • Artwork: Students long for spaces that are quirky yet thoughtfully designed using murals and other eye-catching pieces from local artists. Finding ways to incorporate local art is an excellent way for student housing properties to make room for more “Instagrammable” moments.
  • Comfort: From cozy fire pits to Japandi inspired fixtures and furnishings, one of the biggest interior design trends to emerge for students is the importance of comfort. Incorporating soft textures, private gathering areas, and minimalist design cues is a must.

How Social Media Impacts the Leasing Process

Social media doesn’t just impact the way student housing property managers think about interior design. It also affects the way prospective residents experience the property before ever becoming tenants. The property’s presence on social media is often the first impression made on residents. According to recent studies, 56% of students review a community’s social media when making a decision on where to lease, citing the ability to get a better idea about what everyday life is like there.

Photos and virtual tours have become increasingly important for tenants scoping out potential properties. It is absolutely necessary for property managers to think about their social media presence as an extension of the photos and virtual tours offered through their website if they want to be competitive. This will incentivize property managers to keep up with their social media accounts while also attracting the attention of new tenants.

Keep Your Student Housing Property Trending on Social!

At SouthPark Interiors, our team understands what students want from their living spaces. From two-story slides in the apartment lobby to rooftop party lounges, our team doesn’t just build student housing properties — we create wildly popular living experiences that keep tenants happy for the long-term. Make your student housing apartment a social sensation by requesting a consultation with our interior design team today!