Today’s student is excited to be back on campus after spending time learning remotely for the past year, but has different expectations for what they are looking for in their next off-campus apartment. Students want to live in a community that reflects their social and cultural values and has the amenities and technology they need to study and connect with friends. Incorporating a few of these trends into your student housing communities is a great way to stand out from your competitors and be the place students want to live this school year and for years to come.
Here are a few of the top student housing trends that students are looking for in for 2021.
Today’s students are more tech-savvy than ever. After spending over a year on Zoom, many students have gotten accustomed to online learning and many will elect to continue taking virtual classes even after schools return to campus. Even those attending in-person will still use streaming platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime for group projects, study sessions and just connecting with friends who live elsewhere.
Students expect to live in a place with high speed internet so they can attend their online meetings without skipping a beat. They also are looking for places to study with upgraded technology and amenities to support these platforms, including streaming and screen sharing capabilities, as well as private sound-reducing pods or rooms to collaborate with their peers. Outside of their studies, students are also drawn to smart technology and apps in their apartment units that can control lighting, thermostats, and the entry to their units for added security.
Dynamic community spaces
Beyond just their studies, college students are hoping to build new friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Designated community spaces are important for residents to gather with their peers and also for property staff to have areas to host property events. Additionally, they seek communities that have both indoor and outdoor amenity areas that are designed for both organic and planned gatherings.
Traditionally, college students lived and gathered with multiple roommates and peers. However, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s student prefers the option to have more space and privacy. Instead of multiple large, open gathering spaces, today’s student prefers to have both the option to gather in a large open space and the option to study or lounge in a private area away from the crowds of people. Students today also prefer living spaces with fewer roommates or even studio apartments. Providing these options for students is crucial to leasing out your apartment units.
Fewer students are choosing to bring cars to campus as they are opting to use public transportation, bikes or ride share services when they can’t easily walk to the grocery store, a friend’s apartment, or a restaurant. Because of this shift in transportation preferences, students need spaces to store, repair, or charge their bicycles, e-bikes, and electric scooters.
Adding amenities such as locking bike storage, charging stations, and bike repair equipment will separate your housing community from the competition, and it also shows you are adapting to the new forms of transportation that students prefer to use.
As more and more students have lived at home and choose to live off campus, your student housing apartment or dormitory will need to have unique and fun amenities to attract students. Students are looking for amenities and services that will make their lives easier. They want to live in places that not only provide now standard amenities such as outdoor grills and kitchens, laundry and dry-cleaning services, pet wash stations, fitness centers that provide classes, but unique amenity areas like video gaming centers, podcasting or recording studios, and areas for creating the perfect Instagram or TikTok.
Adding unique amenities to your space will create an environment that will set you apart from the competition and become the favorite place for students to live.
Innovative and Functional Design
College is the first time many young adults live away from their childhood home for an extended period of time, and these students are looking for spaces that feel both luxurious and familiar. Many students associate college living with unattractive and cold spaces and old unit furniture. Creating student living spaces with modern and functional furniture and vibrantly designed spaces helps make your college student feel at home in their student housing community.