Fall and spring may be considered THE prime times to market to students, however a summer strategy can be a hidden gem when it comes to filling student housing properties.
You might be thinking, “That doesn’t make sense, students LEAVE campus for the summer.” At first, summer marketing seems counterintuitive. Most students have signed leases for the next school year, those who haven’t might be less inclined to make decisions without physically being with their potential roommates, etc, etc. However, when you dig a little deeper, summer marketing can turn these red flags green.
#1 Location, Location, Location!
It’s true: the vast majority of students leave campus once they’ve wrapped up finals week. College campuses tend to look a lot like a ghost town once students vacate for vacations, internships, or time with their families.
Digital marketing becomes critical because in-person interaction can be difficult to come by during the summer. The golden ticket is Device ID (DID) Targeting. Whether they are on a beach or on the job, this digital marketing strategy ensures you reach the same students you might connect with during a welcome week campus event.
#2 Who Makes The Final Call?
More likely than not, students will be staying with family or visiting family over their break. Students who receive financial support from their parents or grandparents often have to consult with their families when making a leasing decision. Summer is the perfect time to reach both parties, spark the conversation, and help them come to a decision while they are together.
#3 Roommates, Right?
Students are in constant communication with each other – even after parting ways for the summer. Not only do Instagram and TikTok support long-distance friendships, potential roommates jump in and out of the decision-making process throughout their everyday conversations on social media. Plus, they tend to travel in packs. If you get one, you might get more.
Social media marketing reaches students where they spend their leisure time and provides them with an easy avenue for sharing exciting opportunities with their peers. Students can and will DM an ad on Instagram or chat a Snapchat ad to their future roommates, especially if the ads are authentic and entertaining. Even if a student who has signed a lease sees your ad – they probably know someone who is still looking for a place to live and can pass along the recommendation.
All of this expands the reach of your ads and increases the likelihood of converting each impression into a signed lease.
#4 Don’t You…Forget About Me!
Most student housing properties forgo summer marketing due to the lack of students on campus. However this shortsightedness neglects the students who do stay on campus.
A summer marketing strategy opens the door for you to stand out among your competitors. Even doing an event once every two weeks or so engages the students still on campus – and increases your impressions. If you are the only property making an effort to talk to these students over this critical three month span, you’ll look like a unicorn in their eyes.
Focusing your target audience on students who may have irregular leasing schedules can be the key to your lease-up success. Making a point to connect with students taking a summer class, participating in an internship program, or athletes in summer training can help make sure they think of your property when their short term leases start to come to a close.
In short: Effective summer marketing takes into account where students are, who they are with, and how they come to a decision about where they are living.
Digital marketing with channel efficiency and detailed targeting (Device ID!), alongside strategic in-person connections can lead to a full roster of tenants in the fall.
Summer is fast approaching – put the right gears in motion for a successful – and cost-effective – targeted marketing campaign for your student housing property today. Contact your rep at The Black Sheep or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.Device ID Targeting, digital marketing, social media marketing, student housing, summer marketing