Student Housing

  • There was a time when student housing either meant living in dormitory on campus, or anearby apartment in town. On-campus housing was often extremely basic, sparse and cramped, while off-campus housing was often a poorly maintained apartment shared with several roommates. In both cases, attitudes about student housing were pretty much the same: students didn’t care much about where they lived and they weren’t going to take very good care of their living quarters because the whole student housing experience was just a temporary situation.
  • Today’s student housing properties are far removed from the lifestyle immortalized in the classic movie Animal House. But that doesn’t mean student living quarters are just like conventional apartment communities. In fact, multifamily professionals are often surprised by the differences and some would say, much more challenging. Many of those challenges involve the school calendar, for example, unlike conventional communities, where move-ins occur throughout the year, student housing properties have to align with the new school term. For many, leases typically start either May 1st or September 1st and have terms of 12 months, or having all residents for a building move-in the same day presents operational challenges.
  • That single move-in date affects not only leasing, but also the make-ready process and resident check-in. The effort involved in getting units ready for move-in is gargantuan. Of course, the same challenge presents itself at move-out. Also, the student housing market typically has over 50% tenant turnover year over year.
  • Making the move-in and move-out process something that needs to be fast, efficient, reliable and flawless – this is something Evolutix can really help with. From issuing electronic keys for access to apartments and storage lockers and parking passes for students moving in, to revoking access for those systems for students who are moving out. And so much more.
  • The challenges that make student housing unique, also present unique opportunities. For example, during school breaks, the EvoPad can program all the energy consuming equipment including heating and air conditioning etc., for apartments that are not occupied, to go into deep-setback and save a lot of energy. Whenstudents return, everything is back to normal.
  • All the large Student Housing operators have programs to help students once they get settled, to turn their attention to making sure their new residents are engaged—with the university, fellow students, and the community.“When your residents have some buy-in to the community, they’re much less likely to be disruptive,” says Matt Fulton, vice president of operations for EdR. (
  • There are few better tools to engage with students than their mobile device. EvoPad can be downloaded onto a student’s mobile device and it’s a source of information about the building, the campus, the community, the city and much more. It’s also a tool, that can be customized for the Student Housing operator, so when the students arrive, they receive a link to an app that they download to their mobile device(s) that grants them access to everything they’re eligible for and is a treasure trove of other features and benefits.
  • “I always tell people that a student housing property is really an extended-stay hotel that’s run like a cruise ship. We have a big focus on student lifestyle and experience, and we run a very hospitality-­oriented operation. In fact, we don’t hire [team members] from the apartment industry—we hire out of the lodging sector.”

    Ted ¬Rollins
    Co-chairman and CEO
    Campus Crest Communities
    Students who have a positive housing experience are also more likely to graduate and have higher GPAs. We try to help them enhance their college experience, and that’s where resident-life programming comes in. It’s geared toward getting students involved.”Oltersdorf acknowledges that many conventional apartment communities regularly host events, but most of them are centered on resident retention. “Of course, we want to retain our residents, but our programming goes beyond retention to giving them skills they need to be successful.”Campus Advantage offers several areas of programming, including social events, life-skills training, academic support, and civic and community engagement. “We host résumé workshops, study groups, and financial-success seminars,” Oltersdorf says. “We also collaborate with the universities for a variety of programs.”

    Dan Oltersdorf
    Vice President of Resident Life
    Campus Advantage
    “When your residents have some buy-in to the community, they’re much less likely to be disruptive.

    Matt Fulton
    Vice President of Operations

  • Amenities: parents who went to college 30 years ago may now be surprised to find modern off-campus student housing that offers everything from tanning salons to spas, retail shops, and 24-hour fitness centers. Each project seems to add a new amenity to attract student tenants. In addition to indoor TV lounges, students now look for pools and barbecue areas for outdoor socializing. Simple Wi-Fi access isn’t enough — there needs to be lightning-fast Wi-Fi in the units and throughout the property. And while students want the opportunity to gather and socialize, they also want some privacy — their own bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Student housing is now often privately owned, off-campus, and purpose-built. The typical unit configuration is a suite with common space for living and cooking and private bedrooms, each with dedicated bathroom. Most properties offer furnished units that rent by the bed with parental guarantees. Utilities are included and leases are typically for 12 months.
  • Most student housing projects have three- and four-bedroom suites to maximize returns for the developers and options for the students. For many universities, privately owned student housing resolves the need to have competitive housing without accessing scarce financial resources.
  • Answering to Mom and Dad“Smart student housing owners and operators go out of their way to interact with parents. More important, they never forget that parents are entrusting their children to their care”, says David Adelman, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Campus Apartments, developers, owners, and managers of student housing, with more than 32,000 beds in 24 states. “That’s why our business is even more focused on safety and security,” Adelman says.
  • The EcoSmart products and the Vertilinc solution have gone through an excruciatingly detailed, elaborate and exhaustive certification processes for the largest lock systems manufacturers in the world and has approved and ready integrations to (KABAIlco, and AssaAbloy (VingcardElsafe), and Salto). Since all these systems are already fully integrated, there are a host of benefits for the whole move-in and move-out process but this can also be used by Student Housing operators to offer information about the wellbeing of the students that could be used to engage with parents.
  • Proven Solution in Student HousingEcoSmart has been deployed in tens of thousands of student housing residences across the country, including nearly 7000 dorm rooms at New York University, most dorms at UC Davis, University of North Carolina, several dorms at Columbia University, MIT, University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin Oskosh and many more.
  • “I think the old attitude was that you had to deal with parents and the new attitude is to channel the energy instead of blocking it … to find new ways to communicate with parents and capture their attention, because they’re now shadow residents in our properties.”

    Dan Oltersdorf
    Vice President of Resident Life
    Campus Advantage
  • Green & Sustainability: eco-friendly features and construction are important to students and investors alike. Many investors appreciate green features because they lower the future risk of non-compliance with more stringent environmental codes expected in the coming years. Developers have responded by building housing that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards. Evolutix energy management solutions complement the LEED rating system in the following categories:
  • Like other living environments, Student Housing facilities are vacant a great deal of the time. The percentages depend largely on the number of students who share the apartment, but savings in the range of 20% to 45% are common. For most student apartments, HVAC, Appliances and Lighting costs represent the largest uncontrolled operating expenses, but they don't need to be, if you have an EcoSmart intelligent energy management system.
  • The EcoSmart intelligent automation platform allows Evolutix to develop and deploy targeted solutions that dramatically reduce energy consumption, improve operation efficiency with truly measurable results and create a more luxurious customer experience.
  • “Not only are we committed to ambitious goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the campus is on track to be 40% larger by 2031, so we need to do everything we can to save every penny. Reducing energy costs with, EcoSmartenergy management technology, provided NYU with an option we could implement immediately. At this point, NYU is well on its way to meeting our carbon reduction goals and becoming a leader in energy reduction not only for the city of New York, but also as a model for urban areas and universities all over the world.”

    Dianne Anderson
    Sustainable Resources Manager
    New York University

Value for the Student Resident:
  • Monitor & Control: Opportunity for full control of absolutely everything they need to enjoy a modern, independent and self-determined life, Control the TV, temperature, ventilation levels, lights, draperies and shades from EvoPad or other mobile device. Geolocation services can be enabled to change systems back to “home” when student approaches building.
  • Information: Information about the community, the property, residents, guests, pets, vehicles, etc.
  • Valet: Request car. Request transportation services (taxi, limo, etc.). Luggage or assistance with groceries or other car services (wash, wax, detailing, etc.).
  • Concierge & Vendor Services: Coordinate requests for services (eg. in-house concierge or approved service providers (eg. dog walking, housekeeping, dry cleaning, laundry, window-washing, pest control, reservations, or car service.). Schedule massages, shoe polishing, and other personal services. Request and schedule cleaning and at-home services for residence. Receive message about received packages and give instructions on what to do with I (bring to unit, put in locker, etc.)
  • Community: Classifieds, Planned Maintenance, Gate Security, Community Phone Book/ Messaging.
  • Activities & Facilities: View activities provided in and around your building such as classes, workshops, Dancing Entertainment, Field Trips, Fitness, Karaoke, Outdoor excursions, and Current and upcoming special events. Schedule amenities such as tennis courts, racquetball courts, Spa sessions, golf, etc.!
Benefits for Owner
  • Increased Revenue: Revenues increase from uptake in revenue producing services, and used responsibly, the platform offers potential for advertising and promotion.
  • Reduced Operating Costs: Reduction in operating costs from energy savings, reduced downtime, improved system efficiency, data, tools and information to streamline staff and much more.
  • Increased Property Value: Increased Net Operating Income from increased revenue and decreased operating expenses.
  • Happy Residents: Residents feel self-empowered. Engaged Residents and Staff.
  • Happy Staff: Staff receives data which helps them be more productive and effective.
  • Reduced Injuries and frustration: Of residents and staff, reaching for cords to open/close curtains or to plug in lamps, confusion about which lamp switch controls which lamps.
Benefits for Property Management
  • Front Desk: Log-in visitors, guests and issue special permissions. Key management for resident keys and property keys. View resident and tenant information.Receive valet requests. Create incident reports. Have a common shift-notes section for information pertinent to various shifts.
  • Receiving Department: Package Logging and automatic resident notifications. Contractor Check in and Badging (with vendor management). Move-in Schedule management.
  • Maintenance & Support: Maintenance Service Requests & Reports. Recurring Tasks / Preventative Maintenance (mobile) app. Work Order Management. Inventory Control.
  • Property Management Company: Integration into popular accounting systems. Complete private-label solution to complement corporate identity. Simple training across departments with unified platform for maintenance, access control, management, concierge services, amenities administration and more.
  • Resident HOA Management: Resident/Tenant/Owner Information. Automated Email, fax or SMS Notifications. Store resident documents (E-File). Prepare and send notifications and violations via email, fax or mail.
  • Administration: Maintain Resident/Tenant/Owner Database. Communicate via email, fax, message board, or SMS any events or activities throughout the property or in other facilities. Manage violations, escalations and fines. Accept credit card payments locally for FOBs, ID cards, parking spaces, etc. Manage the digital message board right from the administration console. Post maintenance schedules or other important information in electronic calendar. Manage facility reservations, accept payments for cleaning, rental & other fees. Complete history and audit trails for all activity.