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How Landlords & Letting Agents Play a Big Part In The Experience of a Student
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How Landlords & Letting Agents Play a Big Part In The Experience of a Student

Written by Sam | May 11, 2020

In recent events, it is now apparently more than ever that letting agents and landlords play an integral role when it comes to student happiness at university. How does this affect a student looking for a place to stay?  

The Designing Part 

It all starts when they are creating a space for the student to live in. Is it well designed, easy to understand & follow processes, clean design, and yet inspiring? They all sound a bit up in the air and like a load of nonsense, however, when you see the difference between someone who has changed a house into an HMO to someone who has created an HMO. They are very different.  

If you change the house, it is likely they change the front room into a bedroom. They will literally, just put a bed in it. Other traits you might see: 

  • Plain walls 
  • Basic furniture 
  • Standard fixtures and fittings – desks and wardrobes for an example 
  • Limited creativity 

If you compare that with a letting agent or landlord that creates something in each house, ti will look like: 

  • Fresh & colourful – they will have something on the walls other than paint 
  • The rooms are designed to suit students without neglecting anything  
  • Interesting fittings – For example light fittings 
  • Usually good bedroom spaces and desks 

 After the design they need to hit some of the key feature parts in order to make it a true success, some are harder to hit than others but some of the top ones are; 

  • Location  
  • Wifi 

This is no surprise because when there is a group, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to watch something and it being really slow and then remembering you are 10 miles out of town and need to get to uni. However, that might change if you read our blog about the future of university 

We did a full-blown review on what influences students when choosing student accommodation, we did an article and a video on it so you can see what to look out for!

The Processes 

If a student wants the house it is then about what processes they have and what they do while you are living them. Everyone has been subject to slow and painful processes at some point in life and it is not enjoyable, it is the same across all sectors.  

A provider’s processes show the student and parent how much depth they have to their business. What I mean by depth, it is that they have thought about the experience, tested, tweaked, and reviewed again. It shows that the provider has thought about more than the money they will earn by having students in the house.  

In this time during COVID-19, there are some agents that have communicated with students and parents well and even though it might not be what the student or parent wants to hear, however, they are still communicating.  

The Caring Part 

In a standard student year, letting agents, landlords and other providers can do a lot to create this experience, they can check up on you, have very good customer service, run social events, give gifts at Christmas, offer discounts and run competitions. Each provider will have their own little twist on what experience they create and this will form part of their brand.   

When looking for student accommodation, this is one of the biggest parts because this is how they will treat you. A classic example and one thing that puts a lot of students off is: 

The length of time it takes to get repairs done.  

There is legislation around this and they are split in to different categories and providers will do their hardest to repair it as quick as they can, however some won’t or have other priorities.  

This is part of caring and customer service; most are happy if you can give a date and then stick to that date. If it changes, there needs to be a reason and the student(s) need to be told.  

Inspections & viewings, this comes under the caring part as a big gripe. Why because many give short notice for viewings and they may be not be expecting one. Inspections you have to give 24 hours legally, however if they are scheduled, students are likely to forget. Send a reminder WhatsApp to the house and then they can all be there.  

The Why Part 

Students should be able to go into the rented sector knowing what a good landlord looks like and what a good quality house is. They shouldn’t have this perception that every landlord is just out for rent.

A student home is a place where they can feel safe, secure, trusted and not judged. Why? Because, if a student has a bad day, then they have to go back to a house that is always freezing, or the shower doesn’t work, the locks are dodgy and they don’t feel safe, they can never relax! They don’t have a space where they can just be themselves, pick themselves up again and go again tomorrow in the process of bettering themselves.

Student accommodation providers, provide these safe spaces for student to be able to gather their thoughts and this is why if you end up in bad accommodation, you will never truly relax and feel at home and when you move into the graduate side of renting, we don’t want you to have bad perceptions of that side as well.

There are some great spaces and rooms out there for students and graduates and we can really make their experience at university one to remember by providing a safe space with a truly amazing experience!

Make sure you get a good house, we recently shot a video on How To Spot a Good Student House

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