By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer
Houston–Off-campus residential life will never be the same. Asset Campus Housing is breaking new ground in the student housing world by introducing the very first student-housing iPhone application, which, when it makes its debut on January 1, will revolutionize the leasing process for those searching for and living in student apartment properties.
The smartphone is fast becoming a ubiquitous communications device and ACH is not ignoring the technological evolution. “We manage a portfolio of over 50 student-housing properties across the country, so we visit college campuses all the time, and whether it’s a student, staff member or visitor, they are all playing with their phone,” Joe Goodwin, ACH director of marketing, tells MHN.
Developing a new app is practically commonplace, but developing one specifically for student housing is, well, revolutionary. It makes a lot of sense, but ACH is the first to pick up the ball and run with it. “It’s something we’ve talked about for a while,” he says. “It’s been in development for six months and to us, it was a no-brainer.”
The company’s new tool will serve as a portal for prospective renters, as well as for current residents. For students on the hunt for housing, the app simplifies the process by serving as a singular source for ACH property photos, floor plans, rental rates, interactive maps, contact details and information on the company. “Parents will use it, too. Instead of students calling them and telling them they want to live in a certain place and it’s really nice, they can just have their parents download the app.” The app, which is also compatible with iPad, will be available for downloading free of charge from the iTunes Store.
For current tenants, the application’s My Property page provides up-to-date news on social activities at ACH’s student housing communities and allows residents to perform such tasks as making rent payments or requesting maintenance service without sitting down at a computer or going to the building office to fill out hard paper forms. And both apartment hunters and residents can make use of the social-networking options.
ACH’s new iPhone app is just one of the company’s recent technology initiatives. This year brought the launch of a new SMS text messaging system and a new online survey system. “As a company, we try to stay on the cutting edge of technology,” Goodwin notes. “If we don’t, it won’t help us because our demographic is tech savvy. So if you’re not ahead, you’re falling behind.”