5 Ways to Market to Student Renters Without Pandering

Ways to appeal to younger renters in your marketing without sounding like an out-of-touch dinosaur.

jfiur thumbnailKids today, am I right? What with their Snap Chatting and Instagramming and twerking and not getting off my lawn. Are those things even cool anymore? Is it even cool to say cool anymore? I don’t know. It’s hard to keep up with all the new slang and technology out there. Which can make it really tricky when you’re trying to market your multifamily community to students. So how can you appeal to younger renters in your marketing without sounding like an out-of-touch dinosaur?

Here are a few suggestions.

Don’t force slang into your marketing copy. Are you feeling the urge to write things like “You can vape with your bae in our outside community chill zones”? Don’t. Do. That. It sounds completely ridiculous. Students will know you’re pandering, and they can smell your desperation. It’s great to take a more relaxed tone when you’re marketing to students to show it’s not the same old stodgy housing, but don’t force anything. You don’t want your copy to look like Millennial Mad Libs.fellow kids

When you do use slang, use it correctly. It just takes a quick search check if you’re using the right word or phrase. Even better, just ask someone in that age range if they would say something like that. If not, get rid of it. (What are students good for, if not market research?)

Have a student ambassador. Speaking of asking someone in your target demographic for help, it could be great to have a student ambassador to help with your marketing. You can ask them what they are looking for in an apartment community, what amenities are deal breakers, and what they like in your apartment. You can also ask them to help spread the word about your community using social media and word of mouth. That way you get an organic, grass-roots, viral campaign, which I’m told are all things students like.

Focus on what you have. Do you have a swimming pool, in-unit washing machines and free Wi-Fi? Students care about those things way more than something trendy. Use a lot of images and videos in your marketing. A picture is worth a thousand words, and all that. Sell what you have, not just an image you want to project.

Don’t forget the parents. Remember, for a lot of student-housing properties, the parents are usually the ones paying the rent, so they’ll usually have the final, or at least some, say. Make sure you’re not turning them off. Don’t just focus on looking cool, but also highlight important aspects that they’re looking for, such as an easy-to-pay rent system, a doorman, areas that could be used to study, etc.

What are some other ways to market to students without pandering?

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor