How Can UK Student Housing Services Use Email Campaigns to Communicate With Potential Tenants?

11 June 2024

With the increasing demand for student accommodation in the United Kingdom, particularly in university-centric cities like London, housing services need to find efficient and reliable ways to communicate with potential tenants. One method that can assist in achieving this is the use of email campaigns. Through these campaigns, both landlords and property managers can reach out to prospective tenants, provide information about available rental properties and importantly, establish a lasting relationship. This article will go into depth about how such email campaigns can be used to effectively connect with the student population.

Understanding the Student Tenant

Before launching an email campaign, it's critical to understand the target demographic well. In this case, we are focusing on students – a group with distinct needs and preferences.

Students, particularly those moving away from home for the first time, are seeking more than just a place to live. They want an environment conducive to both study and social activities. In addition to this, they favour locations close to their university campus and amenities that are aligned with their lifestyle needs.

Given the varying needs and wants of students, it's essential that communication is informative and appealing. But, how can you make sure your email will cut through and resonate with students? Tailoring your message to this demographic is the answer. Emphasise the property's proximity to the university, show students how living there will enhance their university experience and remember to inform them about the local amenities they will have access to.

Crafting the Perfect Email

Once you've familiarised yourself with the student psyche, it's time to craft the perfect marketing email for your property.

The subject line of your email is the first thing potential tenants will see, so it needs to be interesting and enticing. Something like "Your Perfect Student Home - Just 5 Minutes from [University Name]" is specific, informative, and engaging.

The body of the email should be equally engaging. Use clear, simple language to describe the property and its features. Include high-quality images or even a short video tour. This visual content can help students imagine themselves living in the accommodation, thereby increasing their interest in the property.

Remember to include all necessary details about the property such as rent, tenancy agreement terms, and contact information. This transparency will make students feel more comfortable and willing to take the next step in the rental process.

Utilising Segmentation and Personalisation

Email campaigns can be made more effective through segmentation and personalisation.

Segmentation involves dividing your email list into different categories or segments. This could be based on university, year of study, or rental budget. By segmenting your email list, you can send more targeted emails that resonate with specific groups of students.

Personalisation is another powerful tool. This involves using the recipient's name in the email and tailoring the content to their preferences or needs. For example, if you know a student is studying at a certain university, you could highlight properties near that institution. This level of personalisation can make students feel valued and more likely to engage with the email.

Leveraging Automation and Follow-ups

Automation can greatly reduce the time and effort required to manage an email campaign. With various email marketing tools available, you can schedule emails to be sent at specific times, track open rates, and even send automated follow-up emails to those who have shown interest in a property.

Follow-ups are crucial in converting interest into a rental agreement. If a student has opened your email or clicked on a property, a follow-up email could be the push they need to contact the landlord or property manager. This email could offer more information, a special offer, or an invitation to view the property.

Measuring Success

Finally, it's important to measure the success of your email campaigns. This can be done by tracking metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. These metrics can provide valuable insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to refine your approach and improve your results over time.

Remember, the end goal is not just to rent properties, but to build relationships with students that will lead to long-term tenancies and word-of-mouth referrals. By using email campaigns effectively, student housing services can reach this goal while also providing a valuable service to the student community.

Maximising Social Media Integration

In today's digital age, integrating social media with email campaigns can offer a significant boost to your outreach efforts. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are widely used by students, making them crucial channels to reach your intended audience.

Starting with Facebook, housing services can enable the sign-up feature on their page to collect the emails of interested students. These email addresses can then be added to their mailing list, thereby expanding the potential tenant pool. This not only facilitates a wider reach but also enhances the effectiveness of email campaigns by reaching students where they are most active.

On Instagram, housing services can use compelling visuals of their rental properties to attract students. By linking their Instagram posts to their sign-up page, they can guide interested students to join their mailing list. Strategic use of popular hashtags relevant to student accommodation or university life can also help in catching the attention of potential tenants.

Then, there's Twitter. A well-crafted tweet about a property can pique students' interest. Including a link to the sign-up page for the email list can facilitate the growth of the mailing list.

Moreover, integrating social media share buttons in your email campaigns can allow your recipients to easily share the information with their peers. This not only amplifies the reach of your campaign but can also lead to word-of-mouth referrals, enhancing the reputation of your student housing service.

Guiding Decision Making with Clear Policies

In order for students to make informed decisions about their accommodation, clear communication of policies related to the tenancy agreement, security deposit, and replacement tenant needs to be given.

The tenancy agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. It serves as a reference guide for students during their stay. By explaining the details of this agreement in simple, understandable language, housing services can provide valuable guidance to students, encouraging them to consider the property as their next home.

Issues related to the security deposit can often lead to disputes. Therefore, it's crucial to set clear expectations from the beginning. Housing services should explicitly state the cost of the deposit, the conditions under which it will be returned, and the process for claiming it back. Providing this information can help in mitigating future conflicts and creating a more harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

When a student leaves before the end of the tenancy agreement, a replacement tenant may need to be found. Housing services should outline their policy on this matter, including who is responsible for finding a replacement and any fees associated. Clear communication of these policies can guide students' decision making and foster a sense of trust and transparency.

Conclusion

In essence, to effectively use email campaigns in communicating with potential tenants, UK student housing services must understand their target demographic, craft engaging and informative emails, utilise segmentation and personalisation, leverage automation and follow-ups, and measure success. By integrating social media and maintaining clear communication about policies, student housing services can reach more potential tenants and help students make informed decisions about their accommodation needs. Through these efforts, landlords and letting agents can build lasting relationships that not only fill their properties but also contribute positively to the student community.