In most cases, the needs of tenants will influence what amenities are on offer in residential buildings. If tenants are asking for a workout room or more outside space, property managers will find a way to make these requests a reality.
It’s very much the same for student accommodation facilities. If enough students put in a reasonable request, PBSA developers and operators take it under consideration.
After all, the better equipped a property is to serve students, the more likely it is that they’ll stay in their accommodation for the duration of their course. When you take a Masters degree into consideration, a student has the potential to be a tenant in one property for five years.
Delivering on what students want and need from PBSA is the key to having them stay as long-term residents. We discuss what student accommodation facilities are important and why.
One of the key highlights for students leaving home is the opportunity to interact and socialise with others from all walks of life. According to Knight Frank and UCAS, 86% of first-year students revealed that making friends was an important factor. However, 65% of 18-24 year olds also admitted feeling uncomfortable when initiating conversations with strangers in a recent YouGov poll.
Young people at university want to make friends, but they need support to help carry them through the awkward first steps. This is why social spaces are some of the most important student accommodation facilities you can offer. Popular social areas can include:
- Games room
- Communal kitchen
- On-site bars, restaurants & cafes
- Event space
Ensuring students have a greater social aspect to university improves their wellbeing, and can also stop them from feeling alone and wanting to drop out.
Even in pre-COVID times, students would need somewhere in their accommodation where they could study either by themselves or as part of a larger group. With the virus still playing havoc in the UK, dedicated study areas are arguably more important than ever.
Having a separate section devoted to learning helps students keep their personal lives and university lives apart. As anyone working from home can tell you, it’s not an easy task keeping your personal and professional life separate when your workstation is also in your bedroom.
Not only does a study space help create a level of separation, it can help students concentrate as well. In the right environment, there are very few distractions that can take away the students’ concentration, meaning they can focus on their work without having ‘Lorraine’ or ‘Bargain Hunt’ on in the background.
Security services are very important student accommodation facilities in PBSA. Knight Frank and UCAS discovered 45% of students want 24-hour security and would also be willing to pay a rental premium for it.
And it’s not just students that have security in mind. In the case of international students studying in the UK, 1 in 6 will have their accommodation paid for by their parents or wider family, and they are rarely willing to cover the costs if they think their child’s safety could be compromised.
In order to reassure students and parents, your security services need to meet a very high standard. Some ways you can provide that extra level of security can include:
- A 24-hour on site team
- CCTV in corridors and communal areas
- Access codes or keyfobs that keep out non-residents
- A receptionist or concierge at the entrance
Keeping track of any security complaints can also help you identify any problem areas that require immediate attention.
For example, if security guards are handling a considerable amount of anti-social complaints, data can help you take the next steps, whether that’s keeping a security guard assigned to one floor between certain hours or installing additional cameras to cover blind spots in communal areas.
Security is an expensive asset, but a reporting system makes it easy to plan where resources should be spent, meaning money is going towards the right places to keep students safe and happy.
Parcel Collection Services
Students spend a lot of their time ordering items online. They might be purchasing new bedding or decorative pieces to give their rooms a more personal touch — this is especially true at the start of the academic year when they’re still settling in. Some students will also be buying textbooks and necessary supplies for their courses, such as art canvases, tools or a laptop.
Or maybe many of them just want to have the new PS5 or Xbox Series X in their rooms.
What they’re ordering doesn’t matter, but the fact that hundreds of students in one residential building buy bulky items online is the key takeaway. Parcels could arrive when the students are in lectures, seminars, while they’re out working or when they’re enjoying some free time. This means there could be no one around to collect the deliveries for several students.
Having a parcel room in your PBSA gives students peace of mind. They can order any items they want or need, knowing the courier has a safe place to store the delivery.
Parcel rooms also remove a lot of hassle for front of house teams who accept deliveries. Packages can be logged in easily and kept out of the way so they don’t clutter up the entrance area.
As a service that provides huge benefits for students and PBSA staff, a parcel collection and storage solution can keep everyone happy. This even includes couriers who will achieve a 100% delivery rate every time they drop a package off at your building.
What Student Accommodation Facilities Are Wrongly Overlooked?
Life can be pretty tough for students. The fact that PBSA operators and developers are always looking for a way to make things easier for them shows true dedication to the job.
However, social spaces and study areas are common traits throughout the PBSA sector. These are expected by students. What they don’t normally see when viewing accommodation is a parcel room or any type of dedicated delivery collection service.
Even if your building doesn’t have space for a purpose-built package room, the technology used to log parcels in still provides a much-needed service throughout the student accommodation sector. Take a look at PSP Lite for more information. You may even qualify for a free two-month trial period.
Focusing on unexpected but useful student accommodation facilities shows you’ve put a lot of thought into making your building work for the students. If you would like to discuss how a parcel room will add greater benefits and value in your PBSA, please make sure to get in contact.