STUDENT HOUSING TIP - PARENTS NEED LOVE TOO
Up Your Parent Game
Think of the many parents that just dropped their kiddo(s) off to college. For some, it may have been their very first time and the nerves are extra heightened and for others, they’re seasoned pros and the drop off process was a breeze.
Regardless if they’re newbies or seasoned pros, this is an “untapped” demographic that you can capitalize on. Start to cater to your parent customer experience just as much as you are the student customer experience and watch your results change.
Things to Consider:
1. Add a “Parent Resource” Page to Your Website
What to include on this page:
FAQs from other parents
Resources for them - Food and local delivery apps
Local florist & gift shops (delivery care packages) - Delivery instructions for care packages, food, etc.
University Schedule - Highlight midterms, finals, important dates
Grocery stores, gas stations, etc.
2. Create a Private Parent Facebook Group
Create a “Private” Facebook Group that can be available to parents (lease guarantors) that want to participate and join. This will likely be most popular for parents of freshman but I have seen parents of higher classification college students participate as well.
You will want an ADMIN (this can be a Community Assistant or someone else that helps out with social media efforts on the onsite team) to manage adding and removing group members.
Confirm that each participant is on the lease as a lease guarantor or something that formally confirms they belong in the group.
This is a resource page that will not provide any confidential information however, I do not recommend just letting in random people that don’t have a tie to the community.
Provide ongoing content to the parents that are relevant to their child’s student experience on a frequency you’re comfortable with and can manage - (videos, posts, memes, and Facebook Lives work great).
Here’s an example, let’s say midterms are coming up. 2 weeks before midterms inform parents that midterms are coming up and provide articles and best practices content for midterm prep.
You can also have some of your CA’s that are further along in their academic career film short videos on some of the tips that helped them out during their first round of college midterms.
This takes a little bit of planning but the parents LOVE it and helps with renewals!
3. Communicate with your parents via email
Send your parents a monthly newsletter or email of updates of what’s going on at the community.
What to include in your newsletter or emails:
Welcome video from the manager or the team
Pictures of staff
Pictures of community events
Any key updates / improvements coming to the community
Provide a resource: Pick a topic that would be helpful for them
The Private Facebook Group like for them to easily join
Check out some of Sprout’s newsletter resources below. You can find many more in the catalog by changing your Format to: Calendars and Newsletters
Go to the gallery and narrow your Design Purpose to CALENDAR to browse for more designs.
4. Communicate With Your Parents Via Direct Mail Once a Quarter
If budget doesn’t allow for four times a year, plan for at least once a year particularly during the holidays so you can piggy back a renewal attempt.
Check out some of Sprout’s renewal notices below. You can find many more in the catalog by changing your Design Purpose to: Renewals.
Go to the gallery and narrow your Design Purpose to RENEWALS to browse for more designs.
5. Build a Parent Testimonial Library
Start gathering testimonials that come in from email responses, the Private Facebook Group, etc. from your parents.
You can never have too many testimonials
Consider any compliment a testimonial opportunity
Look for responses that come with complements such as “thank you so much this information has been so helpful to me”
When you see a compliment, ask for permission to use their note as a testimonial and pop it in your marketing material. Before too long, you’ll have a library full of complements putting many other parents at ease.
Sprinkle your testimonials in all of your marketing - Website, fliers, posters, social media, etc.