How Students are Renting in Today’s Market
Hannah Taylor

Hannah Taylor

The past year has seen huge disruption to the lives of university students up and down the country. Despite the turbulence, demand for student housing will inevitably continue, with students requiring safe, affordable accommodation for the upcoming academic year.

The past year has seen huge disruption to the lives of university students up and down the country. Despite the turbulence, demand for student housing will inevitably continue, with students requiring safe, affordable accommodation for the upcoming academic year.

In a short survey, we asked students about two key areas critical to their rental experience; how they discover accommodation and how they manage their bills once inside their student homes.

Where do they discover potential rental properties?

When asked how they found out about their letting agent or property before signing the contract for their last student house, almost two-thirds of respondents reported that a friend’s referral pointed them in the right direction.

This was followed by one fifth saying they took it upon themselves to scout out local letting agents via Goole Search. Interestingly, only 14% said they found a property on an aggregator site like Rightmove, Zoopla or Sturents. Despite much of the broader property market revolving around these popular sites, the student market has carved its own path.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, students lean on their university communities when searching for homes. This implies they are likely more trusting of a referral from a friend or an acquaintance than an agency they haven’t had any previous contact with. 

 

 

 

Do they have a preference for two-way referral schemes?

It would be wise for agencies to offer incentives for referrals to maximise on this trend and to build connections and trust within student communities.

Participants revealed a preference for referral schemes that benefit both parties, with 92% of students surveyed saying they’d prefer a referral method that provides an equal reward for both them and their friend, compared to only the referer getting compensation.

Many students struggle to make ends meet while studying, and a discount code for a top student brand can go a long way. Unsurprisingly, less than 10% would rather referral schemes benefited only the referrer, revealing a desire to help out their cash-strapped social circle.

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