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Connecting to The “Invisible” Student Renter

By: Shad Bookout

Invisible Student 2Last week, the team at PackageLog ran an interesting article talking about the “invisible residents” at apartment communities. The article touched on a very meaningful message that is often forgotten in the world of conventional apartments: communication and meaningful connection to your residents. Whereas the same theory can be applied to the student housing market, it has a different set of challenges that must be overcome. The needs of student renters can be different from those of conventional apartments. In order to learn more, we interviewed two of best minds in today’s student housing industry:

(BK) Brianne Kocher, Marketing Director for the Collier Companies, previously managed two separate student housing communities.

(CS) Chelsea Seidman, National Director of Client Services for The Postal Solutions Companies, has also previously managed two separate student housing communities. In addition, she served as a regional manager for Inland American Communities.-

QUESTION:  What percentage of a student housing community’s residents are the above described “invisible” residents?

Invisible Student 4(BK) Hopefully, you (and your on-site team) have built a relationship with the students from the beginning. But you do have to remember that these are kids who just moved from home, have a new job, their classes are hard, and they are overwhelmed. Communication often becomes a big challenge, and dealing with the leasing office is nowhere near their top list of priorities. But if you have that communication built from the beginning, these items should not be an issue. It is all about the communication.

(CS)Disconnected residents are only a small portion of the student population, but they are out there. It could be that they are just more private individuals. Or, maybe it is a schedule conflict. But, because they are not engaged with you, you must make extra effort to engage with them. Because of all of the social interaction “touch points” they have as part of living there, most residents will find something that enables them to connect to the community. As time goes on and you host more and more of these events, you get used to seeing your residents. You should pay special attention to the ones whom you do not instantly recognize and try to connect with them. Make sure that they are remaining invisible by choice and not by discontentment.

QUESTION: Is it your experience that these residents typically renew their leases, or are they the “one-time-only” type of residents?

Invisible Student 5(BK) Invisible residents are more difficult to get to re-sign their leases. In many cases, you may not have built the relationship as well as you though you did. “If they do not feel that it is their home, they will not renew.” Many do not address maintenance situations throughout their time there, and what could have been a small problem became a big problem. As these challenges built, the residents became more disconnected with their apartments, making it harder and harder to break through to them. Despite how busy it gets in the office, your number one priority has to be your residents and making sure that each of them individually feels welcome.

(CS)Especially in student housing, we try to create a sense of community. “Just because they are not engaged does not always meant they are unhappy.” Part of the challenge is the diversity of the community. You have to work harder (even more so than in conventional offerings) to make sure that you are providing enough opportunity to appeal to everyone. If you succeed, you will see huge amounts of renewals because the residents are connected to the community and each other. It is the ones who do not make that connection that are the first to seek housing elsewhere.

QUESTION: How early should the process of renewal marketing begin?

Invisible Student 6(BK) Just like in conventional apartments, renewal begins at the very first contact of a prospect. It comes down to trust. You have to earn the trust of your residents and, if you fail to do so, they will not lease. Likewise, if you do not keep that trust, they will not renew. In students housing, you may even have markets where future residents are beginning to reserve apartments nearly a year out. Connecting to your resident and making sure they understand that they must decide early if they are going to renew is crucial. The personal connection of getting a phone or in- person meeting not only gives a better chance of renewals, but also gives you a chance to connect in a more meaningful way and gives you a chance to connect to the invisible residents. The “Renew Today” bandit sign that so many communities rely on can serve a good reminder but will not connect in a meaningful way. That comes down to the efforts of the leasing office.

(CS) Just like in conventional housing, first impressions are everything. But when it comes to the physical marketing for student resident renewals, the world is completely different. Your student residents will have only moved in 10-12 weeks ago when they start receiving requests for renewal. A lot of this is driven by the culture of the University starting its enrollments and on-site housing selections far in advance of freshman arrivals. The privately held student housing market has responded with trying to capture as many renewals as early as possible in order to know how much room they will have available for new student applications.

QUESTION: What recommendations do you have for student housing management teams to get active engagement from these residents?

Invisible Student 3(BK) Social media and mass email and text are always the norm. But when these fail, it falls to the property management teams to pick up the phone or visit. Today’s student renters have a very different view on relationships.

When a prospect is looking, they typically approach you in the method that they prefer connected back. But when they move in, they want a more personal connection. On-site teams often forget about this, due to the businesses of the day. They might even be more comfortable using the previously-mentioned tech methods. But it is important to change from our daily dynamic, put ourselves in the resident’s shoes, and try to connect to them. You must move from being “just a leasing person in the office” to “I am taking care of someone in their home”.

When it comes to the student residents that are invisible, having an understanding about who lives at your community, and being transparent, open, honest, and present in the moment creates an environment that will help your students want to stay because it feels like home.

(CS) Marketing campaigns are developed for the entire community. Banners, door hangers, and mailers are the first phase. As students begin to show interest and respond to these, you begin to see the ones who are missing these messages. As the renewal funnel narrows, you see more and more that there residents that you have not heard from. These may need a personalized approach to make sure they intent on renewing, or we can see if there are other things that we can assist with.

Communication is everything. It has to be an ongoing effort and the residents have to feel comfortable speaking to you and your staff, whether it is about maintenance issues, roommate issues, or anything else they may have going on. It is this level of connection that is most meaningful to the residents.

Parents are also a big factor. Many student residents may have their parents speaking for them. When concerns are being voiced, the reply must be visible to both parties in these cases. When issues are dealt with, it is important to make sure that all parties see the work so that there is no disconnection between the office, the resident, and the parent. You must be connected to the parents as much as the resident themselves. Since many parents are also on the lease as guarantors, many feel they need the same level of communication as the student residents themselves.

Final Thoughts

Junk Mail 3Many of the challenges of creating a meaningful connection to student housing residents revolve around the daily in-office struggles of time and distractions that come as part of the industry. To help you combat this, and have more time devoted to you residents, the teams at US Postal Solutions and PackageLog have created a unique line of products to help you save time, save effort, and make a greater impact on your residents. Whether it is student mail management, package management and notification, or helping create new, unique amenity offering, we are here to help you have the time and resource to better connect to your student housing residents. To learn more about how we can help you, click here.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

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Student Housing: Back and Busier Than Ever

By: Scott Pope

stress_workThe holidays were a blur. A few days ago you were sipping hot coffee relaxing under the mistletoe. Then there was that great New Year’s party. But now it is back to the grind. Your residents have returned and things seem more chaotic than ever before. Returning residents are bombarding you with a list of complaints as long as the highways that brought them back to you. New residents are stumbling around bewildered and try to jus cope with the new environment. Yes, you have only been back a few day and you already need a vacation.

Your time is at a premium. You have enough to do and so does your team. And then your little surprise arrives. Here comes the mailman with stack of bins stuffed with letters, envelopes, and other assorted mail items for your residents. In the past, people celebrated when they saw the mailman coming. But you team runs and hides because they know one of them is destined to spend the rest of the day sorting and stuffing mail into your resident’s mailboxes.

Postal BinsBut what happens, when that team member is out sick (It is flu season you know). Or what if there is a more important item(s) that need your staff’s attention. Then the mail begins to pile higher and higher taking more and more of your time and frustration. And we have not even begun with the UPS, FedEx, and other packages being delivered by the hundreds. Plus all of the phones call wondering if their delivery has arrived yet. Isn’t it time to resolve you New Year’s resolutions?

“I resolve to get back to running this apartment community and to stop dealing with mail and deliveries.”

7K0A0972This is a resolution you CAN keep. All you need to do know is to contact The Postal Solutions Companies. Our dedicated team of mail professionals have been professionally trained to take the burden of student mail off of your back. We seamlessly blend into the background and handle all of the mail duties so that you don’t have to. In addition our PackageLog package notification system will email and text your residents when their packages arrive.  The packages will be picked up quicker, they will take up less space and time, and even those annoying phone call will go away.

Don’t you owe it to yourself (and your property team) to discover how The Postal Solutions Companies can help? Use this link fill out the form and learn what we can do for you.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

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Student Housing Traditions and Experiences Topple Generic Amenities

by: Shad Bookout

Exert photo from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by Charles M. Schultz

Exert photo from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Charles M. Schultz

I love the story in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” of the little tree. As shown in the popular holiday cartoon, Charlie Brown and Linus visit a local Christmas tree purveyor that is filled with novelty trees. Rather than picking the one that has all of the flashy touches, they select a meager-looking tree. Charlie Brown is ridiculed by his peers for the selection but is convinced that it can still be a great tree with “a little love and a few Christmas ornaments.” In the end, what was once an object of skepticism becomes something to be envious of.

Charlie Brown 2The same can be said about today’s student housing offerings. For most colleges and universities across the country, the housing selections offered on or around the campus can be divided into two distinct categories: those that are brand new with all of the latest high-end amenities and those that are feeling the effects of time. With the incredible boom on new student housing construction, it is becoming more and more difficult for the aged communities to effectively compete against the flashy lifestyles that are being advertised by the new market competitors. But these challenges do not have to be the norm.

Home 4These communities have withstood the test of time for a reason. Many have become a part of the legacy and history of the university. By embracing that history, these communities can gain a competitive edge by relaying the institution’s storied history to prospective residents, who can become part of the tradition. This emotional link has a strong appeal to many of today’s students, especially upper-classmen, who are rejecting a generic cliché lifestyle in favor of a more meaningful experience.

Even if your community has a more dated look, it does not mean that all of your offerings have to be castaways from the Stone Age. Many new high-tech, high-impact amenities are available that are not only inexpensive for you to offer, but they also have dramatic appeal to all student resident demographics.  One such example is the Package Notification program from PackageLog.

Charlie Brown 3PackageLog has the ability do so much more than alert residents that they have a package in the office. It creates a unique level of communication and tailored customer service that allows your student resident to see you as more than the management team. It allows them to see you as part of their college experience. That connection is worth more than a fitness center that will be ignored by most or the other flashy amenities that often become wasted space.

Everyone gets packages delivered, whether it is from online shopping, parcels from friends and family, or items needed for their studies. Use this to your advantage to help tell a story to future residents. A story that speaks of tradition, of experience, and of student housing that truly cares about their needs.

Learn more about how you can try PackageLog for free at your student housing community, Click Here.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

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Holidays Bring Peace and Valued Questions to Student Housing Professionals

by: Shad Bookout

Season 1Breath in and let it back out again. It is finally here. Congratulations! Finals week is completed and you have survived another fall semester. Many of your student residents are busy packing up and preparing for the voyage home for holiday break. Many others are joining with friends to spend the holidays together here inside the community. A quiet hush will soon fall over the community. It will be a chance for you to decompress and begin preparations for the spring semester. So, as you unwind and enjoy the spirit of the holidays, ask yourself a few of these questions top help you set the stage for the return of your residents a short few days into the New Year.

What Will We Do To Stand Out in 2015
Photo courtesy of Time, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Time, Inc.

Let’s face it…over the course of a semester, most student housing offerings begin to look the same to students.  They share the stories (both good and bad) with each other of where they live. Roommate problems are vented and quickly the focus goes to the lifestyle they experience while living there. Wouldn’t it be great to have them talk about the unique things you offer that your competitors do not?  One great example could be how they receive text and email notifications when their package deliveries arrive at the office. In addition, they get to know through text and email all the wonderful events that happen at their community. All of these things are available to them because you have PackageLog at your community.

What Will I Do To Save More Time in 2015

Season 3The no. 1 challenge each us of faces in our jobs is the inability to get it all done. There is just not enough time in the day. Often, things have to go undone so that other tasks can be accomplished. Would you rather not have to deal with many of the distractions that plague your team on a daily basis? Resident mail and packages are one example of a task that takes up way too much time. In addition, it is expensive to self-manage mail and packages. Both take up too much time, too much space, and there is just too much liability. Your time and energy are worth so much more. Outsourcing to the professional mail mangers at US Postal Solutions will remedy these distractions and let you get back to what you do best: taking care of your residents.

What Can I Do To Be Happier in 2015

Season 4Happiness is something we all want more of at work.  For student housing professionals, it can be especially challenging at the beginning of the semester. Between the needs of the returning students, the maintenance issues that occur as your community comes back to life, and the fires you have to help your team put out, you may lose your mind before you even get to Groundhogs Day. But there are solutions out there to help you. Seek out advice and suggestions from your valued supplier and industry partners. They may have new tricks up their sleeves for even the most experienced student housing veterans.

No matter what you choose to focus on during the holidays, remember that this season is a time for giving. Take some time to give a little to yourself as well. You have been working hard since July, and the time has come to relax and enjoy the season.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

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Is Your Student Housing Community Filled With A Bunch Of Turkeys?

Thanks topThanksgiving time is here. Time for turkey and football. Time for traditions new and old with friends and with family. It also marks a time of transition in student housing as residents will soon return with finals and end-of-year vacation on their minds. They soon will depart and give staff a few weeks of peace before returning for the spring semester. But before the calm, and before this semester ends, lets reflect on the voyage to the new world that your residents experienced just a few short weeks ago.

The Pilgrims

thanks 1Each spring, the vast majority of your residents arrive fresh and excited for the new adventure of college. In many cases, they are bringing the majority of their prized possessions with them when they arrive. However, the new world that they have discovered may leave them bewildered and dazed. Some are not equipped for dealing with the challenges and the stresses that come with life on their own at college. However, with the support from their new community, they have weathered the storm. And, as they soon depart to visit their native lands, you know that they will soon return better prepared for the road ahead.

The Natives are Restless

thanks 2Not every student arriving in spring is a fresh new face. Some have been living with you for a few seasons and watch in astonishment as these clumsy newcomers invade their territory, thinking they will easily succeed. It does not take long before your veteran residents and your rookies meet. As their two culture clash, you many times have to play peacemaker between these two clashing cultures. But over time, they have learned to live together. The ones who were there before help the recent arrival learn the skills they must adopt in order to survive in this new land.

A Bunch of Turkeys

thanks 3All residents, both old and new, can be a little odd sometimes. With all of these different cultures merged in one place, the results can be interesting to say the least. Most of these residents have been able to rely on parents or caretakers throughout their lives. But now, they are in your care. You must simultaneously be a Therapist, Referee, Mom, and various others jobs to insure the stability of your student population. With all these hats, maybe it is you that is going a little crazy.

Let’s Say Thanks

There are, of course, many moments when you can just sit back a marvel at the community around you. When that first care package arrives and you see the happy tears in a student’s eyes. When you see love blossom. When students get those first letters of acceptance to jobs that will propel them into their future. These are some of the moments you will always be thankful for in student housing. And your residents, even though they may not say it, are thankful to be living at your community and to have you there with them.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

 

 

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The End of Year Student Housing Rush Is Here

Rush 1The rush is on. Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and then there is last run to the end of the year. Your student housing residents are cramming in the last few hours of study before finals. In just a couple of weeks, your community will go from a busy hub of activity to a winter ghost town as students return home for the holidays. But they do not just suddenly vanish. What they do (or don’t do) in the days leading up to their departure could result in a nightmare for their return and leave you feeling like a Grinch before Christmas even gets here.

Rush 2What Are They Leaving Behind?

It inevitably happens. In the rush to leave, your students have forgotten tons of packages in the package room. You put notices in their mailbox and you even put flyers on their doors. They even called you to make sure you had their delivery. But inevitably, they still found the distractions too much and left for home with a mountain of Amazon boxes and other parcels in your package room. All of this could have been prevented with the auto reminders that the PackageLog notification system allows you to send.

Rush 3Before They Leave

It never fails. At least one resident (usually more) will do something that leaves their apartment in danger while they are gone. They may forget to lock their doors or other careless actions that could mean their return in the New Year starts with an unwelcome surprise. You can only get to so many of them in person. And flyers will only get started. If you had the custom messaging feature of PackageLog, you would be able to send the info via text and email so they are sure to get the message.

While They Are Away

There is a window of less than a month to prepare for the return of your student population. Sure, a few maintenance and décor issues might be addressed, but what are you going to do to weather the storm that returns with your residents? The storm we are referring to in the onslaught on packages and mail that will soon burden you team. This burden is especially bad over the first few days of January as books, electronics and then more books and other stuff arrive. They take up too much space; they take up too much time; and they take up too much of your patience.

Rush 4You can solve the problem while the students are away simply by signing up for PackageLog. The burden of packages really does disappear.  Residents stop calling and bugging you. They actually come to get their stuff. You get more messages to more residents and they actually open these texts and emails. It works! The communities that already have it will tell you how great it works. And we even give you free demos of the program, free training, and two weeks to try it on for size and learn how great it will work at your community. And it will work. Think of it as a Christmas present that gives packages to your residents and brings you happiness – which you deserve. Click here to learn more.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

 

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The Choices of Student Housing

choices 1Each day, in your dorms, your residence halls, and your student housing communities thousands of choices are made that impact not only the daily lives of your student residents, but impact the future of your community as a whole. These choices are not limited to those of your residents. The ones that are made by management, leasing and maintenance teams will propel your community into the future. The results of those choices will dictate if that future is one to celebrate or one that is filled with hurdles and challenges.

Choices 2The Choices Made By Residents

The choices that our residents make not only affect their own lives at the community, but they also often affect the lives of other residents (roommates and neighbors) and our lives inside the management offices. Sure, the biggest choices they feel they make are the selections of classes each semester. They rarely consider how many of their choices impact other portions of the apartment community in which they live. Roommate issues are not only a pain to those involved; they also are a pain for the office staff that has to deal with them. Likewise, issues with neighbors quickly become issues for the management team. And, even after they leave, the choices they make when reviewing your community can have major implications to the choices future residents have about living there.

Choices 3The Choices Made By Your Team

If you think the choices made by your residents can drive you insane, then the choices made by your leasing and maintenance teams will surely make you lose your mind. The decision by one or more team members to call in sick can set up a trying day for the others. Choices by maintenance team members to only put a mend on a problem – instead of a complete fix or replace – can lead to bigger problems down the road. The choice to delay, or even miss, following up with a current or future resident could result in the loss of a lease. The choices made may seem little, but can have huge consequences in the future.

Choices 4The Choices Made By Management

Property managers often have to make choices that have massive effects on time, money, and resources. The number of staff, the amount of money to spend on something, and other large-scale decisions set the pace for the entire community. Managers are responsible for the daily decisions that make a good community a great community. They can take a struggling home for students and, with a few good choices, turn it into successful community that inspires a future generation.

One of the biggest choices managers have to make is how to deal with time. Some tasks are small, take little time, and are appropriate for a skilled staff member to fulfill. Other tasks – those that take huge amounts of time, effort, and resources –are not so easily decided.  A great example is student mail. The mail that arrives in bins every day from the Post Office needs to be sorted and properly distributed.  But what happens when the dedicated staff member makes the decision to call in sick? And how do you handle liability issues? The choices made by others can make student mail a bigger challenge than ever before.

PIles 3The professional mail managers at US Postal Solutions take the guesswork out of the choices revolving around your student mail. Our dedication to making sure that your students seamlessly receive their mail and packages means you will never have to worry about the choices others make. We take care of the mail and let you go back to doing the things you do best: managing the choices of others and making sure these choices help make your student housing community and its residents happy.

To learn more about how US Postal Solutions can help your community click this link.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

 

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The Student Housing Horror Movie

By: ShadBookout

Working in student housing sometimes seems like you are in a horror movie, from residents and staff members who terrorize you, to the dangers that resemble a haunted house. Some days make your skin go white and your hair go grey. And just when you think you are waking up from the nightmare, one last monster is stalking in your door. Here are a few of the monsters that visit apartment leasing staffs and remind us of the classic horror movies.

HorrorThe Crazies

Is it you or is it your student residents? One of you has got to be crazy. Just when you think you have seen it all, they manage to do something new that boggles your mind. And if it is not only the students under your watch that are making you want to run and hide, but also the resident life and leasing team members. Some days, it seems like all of them are trying to drive you out of your mind. And this morning, they just might be succeeding.

 

Horror 1Poltergeist

Is your residence hall haunted? Or maybe your student housing community is possessed. Whatever is happening, it seems to be happening when you are too busy to deal with it. After a morning of being bombarded with service requests from your student residents, you are convinced that everything decided to break on the same day. And now you can’t find anything that you need. The end of day cannot come quick enough. You can’t wait to grab a glass of wine and put these horrors behind you.

 

Horror 2Scream

As is if all of these challenges are not enough today, your maintenance team is short staffed. Oh, and your Area Manager just called. He or she needs you to pull a report showing all of the money spent on resident events for the year. And it needs to be sorted by the … this is about the time you black out. The events of today are shaping up to resemble a deranged psychopath on a murder spree. And the next target is you. You need another cup of coffee. You may not survive the day without it. A little voice inside of you screams.

 

Horror 3A Nightmare on Elm Street

Then it hits you: you must be dreaming. That is it! This morning is not real. It is just a nightmare, you think. Suddenly, you jolt awake and realize that this is just one of the many days full of challenges you have to deal when you manage or lease at a student community. Days like these may give you nightmares and rightfully so. They haunt even the best of us. But tomorrow will be another day, and you will recover from this nightmare. OR WILL YOU?!!

 

Horror 4Friday the 13th

There is one more terror stalking your day. It is something that is there every day. It kills your time and energy and, on a day like this, it may kill you as well. Here comes the mailman with five bins of mail just waiting for someone to sort it all and put it in the student’s mailboxes. The residents have already begun calling to see if mail has been delivered yet.

 

 

But this monster can be defeated. There is a hero that can save your day, your time your sanity. The professional mail managers at US Postal Solutions can take away the daily terrors of dealing with student mail and package deliveries and let you get back to having the days you dream of. Get back to running your student community – leave the mail to us. To learn more click this link.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

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What Student Housing Resident Really Want

From conferences to market research, multi-family investors that are focused on the student housing segment are always on the search to understand more about their resident. And it is not just investors that are trying to learn more about the needs and desires of the next wave of college students. Portfolio supervisors, property managers, and marketing directors from every segment of the multi-family industry look to student housing to discover the trends that future residents will gravitate towards.

Want 1In many cases, the things that student housing residents are seeking in their housing are as varied as the residents themselves, or even the colleges they are attending. The upbringings of the last wave of Millennials and the first wave of Generation Z have made technological and convenience amenities a must for any dorm, residence hall, or off-campus student housing community. It is how these amenities are enacted that makes an impact on student residents, and sometimes their families. But there are also more subtle amenities that are less well known and advertised less often, but just an important. In fact, in the end, these amenities may be the most important ones that you can offer.

Want 2Location

You see it in almost every piece of advertising about student housing accommodations. “We are close to campus!” But isn’t that a little vague? And what about the other things a student craves to do? Are you close to those things too? How close? Distance is a relative thing. Sure, walking or biking is great for most campuses. What about large acreage campuses and those that have large portions of CCC (Car – Class – Car) enrollment? “Convenient location” means something different to them. Focus on telling the story of your student housing and how your location benefits the lifestyle of your residents. This is the true power of location. It is less about where you are and more about how that location makes students’ lives better.

Want 3Sense of Community

College is a great social experiment where people from all walks of life can come together. Sure, your campus has a rich history and is full of school pride. This creates an overall sense on familiarity for the students. But what makes living at your community better than anywhere else? Don’t nearly all student communities around you offer the same things (give or a take a luxury items or two)? The sense of community and lifestyle that comes from living with you is what makes you special. Whether it is a RA who listens to a student with a problem or an activities director who gets an introverted student to come out of their shell, the sense of togetherness not only attracts future residents, it keeps the current ones coming back for more.

Want 4Noise Levels

Sure, many student want to party. Many more still want a quiet place to study. Most want the best of both worlds. When asked what they are looking for in a place to live, a surprising portion of students will say “a quiet place where I can study.” The need to control noise is a crucial component of managing student housing. The ability to tell parents and future student residents that noise levels are controlled and that residents who live there get the best of both worlds gets noticed. It may even earn you some upper-classmen residents.

Want 5Center of Communication

Your mail room is a hub of communication and commerce for your residents. The mail and packages that they receive (and boy is there a lot of it) represent a large portion of their communication with the outside world.  The letters and cards they receive from home often give them an emotional boost when the loneliness or stress of college has them down. The things that they order online and the gift boxes that are sent to them allow them to create a life unto themselves. Their first real experiences on their own have begun and these deliveries are the first ones they have ordered and received unto themselves. It is vital that the mail and packages get to the resident that they are intended for. It may be a huge burden on your time and resources, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for your students.

If mail and packages are eating too much of your time, maybe Postal Solutions can help. Our team of experienced mail managers takes the burden of student mail on their shoulders so you don’t have to carry the load. Our PackageLog system allows you better control over the packages coming into your office. Instead of being a pain, resident packages become a tool to create a better lifestyle for your residents. Now you have the time to focus on more of the things that your residents really want.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

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Homecoming Week Means More Mail and Less Time

homecoming 1The glitz, glamour, and pageantry of Homecoming week is upon us and colleges everywhere are getting ready for the festivities. Alumni, students, and families of your student housing residents will soon be arriving to join in the fun. This is a time to celebrate the culture of your college and your community. But it is also a time that creates a rush on mail and packages.

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Homecoming celebrations originally started in the late 1800s, somewhere in the Midwest. Often the notoriety of the first homecoming celebration is given to the University of Missouri. However Baylor, Southwestern , and Northern Illinois University also have strong homecoming histories dating back to the early 1900s.

homecoming 4Today, some of America’s most notable colleges boast the biggest Homecoming celebrations. For example, the University of Florida- Gainesville features pyrotechnics, celebrity entertainers, comedy shows and more during Homecoming Week. In the past, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Hope, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby and Billy Crystal have performed. And Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., continues a funny tradition that began in 1904. When the Sixth Earl of Dartmouth visited the school, Dartmouth College students built a huge bonfire and marched around it in their pajamas. The annual tradition has evolved into Homecoming night ritual in which freshmen run more than 100 laps around the bonfire.

homecoming 2Just as campuses prepare the stadium and grounds, and the members of Greek organizations prepare their houses, you too are preparing your student housing community, dorm or residence hall. Your residents are busy conducting last-minute online shopping. All the things students ordered for homecoming carnivals, clothes ordered for dinners and parties, and college logo merchandise will be arriving in a flurry of endless UPS, FedEx, and US Postal Service delivery boxes. The weeks of Homecoming (and immediately after) are also a time of increased mail. Messages from home, Hallmark Cards, and an assortment of letters arrive for your student housing residents. The burden of time and the strain of effort to manage all of the inbound parcels and postals can be daunting.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy the week without having to handle the extra workload? Your offices are likely missing a team member, who is stuck spending extra time in the mailroom instead of helping residents. Homecoming is about the celebration and it is likely that the mail is getting in the way of your staff’s fun and celebratory spirit as well. If so, let Postal Solutions take the burden off of you, so you can get back to the needs of your community and its residents. Our team of experienced mail managers knows that your time is precious, as is student mail. We make sure that both are handled with the utmost care.

homecoming 5In addition, our PackageLog system not only alerts resident when their packages arrive, but the messages you send can also be easily customized. When the notification goes out, it can remind residents of the activities you have scheduled for them during Homecoming Week. They get their packages, they see your messages, and both make them happy to be living at your community.

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Postal Solutions is the nation’s leader in the student housing mail delivery management industry, for both on/off-campus mail management services. The Postal Solutions Companies offers mail delivery management servicesinventory / asset tracking software, and parcel logging software / package tracking software. For more information regarding The Postal Solutions Companies, please call us today at (866) 378-8157 or visit us online at www.uspostalsolutions.com.

 

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