Marketing Student Housing On a Budget

Monday, October 14, 2019

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The traditional advertising mediums such as radio, television, and print often have profoundly high advertising rates. For the average landlord or apartment community, many of these options are out of reach due to budget limits. 


To stretch a marketing budget as far as possible, there are some creative free and low-cost promotional techniques that can be utilized by off-campus housing advertisers.

  1. Implement a Tenant Referral Program:

    Tenant referral programs are ultimately one of the most effective word-of-mouth marketing tools. By utilizing the social networks of current tenants, apartment managers can potentially generate new lease leads and only pay for results, once a lease is signed. Most tenant referral programs generally offer the referrer a small monetary reward, gift card, rent discount or other intangible perk that won’t decrease the marketing budget.


  1. Research Co-Branding Opportunities: 

    Often there are local product and service providers or restaurants that aim to market directly to student renters. Apartment managers can take advantage of this, by co-branding and promoting to students jointly.


  1. Offer Valuable Rental Concessions: 

    Rental concessions are used to attract potential residents by offering different monetary discounts or other preferential rebates. Concessions don’t have to directly cost the community money. 


  1. List with the School’s Off-Campus Listing Service:

    When faced with a tight budget, the best strategy is to focus on advertising options targeting the student renter demographic directly. In many cases, the best and most reasonably priced option is the academic institution’s off-campus housing listing service, such as This advertising mean will exclusively target student renters who are seeking off-campus accommodations in a very specific area. 


  1. Utilize Social Media Advertising:

    Students are on social media daily. This medium is free and an effective way to market a brand to students. The key is to be consistent and focused with posting. Property managers can promote events, discounts, etc. They can also talk about ride shares, study rooms or other ways their community services students to create awareness and group discussions.

With a restrictive budget, it’s important for apartment managers to regularly evaluate their advertising porfolio to determine what the most effective marketing mediums are. A small advertising budget can go a long way with a good strategy and a little creativity.

SEE ALSO:  Marketing Yourself in Student Housing

The Team