Cross-Generational Marketing Strategies for Student Housing


A family carrying cardboard boxes and moving their son into student housing

4 Student Housing Marketing Tips to Win More Leases

Nearly 20 percent of college students are receiving help from their parents in paying rent, according to a recent survey. The uncertainty brought on by COVID means there are fewer rentals, and prices have risen on the housing that is available.

Given that parents have a financial stake in where their child lives, it’s important not to overlook them when marketing student housing. Parents need to give their stamp of approval, and you can achieve that by creating student housing marketing campaigns that emphasize the features and amenities that both students and parents want.

In this post, we will take a look at cross-generational marketing strategies for student housing that could give you an edge over the competition.


First, who are the parents of college-age children?

Most of the college students of today are part of Generation Z, which includes anyone born after 1997. But who are their parents?

Parents of college-age children could encompass multiple generations. Generation X makes up a large portion of the parents of today’s incoming freshmen, born between 1965 and 1979, and some parents may be part of the Baby Boomer generation. 

These groups may approach technology differently, so you’ll want to make sure your student housing marketing strategies appeal to these generations. This could mean using chatbots and other forms of artificial intelligence, written materials, and brochures, as well as video and 3D renderings. 

With this in mind, here are four elements that student housing marketing campaigns should emphasize in order to appeal to parents. 


1. Focus on location.

Location is one of the most important factors in any kind of real estate, and this is particularly true when it comes to student housing. Parents want to make sure their students are safe, and materials like virtual renderings and video tours that highlight the surroundings can help to set their minds at ease.

Your marketing efforts should also include the highlights of the neighborhood. Video and social media can be used to bring out the selling points. Parents will want to know the answers to these questions, so ensure that your marketing includes these points:

  • How far is the property from campus?
  • Is the area considered safe?
  • Is it a walkable community?
  • How close is it to shopping, restaurants, museums and other things to do?
  • Is it near public transit?


2. Showcase safety and security.

Location is a big part of the overall safety of a student housing community, but you’ll also want to point out other security elements that will help to ease parents’ worries. Does your community have security cameras, well-lit walkways, or motion sensor lighting? Stress these features in your marketing efforts.

Students may place more importance on fast WiFi, but parents want the reassurance that this technology is being used to keep their children safe. Play up tech-forward security features like smart locks and doorbells and the alarm system in your marketing messaging.


3. Highlight your customer service.

Parents want to ensure their college-age children will receive the best possible customer service and support from their student housing community. You can do this by promoting your customer service policies, including how long it might take for a routine maintenance request to be handled. If you use an app to track maintenance requests, make sure to spotlight that.

In addition, you’ll also want to include information about snow and ice removal (if applicable), package deliveries, and the process for when students forget or lose their key and get locked out of their apartment. 

It’s also a good idea to spotlight any tech-forward customer service elements your community offers. Chatbots and other forms of AI may help your community stand out from the crowd.


4. Show off your desirable amenities.

Parents want the best for their children, so play up higher-end elements of your community if you have them. Things like stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, laundry facilities on-site or in the unit, plenty of storage, and a modern design would all be great to promote in your marketing materials. Community amenities such as a pool and fitness center could also be included.

Eco-friendly elements could appeal to parents and students, so be sure to promote any Earth-conscious practices your community offers, such as a paperless leasing office, green construction and design principles, and weatherizing features.



When it comes to marketing student housing, it’s critical to keep in mind that the audiences you’re targeting not only have different motivations and priorities, they could also come from three different generations. You want students to be happy living in your community, and you want parents to feel good about where their child will be living. By placing an emphasis on elements like location, safety and security, customer service, and amenities, and highlighting them on your website, in written materials, and in your digital marketing efforts, you can set up your student housing community for success.

Respage has deep roots when it comes to marketing student housing. Our student housing-focused AI leasing agents and chatbots have been in existence for years, giving our products a more advanced vocabulary than other student chatbots. To learn more or see a demo, contact Respage.



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