National Apartment Association and J Turner Research Release Results of Groundbreaking Student Housing Survey

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Referrals, pricing, security, texting score high in marketing and amenities survey.

J Turner Research, a leading market research firm exclusively serving the multifamily industry and the National Apartment Association (NAA), the nation’s leading advocate for quality rental housing, today release the findings of one of the largest student housing surveys ever conducted. According to Survey Says: Apartment Features, Amenities and Programs That Sell to Students and Parents, 38 percent of students and 35 percent of parents say collegiate friends and roommates are the most common way they learn about an apartment community. The findings are based on responses from 11,195 students and 3,605 parents collected between January 20, 2012 and February 1, 2012.

Peak Campus Management, a leading student housing provider in 16 states nationwide, will deliver the survey findings during an innovative “Family Feud” style game show panel at the 2012 NAA Student Housing Conference in Las Vegas. The objective of the survey was to determine which apartment features, community amenities and resident programs are most preferred by both students living in student housing communities as well as parents whose students reside in campus housing. The survey aimed to provide developers, owners, operators, on-site staff and multifamily marketing executives with a clear understanding of the differences and similarities between these two audiences.

“The results of this survey provide some of the most compelling data we’ve ever seen regarding the student housing apartment industry,” said Joseph Batdorf, president of J Turner Research. “Clearly the power of referral is driving leasing decisions in student housing, and student housing professionals can certainly benefit by proactively delivering the amenities and customer service levels that translate to community recommendations.”

When it came to selecting an apartment, 47 percent of students cited rental rates and price as their top determinant, while parents pushed security to the top of their list. In fact, at 20 percent, rental rates and pricing ranked only third among parent respondents, who ranked security (34 percent) and location/proximity to campus (29 percent) as more important than price when selecting an apartment community for their student.

"NAA is extremely pleased with the phenomenal results of this particular survey,” said Doug Culkin, president and CEO of NAA. “It is my hope that these findings will provide our student housing provider members with actionable intelligence, and better insight as to how to meet the demands and needs of their core customers, which includes both students and their parents.”

Other Interesting Findings:

  •     Private bedrooms and bathrooms remain the most important apartment amenity among students and parents (40% and 62% respectively), followed by in-unit laundry (19% and 16%) and large bedrooms (11% and 8%).
  •     The number one way students communicate with their peers is - not surprisingly -with mobile phones, and primarily via text, where most students estimated sending more than 100 texts per day.
  •     When visiting an apartment community website, both parents and students are most interested in getting information about rental rates (parents 48 percent, students 57 percent) followed by photos of property, unit and common areas (parents 20 percent, students 21 percent).
  •     Besides pricing and locations, most students (19 percent) find professional leasing and management staffs to be most important to them.
  •     The top cable channels for students include ESPN, The Food Network, MTV, and FX.

Methodology:
Four student housing owners/operators, Peak Campus Management, EDR, Campus Apartments and Grand Campus Living, participated in the survey providing access to both student and parent databases. More than 69,000 surveys were distributed to students attending 159 different colleges and universities across the country and more than 27,000 surveys were distributed to parents, Survey questions gathered information from students and parents on a variety of topics including community and unit design and amenities, social media, reception to student housing marketing programs and print and electronic media consumption patterns. The e-mail based survey was conducted between January 20 and February 1, 2012, generating responses from 11,195 college students and 3,605 parents, Survey Says: Apartment Features, Amenities and Programs That Sell to Students and Parents represents one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys on student housing trends to date.

To download an executive summary of the complete survey results, visit http://www.naahq.org/resources/data/StudentHousing/.

If you would like to schedule an interview with J Turner Research or NAA please contact Don Canfield at (303) 682-3942 or don@linnelltaylor.com. To learn more about J Turner Research’s prospect and resident survey programs, visit http://www.jturnerresearch.com. For more information about NAA visit http://www.naahq.org.

About J Turner Research:
Based in Houston, J Turner Research is the largest provider of off campus student housing surveys in the nation, representing more than 370 communities. The company specializes in developing and executing innovative and affordable research services for multifamily owners/operators of both student and conventional apartment communities. Utilizing an e-mail based survey program, J Turner Research accurately measures the perceptions of prospective and current residents to help owners better understand how to optimize operational and marketing efficiencies within a portfolio of communities. For more information, or the latest research results, please call (281) 558-4840 ext. 300 or visit http://www.jturnerresearch.com.

About the National Apartment Association:
The National Apartment Association (NAA) is America's leading advocate for quality rental housing. NAA's mission is to serve the interests of multifamily housing owners, managers, developers and suppliers and maintain a high level of professionalism in the multifamily housing industry to better serve the rental housing needs of the public.

NAA is a federation of 170 state and local affiliates, comprised of more than 55,000 multifamily housing companies representing more than 6.2 million apartment homes throughout the United States and Canada. Members in good standing of any affiliated association are automatically considered members of NAA and entitled to NAA benefits.
NAA members represent all facets of the multifamily housing industry: apartment owners, management executives, developers, builders, investors, property managers, leasing consultants, maintenance personnel, suppliers and related business professionals throughout the United States and Canada. http://www.naahq.org

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Paul Bergeron

Don Canfield
LinnellTaylor Marketing
(303) 682-3942
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