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How to use your tech to maximise your student room rebooking process
Maximize your student room rebooking process with the right technology. Learn how to increase retention and reduce churn in this Cloudfox guide.
The student room rebooking window is the critical period when current residents decide whether they will stay in your accommodation for another academic term or year. To ensure you maximise occupancy rates, it's vital that you create a campaign and a staff workflow that entices students to rebook and gets them through the sales pipeline swiftly.
In this Cloudfox guide, we'll look at how to use your tech to maximise your student room rebooking window.
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The importance of student retention and the student room rebooking window
Acquiring new tenants is essential to your seasonal success, but retaining existing ones can be equally, if not more, important. A high turnover rate can lead to revenue fluctuations and operational challenges. Whereas a higher retention rate often reduces your cost per acquisition (CPA).
Your student room rebooking window is your opportunity to solidify your relationship with current residents. If they're happy and content, they're more likely to rebook, stabilising your occupancy rates. However, if they encounter issues or inconveniences, they may look elsewhere for their housing needs.
Why using the right technology matters
Technology has become a game-changer in the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) industry, and it can play a pivotal role in helping you make the most of your student room rebooking window.
Your tech setup should include a robust Property Management Software (PMS) system where you can integrate your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and accounting software so sales pipelines are both smooth and comprehensive. It should allow for customised workflows to incorporate booking incentives, and it should onboard your tenants quickly. For most of you, your rebooking window is just 1-2 weeks, so it is imperative that everything works as it should.
Student room rebooking involves multiple steps, from initial inquiries to contract renewals. Traditionally, these processes could be time-consuming, document-heavy, and prone to errors. Technology in the shape of modern SaaS solutions can simplify and streamline operations.
Using the proper setup should give you the following:
- Improved communication - Using communication platforms and messaging services, you can contact your students with prompt reminders and answer their queries, fostering a sense of transparency and trust. Significantly influencing their decision to rebook with your accommodation.
- Enhanced student experience - Tech solutions can improve the booking experience by offering convenient self-service options. Students can access information, make payments, and complete rebooking procedures online, simplifying their journey and making it more user-friendly.
- Data analysis - By analysing student preferences and feedback using data analytics tools, you can tailor your services and amenities to match their expectations better. This customisation can create a sense of belonging and attachment, increasing the likelihood of rebooking.
- Price and quantity controls – Understanding how many students you are targeting, what price you are setting and monitoring the volume of bookings ensures you don’t offer too many and impact your revenue growth.
Incorporating technology into your rebooking strategy isn't just a matter of staying competitive; it's about making the rebooking process efficient, convenient, and tailored to the individual needs of your students. By doing so, you're not only maximising your student room rebooking window but also fostering a sense of loyalty and satisfaction that can lead to long-term relationships with your residents.
Actionable steps for PBSA providers looking to improve their rebooking window tech
Okay, now that we understand how a great tech setup can help reduce churn and improve your rebooking window opportunities, let's look at some actionable steps.
Here is our guide to improving your tech approach.
1. Evaluate your current process
Begin by assessing your current rebooking process. Identify the friction points, bottlenecks, and areas where manual work dominates. This evaluation will help you pinpoint where new or advanced use of technology can make the most significant impact.
2. Seek feedback from students
Engage with your current students and gather feedback on their experience with the rebooking process. Understand their pain points and preferences to make informed decisions about technology upgrades.
3. Decide on the right PMS, CRM and accounting software for you
Look at your current software. Do you have;
- Customised automation, workflow and task creation - Working in a way that benefits your team to keep on top of sales pipelines, incentives, communications and marketing.
- Robust bookkeeping integration - Allowing you to report on contracts with clients under IFR 15 to understand cash flow and revenue while simplifying your budget process.
- User-friendly interface - Allowing students and staff to navigate each step of their rebooking process with ease.
- Transparency - Providing clear information on room availability, contract terms, incentives (such as discounts or no holding fees) and deadlines for staff and students.
4. Update/migrate your systems
At this point, you probably have some work to do, whether updating your current system or migrating to a new one.
We recently published a blog post on safe data migration for new Xero users, and some of that information is universal to all system migrations. We recommend you read through it to be ready to roll out migrations without losing or compromising sensitive data.
If you need help with a SaaS implementation or migration, contact Eddie today - because we can do that for you!
5. Time to Test
Give yourself ample time to test your software updates or migrations in a sandbox environment. This will allow you to play with options and verify that everything works as it should before the company-wide rollout.
6. Educate your team
Ensure your staff are well-versed in using your tech solutions. Training and ongoing support are essential to maximise the benefits of your improved setup.
7. Monitor and adapt
Continuously monitor the impact of your tech solutions on your rebooking rates and student satisfaction. Use the data generated by your software and analytics tools to make data-driven decisions.
Always include a detailed look at student feedback in this process. This valuable input can help you fine-tune your tech solutions and overall strategy.
Remember - the goal is to make your student room rebooking window a seamless, user-friendly, and personalised experience, which can boost your rebooking rates and secure long-term relationships with your residents.
The student room rebooking window: Are you being as efficient as you could be?
With student room rebooking windows being such a tight turnaround, just 1-2 weeks, it's crucial that your team and setup are as efficient as possible. This is where the right tech comes into play. Ask yourself - Are you really being as efficient as you could be?
If the answer is no, where are your issues, and how do you solve them? And how do you do all of that on budget and on time?
The answer is to bring in the professionals.
At Cloudfox, we are experts in system implementation, migration and optimisation for property management. We even handle your monthly bookkeeping. That two-pronged approach uniquely positions us to identify and solve industry-specific challenges, like optimising your process to student room rebooking windows for higher yield. Because of that, we are trusted by some of the UK's leading brands.
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