Homes for Students adopts property management platform Lavanda to support its ‘flexible living’ strategy

LONDON – The UK’s largest independent student accommodation provider, Homes for Students, has adopted pioneering property management platform Lavanda to support its flexible living strategy.

Lavanda will work with the operator to maximise occupancy and rental income by tapping into strong short and medium-term rental demand year-round with a particular focus on university holidays to enhance its established processes.

A major plank of this strategy is the summer period when, for approximately two months each year, student accommodation buildings can be transformed into pop-up hotels.

This flexible rental strategy holds transformational benefits for owners and investors but there are also significant benefits for students and local businesses.

Investors get easy access to a wider array of leasing options, enabling them to tap into short, medium or long-term rentals at the touch of a button within the Lavanda property management system (PMS) and efficiently monetise vacant units. Consequently, Homes for Students communities become more resilient ‘all weather’ assets that are better equipped to adapt to fluctuations in demand, whether that is provoked by changes in government policy, cost of living pressures or further disruption from pandemics.

Students benefit too as operators are able to offer them more flexible leases (as opposed to the more conventional ‘full-year’ lease) as well as shorter-term or semester-based housing options, ultimately making their own living costs more affordable.

Local businesses benefit because the extra footfall generated by more transient shorter-stay guests results in more spending at local hospitality venues and attractions at a time of year when many struggle due to the exodus of students. This is how Lavanda’s flexible rental technology allows operators like Homes for Students to create more balanced, year-round communities. The current cost-of-living crisis makes these benefits particularly valuable to local economies.

Homes for Students manages 39,000 beds across 160 properties in 52 cities. Lavanda powers similar flexible living strategies for student accommodation operators including Greystar, Blackstone/iQ Student, Collegiate and CA Ventures amongst many others.

Fred Lerche-Lerchenborg, CEO at Lavanda, added: “Historically, purpose-built student accommodation has been considered a premium housing option for domestic students, however a major benefit of being a high quality, premium accommodation option, is that it also particularly appeals to business travellers and tourists.

“Student accommodation offers visitors the chance to stay in high quality rooms in desirable locations, at a price that makes them very competitive when compared with other local hotel and short-term rental options. The fact that students and local businesses also benefit makes a flexible rental strategy, the goal of which is to capitalise on under-utilised residential capacity, a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Needless to say, we’re delighted that this partnership with Homes for Students solidifies our position as a leader in the UK PBSA market.”

Kate Forester, Managing Director Homes for Students, comments: “As consumers increasingly value flexibility, demand for shorter stays has accelerated creating a catalyst for innovation and change across the residential sector. In many cases this is now driving decision-making for students when it comes to choosing between accommodation options.

“This evolution has been a key factor in shaping our flexible living strategy, which highlights Homes for Students’ commitment both to customer experience and innovation, as well as to the development of residential communities that create meaningful value for both residents and our investors. We have selected Lavanda to be our preferred short-stay partner across our whole 39,000-bed student portfolio due to their excellence in technology and deep knowledge of the short-stay industry. As a business, we’re proud and excited to be leveraging technology in such a way that brings our corporate values to life, whilst driving such meaningful benefits for stakeholders at every level.”

The article Homes for Students adopts property management platform Lavanda to support its ‘flexible living’ strategy first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.

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