The months of November and December have seen us let a record number of student properties for the 2012/2013 academic year - and we expect the lets to continue to roll in when we re-open in the New Year!
Pre-Christmas figures are up by 50% when compared to last year, which can be largely attributed to the continued shift in when the majority of students begin to source their accommodation for the following year. Five years ago, our ‘Student Lettings Season’ would begin in January and not get into full swing until mid-to-late February. Nowadays, students are keen to secure next year’s house before they return home for Christmas and have already had four or five viewing appointments by mid-November. We can only envisage it getting earlier and earlier as the years go by!
To help generate as many leads as possible for each property and to spread the CPS Homes name within as many student circles as possible, we have to come up with a specifically-targeted market campaign each year. We began to draw it up as early as July this time around and here’s just a sneak peak of what we’ve done to become THE agent for student lettings;
• An extensive pay-per-click Google campaign, ensuring we appear at the top of every student property-related search. In November 2011 alone, we received more than double the number of clicks through to our website than the same month the year before; over 7,000 compared to nearly 3,000.
• Unrivalled web exposure through increasing our presence on student-specific websites such as Accommodationforstudents and Homesforstudents, as well as the industry-leader, RightMove, and others.
• Regular, informative articles in The Gair Rhydd – Cardiff University’s student newspaper – which has a readership of 25,000 people every week.
• A hugely successful Facebook campaign carried out in collaboration with student societies and clubs, as referred to in another article of this newsletter.
• Several sponsorship deals with local and university sport teams.
• Regular leaflet-dropping in key areas across Cardiff.