College is expensive, so students these days prioritize affordability over luxury when it comes to their living arrangements. But at the same time, Gen Z doesn’t know a world without technology — it’s essential to their academic and personal success. And, as a result, it’s something they look for when choosing their housing.
So if you’re looking to wow incoming students and delight your current residents, look no further than this list of technological amenities.
Today’s scholars have lifestyles powered by the internet. So it’s no surprise that high-speed, far-reaching internet access has become a must-have amenity. In fact, first-rate WiFi is a top expectation among new students.
That’s because the average student owns multiple devices that require reliable WiFi, including laptops, cell phones, tablets, smart watches and more. They often have these devices operating consistently and simultaneously, powering online games, streaming music and videos, and downloading files. So they need an internet service that will be able to keep up with their fast pace.
Smart home devices
Technology adds a higher level of convenience to the college experience — particularly when it comes to routine tasks like controlling utilities and appliances, submitting rent payment and maintenance requests, or asking Alexa to play a favorite song.
Smart home electronic devices and appliances allow students to control things in their residence with their voice or mobile device. While students can bring smart home devices to college them, including these devices in dorm rooms and communal areas is an attractive amenity for prospective students. From speakers to TVs to household appliances, smart home amenities provide the convenience college students crave.
Tech-powered building features
College-age tenants are also more likely to be interested in amenities that support sustainability. In a global survey, more than 90% of students agreed that their campuses should be implementing and advancing sustainable development.
There’s a lot of technology out there to help property managers upgrade to environmentally-friendly buildings. Features like solar panels and smart outlets or switches help conserve energy. Smart glass windows also cut down on energy use, as well as heating and cooling costs.
But one of the easiest ways to eliminate energy waste is to switch to motion-activated LED lighting. LEDs require less energy than traditional lighting, and if they’re only on when people need them, none of that energy is lost. (They last longer than fluorescent bulbs, too.)
Lastly, upgrading to high-efficiency washers, showers, sinks, and toilets reduces overall water consumption.
Plugged-in community spaces
Incoming students place a high value on private bedrooms and bathrooms. But as Gen Z steps onto college campuses around the country, they’ll also be looking for access to tech-powered community spaces.
These spaces may be coffee shops, lounge areas, and study rooms, but the technology must go beyond providing charging stations for their devices. Students want shared rooms where they can use technology they can’t afford to own or fit into their living areas, such as smart boards, big-screen TVs, and 3D printers. They’ll also make use of meeting rooms equipped with video conferencing tech.
Since health and wellness is a top interest among today’s students, another desirable amenity is fitness centers. Outfitted with interactive exercise equipment, access to online fitness instruction, and other digital tools, these centers are an excellent way for students to maintain their health while staying plugged into technology.
Building security may not be critical for students, but it is for parents. For them, safety is a number one priority — and technology makes it easier to ensure that protection.
Replacing mechanical locks with keyless entry allows students to access areas using their smartphones, student IDs, or passcodes. In doing so, building administrators will know who has entered and exited the building in the event of an emergency. They can also restrict access where necessary.
Surveillance cameras are advancing, too. Modern indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras are smart enough to detect movements, sounds, and people, as well as send immediate alerts to a mobile device or computer when these things are identified.
Automated package management systems
And with the popularity of online shopping, student housing would be incomplete without a plan to keep all those incoming packages secure. Fortunately, this is another challenge technology has evolved to solve. Package rooms secured with smart locks, advanced mailroom software, and package lockers help property managers track, organize, and safeguard student deliveries until they can retrieve them. Check out how one university is using this technology to improve its package management system.
Interested in installing mailroom software or package lockers at your property? Contact us to learn more.