Whether it’s on or off-campus, student housing is a unique type of real estate space requiring special consideration from property managers. College life involves many types of school-sponsored social events, notices from faculty, and messaging to foster a strong sense of community.
Developing a solution for delivering this information clearly, easily, and cost-effectively is crucial. In these environments, a digital signage solution can be the ideal way of capturing the attention of Gen Z residents and improving your building’s appeal.
Today’s college students have grown up with technology as an integral part of their lives. In fact, the majority of Gen Z spend at least five hours per day on their phones. Perhaps more than any other generation, today’s students feel at home with digital communication.
For this reason, digital signage not only plays a role in community building but also allows property managers to bring dynamic content into student housing and set their buildings apart from the competition. Digital signage can be a highly effective way of improving your building’s image and reputation.
But what exactly does the latest digital signage technology look like, and how can it be tailored to a student-focused real estate environment? Find out how digital signage is transforming communication within student housing, why this technology is so effective with today’s students and how turnkey solutions are enhancing the student living experience.
A Digital Signage Solution for Today’s Busy World
The types of content students regularly engage with today have changed enormously compared to those of previous decades. Generation Z individuals have spent their whole lives navigating digital spaces, and they’re accustomed to being surrounded by captivating and vibrant messaging. What this means for community managers is that the communication tools of the past are no longer as effective in capturing the attention of residents.
For previous generations, paper fliers and signs were a common sight in student housing spaces. Today, however, the digital age has created an aesthetic preference for sleek minimalism—paper appears cluttered and unprofessional. In addition, it must be regularly reprinted as events and messages change, which can be a waste of time, budget and resources.
Email notifications are another option for conveying important messages, but statistics have regularly shown that emails are frequently ignored, marked as spam, or go unopened.
Related: Building Connections: How Student Housing Property Managers Can Engage with Residents More Effectively
The right digital signage, on the other hand, is virtually impossible to ignore. Today’s most innovative companies offer digital displays in a range of sizes for installation in elevator banks, lobbies, and other common areas where residents frequently gather. Within these high-traffic areas where students spend time each day, these vibrant displays allow students to interact with messaging in the format they’re most comfortable with.
This not only creates a great first impression and differentiates your building in the minds of prospective residents, but it also communicates that your building is thoroughly modern and has taken steps to invest in creating an appealing resident experience.
How Digital Signage Transforms the Student Experience
Implementing digital signage has a dramatic impact on the student experience in several ways. With their sleek and modern appeal, digital signs are highly attention-grabbing. Since they are more likely to be noticed and enjoyed by students, the information that is shared on these screens can make the biggest impact.
For example, participation in local events increases when more students are aware of them. By allowing students to access information in their preferred format, you can ensure your messages are received. Here are some of the other most impactful ways digital signage solutions in residence halls alter the student experience for the better.
- Enhancing Communication
We all know that visual aids improve communication and make messaging more memorable. This same principle is true when it comes to digital signage. The best companies offering these services provide customizable displays filled with professionally curated content that perfectly complements important property-specific information.
When these displays are installed in high-traffic student housing common areas, the bright and appealing visuals ensure your message has the best chance of being received and remembered. When you only have a limited amount of time to reach your audience, delivering impactful visuals is the most effective step you can take.
- Updating Student Residents in Real Time
As a student housing community manager, it’s important to ensure you’re creating a safe and enjoyable environment for your residents. Digital signage solutions make this easier than ever before. Since this technology can be updated in real-time, even from a mobile device, you can bring any type of important information to your residents exactly when you need to and change or update it within minutes. Some of the most common types of messaging for these spaces include:
- Social events
- Safety alerts
- Upcoming fire drills
- Evacuation instructions
- Maintenance Updates
- Welcoming messages or encouragements around exam season
Not only are these displays convenient, but they also bring valuable added peace of mind to students’ parents, who are frequently the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to off-campus housing selection. Offering real-time updates with important safety information is an added community amenity that parents will take note of and appreciate.
- Communicating with Students in Their Preferred Way
A 2023 digital media trends survey found that 66% of Generation Z get their news from visual digital platforms. Incorporating digital signage ensures your communication is delivered in a format students value and are interested in. What’s more, they facilitate the use of QR codes, which research has shown will continue to be a key digital communication method for 2023 and beyond.
Today’s students don’t want to have to type in a website address to follow up on something they are interested in. They prefer QR codes because of how fast and simple they are to use. The best digital signage technology companies allow you to easily add scannable QR codes to your displays. There are so many ways you can use this technology, including:
- As a quick and simple way to RSVP for student events
- To download the property’s mobile app
- To offer information on referral incentives
- To provide a download link to the resident’s handbook
- To allow access to your building’s maintenance request forms
4. Delivering Engaging and Useful Messaging From Sources Students Already Follow and Enjoy
Leaders in the digital signage industry have partnered with the biggest names in news and media. Providing high-quality content from world-class partners that your residents’ are already familiar with modernizes your build while offering residents information that is valuable and impactful. Look for providers that offer a mix of lifestyle, news, sports, and business content. Some key content partners that today’s students are interested in include:
- Time Out
- USA Today
- The Wall Street Journal
- Fodor’s Travel
A Turnkey Solution for Unique Student Communication Needs
Bringing a digital signage solution to your student residence property is easier than ever before with turnkey technology that is ready for immediate use on the day of installation. Leading companies offer a variety of screen sizes and adaptable placements with multiple screen orientation possibilities to easily fit within any space. Using a cloud-based content management system, you can begin publishing your own content immediately to compliment the professionally curated content from your provider.
The programming you select can also be completely customized to your location. This can include information such as—real-time transit data based on your location, daily weather for your city, news from reputable sources, weekly resident events and activities, management office hours, and much more. Incorporating this content shows that your building is on the cutting edge of technology and is committed to delivering the most convenient and enjoyable student experience possible.
Improve the Communication Experience for Residents in Your Student Housing
Today’s college students require a modern and effective solution for communication. As individuals living in a highly digital world, they not only navigate digital communication tools with ease, but they also prefer them over analog methods.
Using a digital signage solution enriches the student experience by bringing diverse and engaging information into the spaces that students pass through most frequently. By incorporating technology like QR codes, you can make it effortless for students to interact with the information you need them to see. This can have far-reaching effects like increased participation in local events, higher tenant satisfaction, more resident referrals, and even a greater sense of community.
Implementing a digital signage solution can improve your building’s reputation and bring valuable, professionally curated content to your residents. At Captivate, we transform student housing spaces with modern, memorable communication technology.
Whether you opt for a simple self-set-up or a fully managed installation, in minutes you can bring our network of over 150 publishing partners into your space, along with any desired personalized content. Let our team help you develop a turnkey network of content your residents will love. Get started today by reaching out to our team.
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