By Daniel Berlind on Jan 31, 2019

American college students are starting to consider gaming as much a part of their lives as studying and partying. According to the State of Online Gaming 2018 market research report, people who play video games spend an average of nearly six hours each week playing. In addition, gamer's from the age of 18-25, the typical age of college students, spend the most time gaming, more than seven hours each week. What does this mean for student housing? Well, student housing operators are using video games to their advantage.

Using Video Games to Attract Student Renters

Communities are beginning to implement innovative events that align with the interests of residents, i.e. video games. Some communities are even developing a lounge dedicated to gaming. This is a college gamer's dream: multiple TVs with different consoles, lounge furniture, and even a couple of arcade games.

Based on the NAA, “CA Student Living’s recently opened a 15-story RISE at Riverfront Crossings in Iowa City, Iowa, where students can play Fortnite on the Jumbotron screen located on the courtyard deck.” This is complete with a pool, fire pits and grilling stations. CA also periodically programs online tournaments within its student housing communities.

Student housing has been a stable market for many years.

The industry continues to mature and over the past couple of years, on-campus student housing has seen an overall expansion. There are many initiatives to renovate facilities and expand to a more modern housing concept. Investment in student housing has consistently offered long-term stability, attractive risk-adjusted returns, and safe diversification with respect to other asset classes. The private sector accounts for 41% of acquisitions with more than $1.5 billion purchased, year to date. In addition, the institutional sector has more than $1.1 billion in acquisitions in 2018. This represents nearly $250 million more than all of 2017 combined. This continual growth proves that student housing is a market that keeps developing and growing with time.

Student housing is a large market, and if a property manager wants to attract more students to their location, they should consider investing in activity-oriented lounges or attractions that appeal to these students. Gaming is one of the many types of activities college students are interested in. It is important to play to the wants and needs of your residents. If potential applicants visit your apartment and see a lounge where they feel they could spend most of their time, they are more likely to choose your building as their new residence.

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