The FORT Podcast: Student Rental Pro – The Mad Scientist of Student Housing

On this episode, Chris chats with Twitter’s Anonymous @StudentRentPro on every trick in the book for how to strategically manage student rental properties. They deep dive into the economics of how to put together a profitable student housing deal, what matters in a student lease, and funny stories from the trenches of managing students. Enjoy!

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(03:15) – Student Rental Pro’s background and RE portfolio

(05:12) – How did you get into student rentals?

(07:50) – What makes a great location for a student rental?

(10:58) – What’s your process for leasing a house for the upcoming school year?

(13:31) – What are the big things that matter in a student housing lease?

(15:54) – Why do you not include parental guarantors in the lease?

(18:59) – Do you do any kind of due diligence or application on the students who want to lease?

(20:13) – How do you handle parent complaints & work orders?

(26:05) – What’s the process of turning the house over from previous tenants to new tenants?

(30:40) – What amenities do you provide?

(32:48) – What are the tenants allowed to do in terms of drilling into the walls, painting, etc?

(34:35) – Pets or no pets?

(35:21) – Do you provide appliances?

(36:26) – How do you think about deposits?

(50:44) – How do you deal with police being called over a party?

(53:23) – How do tenants communicate with you and what is your manager’s job during the year?


(58:47) – What’s the process of selecting a tenant to be “House Manager”?

(59:43) – What stands out to you when looking at properties that will maximize rent?

(1:05:55) – Who does the yard work?

(1:07:35) – What are the most common maintenance issues you see and are there any preventative measures you take?

(1:11:10) – What’s the % increase you’re getting on rent with students as opposed to traditional tenants?

(1:13:28) – What’s the direction of your portfolio?

Twitter Questions:

(1:15:05) – Do you compete against institutional capital?

(1:16:20) – What would you prefer if you were to extend into a new market: A college-town or a town with a college in it?

(1:20:23) – SRP’s MF acquisition was based on listening to the podcast

(1:24:35) – Storytime w/ Student Rental Pro


Episode Summary

In a recent episode of the Fort podcast, Chris Powers hosted Student Rental Pro, an esteemed and reputable figure within the Twitter realm, known for his unparalleled insights into student housing and real estate investments.

Student Rental Pro commenced the conversation with a profound reflection on the intrinsic challenges of managing student tenants, particularly the balancing act of handling both the students and their parents. He astutely drew parallels between the energy exerted in resolving disputes and the potential profitability of other real estate ventures, such as house flipping. The crux of his argument lay in the necessity to prioritize energy and focus on property acquisitions and management, rather than being bogged down by disputes rooted in ego.

The discourse delved into the dynamics of the student rental market, emphasizing the typical path for the kind of students he primarily rents to. Student Rental Pro underscored the significance of pre-existing friendships among student renters, highlighting the importance of this dynamic in shaping the leasing structures and overall tenant interactions.

A focal point of the conversation revolved around property desirability. The speaker illuminated the advantages of owning properties in close proximity to campuses, detailing how such strategic locations can wield considerable influence over lease terms. Emphasizing the quality of the property, Student Rental Pro posited that a desirable property can serve as a fulcrum in determining favorable rental dynamics.

Diving deeper into the operational intricacies, the podcast touched upon the timelines of tenant transitions, specifically move-outs and move-ins. Student Rental Pro elucidated the importance of ensuring high occupancy rates while simultaneously maintaining stringent property standards. In doing so, he highlighted the balance between profitability and property upkeep.

The integration of technology was briefly mentioned with a nod to Juniper Square, an all-in-one investment management software specifically designed for real estate owners. This technological facet acts as a force multiplier, accelerating operations and enriching knowledge arsenals.

The conversation also ventured into the challenges of parental involvement in student rentals. Student Rental Pro provided insights into managing parental expectations and the occasional need to mediate disputes, emphasizing the importance of clear communication and setting boundaries.

In the realm of property maintenance, the speaker emphasized the distinctive approach he employs compared to other landlords. He touched upon the transition from market rate properties to student rentals, highlighting the strategic flexibility it offers to investors.

As the dialogue underscored, owning highly desirable student properties remains paramount. The speaker shed light on the advantages of larger group properties, especially those in close vicinity to entertainment hubs, underscoring their value in the student rental market.

In conclusion, this enlightening episode with Student Rental Pro provided listeners with a panoramic view of the student rental landscape. From the nuanced dynamics of tenant interactions to the strategic positioning of properties, the discussion was a treasure trove of industry insights. For anyone keen on understanding the intricacies of student rentals and real estate investments, this episode serves as an indispensable resource. With Student Rental Pro’s expert reflections guiding the way, listeners are equipped with the knowledge to adeptly navigate the complex waters of the student rental world.

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