Thursday, August 20, 2015

A DVR and Apple TV included in the rent? Yes, please! has a great article on the history of the amenities arms race in student housing, and how it has evolved since the 1990s. In an interview with Brent Little, president of Dallas-based Fountain Residential Partners, previewing the RealShare Student Housing Conference in Dallas Sept. 1-2, the real-estate investment pub explores how student digs went from austere to over-the-top in just a few decades. Today, we’re at the point where 50-inch flat-screen TVs, DVRs or an Apple TV box – and often all three – are standard offerings for students, included in the rent. But the real rub of the article is Little’s assessment of why these amenities are important, especially in low-barrier-to-entry markets. Basically, for the cost you put into them, they help you compete in an outsized way. When you evaluate the cost of technology amenities, including a robust Internet infrastructure, you’re looking at a very small percentage of the overall budget of a building – a couple hundred thousand bucks on a $40 million project, for instance, or less than one half of one percent. That’s a return even a freshman econ student can understand. Read the full article here.

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