Nov 2017News

University students embark on the same purchase journey every year of their university career. However, the process of student lettings is now changing. Drawing from our market insight as a student property giant, here at University Cribs we have mapped the student Route to Rental and distilled it into 3 distinct stages: the passive phase, the trigger phase, and the active phase.

1. The Passive Phase

In daily life students make beliefs about brands before they buy, the beliefs formed are known as the student’s passive stage bias. This bias will proceed to affect the attitudes and behaviour of the student as they progress through their Route to Rental.

2. The Trigger

For each student, there is a set of needs and wants that will trigger them into actively searching for their next student property. Though some triggers will reliably recur year after year, such as UCAS results, the timing and constitution of most triggers will differ by location, year group, and individual.

3. The Active Phase

Once their student property search has been triggered, students enter the active stage of their Route to Rental. During this phase, students will conduct property research both online and offline and share and view properties with their chosen housemates.

Despite most letting agents focusing their student property marketing within a period of a few months, the student’s Route to Rental is a 12-month process. Based on this insight University Cribs are able to do things differently, effectively engaging students across the year with innovative marketing tailored to the timing of each Route to Rental stage.

We know that Millennial and Generation Z students are changing the way they let properties, and our marketing strategy reflects this. Here are 5 ways that University Cribs are engaging students year-round through innovative campaigns, across channels favoured by the student demographic.

1. We are social

Students spend up to 9 hours per day on social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This presents a valuable opportunity to engage and connect with students, which is exactly what we do. Since launching, 5 million students have engaged with the University Cribs brand across our social channels and we have made over 150 million impressions.

2. We use Instant Messenger marketing

Instant messaging, such as Whatsapp and WeChat, affords an ideal high reach, high engagement platform that boasts an engagement rate of over 70%. University Cribs are able to tap into this highly underutilised platform to effectively market to Millennials and Generation Z and provide them with real-time exposure to the top properties in their area.

3. We have Student Brand Managers

Through overexposure to 1-sided marketing, Millennials and Generation Z have become ‘ad-blind’ to many conventional forms of marketing. However, when weighing up purchase options, such students often turn to the reviews of friends and trusted resources to aid their decision. Building upon this behaviour, University Cribs recently recruited 15 Student Brand Managers across the UK. We predict that through this reliance on referrals, these SBMs will prove invaluable in delivering the realness and relatability of the brand to their student peers.

4. We recognise the strength of content marketing

Quality content marketing provides a valuable method of building brand awareness and trust, and this is something we take seriously. Through sharing useful and relevant content year-round students will come to recognise University Cribs as an expert in student housing, and therefore turn to us as they enter the active stage of their Route to Rental.

5. is mobile first

Students spend a significant amount of time online, and increasingly this is done on mobile devices as opposed to desktops. In fact, 72% of our website traffic comes from users accessing the site via a mobile device. Despite this, 56% of letting agents do not have mobile optimised websites, meaning traffic from mobile devices will be subject to a subpar user experience. The solution? Our new website is perfectly optimised for mobile, meaning students viewing your properties via our site will be given the slick user experience they’re after.


Millennial and Generation Z students are changing the way they let properties and conventional marketing is falling behind. We do things differently. Innovate and keep up with University Cribs, by joining us today, click here to find out more.