On May 18th, The Class Foundation held its second Academy of the year on PropTech for Future-Proof Buildings. Together with the ‘students’, we identified ten bottlenecks student housing operators currently face and the solutions property technology can offer.
On May 18th, The Class Foundation held its second Academy of the year on PropTech for Future-Proof Buildings. The course brought together student accommodation experts including operators, suppliers/agents, and investors. Integral to the success of the course were the lecturers Sabine Schrool and Dirk Huibers, and partner case providers The Student Hotel and Wifirst. A shared consensus throughout the module was that it is only the beginning for property technology but that Covid has accelerated the adoption and momentum for the industry.
Together with the ‘students’, we identified ten bottlenecks student housing operators currently face and the solutions property technology can offer.
One recurring topic during the module was how to adhere to privacy regulations, such as the European GDPR, whilst collecting the data you need. Mark Liversidge from The Student Hotel beautifully said, “Don’t see GDPR as a burden, instead see it as a good frame of reference and guideline to use throughout your project.” He added that he had unfortunately seen many great projects binned due to unnecessary fear regarding privacy infringement. Which is a pity as most service providers know and can advise on the best way to adhere to regulations as pointed out by Vincent Jouan from Wifirst. Lecturer Dirk concluded “If the data helps solve a problem and is personally applicable then the resident will more likely approve the collection of data.”
After we had listed the technical solutions properties can implement, we asked the ‘students’ to identify which stakeholders need to be involved. Just as we highlighted during the Community and Wellbeing Academy, students are at the core and need to be involved from the beginning as the solutions need to match their demands and needs. Secondly, investors need to be convinced the technology will positively influence valuations. The trick to doing this is using metrics they are used to and find important. The project also needs to be supported internally throughout various departments such as facility management, HR, and marketing and communication, to be successfully adopted.
Finally, it is important to select the right service provider as they will offer you a tailored solution and guide you throughout the process. At The Class Foundation we therefore find it important to have suppliers in our partner network as they share the same goal as us - to build on the future of student living in university cities.