Smart Student Living '24 Takeaways: Part 1

March 11, 2024


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On 5th March 2024, The Class Foundation returned with its second edition of Smart Student Living. Following an ‘unconference format’, SSL was established in 2023 with the need to find solutions to the fact that within real estate, technology has typically been integrated in an ad hoc way, thus limiting collaborations and understanding needs.

Why Smart Student Living?

For those unaware, below is a quick recap on the goals and objectives behind Smart Student Living:

  1. A Platform to Share Common Challenges and Solutions: Leading up to and at the event, operators articulate their specific needs and requirements, providing tech partners with valuable insights into the challenges they face. This can lead to the development of more targeted solutions that address real-world problems effectively.
  1. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: The event brings together individuals from different disciplines and fields, thus creating grounds for interdisciplinary collaboration. This interdisciplinary approach leads to more holistic and innovative solutions that consider various perspectives and expertise.
  1. Creating Connections: The event provides an opportunity for participants to establish connections and build relationships with their peers who share similar interests and passions in tech across Europe. These connections are invaluable for their own professional growth, and future collaboration and knowledge sharing for the sector at large.

Before the main event, we orchestrated collaborative pre-event discussions, where we gathered leading operators from the PBSA sector to gain insight on the topics they would like to tackle this year. The main challenges were identified as follows:

  1. Elevating the Customer Journey: How should technology enhance the customer's journey and experience, or even redefine the design scope for modern refurbishment?

  1. Streamlining Operations with Translators & Data: How can translators optimise day-to-day operations, focusing on seamless system integration and data utilisation?

Armed with these burning questions, we presented these challenges to the tech leaders in our sector. The questions served as a basis for them to craft pitches that addressed the challenges on their own or in tandem with other tech providers.  

The Inspirational Kick-off: The TSH Tech Story

Before participants dispersed into smaller working groups for the workshops, we set the stage with an impactful case study from the Social Hub, igniting their creativity and innovative thinking. Here is what we learned:  

Setting your goals and objectives: At The Social Hub, the driving force has always been the students themselves. With a steadfast belief that students deserve nothing short of excellence, TSH embarked on a mission to create a vibrant hub where young minds could thrive and connect.

Defining your approach: Central to TSH's philosophy is a community-first approach. Recognising that the essence of student living lies in meaningful connections and experiences, TSH prioritised creating an environment where students feel not just accommodated, but truly at home.

Tech Innovation in Action: Embracing a hybrid model presented its share of technical challenges. TSH had to navigate a landscape of diverse platforms and systems, each serving a different purpose. The shift from a platform-centric approach to a guest-centric one required careful planning and execution

Key Touchpoints, Big Impact

Through meticulous planning, TSH identified three main touchpoints where technology could significantly enhance the student experience.

From seamless pre-arrival info to hassle-free laundry and buzzing community events, TSH used tech to elevate every aspect of student life through their app.  

  • Pre-Arrival Information: By leveraging technology, they ensured a seamless transition for incoming students, setting the stage for a positive experience from the outset.
  • Laundry Management: By providing real-time updates on laundry status and availability, they streamlined an essential aspect of student life, enhancing convenience and efficiency.
  • Community Event Visibility and Sign-Up: TSH integrated technology to facilitate event visibility and sign-up. Collaborating with platforms like Eventbrite, they made it effortless for students to discover and participate in community events. Remarkably, 92% of students utilise this feature weekly, underscoring its popularity.

Results that Speak Volumes: Measuring Impact and Driving Improvement

The results speak for themselves. Despite being just nine months old, the TSH app has garnered significant traction, with high user engagement and improved Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Through continuous data collection and analysis, TSH remains committed to refining its technological solutions, ensuring they continue to make a tangible impact on the student experience.


In essence, The Social Hub case exemplifies the transformative power of technology when harnessed with a clear vision can truly help students feel at home and provide them with a holistic experience.  

In the next article, we will be breaking down the business cases of the first workshop session with the theme of customer journey.

Join us on our journey.

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