Managing student housing properties has always been involved and intensive. However, COVID-19 social distancing and isolation guidelines have made the job much harder. Property managers are expected to do more with much less. The only way to achieve that is by tapping into the power of advanced technology and student housing software to achieve better operational efficiency for your facility.
We are talking about saving money, maintaining a healthy living experience for residents, and protecting your staff as best as you can. Facility efficiencies branch out into four specific areas of focus:
- Energy Efficiency
- Building Maintenance Efficiency
- Space Utilization and Occupancy Efficiency
- Mailroom and Package Handling Efficiency
Here is how you can leverage the power of proptech for student housing to enhance operational efficiency in your student housing properties.
1. Energy Efficiency
According to government statistics, 76% of all electricity and 40% of all energy used in the US is utilized in commercial and residential buildings. Maintaining energy efficiency in housing has become a top priority for everybody, and multi-unit housing facilities in particular.
You may not know that, on average, about ⅓ of energy used in buildings is wasted. You could save up to 30% of your energy bills through increased energy efficiency!
One of the ways you can do that is by using building energy management systems. Such systems make use of measuring and monitoring systems to optimize energy usage for every housing unit.
You can also use these systems to monitor energy usage for all major electrical energy consumers such as heating, aircon, cookers, refrigeration, and various other systems. That way, you can control and optimize energy efficiency at a local level.
There are other ways to reduce energy usage, such as:
- Use energy star appliances and fixtures. They can help save a lot of electricity, up to 50% less over the lifetime of the appliance
- Request your utility provider for submetering options to help you track energy usage on a more detailed level for your facility
- Fine-tune and schedule heating and aircon systems by building occupancy
2. Building Maintenance Efficiency
Regular and proper facility maintenance has wide-reaching effects on building efficiencies including reducing energy costs, preventing costly repairs, and reducing downtime. One of the essential approaches to facility management is preventative maintenance.
Preventative maintenance is a building management best practice that involves scheduling maintenance rounds to minimize the possibility of failure. Also called planned maintenance, it is done on critical systems such as electricals, plumbing, and HVAC. According to a University of Minnesota audit, this practice can save you 12-18% in maintenance costs.
Besides, student facility managers can also use issue detection and reporting systems that can flag potential problems in real-time. These systems use smart sensors such as thermostats, pressure sensors, and photo capture, among others.
Even without expensive tech, having a robust communication platform such as Notifii Connect allows residents to report problems as soon as they occur, enabling you to take instant action and reduce possible damages. Plus, Notifii integrates natively with Yardi, one of the best property management software solutions.
Notifii+Yardi gives you a top-of-the-line facility maintenance and management toolset for student housing properties to help you gain a vital edge in the market.
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3. Space Utilization and Occupancy Efficiency
Space planning and optimization is nothing new in multi-unit housing facilities. However, it has become even more critical during the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting social distancing guidelines.
With the right space management software, you will have the power to plan and optimize space utilization for maximum safety and returns. With features such as interactive stacking and smart navigation, you can plan out occupancy floor by floor and unit by unit while maintaining recommended spacing. Here are a few social distancing guidelines for your mailroom.
You can also use space planning systems in conjunction with energy management software to help you implement occupancy-based HVAC and lighting control. Thanks to occupancy information, you can program thermostats and other electronics and save up to 80% more of the energy used by appliances left on while nobody is at home.
Another type of building management system you can use is the Computer-Assisted Facility Management system. These are a type of integrated building management platform that you can use for your daily duties such as employee management, management of physical resources (space, supplies, utilities, etc.), and financial management for your facility.
These integrated systems are designed for large multi-unit building facilities that require constant, professional management by bringing all facility management tools to one central platform. You can even use such a system to make reservations and bookings for empty units.
4. Mailroom and Package Handling Efficiency
Mailroom efficiency is not something you might think about when cost-saving strategies come up in discussions. Yet, it is one of the ways you can save thousands through increased package handling efficiency.
Now that everyone is staying indoors, we have experienced a sharp rise in the number of packages and mail being delivered to mailrooms thanks to online shopping. Traditional systems of package management simply won’t cut it.
With this increase comes a big responsibility to receive, protect, and distribute packages to their respective owners. Front-office staff in colleges were already overwhelmed with the sheer number of deliveries made to college mailrooms every day, but COVID-19 has made the situation impossible.
This is where front desk software like the Notifii package management system comes into play. We realized that the biggest challenges with package delivery to student halls included:
- Verifying the identity of the recipient from delivery information
- Notifying the recipient in time to ensure fast pickup
- Verifying pickup for accountability purpose
- Tracking packages to reduce cases of theft
- During COVID-19, spacing out pickups for better social distancing in the mailroom
With Notifii package tracking solutions for student housing, your employees can now receive and log packages within seconds.
The lobby software notifies residents automatically and schedules pickup for optimum social distancing and efficiency.
This system also helps to ensure less buildup in the mailroom through fast, efficient pickup, making the experience better for workers and residents alike. By reducing the number of staff, liability costs, and resource wastage, Notifii can save you over $30,000 a year.
The University of North Carolina already implemented the system and is loving the fast, supremely efficient package tracking system. You can also implement our mailroom management system to save yourself, your staff, and residents from the package pandemic flowing into student housing properties.
To learn more about how Notifii can revolutionize your package tracking systems, schedule a demo today.
How to: Social Distance Your Mailroom