MANAGEMENT CAN RETURN MORE ORGANIZED THAN EVER POST COVID
With spring quickly becoming summer, 2020 high school graduates are now looking ahead to college. Much was made of this year’s graduates doing so without ceremonies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Now they are on the brink of more firsts as they navigate uncharted territory along with the rest of us, all adapting as a society to the new normal of life amidst a pandemic.
Universities would normally be gearing up for student orientations, welcome tours and filling up their student housing properties for the upcoming fall semester. This time of year is the busiest and most hectic for student housing facilities and their dorm managers. That time now comes even earlier than expected due to COVID-19.
Colleges across the country are moving up their schedules to begin earlier and end earlier, hoping to avoid the harsher winter conditions that are known for virus spread. Capitalizing on the better weather also encourages more outdoor activity, which helps limit virus spread. And finishing before Thanksgiving limits holiday travel, another major contributor to virus spread.
So in addition to adjusting to new COVID-related factors for safety, dorm managers and student housing facilities are being asked to do so in less time than they’re used to. For example, at Northern Arizona University, they’ll be starting their fall semester on August 12th and ending classes before the Thanksgiving holiday. Comparable scheduling windows can be expected, with even earlier starts and ends to the upcoming semester very probable in colder climates.
With the condensed schedule and student arrivals right around the corner, housing departments at universities are working tirelessly to make COVID-related alterations and improvements to their student housing as quickly and as safely as possible. They are focused on protecting all of their residents by preventing the spread of the virus both through the air and on surfaces.
As it pertains to “through the air,” improved air filtration systems have been one method used to sure up air quality. This is a vital concern with so many young people housed in close quarters. Especially in a dorm environment, where students often leave their doors wide open so they can walk in and out of their rooms as well as friends and neighbors they’ve met. This creates more ‘shared-air’ and increases the need for improved air filtration.
As far as protecting surfaces, many dorm management and student housing staff are implementing a new concept called “touch-point-analysis.” The idea is to identify all the points or objects within the buildings where multiple residents are likely to be touching the same ones repeatedly. Shared vending machines, laundry machines, door handles, light switches, and cafeteria counters are all top considerations in this capacity. Once these surfaces are identified, student housing and university maintenance teams will seek out ways to alter the surfaces to help less hands touch them. Whether that means converting doors to ‘swinging,’ creating
timers for lights, voice activated vending machines or making surfaces naturally antimicrobial, teams are assembling quickly across the nation in these efforts.
Social distancing will continue to be a main priority as students move into dorms and other student housing locations. Keeping with CDC guidelines implemented both federally and at state-levels, social distancing policies for universities will adhere to 25% of maximum occupancy for all common rooms such as cafeterias and study halls. However, without the staff to enforce these guidelines, student awareness will be vital in self-policing their social distancing.
Despite a move to online classes at high rates, pre-leasing agreements for student housing facilities at universities across the country are only down 6%. Many students don’t have the option to live at home with parents who are in a higher risk group. Therefore, student housing provides the best alternative, whether classes are online or in person.
Many colleges are proceeding with in person classes this fall, which will put a significant onus on social distancing awareness. Educators, maintenance-staff, and other faculty responsible for operating education halls and buildings will undergo mandatory education regarding safe practices. That will include enhanced sanitation and cleaning practices, the distribution and use of masks in common areas, physical distancing, and new protocols for testing in coordination with county and state health officials.
Classrooms will all offer streaming options, even if they are meeting regularly for in person class. Students will not be forced out of their comfort zone and that policy is scheduled to remain in effect for the duration of the upcoming semester.
STUDENT HOUSING OCCUPANCY COULD INCREASE THIS FALL
With some on-campus housing options taking the fall 2020 semester off, it’s inevitable that occupancy in the open student housing facilities is bound to increase. Due to COVID, the staff for these student housing facilities will have to change their organization methods this year and adapt to a world where many students will be taking classes online, either from home or while occupying student housing. This new normal creates additional challenges from an organizational perspective. New factors that hadn’t been previously considered will now affect dorm management’s ability to keep track of their students, including the ability to keep them safe and fed.
This is where Booking Ninjas can offer a solution by way of their student housing software. With their ability to customize platforms, the changing landscape and new considerations associated with dorm management are easily adaptable. In fact, we believe that our dorm management software will enable student housing facilities to operate in a more organized manner than ever before.
In the rest of this blog, we aim to detail exactly how that is possible. We’ll share the many organizational options available in dorm management and provide relief, peace of mind, and confidence to dorm managers whose heads may be spinning at all the new factors they must now consider in the face of COVID-19.
WHAT IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE?
Before we can delve into how our student housing software can help increase efficiency for dorm managers and student housing facilities, it is important to understand property management software (PMS) systems in general.
A property management system (PMS) is a software application for the operation of hospitality businesses such as hotels and commercial or residential rental properties. Student housing falls into the residential property category. PMS software operates from a centralized computer system designed to organize, schedule, and perform the day-to-day functions and transactions involved in rental and hospitality accommodations businesses. They are the ultimate organizers for businesses in these industries, automating workforce tasks and maximizing efficiency.
Our PMS solutions have been geared toward the hospitality business for years and more specifically, toward hotels. They benefited the most from property management software along with commercial and residential properties, then manufacturing, real estate, and local government agencies. However, student housing was an untapped sector of the residential property management market. With easily adaptable and customizable software, Booking Ninjas was able to easily convert their PMS systems to be ideal for student housing property management.
WHAT IS STUDENT HOUSING SOFTWARE?
Student housing software is a digital solution that helps student housing property managers with accounting, maintenance, tenant/ student organization, lease agreements, packages, and facility operations under a single centralized system. As was previously covered, property management systems are customized for the needs of the hospitality industry to further increase ease of operations. Therefore, they can easily be customized to fit the needs of dorm managers in student housing properties as well. Computer record keeping and dorm management software will seamlessly collaborate to increase the efficiency of your student housing facility by making it possible to update and consult centralized records from multiple computers and devices.
Booking Ninjas broadened the scope of applicability for property management systems in 2015 when they became a Salesforce partner. By combining our elite PMS platform with the revolutionary technology of Salesforce and its ‘Einstein Artificial Intelligence’ (AI), we’ve broadened the scope of property management software to include all housing situations. As the first and only property management business to be an official Salesforce partner, our PMS has unlimited access to the technological juggernaut that is Salesforce and their signature ‘Einstein AI.’
Our technology was created to adapt to the properties that use it. That means, every aspect of our PMS solution will be specifically configured to your property’s data and making it the most personalized software for your business.
Whether it’s student identification numbers, class schedules, parent’s names, hometowns, you name it, whatever data you’d like to input in your student housing property will be housed under a single platform for your convenience. One exciting feature we gained via our Salesforce connection is being listed on “AppExchange.” This equates to our software being adaptable to any app or program, including university websites and their affiliates. With most of the data input coming from young people, the most tech savvy of all generations, our student housing system enables you with the ability to connect with them. By offering your students options in how they communicate via our software, you’ll be gaining their trust, interest and participation. This will surely simplify data collection.
The Booking Ninjas dorm management software features a customizable platform, which allows you to formulate reports from any individual department. You’ll be able to keep track of important student documents and information, keeping them all secure in one place. Since that information is being gathered from different sources, our platform also enables the dorm manager or software operator the ability to control which staff members have access to what information.
DORM MANAGERS CREATE CUSTOM REPORTS
The job of dorm managers, along with other staff below them working in student housing buildings is made simpler via student housing software. Reports pertaining to student’s attendance, grades, legal issues, dietary restrictions, online streaming versus in-person class preferences, and other specifications can all be organized, stored, and accessed in one place. The information can be grouped together or separately for reports. These reports can be created and shared instantly.
MORE STUDENTS TAKING CLASSES ONLINE DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
As previously mentioned, regardless of whether a college or university offers live class in classrooms or not, students will have the option to stream their classes online for at least the duration of the fall 2020 semester. This means that the ability of faculty to keep track of student’s attendance will grow.
Fortunately, this need is well within the capabilities of our Booking Ninjas student housing system. Whether it be uploading their schedules or a variety of other data input options, our PMS solutions allow for student class schedules, preferred method of attendance (streaming or in-person), roommates, lease agreements, student identification numbers, and many other identifiable details to all be organized on a single platform for convenience and efficiency.
MOBILITY IS PARAMOUNT IN THE AGE OF COVID-19
Dorm management software systems bring together all the elements of running a successful student housing facility by organizing them into a single easy-to-use and mobile friendly platform. At Booking Ninjas, our mission from the beginning with PMS systems was to make them more convenient and less time consuming to use, in turn maximizing efficiency for the property managers using them.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, our world, which was already becoming more mobile by the day, now has reached new levels of mobility out of necessity for human safety. This current situation makes having student housing property management software vital to your functionality and guest safety. You’ll be able to organize all elements of your student housing properties in one place. And even better, you’ll be able to manage these properties on any device from anywhere in the world.
In this day and age, location should never be a deciding factor in business. The world has grown smaller due to constantly evolving technology, which is now being put to the test and continuing to evolve faster than ever in the face of a global pandemic.
There are endless possibilities in communication options for your students, whether you’re only housing locals or students from all over the world. The millennial generation and the generations that follow them understand technology and our new normal more than any other generation in the world today. And they are the ones inhabiting these facilities. An average millennial checks their phone 43 times a day, so having an efficient, intelligent, and adaptable student housing system will elicit a much greater response and more frequent use.
Social media has infiltrated all business across the world. The mobility advantages with our PMS solutions resonate with young people. With the Booking Ninjas software, you’ll enjoy fluid integration to social media and other platforms geared toward youth.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, students seeking university education and student housing have never been more varied in their different needs and circumstances. In this new reality, having the best PMS solutions available in dorm management software will help student housing facilitators stay organized and prepared to meet student’s needs.
The necessity for maintenance teams to be organized, efficient and precise in student housing properties has never been greater due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping a sterile, safe living environment for students and faculty will be of the utmost importance in order for school to stay in session. Booking Ninjas student housing property management systems could be a dorm manager’s greatest asset in ensuring that their maintenance teams are operating with the utmost efficiency and organization during this time.
Implementing successful student housing software is a breeze when you have the support of Booking Ninjas and Salesforce. Cloud-based PMS systems are the most reliable way to store your student’s information and secure it for analysis.
Launching a property management system will instantly change the way you run your student housing property and connect you with your young, tech savvy tenants like never before.
During this unprecedented time in the world’s history, people are coming together like never before to battle an invisible enemy that affects us all. And continuing the education of the next generation certainly wouldn’t hurt our society’s chances for success in battling coronavirus. Our future leaders need every opportunity to stay in school and prepare for a world that is sure to be different than the one we were living in just a few short months ago. Let us do our part by making student’s housing managers as prepared and safe as possible this upcoming semester and beyond.
Implementing a Booking Ninjas software solution can be done in a matter of clicks. One of the staples of the company is their top-of-the-line data migration process. All you would have to do in the case of student housing PMS is provide student and faculty data and the system does the rest. Customize your security preferences and begin. You’ll be managing your student housing property like a pro in no time.
To get started, simply schedule a call with us today. Or you may send an email to our sales team at [email protected].