Homes for Students adopts Lavanda’s platform to support short-stay flexible living strategy

Lavanda will work with HFS to maximise occupancy and rental income by tapping into strong short and medium-term rental demand year-round.

Lavanda CEO Fred Lerche-Lerchenborg | PBSA News
Lavanda CEO Fred Lerche-Lerchenborg.

Independent student accommodation provider Homes for Students has recently adopted Lavanda’s platform to support its short-stay flexible living strategy.  

Lavanda will work with the provider to maximise occupancy and rental income by tapping into strong short and medium-term rental demand year-round with a particular focus on university holidays to enhance its established processes.  

A major part of this strategy is the summer period when, for approximately two months each year, student accommodation buildings can be transformed into pop-up hotels.   

“Historically, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has been considered a premium housing option for domestic students, however a major benefit of being a high quality, premium accommodation option, is that it also particularly appeals to business travellers and tourists.

“Student accommodation offers visitors the chance to stay in high quality rooms in desirable locations, at a price that makes them very competitive when compared with other local hotel and short-term rental options.

“The fact that students and local businesses also benefit makes a flexible rental strategy, the goal of which is to capitalise on under-utilised residential capacity, a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Needless to say, we’re delighted that this partnership with Homes for Students solidifies our position as a leader in the UK PBSA market.”

Fred Lerche-Lerchenborg, CEO, Lavanda

This flexible rental strategy holds benefits for both owners and investors alike, but there are also significant benefits for students and local businesses.  

Investors gain access to a wider array of leasing options, enabling them to tap into short, medium, or long-term rentals within the Lavanda platform and efficiently monetise vacant units.  

Consequently, Homes for Students assets will become more resilient and better equipped to adapt to fluctuations in demand, such as changes in government policy, cost of living pressures or further disruption from the pandemic.  

“As consumers increasingly value flexibility, demand for shorter stays has accelerated creating a catalyst for innovation and change across the residential sector. In many cases this is now driving decision-making for students when it comes to choosing between accommodation options.

“This evolution has been a key factor in shaping our flexible living strategy, which highlights Homes for Students’ commitment both to customer experience and innovation, as well as to the development of residential communities that create meaningful value for both residents and our investors.

“We have selected Lavanda to be our preferred short-stay partner across our whole 39,000-bed student portfolio due to their excellence in technology and deep knowledge of the short-stay industry. As a business, we’re proud and excited to be leveraging technology in such a way that brings our corporate values to life, whilst driving such meaningful benefits for stakeholders at every level.”  

Kate Forester, Managing Director (MD), Homes for Students

Students benefit too as operators can offer them more flexible leases alongside shorter-term or semester-based housing options, ultimately making their own living costs more affordable.   

Local businesses will gain extra traction as more transient shorter-stay guests results in more spending at local hospitality venues and attractions at a time of year when many struggle due to the exodus of students. The current cost-of-living crisis makes these benefits particularly valuable to local economies.