A brand’s image and public perception count for a lot. Just look at how Cristiano Ronaldo wiped $4 billion off Coca Cola’s stock value when he snubbed the drink in favour of water during an interview.
This scenario taught us two things:
People want to be associated with a brand seen as “good” and products that have a positive effect
People are heavily influenced by another person’s opinions especially if that person is in the public eye
Every industry is in the same boat, even PBSA. Ethics and safety are two key concerns for young adults, and they feel more reassured when an accommodation brand is clearly doing all they can to make the university experience safer and more enjoyable for them.
The best furniture suppliers can help improve your image, as we detail below.
Keeping Safety in Mind
It goes without saying that the safety of students comes before anything else. Furniture that isn’t fit for purpose can be dangerous, which is why it’s important to source items from reputable suppliers who specialise in the student accommodation market.
If an item breaks and a student is hurt as a result, there will be questions concerning who is responsible. Furniture built with the demographic in mind is a lot more durable, meaning you’re very unlikely to be put in this situation.
To guarantee that furniture is safe to use, our own delivery team will put together every item and carry out the installation, completing safety checks along the way.
Furniture in residential and hospitality settings also have to meet UK Fire Regulations. Thankfully, the vast majority of vendors stick to these rules, so the chances of you buying items that haven’t passed the Crib 5 test are very slim.
When it comes to the students, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The best furniture suppliers are more than happy to show that their products meet regulations, so ask for proof if there’s anything you’re unsure of.
An Ethical PBSA Scheme
If you’ve been reading our blogs for some time, you’ll already know that LOFT is a company that cares about the planet just as much as we care about our clients and their residents.
So how does this help you?
Well, young people are the driving force behind the change in opinion towards climate change and sustainability. They’re actively finding ways to cut their own carbon footprint, and they’re engaging with businesses that take corporate responsibility seriously.
Wherever possible, the furniture we source for your PBSA scheme will be constructed from sustainable materials such as wood, stone and clay. Our procurement team and interior designers make sure to find products that are eye-catching and desirable as well to tick all boxes.
And as you already know, students don’t always go easy on furnishings, and if furniture breaks, it needs to be replaced. The best furniture suppliers don’t just replace damaged items, they recycle them, too.
Partnering with LOFT means you can make a promise to students when they’re touring your building: furniture is ethically sourced and responsibly recycled when it’s no longer fit for use.
External Partners Reflect Back on You
To build your PBSA scheme’s image successfully, you need reliable external partners who know how to act professionally around your staff and residents. Anyone who completes work in your development essentially becomes an extension of your team — regardless of how long they’ll be there.
Let’s say there are several units that need replacement furniture. The delivery and installation team has to understand they’re entering someone’s home. They need to be polite and respectful, keeping disruption to an absolute minimum.
Some key ways in which our team puts your employees and residents first include:
Showing up on time
Wearing carpet protectors if asked
Wearing face masks and using sanitiser when entering the building
Answering any questions
Clearing away any packaging and old items to be recycled
People want to be associated with “good” brands. A can-do attitude, manners, and being careful around a student’s belongings is the way to improve your development’s reputation. To ensure you never have a problem from external partners, you should always check out the company’s testimonials and online review scores. The best furniture suppliers will be more than happy to provide references as well.
Establishing Your Reputation
PBSAs rely on their strong reputation to retain students for the duration of their course. They also need a stream of great feedback to encourage first years that the development is right for their needs.
Finding the best furniture suppliers will certainly help add further credibility to your image. The right external partners understand that being on their best behaviour and having a good attitude will reflect well on you.
With over 18 years worth of experience working in the student accommodation sector, LOFT knows exactly how our actions, products and services can be used to improve your PBSA scheme’s reputation.
We’re always open to discuss new projects, and we will gladly provide you with references that go into more detail on our professionalism. Make sure to check out our recent work in PBSA and contact us with your requirements.
Student Amenity Space Survey
Are you a PBSA developer or operator? A student landlord or letting agent? If so, please take part in our survey.