According to changing business trends over the years, the accommodation sector is adapting itself to newer technological developments, looking to gain more profitability and being able to assist the students better. Higher education institutions and student housing providers are moving to ‘Software as a Service (SaaS)’ and cloud-based solutions for their student services and information systems.
Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet and are sometimes called web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software.
A Technology that Helps
According to Technology Trends for Higher Education, “Campus CIOs had taken note of the benefits of SaaS solutions. Gartner researchers estimated that by 2017, at least 75% of higher education institutions will be buying or replacing student information systems (SIS) worldwide would be implementing SaaS- or cloud-based solutions.”
Leading realty giants and those partnering with them to contribute to the student housing sector should implement technology that helps property managers with accounting, maintenance, and tenant, and lease management. They must keep in mind that while developing a solution, it must cater to crucial needs of both the provider and the end-user. At the end of the day, you should have an answer to the question – what key features should be included in a SAAS product?
Here are some key features a SAAS product must-have.
- A far-reaching system integration which can connect providers and students anywhere in the world on the electronic devices they use the most.
- A web-based environment that works with Safari on Apple devices, Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and in mobile browsers.
- A befitting software that surfaces reliability and delivers a facility with 100% network uptime excluding scheduled maintenance.
- An overall intuitive UI, easy to learn and easy to adapt software with 24/7 troubleshooting and online assistance.
- Industry leading in-house support staff who have direct and secure access to your system, to provide assistance quickly and efficiently.
- Software updates without disruption, proper management of the server, operating system and database updates as well as upgrades to ensure the software is functioning at peak performance at all times.
A Time Saving Virtual Environment
Leading student housing marketplaces are now coming up with a more sophisticated, time saving and intuitive virtual environment governed by a completely customizable housing and residence life solution to manage their diverse student populations.
Property Management Solutions provide a cloud-based platform catering to medium to large-level providers. There are low maintenance and largely unlimited site-defined user roles with custom menus, screens, and endless online student-based processes. It is by and large a product that comes with its own advantages making the entire student journey overseas no less than a dream come true.
Leading property providers across the world have a more innovative web and mobile ERP system to provide a great customer experience where students can pay rent and maintenance fee, bring forth their complaints and queries regarding accommodation stay, invite and approve visitors, share information about community events, connect or interact with other residents, all in one place.
Underlying features of the software:
- A cloud-based user interface with access to use cameras in smartphones and tablets to capture property photos.
- Unique features such as autocomplete address lookups, data management and import feature, and built-in live chat support.
- Adding property maintenance requests via the integrated resident portal.
- Efficiently operating to manage the day to day operations that works its way forward, towards improving tenancy rates.
- Easy access to online portals and mobile applications with self-service options.
- End to end accounting solutions with a totally automated receipt generation and an integrated payment gateway.
- Features like payment reminders and budget collaboration for accurate budget and forecasts.
- Comprehensive reporting to manage the business from accounting, customer and supplier statements to audit reports and analyze cost maintenance within a property fund to help stay within the student budget.
The SAAS platform is, therefore, bringing about a change and a total seamless experience for property owners, resident students, and even for the parents back home. This product has digitized the entire property management process in India and abroad while also facilitating seamless integration and smooth experience through a white-labelled application.
The role of SAAS in the student housing sector has been a revolutionary endeavour which uses the same platform to connect providers with students residing in the property and ensure them hassle-free university experience whether in India or abroad.