Client: Queensland Place
Location: Edge Hill, Liverpool
Building Services, Managing agent, New development consultation
In partnership with urbanbubble, property owners achieved:
- State-of-the-art facilities in a brand-new rental site
- Quick action to fulfil resident promises
- A responsive lettings service
- 96% pre-bookings for the 2018/19 academic year
The full story:
Liverpool’s student community is one of the fastest growing in the UK. Queensland Place, a set of 399 residential areas, is situated in Edge Hill – minutes away from the University of Liverpool campus.
It’s composed of 73 cluster rooms with a kitchen, lounge, and three to seven bedrooms per apartment, along with 25 studio flats. Combined, these offer affordable luxury, with numerous facilities taking it above and beyond the norm for student accommodation.
When taking over the contract of Queensland Place’s very little time was available for the newly put together team to get to grips with the site itself. During the build of the developer and contractor faced unexpected delays that put the opening in September 2016 under pressure. When the team arrived on site for the first time 1 week before the opening, the size of the challenge became clear. As ever with student accommodation the building has to be open in September before the start of the academic year. The team arrived on site with many items still to be completed before the opening it was a race against time to ensure the students had the building that was promised to them.
Taking over the lettings management as well as the block management if transpired that many rooms weren’t let out yet: far from the near-total capacity desired for the beginning of the September term. Our challenge was twofold. First, we had to assist the developer where we could to achieve the desired result with the building readiness. Second, our skill as a lettings operator needed to prove itself as quickly as possible as there were over 100 occupancies to fill.
On top of this, urbanbubble had only just expanded to the Liverpool region. Queensland Place was one of several sites under our jurisdiction, but our oldest serving team member had been there for a mere three weeks before the apartments were due to open. Time, and resources, were incredibly tight.
We began by working with contractors and the development team, finishing every bedroom, communal space and signage installation. urbanbubble added a gym for £20,000, so residents could stay healthy at home. Then we focused on the common room, dressing it with a pool and ping pong table, as well as televisions. Very soon, the site became what it was advertised to be. This took a lot of hard work and the Liverpool team supported by colleagues from Manchester rallied together with the developer and construction company in order to implement all the needed facilities and open the doors on 9 September 2016.
Fulfilling residents’ appeal
In tandem, our lettings experts conducted viewings and tweaked the marketing aspects of Queensland Place ahead of the looming 9thSeptember deadline. Everyone rallied together and managed to bring the spaces up to near complete residency. From that point until December, we took on a huge amount of pressure, but got to where we are today – a 98% occupancy rate.
Understanding what students want
The years since have led us to sustain a lettings and management role for Queensland Place. This dual obligation means we know how occupants see, experience and respond to the facilities at their feet.
Nothing escapes us – a fact enhanced by our resident surveys, which is partly why 20% of our Queensland Place students have renewed their annual contracts. Meanwhile, pre-lettings are at 96%, evidencing how we target the right markets. We want residents to stay on for the duration of their course. For the 2018/19 year, the aim is to double retention to 40%.
“After having lived at Queensland Place for over half a year now, I do agree with all the other previous reviews, but one thing I haven’t noticed is people mentioning how clean and tidy the entire accomodation is kept by the two wonderful cleaners Lynn and Angela. Before I’ve even set off to my 9am lecture, these ladies are on there hands and knees scrubbing, and buffing the accomodation until it is spotless.” – Umar Patel
“Julie from reception and Lynn and Angela the housekeeper have made living at Queensland Place more comfortable than anything. These women ALWAYS welcome everyone that comes into the building with a welcoming smile. I feel comfortable to ask for anything from them as they are always eager to help. They make Queensland into a home for me.” – Christine Anozie