Are you looking to attract more Chinese students to your Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)? With the rise of international education plus the growth in the popularity of PBSA, China has become a significant source of student recruitment.
However, marketing your PBSA to this specific demographic requires a unique approach. In this guide, we will provide you with all the tips and tricks to effectively market your PBSA to Chinese students. So let’s get started and dive into the world of Chinese student recruitment.
PBSA and its Appeal to Chinese Students
As the number of Chinese students studying abroad continues to grow, so does the demand for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). Yet, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know how to market rooms to Chinese students effectively. So firstly, let’s start with getting a better understanding of PBSA and its appeal to this target market.
Chinese students often prefer PBSA over other types of accommodation mainly due to the fact that PBSA offers a range of benefits, such as a safe and secure environment, communal living spaces, and modern amenities.
One of the biggest reasons why Chinese students prefer PBSA is the level of security it provides. Many PBSA complexes have on-site security staff and CCTV, which helps to create a safe and secure living environment. Additionally, students can benefit from the support and guidance of dedicated staff members, who can help them to navigate life in a new country.
Another key benefit of PBSA is the communal living spaces that are available. Students can socialise and make friends with other students who are also studying abroad. This can help to create a sense of community and reduce feelings of isolation and homesickness. Additionally, communal spaces such as kitchens and common rooms can be used for studying and group projects, providing students with additional resources and support.
And then, PBSA complexes generally have modern amenities that can make student life more comfortable and convenient. For example, many PBSA units come equipped with high-speed internet, laundry facilities, and fitness centres.
What Makes Chinese Students Unique?
Chinese students are unique in various aspects. Firstly, the Chinese culture has a strong emphasis on education, and as a result, there is a high value placed on academic achievement. This cultural value drives many Chinese students to pursue higher education, both domestically and internationally.
Many Chinese students have a strong desire to improve their English proficiency, which often leads them to seek out language exchange programs or other opportunities to practice their language skills.
Overall, with a strong commitment to their education and a willingness to adapt and learn, Chinese students have continued to excel in their academic pursuits and make valuable contributions to the international academic community.
Strategies for Reaching Chinese Students
There are a few key things to keep in mind when marketing rooms to Chinese students.
Firstly, it's good to be aware that most Chinese students do not speak English as their first language. This means that any marketing materials should be available in both Mandarin and English. You should also consider hiring bilingual staff members who can help with communication between you and your Chinese student tenants.
Then, in a country which had 1.02 billion internet users at the start of 2022 and where the majority of Chinese students make use of social media for informed decision-making, it makes sense for PBSA brands to deploy a solid digital strategy. By leveraging social media platforms, PBSA brands can effectively showcase their accommodations, highlight amenities, provide virtual tours, and share testimonials to build trust with Chinese students seeking quality accommodation options. A well-executed digital strategy ensures that PBSA brands can effectively reach and connect with this important student demographic.
It is also important to remember that China is a huge country with a vast array of cultures within it. Try to learn as much as you can about the different regions of China and what type of students come from each area. With this knowledge, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with Chinese students.
Understanding How to Market Rooms to Chinese Students
While there are a number of marketing tools you can use to reach Chinese students studying abroad, it makes the most sense to deploy the most widely used platform: WeChat.
With a recent study citing over 1.3 billion WeChat users in 2023 – and the majority of users being Chinese – the potential reach of this platform is unparalleled.
Essentially, it is an all-in-one app that offers messaging, social networking, and mobile payment functions. It also has a feature called "Mini Programs" which are lightweight apps within the WeChat platform.
Mini Programs offer a quick and convenient way for users to access various services, such as ordering food, booking a taxi, or purchasing tickets for movies or concerts – and in this case, discovering student property abroad – without having to download a separate app or navigate to an external website.
Given the popularity of WeChat and its Mini Programs feature, it is a highly effective way to market PBSA to Chinese students. By creating a Mini Program for PBSA, you can provide an easy and seamless way for students to search for and book PBSA accommodation. They can also incorporate features such as virtual tours, reviews, and ratings, which are important factors for Chinese students when choosing accommodation.
Seize the PBSA Growth Opportunities
As the Chinese student market continues to grow, understanding how best to reach and engage with potential clients is vital for any PBSA provider.
Following the tips outlined in this article will go a long way to ensure that your message reaches the right students quickly and effectively.