I can go online today and use technology to help me find anything from the closest place for a mani-pedi, to my perfect match soul-mate. So why can’t we use technology to help us match the right roommates?
Admittedly, it’s been a few years since I was in the stage of my life where I was a student and subject to the whims of a student housing coordinator that always seemed to have a personal vendetta against me. But you would think with technology at the point that it is today, that student housing properties would have some sort of technology-aided system in place to help them fill their vacant spaces with the best fits. Right?
Unfortunately that isn’t the case. I’ve spoken with several companies over the past few months that either exclusively handle student properties or at least have several student properties in their portfolio. I wanted to get a sense of the process and the effort that it takes to match roommates during the placement process. I was shocked to find out that it is a 100% analog process involving stacks of papers, best guesses, and gallons of coffee. I guess that explains why my freshman year roommate was a mohawk-sporting smoker who thought that the best time to play his guitar was between the hours of 2-4am. (Seriously?!)
We’ve all been there. I’ve heard horror stories of bad roommate pairings. There are many websites dedicated to bad roommates – just Google it. Now I’m no idealist, I know that there will always be bad roommates, but there has to be a way to get rid of the blatant misses in matching roommates without hiring a back office relationship expert/amatuer psychic to sift through applications. This considered, an integrated property management solution to help execute, process, and manage roommate matching would be game-changing. It would not only save countless headaches for overworked student property staff, but potentially lower turnover by placing the right roommates together from day one. Happy residents = residents who are willing to stick around.
We can shrug-off our roommate nightmares as character-building experiences essential to the college experience… or we can make some changes and save our kids from the headaches we ourselves wouldn’t wish on the worst party school hero.