Unite Students is one of the UK’s largest owners, managers and developers of purpose-built student accommodation serving the country’s higher education sector. It currently provides homes for almost 50,000 students in circa 130 properties across 22 leading university towns and cities in England and Scotland.
During the summer months, Unite Students also rents out its Edinburgh properties as summer city accommodation, an offering which has proved hugely successful since it was launched ten years ago.
We’re delighted to have been working with Unite Students for the past three years, supporting its endeavours to diversify into the tourism market in the Scottish capital in the summer months.
We recently caught up with the company’s Edinburgh operations manager Allistair Cranston to get the lowdown on how our software supports his team with generating summer rental income.
“I joined Unite Students in 2014 and I’ve been working as operations manager for the city for the past three years. I’m responsible for sales, safety, staff engagement and support, for example, and delivering summer income is also a huge part of my role,” Allistair told us.
“We started by renting out about 20-30 rooms for Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and thanks to the high demand this operation has continued to build year on year. In 2019, we rented 1,300 of our 1,800 student rooms in the city over the summer.
“Over the past ten years, we have developed strong relationships with a variety of partners in order to support the incredible growth of this offering, such as booking agents, linen suppliers, housekeeping suppliers and, of course, software solutions providers such as Avondata.
“Our original systems and spreadsheets soon became insufficient to support our summer rental programme, so we turned to Avondata for its PMS and channel manager software, and the company has proved to be a fantastic choice from the outset.
“The Avondata team is so supportive, helpful and responsive, and the platform meets and exceeds our needs. Our objective was to find software that was easy for our staff to get to grips with, especially as they have to use two systems – one for student rentals and one for summer accommodation booking – and this is exactly what we’ve found with Avondata. Unite Students couldn’t be happier with the relationship!”