Tracking residential changes across sites

In this blog, two StarRez community members demonstrate how they manage onsite movements for residents and visitors with minimal impact.
Keeping track of residential movement across sites is very important, from a health and safety perspective but also ensuring you capture the correct data you can refer to in the future for returning visitors. In this blog, we demonstrate how two universities manage their additional occupants and what information they capture to enhance their reporting providing.

Accommodating guests across sites

Across most residential sites there is a high demand for residents to be able to accommodate visiting guests.  Permitting visitors is a huge part of the residential experience and making these processes as seamless and straight forward as possible will have a great impact on resident satisfaction as well as the visitors onsite experience.  

Western Kentucky University (WKU) have 24-hour visitation across their campus, meaning that guests can check in and out at any time during the day or night, however, this must be done at the customer service desk with a valid ID.

All guests must be escorted by their resident throughout the buildings and are not permitted to stay onsite if the resident leaves.  Residents must check out each guest as they leave the building and are responsible for their guest’s actions whilst onsite.

The challenge

Before WKU implemented StarRez, residents and guests approached the front desk for a full check in process, causing delays for desk staff transcribing ID information and keeping up with visitation holds and bans were almost impossible to identify in their previous process. Staff previously had to write out all roster information and every night staff would audit roster and transcribe the information to a new sheet for the next day. A very manual process.

“We didn’t realize how bad the previous process was until we were able to fully track the numbers, we reported that 235,000 visitors checked in during the academic year of 2018-19 which was our first full academic year with StarRez”

Doug Tate – Assistant Director Housing Admin, Western Kentucky University

The solution

All desk staff now have a dashboard that is relative to the building they work in. When a resident comes to the front desk to check in a visitor they present their university ID, each desk has been fitted with a mag stripe card reader which allows you to capture the ID information and look them up quickly. You can then add the visitor information into the system or look them up if they already have a visitor profile within the system. Additionally, you can offer your residents the option to pre-register guests via the resident portal.

Introducing this new process via StarRez meant that WKU were able to set maximum numbers of visitors and hold notes as to why some visitors were banned or on hold across different buildings, allowing staff to easily monitor and retrieve visitor information.  WKU also have a data subscription that creates a visitor profile at room check in/entry creation, meaning that the visitor profile is saved and easily accessible for returning guests. StarRez provides a dependable solution for you to completely streamline your visitation processes, providing staff with full access to the data and logs that are required.

“If a resident has any kind of conduct issue or something that is barring them from having visitors on site or the visitor in particular has any barring the system would then flag this and throw up an error message highlighting the issue for our resident life staff”

Doug Tate – Assistant Director Housing Admin, Western Kentucky University

Utilizing additional occupants to track Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

Whilst a resident is living on campus they can be accompanied by another person or ESA (Emotional Support Animal) and StarRez allows you to add additional occupants and creates profiles for them linked to a current resident booking, even if they move rooms. Tracking visitor information via StarRez allows you to have a full record of visitors as well as their behavior on site. This allows you to have a record of any previous conduct issues relating to a specific visitor and enables you to enforce visitor bans and holds if necessary.

Around 30% of StarRez customers are currently using the system to track animal guests as well as residents.

The University of Memphis utilize our Additional Occupant solution to capture information on students who have a need for an ESA. The information regarding ESA’s is captured as part of the student application process, highlighted under a section where students can notify the resident life team to whether or not they have any special needs or requirements, and the application is tailored dependent on their answers. The resident staff team will then approve and register their ESA and notify the housing team to add the additional occupant against the student record within StarRez.

"The approved ESA is added under the medical flag so that this is easy and clear to see within the database at a quick glance"

Ada Waddel – Resident Life Supervisor, University of Memphis

Memphis have also created a custom field to highlight that an ESA has been approved through Disability Resources for Students (DRS) and once that field has been checked the data goes to a report which includes all approvals for additional occupants. Additionally, the report feeds into a dashboard that Memphis use to highlight all of the residents that have an ESA, making it easy for staff to keep a track of them. This field also generates an automated email to go out to all professional staff notifying them of the student who has an ESA, particularly before the student arrives on campus.

“We use this report a lot for carrying information over to the next academic year, we want to make sure that we have those approvals pulling over to the next year for new bookings and also want to notify all staff of the ESA especially maintenance staff that may be entering the students room”

Ada Waddel – Resident Life Supervisor, University of Memphis

If you want to learn more about the solutions mentioned in this blog, you can find out more below  

Elisha Ricketts
Elisha is our UK Community Relations Account Manager. She coordinates and strategises on new solutions or business processes.


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