How People Counters Save Time, Money and Staff

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Accurately monitoring foot traffic through your facility helps you make better, more informed decisions. Through dedicated and sophisticated software, you can accurately monitor your foot traffic and make the necessary changes within your organization to save money and time, manage facilities more effectively, direct your staff and take advantage of traditional marketing strategies. 

People counting can assist with many aspects of your facility management, such as infrastructure, staffing, hygiene facilities, resources and equipment. Most importantly, it helps you ensure your facility is running smoothly and at optimum efficiency and profitability. Make wise choices with robust visitor traffic counting software — learn about it here. 


Installing a people counting system in your library can have many benefits. Many libraries are reaping the rewards from this software by using it to save money, justify the library’s existence and improve library services. Some advantages include:

  • Recording the total headcount in the facility at any given time. 
  • Reporting metrics such as visitors per hour, day, week, month or year.
  • Discovering which areas of the library are most popular.
  • Reducing queues.
  • Discovering which days and times are the busiest and improving staffing and service during those periods. 
  • Monitoring paths visitors take through the facility. 
  • Understanding and monitoring the library’s circulation rate to customize the visitor experience.

Most of the benefits listed above aim at improving an individual’s experience in the library. Libraries have to prove their worth every time technology evolves, as people often see them as redundant. By using monitoring software such as a people counter, you can customize the library experience. 

You can achieve this by having more staff during busy times to avoid queues and frustration and supplying more information and books that people find interesting based on the library’s busy sections. Understanding the patterns and habits of library visitors can help you plan ahead and save money on staffing and resources people don’t necessarily use often, increasing your efficiency within the college. 

College Entrances

The university entrance is probably one of the busiest places at a school at any point in time. This entrance provides entry to every lecturer, student, staff member and delivery person, plus anyone else visiting the university for the day. 

Tracking the number of people at the college entrance during certain times of the day helps ensure the college has the proper funding and organization to keep everything running smoothly. Funding may seem worlds apart from entrance monitoring, but with people tracking software, you can monitor daily foot traffic and wear and tear. This knowledge helps you propose budgets for infrastructure improvements and maintenance, as you already know what physical changes that area will experience within the next semester or year. 

Entrance tracking can also ensure colleges have enough staff members present during peak times and fewer faculty during slower periods. You can decrease staff costs by avoiding unnecessary over-staffing throughout the day. 

Different college departments can also adapt their physical marketing strategies accordingly — like hanging up posters — and market to the right people at the right time. Students may be more likely to remember the advert and take action on it if they feel like it was tailored to them. You can then adapt your marketing to make your promotions translate to traffic.  

Large amounts of data can be collected through entrance halls, and it becomes easier to do profiling of various demographics for marketing purposes. This information is also easy to present to key shareholders at a glance, as the software will provide users with charts and graphs to display the information collected.

colleges are more than just education centers

On-Campus Cafes and Restaurants

Colleges are more than just educational centers — they become a place of entertainment, food, socialization and fitness for their students. Learners will spend more time at their college studying, researching and socializing with their friends if it is an enjoyable place. With campus occupancy counters, you can see whether your students are spending their money on food and coffee at your facility as opposed to somewhere else. 

A big part of keeping your students at your food facilities is improving their experience. If they have a great time, don’t have to wait in queues, enjoy the food and coffee and receive great service, they are less likely to leave campus and enjoy their time somewhere else. 

To make your college or university a place your learners enjoy, it is important to customize certain aspects of it. With people counting software, it is easy to monitor your peak times and provide adequate numbers of staff during those periods. You can monitor which days are busiest compared to other days based on the menu or available specials. This information can help you understand your customers better and point out exactly what they like and dislike. 

Most learners these days spend their time on their laptops completing homework, researching and studying. People counting software lets you observe busy times and prepare your infrastructure for higher engagement by upgrading the Wi-Fi to handle high demand and ensuring there are enough charging points around the restaurant. 

When everyone is able to plug in and log on, they’ll be more likely to spend their time in the cafe or restaurant and eat and drink more. This improvement is great for budgeting and can become a very profitable part of your institution. 

On-Campus Gyms

Fitness is a part of the college experience many students focus on. Exercise can be a stress reliever for many people, and gyms offer a place for individuals to work out and feel good about themselves. Tailoring the gym experience for students is just as important as personalizing any other location on campus. No one likes standing in queues for a machine or being unable to stretch properly because the gym is too full. 

By monitoring the amount of traffic going in and out of the gym at certain times of the day, you can adjust staffing to ensure there are enough staff members during busy and quiet times, which helps you save costs. Knowing your gym’s capacity also lets you make equipment adjustments as needed. You may realize some machines are hardly ever used, or there isn’t enough of a certain machine type to accommodate every visitor. Understanding what does and doesn’t work helps you stay on top of machine hygiene and efficiency.

traf-sys college people counters

Get a Free Quote for Traf-Sys People Counting Software

The benefits of people counting software cover every inch of your college campus. By tracking the number of people in and around your facilities, you can focus more on providing a tailored experience and providing students with a comfortable and accommodating place of learning. Plus, you can do all this while still cutting costs and making the most of your marketing strategies. 

To start putting our custom solutions to good use, contact Traf-Sys today for a free quote. 

How Counting People Can Help with Your Program Funding Proposal

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woman writing program funding proposalGetting your programs funded can seem like an uphill battle. Decision-makers have myriad proposals to review, and making your pitch stand out can be quite the challenge. But did you know that you can leverage people counting technology to benefit your program funding proposal? Learn how to make traffic counters work for you.

Highlight Your Past Successes

To grab a decision-maker’s attention, point to prior success when writing your program funding proposal. Review traffic counts from your last program or initiative to demonstrate strong attendance and connect the dots to indicate why similar future programs will draw substantial crowds. Everyone loves a good success story, so paint the reader a compelling picture of how you’ll replicate past successes going forward.

Gain an edge over the competition by doing the little things to stand out. Get your program funding proposal professionally edited (or ask a talented friend for help), write from the heart in concise, hard-hitting sentences to capture the emotion you want to convey, and look up proposals that actually got funded to see concrete examples of what works.

Is Your Growth Game Strong?

Win over your audience by showing them your organization is growing. Traffic counting technology can demonstrate an increase in your foot traffic over time, which can indicate a positive trend in your current programs’ success. Armed with people counting data, you can prove that your organization is moving in the right direction and urge decision-makers to continue the trajectory by greenlighting your program funding proposal.

Did your most recent library children’s reading group attract a record number of parents and kids? Did the special sculpture exhibition at your museum draw an historic crowd? Make your audience understand that you need their assistance to continue the exciting forward momentum.

Dollars and Sense: Set a Realistic Budget

Traffic counting data can give you a look inside the nuts and bolts of your daily operations. Use these numbers to take a hard look at what a practical budget might be for your future programs. What worked for you in the past can set a grounded roadmap for what you’re planning for the next go-around. A budget that’s firmly rooted in reality shows decision-makers that you’ve done your homework and crunched the numbers in your program funding proposal. The more down-to-earth and specific your proposal, the better the chance of funding programs “showing you the money.”

Settle on a Starting Point: Draft Goals You Can Achieve

In your program funding proposal, include traffic counting numbers from past programs or service to understand just how realistic are your goals for the new set of initiative you have in mind. For example, if your last campus guest lecture drew just a handful of attendees, you probably shouldn’t expect a massive turnout for the next special talk. Setting expectations is helpful for the decision-maker reviewing your program funding proposal. When you highlight previous people counts for your events, you show that your proposal isn’t simply a flight of fancy but is buttressed by solid numbers.

Following this advice, you can draft a proposal that convinces funding programs that your projects are worth their investment.

Ways to Build Your Funding Request With People Counters

These days you have to fight for every possible dollar you can get to subsidize higher education, so when you’re requesting funding for new projects and activities on your campus, you’ll need to provide data that the money will be used for a worthy project. With so many parties competing for their slice of a very limited pie, it benefits your campus to use every tool at your disposal to advance the projects you believe in.

Did you know that campus visitor counters can be your best friend when it comes to funding requests? Discover three important ways how this essential technology can help you to land the budget you need.

Up-to-date Decision-making Data

Campus visitor counters collect pedestrian traffic data in real time, revealing precisely where students gather most frequently, most consistently, and in the greatest numbers. Campuses are full of all kinds of buildings, from dorms and libraries to athletic centers and cafeterias. While each building serves a purpose, some may be experiencing higher pedestrian traffic than others and warrant greater upkeep or even expansion. This can be persuasive proof that your campus has an urgent need for the money you are requesting from your school’s budget committee or from a government or foundation program.

Perfecting Your Promotions

Campuses use visitor counters to gain insights into how their promotional displays are performing and how they might be improved. By comparing your displays with traffic data from visitor counters in that location, you can get a better picture of the varied reasons why your intended audience may not be responding to your campaign. Using visitor counter data you might discover that certain audiences could be better reached by running promotions in a different area of campus.

You can also use insights from your campus visitor counter to understand which buildings may be underutilized and in need of expanded awareness. With this new knowledge in hand, you’re better equipped to launch new initiatives to drive students to campus resources that could stand a little extra exposure. And if you’re planning new activities and events, turn to your campus visitor counter to identify strategic locations that have been proven to draw substantial traffic, in order to give your efforts the greatest chance of success. This insight will be helpful when you present your plan to request funding — decision-makers will have confidence that you can back up your strategy with data.

Making the Case for Security 

Campus visitor counters are especially effective for revealing how best to allocate your security resources. Use evidence-based insights to manage your security scheduling. You may discover areas of your campus that have been overlooked in terms of security staffing and patrols, or realize that high-traffic locations require additional safety resources. With hard numbers in hand, you’ll have a much higher chance of getting the green light for security funding requests.

With increased campus violence making the headlines these days, it’s important to leverage data insights from visitor counters in prioritizing funding for enhanced campus security resources.

Purchase a School Visitor Counter Today

Visitor counters are a wise investment and indispensable asset when you’re seeking funding for campus projects and activities. By leveraging the hard data and critical insights that visitor counters provide, you’ll make a clear and compelling case for why your requests deserve the go-ahead. Contact a Traf-Sys representative today to learn more about how you can add people counting to your campus.

Advantages of Using a Battery Powered Wireless People Counter

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wireless people counterAre you looking for a cost effective way to determine the foot traffic in your place of business? If you aren’t, you should be. If you are, have you considered your wireless people counter options? There are several options available to you in regards to wireless people counters. But, let’s re-examine why you’d want to place people counters in your place of business in the first place.

How would people counting help?

Understanding and gauging the flow of traffic through your establishment can assist you in making better informed business decisions. When you are able to track your peak traffic times and your low traffic times, you will be able to schedule and place your staff more accurately, plan promotions more effectively, and ensure that layout of your store is guiding your customers naturally to the checkout line. So, with that in mind, there are a few advantages to installing wireless people counters in your facility.

1. No need to rewire your existing building

The thought of rewiring your existing building to accommodate people counters is probably overwhelming. If your business is located in an older building, the wiring may be impractical and nearly impossible to work with. Additionally, if you do decide to rewire your building to install people counters, your store would be inaccessible to any customers for the length of time that the electricians would need for installation.

Wireless people counters would eliminate the need for rewiring your building. Battery-operated, wireless people counters allow for flexible mounts in door frames or on walls. Turn it on, place it where you want it to go and your people counting solution is ready to run.

2. Flexible mounting options

No matter what the entrances to your store are like, wireless people counters offer flexible mounting options. Mount them in doorframes or on the wall. Mount them in all of your entrances and in separate sections of your store.

Flexible mounting options allow you to experiment with different store layouts until you figure out which one is the best for you.  In addition to placing them in your entrances, place them throughout your store. Find out which sections are getting the most foot traffic and which are getting the least. You’ll get a better idea of what you need to do to draw traffic through your store, such as placing high demand items towards the back of your store to draw customers all the way through your displays and aisles.

3. Wireless units cost less than wired units

Probably one of the most compelling arguments for wireless people counters is that they don’t cost as much as wired ones. In choosing the more cost effective option, you won’t be losing count quality either. You won’t have the extra costs for wiring and the loss of profit that would follow due to your establishment being closed for the rewiring. You will be able to successfully monitor all entrances and the separate sections of your store for a reasonable price.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a people counting solution that is cost effective and allows for easy installation, wireless people counters are the optimal solution.

Do Universities Need People Counting Software?

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people counting softwarePublic colleges and universities across the country have been seeing their budgets slashed.  Last year, nearly every state in the US spent about 28 percent less on their institutions of higher learning than they did in 2008. Arizona and New Hampshire cut their funding in half, while 11 states cut it by a third. These cuts have forced public institutions to raise their tuition and make other changes that undermine the quality of their course offerings.

Despite these reductions, public colleges and universities have seen their enrollment rise by 1.3 million students since 2008. Many of these institutions, including the “public ivies,” have reputations and rankings to maintain, so they are trying to find new ways to provide a high level of value and services for their growing enrollment.

Everywhere you look, public entities—libraries, schools, government buildings and more–are talking about cutting back. Cutbacks are inevitable, but it can be done in a way that lessens the impact.

People counting software can help universities to make the most out of their budgets by identifying underused amenities.  Why use people counting software? There are four main reasons: visibility, space, value and budget.

  1. Visibility: Students and faculty may drift in and out of student unions and libraries during the day to eat, meet with friends or study. People counting software allows universities to see how many visit there, regardless of whether they make a purchase or not, so the proper amount of resources can be allocated. An accurate count reduces waste of food, supplies, power and more.
  2. Space: Space accounts for 20 percent of an educational institution’s budget. Efforts to expand or reorganize need to be carefully evaluated, so people counting software can help conduct an audit of a building’s usage. Installing counters above doors and hallways can provide actual traffic numbers that can help determine what space is over-or under-utilized, how students and staff flow through the space, if it needs to be reorganized and where more resources should be spent.
  3. Value:  Tallying traffic counts help university buildings and organizations prove they are providing value to students and show they are a sought-after campus resource. First impressions of a university’s buildings and infrastructure are a major factor in where a student decides to attend school.  People counting software can help track a shift in student foot traffic, indicating an opinion about a change in hours, customer service or resources. In addition, when it comes time to trim the budget, people counts can help pinpoint underutilized buildings or organizations that can be considered for downsizing.
  4. Budget:  People counting software provides the most accurate data to determine the ebb and flow of each building, so managers can keep the property running at optimal efficiency. They can reduce the hours as necessary and extend them during peak times. Having this information on hand allows colleges to only spend what they need to rather than having a flood of staff on the clock at all hours.

People Counting Solutions: Do Colleges’ Shiny New Buildings Hide a Secret?

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87165432If you’ve got kids, chances are, you know college is expensive. Whether your kids are still in diapers or getting ready to graduate high school, you’re probably very familiar with the looming cost of higher education.

As the cost of a four-year degree continues to rise, enrollment is declining. In 2012, the number of students attending college fell by almost half a million people after more than 20 years of rising enrollment. One would think that higher learning institutions would also cut their costs to help attract new students, but it’s exactly the opposite.

Infrastructure is king

Across the country, colleges are building shiny new buildings for students. At the University of California at San Diego, $2 billion worth of new facilities, including a new engineering building, an addition to the school of management and several other new structures, including a parking garage, labs, an apartment and dining complex and a music center were either recently completed or in the process of planning, design or construction.

Across the US, colleges have seen a decrease in their numbers amid rising tuition rates. Shortfalls are being covered with alumni donations and endowments that are also dwindling, as people have to reach deeper into their pockets just to pay their tuition bills.

According to The Hechinger Report, since 2010, universities and colleges have spent more than $11 billion on building new facilities—twice what they spent in 2000, a boom year compared to the economic doldrums of 2010-2012.

But nothing is free

So what happens after these state-of-the-art buildings are completed and there are not enough students to fill them or pay the bills to keep the lights on? In a time when universities are looking to trim their budgets, the square footage is increasing and these new additions need to be heated, cooled, cleaned and maintained.

Some industry experts estimate that construction costs only make up a third of what it costs to maintain a building over its lifetime. When you add in repairs and maintenance, the bills skyrocket.

At the University of California at Riverside, there were two buildings planned for a new medical school. One of the buildings was built and the other had to be delayed because there wasn’t enough money in the budget to run both, causing the opening of the medical school to be pushed back.

Despite anecdotes like this one, the building boom is not going to subside anytime soon because a university relies on state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable buildings to help them attract students. But colleges can be smarter about how they plan and optimize new buildings to make sure they are used to their fullest potential.

Do we need all of these buildings?

Universities that want to control their spending and trim operating budgets can use people counting technology to help them plan and use these new structures so they don’t have a campus full of buildings with each one operating 50 percent capacity.

Schools can also use this technology to help them map trends in other buildings for future planning. If a new residence hall is in the planning stages, traffic counting can help architects and engineers plan the building so it will be utilized to its maximum potential. This is especially important when considering operating budgets because a building with a lot of wasted space still needs to be maintained.

Traffic counting technology should also be employed in gathering places, like university libraries, student unions and dining halls. By tracking peak hours and shifts, universities can ensure they have each location appropriately staffed and that they are not overbuying food products for dining halls or other items needed for their day-to-day operations.

Affiliate Marketing and Digital Signage are Powerful Revenue Drivers

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Multimedia Background. Composed Of Many ImagesAffiliate marketing allows a business to reward one or more affiliated brands or vendors for each visitor or customer drawn in by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. This type of marketing is often used on digital mediums – websites, blogs and in stores that employ digital signage.

Have a question? The Internet has the answer

Everywhere you look, electronic messages are giving you advice. The Internet has taken over as the primary opinion leader that people turn to when considering a new purchase, deciding whether or not to try a new restaurant or searching for the best deal. We look on Yelp for restaurant reviews, Trip Advisor for hotel and vacation advice and product reviews when we are looking to make a purchase.

Digital endorsements play a large role in where we choose to shop, what to buy and where to eat, so smart business owners should take the time to consider the most effective ways to communicate with their customers.

Technology changes the way we communicate

Shopping habits have certainly changed as consumers are more technology-oriented and sophisticated than ever. Stores that utilize digital signage are a prime opportunity for affiliate marketing. Rather than spending advertising dollars on campaigns that people are likely to avoid or not even see, communicate with shoppers in their preferred medium – electronically.

Affiliate marketing + digital signage = more revenue

Given all that we know, then, affiliate marketing and digital signage seems like the ideal pairing. These media virtually guarantee that customers will see important messages about new products or information about current or future promotions in-store by conveying them at the most important point: while the customer is in the store browsing or waiting on line.

An affiliate marketing campaign may showcase a product or brand on a store’s digital signage to help boost sales for both parties. In fact, some stores can generate enough additional sales to pay for their entire digital signage set up and then some!

Digital signage is one of the most customizable forms of publicity, so these ads can be changed often to complement the business by elevating the status of certain brands, services or suppliers that want to raise brand awareness and generate additional revenue.

How do you track it?

We can tell you how effective digital signage and affiliate marketing is, but you don’t need to just take our word for it. Although our eyeballs don’t talk, our actions provide the data you need to measure the effectiveness of a digital affiliate marketing effort.

Businesses can set up a people counting system around their digital signage to see how many people are reading the sign and viewing the marketing messaging. These sensors recognize when a customer has entered the digital signage zone and provide retailers with valuable information about how many people entered these zones and their traffic patterns within the store.

Combined with sales information, these numbers serve as powerful indicators of marketing success. Counts can be correlated with your retail POS software to see if specific messaging led to an uptick in sales for the product or brand at the center of the campaign.

For example, if the shopper walked over to the product or brand of products being showcased after viewing the signage, you can see the campaign is working. Keeping track of the information obtained from your people counting system and POS software will help you put together a data set that could help improve your affiliate marketing efforts in the future. The data set can provide hard evidence that X amount of people who read the sign were engaged and X percentage of those people who were prompted to action actually followed through. The higher the percentage, the more effective your space and/or message are.

Have you considered affiliate marketing in your digital signage space?

Mission Critical: School Libraries More Valuable Than Communities Perceive

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Full length of a female student sitting against bookshelf and reAcross the US, schools just finished celebrating National Library Week, which took place this year from April 13-19. It’s a critical time for school libraries, as districts are scrutinizing their budgets more closely than ever before, looking for dollars to trim. Libraries may have been celebrated last week, but many library professionals believe the institutions are still underappreciated in society.

A school librarian’s mission

A column written in the Huffington Post last year by Maureen Sullivan, then-president of the American Library Association (ALA), said that school librarians do more than read to children and help them check out books—time spent in school libraries empowers “all our children to access, evaluate and use information for academic and personal learning—this is the critical mission of school libraries and librarians.”

School libraries’ place in the digital landscape

As society continues to embrace digital learning tools, libraries continue to be threatened. Rather than having an “out with the old, in with the new” mindset, library professionals argue that physical and digital learning resources can be used in conjunction to strengthen student understanding.

Sullivan was concerned that school officials may not realize how important a role libraries and librarians play in shaping a student’s ability to succeed in an increasingly digital landscape. Just a few days ago, the 2014 president of the ALA, Barbara Stripling, wrote a follow-up to Sullivan’s column. In it, Stripling writes, “we are facing a serious threat to school libraries.”

These sentiments are worrisome to school libraries, because communities might not know what they are missing. Studies have shown a definite correlation between an adequate library staff and school reading scores. According to the column, the National Center for Education Statistics found that when cuts are made to school library staff, that school reports lower reading scores, where schools who add library staff see their scores go up.

Across the country, cuts are being made to districts in several states, including New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, among others. In Los Angeles, there is a school district where students cannot check out any books because budget cuts have forced half of the district to eliminate their librarians and aides.

Importance at all learning levels

Libraries on the elementary, middle and high school levels all play a critical role in our children’s development. Sullivan detailed why our elementary school libraries are important and Stripling notes that all school librarians help prepare our children and teach them the skills they need to learn, develop their own talents and ideas and get ready for higher learning. At the college level, librarians are even more critical, because they pick up where school librarians left off and help students on the path to completing their college degrees by assisting with studying and research projects.

Each of these levels struggle to exist without the others. When one part of the library system is threatened, the entire network is weakened. College libraries, in turn, rely on elementary, middle and high school libraries because they form the bedrock of the library system. When school libraries are shuttered or see their resources cut, students who do not have experience in the library face a learning curve that others do not.

Sustainability through financial investment

Stripling asserts that “the library ecosystem must be sustained with the level of financial investment necessary to support the learning needs of everyone in the community.” But how? Librarians know full well that budget money doesn’t grow on trees.

As mentioned, there is a correlation between school libraries and student performance. By proving the value of their resources, libraries can make a case for more staffing, more resources or a budget increase. Libraries can employ data-driven technologies, such as people counting systems, that track the amount of students who use the institution’s resources. These counts can even be used in conjunction with student scores to illustrate the benefits of an adequately-staffed institution.

This data-driven approach could help libraries strengthen a districts’ position that library resources are critical and should not be cut come budget season.

Will Universities and Retailers Start Joining Forces to Stay Afloat?

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College students moving in to the university campusWhen we were in high school, applying to college was a rite of passage. Seniors would apply to two- or four-year schools and then wait for the mail every day, in anticipation of the thick envelopes that signified acceptance. Today, more high school graduates are starting to choose alternate paths. In fact, NBC News recently pointed out that college enrollments are declining.

Tuition costs rising

Tuition costs have risen exponentially since 2000, mainly because nearly every cost associated with going to college has gone up. Colleges—both public and private—find themselves spending more on research (especially at research-focused institutions), student services and instructional staff. Private universities are reporting a dip in gifts and donations, because families have been putting those funds toward paying their tuition bill instead.

Last year, NBC reported that the cost of tuition at a private college increased a mere 3.8 percent, which was considered a bargain compared to larger increases seen in previous years. And for in-state students attending public universities, they had to spend just 2.9 percent more, which was the smallest increase in more than 30 years.

Enrollments decreasing

In 2012, the number of students attending college fell by almost half a million people after more than 20 years of rising enrollment. One would think that higher learning institutions would also cut their costs to help attract new students, but it’s unlikely we will be that lucky.

The bills still need to be paid and private schools often spend more educating each student than their tuition covers, so financial contributions cover the gap. However, with less money coming from alumni donations and endowment funds, colleges need to find another way to make up the difference.

Local retailers suffering

A declining enrollment obviously impacts the university, but it also has implications for the community around the campus as well. Restaurants and stores that receive frequent patronage from the student body also lose business, which could force them to downsize or ultimately close. These businesses are already facing competition from online retailers, who make it easier than ever to purchase school supplies, clothing and even groceries, which is ideal for busy students who only have a few minutes during a study break or between activities.

These losses translate into a less vibrant community, with fewer coffee shops to study in and a smaller selection of shops and restaurants. This is especially detrimental to students who do not have cars on campus and cannot drive to alternate shopping destinations.

A possible solution: university and retail sectors merging

One community college in California, Ohlone College, has decided to launch an initiative to raise additional revenue for the school using its unused property. According to the Contra Costa Times, the school is considering leasing 15 acres of surplus land to a local developer for 90 years.  The developer would build apartments on the land that would provide a new revenue stream for the university.

The idea to build new housing on university land was born out of necessity, and as more institutions find themselves in a similar situation, we may see more of these types of projects in the future. Clearly, it’s a new way to fund the institution and maintain the retail and restaurants that serve the student body. Preserving the community surrounding a university is critical, as vibrant social centers are what help to draw new students and give the university its character, even as the pool of high school graduates shrinks.

Universities and their facility management teams can see how successful their alternative revenue streams—whether it’s new housing or another initiative—are by tracking and counting people they attract over time.  If the new housing is providing fresh revenue for the university, traffic in the neighborhood will increase.

Many colleges already employ people counting sensors and technology in their student unions, libraries and book stores. Similarly, university-owned and privately owned retailers and businesses can use people counting to see the tangible results the new housing is having on their bottom line.