One of Roompact’s most used software features is the ability to design and deploy Roommate and Suitemate Agreements to residents. Roommate agreements are documents that help facilitate a conversation with a roommate grouping to help them share expectations of living together. Suitemate Agreements (or Apartment Agreements) are intended for groupings of students who share a common-sub space. In Roompact’s software, a resident could have both a Roommate Agreement and a Suitemate Agreement. Suitemate Agreements are less commonly used overall as most institutions have more standard double rooms than suite or apartment style living.
Good agreements allow residents to think about potential areas of conflict and how those areas can be addressed–either to mitigate the occurrence of a conflict or to navigate a conflict after it arises. Most agreements include questions, prompts, and guiding information or advice.
When looking at roommate agreement completion across institutions using Roompact’s software, we found that the average completion rate was around 63%. The median was 64%. For an institution looking to gauge their effectiveness in getting roommates to complete an agreement, one should aim for about a two thirds completion rate or higher.
Suitemate (or apartment-mate) agreements tend to have slightly lower completion rates than those for roommates. We found that the average completion rate was around 56%. The median was 48%. For an institution looking to gauge their effectiveness in getting suitemates to complete an agreement, one should aim for about a 50% completion rate or higher.
Remember, however, that completion rates are an imperfect measure of agreement effectiveness. In order to achieve the goals and outcomes of your agreement process, the quality of the resident experience when completing the agreement and the conversations they have with their roommate(s) are of more importance. Furthermore, an agreement is a living document. Having residents revisit their agreement and make changes as their relationship evolves can lead to more successful roommate groupings, fewer conflicts, and increase student learning.
The following Ace Case outlines how you can gain insights into roommate conflicts through the design of a Form and a complementary process for your staff. This case works alongside other Roompact software features like Agreements and Room Statuses to better track and manage roommate conflict and provide you with further insights.
Strategies You Can Use To Increase Suitemate and Roommate Agreement Completion
- Have a staff member facilitate the agreement. Many schools find it most effective to have a student staff member, such as an RA, set up meetings with roommate pairs to complete the agreement. The RA can ask questions, facilitate conversation, and then record the notes in the agreement document. Residents can then review this, make any necessary changes, and sign.
- Have residents complete it, in person, at a floor meeting. Utilizing the captive audience of a floor meeting can also help boost completion rates. At the end of the meeting, a staff member can ask that residents complete the agreement together and then show the completed document to the staff member before leaving. The staff member can also do some active group facilaition of the agreement.
- Keep it short. The longer an agreement is, the less likely residents are to complete it or to take it seriously when filling it out. Try to keep agreements in the sweet spot of about 20 questions and vary the question types (multiple choice, open-ended, etc.)
Mini Demo: Learn more about the Agreements feature in Roompact’s software which allows you to create your own templates for roommates or suite-mates/apartment-mates. These agreements are automatically deployed to residents and can be reset when residents change rooms. They can also be deployed campus-wide or use specific templates for specific buildings.
About This Data:
- This data is based on number of individual student signatures on Agreements.
- This data is on Roommate Agreements, not Suitemate Agreements.
- Agreements signature percentages exclude students in singles, who do not receive Roommate Agreements.
- This data is from the date range 10/5/20-10/15/20. Most schools would have completed their Agreement process by this time, but these numbers may be subject to variance based on the date range selected. This date range also fell during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic which impacted how schools used agreements and the configuration of their rooms.
- Schools with smaller numbers of total Agreements can result in percentages that are more volatile to increases or decreases.
- This data excludes schools with signature rates under 30%. Some schools do not use Agreements at all or use them selectively in certain communities. Percentages higher than 30% may also include some of these schools.