Our COO, Scott Duckett, celebrated his 10th year with the company and took a look back on how both Campus Advantage and the student housing industry have changed in the last 10 years. His hard work and leadership have helped to maintain our status as one of the top property owners and managers in the industry. I appreciate all that Scott has done for Campus Advantage and can’t wait to see what growth he has in store next.
THIS YEAR, WE’VE ADDED NEW PROPERTIES TO OUR PORTFOLIO,
KICKED OFF ANOTHER LEASING SEASON,
AND CELEBRATED BIG ANNIVERSARIES
FOR SOME OF OUR EMPLOYEES
In step with our Travel theme from move-in, Campus Advantage has recently taken on new opportunities in both Auburn, Alabama and Buffalo, New York. Eagles Reserve in Auburn was the 10th and final acquisition of a joint venture with a major state public pension fund, which recently invested an additional $150 million in equity with Campus Advantage, bringing our total joint venture equity raised to date to $475 million. I know the teams we have in place at each property are going to excel and are sure to meet the high expectations we have as a company.
Looking ahead into the new year, we’re excited to see what’s in store for 2016. Our annual general managers’ conference will be held in January and is the perfect place for the team to regroup and gain momentum for a terrific year. I recently traveled to Cuba with the National Peace Corps Association and was reminded of the similarities between Peace Corps Development and the Community Assistants at each property. We continue to refine our Students FirstTM program to focus on student success and connect residents to their communities. Keep an eye out for all of the big things to come in 2016, and we want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
EXTEND YOUR STAY” RENEWAL CAMPAIGN STARTS LEASING SEASON ON THE RIGHT FOOT
As anyone in the industry knows, the student housing calendar is very cyclical, and like clockwork, the weeks after turn shift to renewals. Community Assistants stack the calendar with events to get residents involved, on-site management starts gearing up for another leasing season, and marketing teams get ready to share their brand’s message with a new audience. This year at Campus Advantage, we took our Travel theme from move-in and used it to launch our renewal campaign.
This year’s campaign focused on residents’ journey at this time in their life and encouraged them to extend their stay at the property with personalized door hangers, bandit signs around the property, a banner, and more. We sent out emails to all residents leading up to the first day they could renew, and included videos from select properties around the country with residents telling their own personal renewal story. Residents were featured in each video, talking about how living at a Campus Advantage property has set them up for success, and why they either renewed the previous year or plan on renewing for 2016. In addition to emails, we posted videos on social media as a huge piece of the campaign, and encouraged other residents to share their renewal story via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. To date, the Campus Advantage portfolio is ahead by almost 700 renewals from the same time last year, and we look forward to many more residents renewing their leases at our communities. Currently, these great strides have positioned us to continue leading the industry in renewal percentages and setting new benchmarks across the board.
PROPERTY SPOTLIGHT: THE MARQ STUDENT LIVING
The Marq, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and serving students at Marquette University, has had tremendous success in this year’s leasing efforts. To date, the property is already 55% leased, an 8% increase from where they were at the same time last year.
General manager of the property, Shauna Tisdall, cites many efforts to the property’s success, including weekly walks to check in with residents, a top-notch maintenance team keeping the property looking its best, and involvement with the university. Each month, representatives from the property meet with the university and local-area landlords to discuss any neighborhood situation and build their relationship for referrals. They have realized the importance of word of mouth and having the university on their side, even though they can’t officially recommend them, is a huge help in leasing efforts, especially in convincing guarantors when it comes time to sign. Additionally, each Community Assistant does two to four marketing shifts per month, be that on campus promo tables, sidewalk chalking, social media posts, and more. While the property recognizes these initiatives for their value, there are other simple things that they make sure to do to go above and beyond with residents — even something as simple as learning each resident’s name and saying hello goes a long way on a day-to-day basis. Congratulations to The Marq on a great start to the leasing season, and we look forward to sharing your continued success!
Learn more about The Marq at www.livethemarq.com!
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE CEO AND PRESIDENT, MIKE PETER, TRAVELS TO CUBA
As our company focused on a Travel theme both during move-in and for our renewal campaign, CEO and President Mike Peter was revisiting his Peace Corps days and traveling to Cuba. Mike is a current member of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) as well as a Return Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), and he previously served on the board of NPCA, assisting in their efforts to both advocate for the Peace Corps and bring back the service done abroad to the United States.
MUCH LIKE THE PEACE CORPS, COMMUNITY ASSISTANTS ARE CONNECTING PEOPLE TO THEIR COMMUNITIES, AND COMMUNITIES BACK TO THEIR PEOPLE.
Mike traveled with a group of 25 to three cities in Cuba, including spending time in Havana and meeting with local government officials, community leaders, schools, and NGOs to learn more about how things are functioning in Cuban society, especially culture, history, and politics, and being able to bring that information back to the U.S. The opportunity to go to Cuba was a reminder of Mike’s Peace Corps days, and a reminder how his role as a Community Assistant played such a large part in both being selected for the Peace Corps and being able to successfully complete his duties during his time as a volunteer. All Community Assistants serve a role similar to community development officers and, much like the Peace Corps, with our Students First™ Residence Life program, we are connecting people to their communities, and communities back to their people. The similarities are abundant, and the trip to Cuba really brought the values of Campus Advantage, as well as the mission of Students First™, back to focus, and we look forward to seeing all of our communities continue to flourish in the new year.
NUMBERS TELL THE STUDENTS FIRST™ STORY
In our ongoing effort to improve the Campus Advantage experience for our residents, we do continuous assessments to identify our strengths and areas for improvement. The numbers from our fall survey are in and show the results of the hard work being done all over the Campus Advantage portfolio.
Here are some highlights from our fall 2015 survey:
• We believe the most telling question on our survey is “Would you recommend this community to others?” From fall 2014 to fall 2015, we saw an increase in this key metric. This bodes well for continued record-setting pace in resident renewals for 2016!
• When asked about influence of various aspects of the Students First™ program on the intent to lease or renew, residents shared with us that the program is a significant driver:
Congratulations to our team for their continued successes! The numbers reflect something much bigger — the great work being done for our residents by our team members across the country.
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE EXPANDS PORTFOLIO
We are proud to announce that Campus Advantage has added four new properties to our portfolio this quarter: Eagles Reserve in Auburn, Alabama, Arcadia Student Living in Milledgeville, Georgia, Millennium in Norman, Oklahoma, and AXIS 360 in Buffalo, New York. We are always excited to introduce our premier operations department and our award-winning Students First™ program to new markets and can’t wait to see the great things to come at both of these new properties.
EAGLES RESERVE (WWW.EAGLESRESERVEAPARTMENTS.COM)
Eagles Reserve was purchased in November as part of Campus Advantage’s core investment strategy to acquire highly occupied properties in close proximity to major, high-growth universities. The property is currently undergoing a renaming and rebranding as part of the change of ownership, as well as upgrades to common area amenities.
• Auburn University
• 576 beds
ARCADIA STUDENT LIVING (WWW.ARCADIASTUDENTLIVING.COM)
Campus Advantage has further expanded our work with Sanctuary Companies with the recently awarded management of Arcadia Student Living in Milledgeville, Georgia, opening in 2017. This is the second Arcadia development and it will closely resemble its sister property in Charlotte, North Carolina.
• Georgia College & State University
• 500 beds
Millennium opened its doors to OU students in the fall of 2015 and includes a robust amenity package and great location in Norman, Oklahoma.
• University of Oklahoma
• 698 beds
AXIS 360 (WWW.LIVEAXIS360.COM)
AXIS 360 is a new property under development in the Buffalo, New York market and will offer studio, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans in a neighborhood-style setting. The property will feature upscale amenities, including a fitness center and training studio, outdoor fitness park, entertainment theater, and more.
• University at Buffalo
• 548 beds
CONGRATULATIONS TO SCOTT ON 10 YEARS AT CAMPUS ADVANTAGE!
As we look back on the last few months and our renewal campaign encouraging residents to “extend their stay,” we can’t help but think of the amazing employees here at Campus Advantage who have helped the company to grow over the years. Scott Duckett, our Chief Operating Officer, just celebrated his 10-year anniversary, and we couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments so far during his time here.
“As an organization, we have instituted tremendous new best practices and innovative approaches to managing student housing,” Scott said. “We keep an eye on new technologies and are always looking for new ways to improve our time-tested methods to make things easier for the properties, both in normal operations and at key times of the year such as turn season. Thanks to many great people, we have propelled to the leading edge on management systems while recognizing huge savings and time efficiencies along the way.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR EMPLOYEES
The following people are celebrating anniversaries with the company. We’re proud to have them as part of the Campus Advantage family and thank them for their service.
AVAILABLE POSITIONS AT CAMPUS ADVANTAGE
We are always looking for bright new members to add to our team. See below a list of open positions at both our corporate and property levels. For more information, please visit www.campusadv.com/careers.
Floating Leasing Manager Corporate – Location Flexible
Recruiter Corporate Headquarters – Austin, TX
Housekeeper Titan Court – Eugene, OR
Housekeeper District on Luther – College Station, TX
Leasing Agent The Marq – Milwaukee, WI
Leasing Manager Axis 360 – Buffalo, NY
Leasing Manager Arcadia – Milledgeville GA
Leasing Manager Charlotte, NC
Leasing Manager Norman, OK
Maintenance Supervisor Alabama
Maintenance Supervisor Charlotte, NC
Maintenance Technician District on Luther – College Station, TX
Maintenance Technician University Crossing – Manhattan, KS
Maintenance Technician SunStone – Chapel Hill, NC
Porter (Groundskeeper) Arcadia – Charlotte, NC
Porter (Groundskeeper) Eagles Reserve – Auburn, AL
Porter (Groundskeeper) West 22 – Kennesaw, GA
Property Manager Arcadia – Milledgeville, GA
Property Manager AXIS 360 – Buffalo, NY
Property Manager Eagles Reserve – Auburn, AL
Property Manager Norman, OK
Property Manager The Flats at Mallard Creek – Charlotte, NC
Resident Director / Leasing Agent The Flats at Mallard Creek – Charlotte, NC
Resident Director Williamsburg on the Wabash – West Lafayette, IN