DePaul University

Operational Assessment

Chicago, IL

Campus Advantage was engaged by the trustee of a purpose-built student-housing community in the DePaul marketplace in March 2011. Campus Advantage team members interviewed site staff, toured the property, conducted student intercept surveys, reviewed historical documents, and surveyed the market. Operational data and budgets provided by the owner were also reviewed to create a comparative budget using industry benchmarks to illustrate the variances associated with the property versus an average property of this size.

CA’s assessment of operational strengths and opportunities for growth included the following categories:

Market Factors

  • Overview of competitive properties in the market
  • Rate comparison to market averages
  • Enrollment trends for DePaul

Marketing and Leasing

  • Social media use
  • Website review to increase usability
  • Property signage
  • Printed marketing assets including mail pieces
  • Opportunities to increase leasing traffic
  • Training to increase closing rates 

Facilities

  • Review of service contracts
  • FF&E assessment

Residence Life

  • Staffing / job duties assessment
  • Event schedule review
  • Campus relations advising

Budget Review

  • Utility cost comparison to local market rates

Campus Advantage was subsequently engaged to provide ongoing operations consulting to assist with the implementation of our recommendations. In the month’s following our consulting, occupancy at the property rose 22 percentage points for the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year.