Spring 2024

Issue #38

Letter from the CEO

Spring has officially sprung, and what an exciting time it’s been here at Campus Advantage! In March, we celebrated our 21st anniversary, officially surpassing two decades of creating successful communities. As our organization continues to grow — including the addition of new communities and the successful launch of Centricity, our new joint venture with Student Quarters — I look forward to continuing to raise the bar of excellence and expertise in the student housing industry.

Speaking of our industry, Campus Advantage team members — including Beth Pinder, Chief Operations Officer; Scott Barton, Chief Investment Officer; Thomas Demiranda, Chief Sales Officer; Christy McFerren, President of Catalyst; Aaron Wells, Vice President of Finance; and many more — had a great presence at the recent InterFace Student Housing conference. In addition to insightful sessions and a great happy hour with partners Leap and Edge Media Solutions, we enjoyed three days of networking and sharing more about our proven approach to property management, consulting, and investments. It’s always great to host our peers and partners in our hometown of Austin, Texas, and I know the team is already looking forward to next year.

On the property management front, our company continues to see success thanks to the efforts of our Business Development team. We were recently awarded the management of out sixth community so far this year — The Pointe at JSU, a 132-apartment, 504-bed student housing community located in Jacksonville, Alabama. Our team is thrilled to bring our proven student housing management expertise and operational excellence to the Jacksonville market. You can read more about this exciting announcement later in this newsletter.

As summer and turn draw near, our dedicated site teams are gearing up to greet our returning (and soon-to-be) residents with the best customer service in the industry. We know this season is all about strong planning and support to meet crucial deadlines — from our coordination with vendors to the way we communicate with future residents and their guarantors. At the home office, we strive to do everything we can to provide guidance, support, and resources to our property staff. With each passing year, I am increasingly prouder to work with these corporate and on-site team members that reflect our core values in everything they do.

Thank you to our staff, properties, clients, and industry peers for your ongoing support and dedication to making Campus Advantage communities the place so many want to call home.


Mike Peter

President and CEO

2024 Spring Leasing Campaign

Catalyst, our marketing partner, collaborated with the Leasing and Marketing department at Campus Advantage to create our portfolio-wide Spring leasing campaign, geared at both interested prospects and current residents looking to renew their lease. This vibrant campaign leveraged the bright colors and vacation-inspired visuals around the theme “Spring Break — Your Way.”

Messaging for the campaign highlighted various ways students might be spending their spring break, including “For the road trip drivers and the playlist compilers” and “For the adventure seekers and the souvenir keepers.” In addition to a themed landing page for each community, Catalyst created custom animated story graphics, paid Facebook and Instagram ads, Google ads, emails, Canva frames, and an editable flyer and poster to allow each community to promote the campaign and giveaways.

Residents and prospects were encouraged to sign before the end of the campaign to take advantage of themed prizes, such as a $1,500 gift card for travel expenses, Ray-Ban Meta smart sunglasses, and an Away travel backpack.

Overall, the 2024 Spring campaign was a success, driving leads and traffic to all the participating communities in the Campus Advantage portfolio. Highlights include:

  • 241 new leases and 163 renewals signed
  • A total of 9,482 sessions to the landing pages, with 8,022 of those sessions conducted by new users
  • 29,538 emails sent with an open rate of 55.7%, exceeding the industry benchmark of 18.2%
  • A total of 115 scans received from custom QR codes added to the printed posters and flyers
  • 440,895 impressions and 7,873 clicks received from search engine marketing (SEM)

Consulting Q&A with Our Business Development Team

For more than 20 years, Campus Advantage’s Consulting team has leveraged their industry experience and market knowledge to make accurate observations and develop personalized strategies for projects across the country. From market feasibility studies to design and development consulting, our services are tailored to benefit each client — from new entrants to the student housing market to experienced owners, developers, and lenders. We recently chatted with Thomas Demiranda, Chief Sales Officer, and Chris Berger, Business Development Executive, to discuss why student housing operators make the best consultants, and how CA goes beyond just empirical data to equip you with all the information you need to succeed.

Accessibility in the Workplace

In April, the Campus Advantage Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee had the chance to host TEDx speaker, podcast host, and disability advocate Alycia Anderson! Our team had the opportunity to hear about Alycia’s experience and journey in the multifamily industry, gain a better understanding of ableism, and learn its effects on inclusion of people with visible and invisible disabilities in the workplace. Thank you for a great conversation, Alycia!

Alycia Anderson

Learn More

Notable Coverage

The January/February issue of Student Housing Business magazine featured appearances from the Campus Advantage team, including:

Campus Advantage Awarded Management of Jacksonville, Alabama, Student Housing Property

Campus Advantage has been selected by Manoah Brothers, LLC to oversee management of The Pointe at JSU — a 132-apartment, 504-bed student housing community located in Jacksonville, Alabama.

Built in 2000 and located on the northern side of the Jacksonville State University campus, The Pointe at JSU is a three-story, garden-style community featuring two- and four-bedroom apartments. Each apartment is fully furnished and equipped with a kitchen, including a microwave, a dishwasher, a stovetop and attached oven, and a full-size refrigerator. On-site amenities include a fitness center, a resident clubhouse, a swimming pool, and sport courts. The community is also directly across Highway 204 from the Pete Mathews Coliseum.

“The Campus Advantage team is thrilled to be working with Manoah Brothers and excited to demonstrate our proven student housing management expertise in the Jacksonville market,” said Beth Pinder, Chief Operating Officer at Campus Advantage. “We look forward to implementing our operations excellence, dedicated on-site programming, and best-in-class marketing services at this community as we focus on making a positive impact on our residents’ experience.”

“We are excited about the opportunity of having Campus Advantage, an expert property management company, run this community the way they see fit,” said Ron Manoah, General Partner at Manoah Brothers, LLC. “We acquired The Pointe at JSU in 2018 as an extensive student housing renovation project, and the property has been a great success. Now, we’re looking forward to seeing how CA’s experience and industry knowledge can benefit pre-leasing and our overall NOI.”

Employee Spotlight

Gretchen Bracey Is Someone You Can Lean On

As Senior Regional Manager, Gretchen Bracey is a go-to for communication between Campus Advantage’s on-site staff and corporate office. With a background in both campus and conventional housing, Gretchen leverages her passion for training and problem-solving skills to recruit, motivate, and develop the on-site teams in her portfolio to achieve maximum performance. We sat down to chat with Gretchen about a typical day in her role at Campus Advantage, her favorite ways to cheer on her team and family, the core value that represents her best, and more.

Read More

Hali Bialeschki Finds the Fun in Every Day

With nine years of housing experience under her belt, Hali Bialeschki is charting new territory as one of Campus Advantage’s newest roles: Interim Regional Manager. In this hybrid position, Hali leverages her outgoing nature and love for student housing to ensure day-to-day operational success for her properties and make a difference in the lives of the residents that live there. Read on to learn more about what first attracted Hali to join Campus Advantage, what motivates her to come to work every day, and the tried-and-true recipe she always keeps on hand.Advantage team, and her favorite things to do in her free time.

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We’re Hiring!

Do you know a passionate, motivated individual who wants to be part of a company that encourages, supports, and inspires employees to achieve their full potential? One that is committed to cultivating and developing a diverse and inclusive culture? A culture that also believes in taking our work and our communities, but not ourselves, seriously? At Campus Advantage, our team is the core of our success. We hire based on experience and character, keeping an eye to diversity, equity, and inclusion for everyone. We seek out new team members who are passionate about making raving fans of our residents and clients — and having fun while doing so! If you know someone who fits this description and would like to be part of a team who loves what they do, check out our open positions and send them our way!

Investors Corner

The national student housing market is still riding the strong performance wave from last year, although more normal waters seem to be ahead. After last year’s record-breaking rent growth (asking rents nationally were up 11% YOY at the end of the leasing season in August 2023), another strong year is in store for student housing assets on average. Asking rents are up 6.9% in April 2024 compared to April 2023 (all data from College House). Many assets have already secured double-digit rent growth for the 2024-25 leasing year, and the Campus Advantage portfolio has already achieved effective rent growth of 7.5% compared to the same time a year ago. Success appears more dependent on the market, and concessions are being used sporadically, unlike last year when any concessions were exceptionally rare.

Larger floor plans are having a bit more success than a year ago. We believe students are realizing more than ever that planning and early action are required to secure a full four- or five-bedroom apartment.

Capital markets have been quite the story over the first two weeks of April following the first quarter. For the past couple of months, the consensus opinion was that the next move by the Federal Reserve would be a cut in rates, but the inflation numbers that came out on April 10 turned that assumption upside down. Controlling inflation now seems to be the Fed’s primary concern. The 10-year Treasury yield rose 30 bps during Q1 2024 and another 30 bps since April 1. The forward curve on the 10-year Treasury is predicting just a slight decline by the end of the year.

Spreads on agency debt for student housing deals have not moved much in the last quarter and remain at around 200 bps over the 10-year treasury, although the data points for live deals are few this quarter.

We are still optimistic that deal flow will improve in 2024 and that overall transaction volume for the year will be a good bit higher than in 2023. The recent inflation numbers and consequential spike in interest rates might mute that to a degree, but we believe the prospect of selling into two consecutive years of record rent growth and muted forward supply will be enough to convince many owners to take some gains. For buyers, the prospect of cap rates 40 bps higher than conventional multifamily, along with parental guarantees backing the leases and lower rate volatility compared to most conventional markets, makes for a compelling reason to invest in student housing.

Scott Barton

Chief Investment Officer