Student Housing Case Study: 212 East
Location: Champaign, Illinois
University: The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
In 2019, Campus Advantage was hired to manage a 428-bed asset that was significantly behind their market in pre-leasing velocity. Campus Advantage took over management in May when the property was 78% pre-leased. Historically, the property had reached budgeted occupancy. However, the Champaign market had five new developments deliver in 2019, requiring existing assets to have a more strategic marketing and leasing approach. Upon taking over management, Campus Advantage immediately implemented increased customer service standards and hosted various resident events to begin to build a sense of community. Campus Advantage’s Students First® Experience residence life program was implemented, and a resident appreciation week was hosted after the fall 2019 move-in. Campus Advantage also recruited and hired new staff for the property who believed in the vision of the asset and worked diligently to establish a positive reputation for the property. Campus Advantage achieved 94.4% occupancy in August 2019.
For the fall 2020 leasing season, Campus Advantage positioned the rates competitively using an aggressive tiered approach, and established a new, strong leasing team. There was also a heavy focus on resident engagement during the critical six-week window after move-in, and this focus continued throughout the academic year, which helped create a sense of culture and resident connection at the community. These combined efforts allowed the property to reach 100% pre-leased by February 2020, at a time when the Champaign market was 45% pre-leased. 212 East was the first community in Campus Advantage’s portfolio, as well as the Champaign market, to reach this 100% target.