Student Housing Case Study: The Wyatt
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
University: Western Michigan University
The Wyatt is a 700-bed, purpose-built student housing property serving Western Michigan University. The property joined Campus Advantage’s portfolio in 2017 as a value-add acquisition. The property had historically achieved budgeted occupancy; however, Campus Advantage devised a strategic capital plan to continue to increase occupancy and improve the resident experience through property renovations and enhanced customer service.
Part of the enhanced customer service strategy included recruiting and hiring for a General Manager who would be instrumental in repositioning the property within the market. Campus Advantage also devised a capital plan which included upgrading a selection of units with new flooring, appliances, countertops, and lighting to align with market competitors. The unit interior upgrades were marketed to students in fall 2017, and construction took place in spring 2018 in preparation for fall move-ins. Following these unit upgrades and the new staff recruitment and training, The Wyatt saw an increase of 11% in pre-leasing velocity from December 2017 to 2018 and a 9% increase in resident retention from 2017 to 2018. The property has maintained an average occupancy of 95% and has also upheld a 38% resident retention rate.