Student Housing Case Study: The Verge Orlando
Location: Orlando, FL
University: University of Central Florida
Campus Advantage acquired The Edge in Orlando, Florida in March 2016. Campus Advantage
immediately implemented a value-add strategy to reposition the asset as a luxury student housing community. This plan included refreshing the brand, creating a new look and feel, updating the amenity package, and upgrading all apartment units.
Catalyst, Campus Advantage’s affiliated marketing firm, worked with the on-site team to rebrand the property with a vibe the student audience could relate to. The property was well-liked by residents and the community, so Catalyst selected the name, The Verge, as a nod to the community’s past. Catalyst also created a new logo, color palette, marketing materials, and promotional items. The new brand was essential to repositioning the community in the market. A VIP pool party successfully revealed the new brand, created buzz in the marketplace, and generated new leads.
Campus Advantage crafted an extensive capital improvement plan designed to exceed students’ growing expectations. Capital improvements in the common areas included a new pavilion grilling area and an outdoor kitchen by the pool, LED lighting, new walkways, doggie waste stations, roof work, upgraded HVAC units, a hammock garden, and a fire pit. The pool deck was resurfaced and features updated pool furniture. The community is now gated, and all amenities require an electronic key to enter. Residential unit improvements included wood-style flooring, black appliances, LED lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, granite countertops, new plumbing fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, laminate countertops in the bathrooms, 42” TVs, and more. In addition, the IT infrastructure was upgraded with new wireless radios throughout and increased bandwidth, providing much quicker speeds and wireless access to all residents.
Current residents and UCF students appreciated the refreshed brand and property improvements. The Verge achieved 100% occupancy and 9% rental rate growth in fall 2016 before all capital improvements were in place, and achieved and additional 12% rental rate growth and 100% occupancy in fall 2017. Residents are proud to call The Verge home, as evidenced by the 30% increase in resident satisfaction with the accommodations.
Student Housing Case Study: MOVE-IN 2016
Catalyst created a variety of pieces to build excitement for Move-In Fest 2016, as well as to help assist people moving in at each property. Collateral included a logo and branding for the campaign, door hangers, lanyards, a banner, table tents, stake signs, emails, landing pages, a concert T-shirt, a Snapchat filter, social media graphics, and a ticket-shaped fast pass. In addition to these pieces, Catalyst worked with Campus Advantage’s Students First® team to create an “autograph book” to be used throughout the year at the properties. Throughout the year, different events would result in students earning signatures in their autograph book, providing added engagement at each community. Messaging centered around the excitement and anticipation of music festivals, with phrases such as “It’s Your Time — Live it Up!”, “Skip the Lines!”, and “Pack Your Bags!”
Student Housing Case Study: Spring Campaign 2016
Catalyst created three main themes: Pool Party, Fiesta, and Barbecue. To keep emails clear and simple, each party theme had a designated weekend for the event. For example, properties hosting a Pool Party had their event on April 23, the Barbecue Party took place on April 30, and Fiestas were celebrated on May 7 (coinciding with Cinco de Mayo).
Each property received a poster, a flyer, a social media cover photo, social graphics, a 30-second promotional video, three emails, and a landing page. To encourage attendance, Campus Advantage offered a Summer Vacation Giveaway, which included round-trip airfare, hotel, and transportation/food allowances for the winner. To enter the sweepstakes, all you had to do was attend an event and provide your information. Across all properties, 935 students attended events and were entered into the giveaway.
Student Housing Case Study: Renewal 2016
The campaign was made up of physical and digital deliverables including banners and bandit signs at each property, emails, property-specific landing pages, social media graphics, thank you cards, letterhead, door hangers, and more. Overall, the campaign resulted in 398 leads, and emails performed with an average click-through rate of 10.40%, well above the 2.5% industry average.
Student Housing Case Study: Cyber Monday 2015 Campaign
Catalyst completed a Cyber Monday campaign for Campus Advantage in 2014 that was very successful, and the client wanted this year’s campaign to surpass that of last year. The expectation was to be 100 leases ahead of where the portfolio was the previous year, a goal that was surpassed during the campaign.
Catalyst filmed a video around a “sit back and relax” theme. With holidays and finals right around the corner, students’ lives were already hectic enough without a big sale going on at their apartment complex. To accomplish this, we removed the hectic schedule and instead promoted a day of taking it easy and saving big when you live at a Campus Advantage community. In order to incorporate all of the individual communities participating, throughout the video, different swag items or imagery from each property were used in subtle ways and allowed properties to promote the video with a “have you found our logo” type of game.
In addition to the video, Catalyst created social media graphics, emails and associated landing pages, posters, and flyers to allow each property to tease Cyber Monday specials leading up to November 30 (Cyber Monday). Over 172,000 emails were sent to 37,305 unique recipients with an average open rate 53.33% and a click-through rate of 17.1%. A total of 780 leases were signed over the course of the campaign, leading to an average cost per lease of $44.87 for the portfolio. This left the portfolio 40% ahead in renewed leases from the previous year, and 76% ahead in new leases and significantly surpassed the goal of being 100 leases ahead.