Campus Advocate Spring 2022
This spring sees several key initiatives underway for Campus Advantage. March 3 marked our 19th anniversary in the student housing industry — a long-standing legacy of experience, excellence, and exceptional people. I am exceedingly proud to work with team members who genuinely reflect our core values in their dedication to our clients and to creating successful communities throughout the nation.
We recently held our annual FOCUS Conference, which brings together our general managers from around the country for a week of educational sessions and planning, and this year included a motivational word from our keynote speaker, Anthony Melchiorri. We were especially excited this year to cap off the conference with the CAmmy Awards in person. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of our award recipients, including our 2022 Corporate Employee of the Year, Thomas Demiranda.
As summer and turn draw near, our stand-out employees at the site level prepare to greet our soon-to-be residents with the best customer service in the industry. If we’ve learned anything about turn over the past 19 years, it’s all about strong communication and support to meet crucial contract and planning deadlines — from engaging vendors and future residents efficiently to the guidance our home office team provides to on-site staff.
Speaking of turn, we’re thrilled to announce the recent acquisition of The Stretch — a student housing property located near the University of Kentucky in Lexington. This is the first joint project between Campus Advantage and Tramview Capital Management via our private fund, and we look forward to many more endeavors together.
In industry news, Blackstone’s $12.8 billion acquisition of American Campus Communities (ACC) garnered a number of plausible theories that could impact the student housing industry. What’s unique about this deal is most analysts value it between a 3.8–3.9% cap rate, which includes on- and off-campus development platforms and an operating platform. It’s also worth noting ACC was the last publicly traded REIT within the student housing space. Regardless of your viewpoint on the effects of the acquisition, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Leasing velocity industry-wide is collectively ahead of budget, and our company continues to outperform in the same vein. We’re pre-leased 9% ahead of last year, and we continue to outperform on the overall revenue management assets — a primary post-pandemic focus.
To everyone at Campus Advantage, thank you — this success is because of you. Your unwavering commitment to excellence is a testament to why we were voted as one of the Best Places to Work by GlobeSt.com.
Enjoy a safe and happy spring,
Mike Peter, President and CEO
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE AND CATALYST REPRESENT AT NAA
In June, a team from Campus Advantage and Catalyst, our marketing partner, presented at the National Apartment Association (NAA) Apartmentalize conference in San Diego, California. The annual multifamily industry conference provides educational sessions on a number of topics from thought leaders and industry experts.
Christy McFerren, President of Catalyst; Lindsay Brown, Senior Vice President of Leasing and Marketing at Campus Advantage; and Lauren Goodman, Creative Director at Catalyst, hosted a session titled “Marketing in the Metaverse — NFTs, Crypto-Friendly Campaigns, and Virtual Reality.” The presentation covered background about the metaverse, including the debated definition, the technical framework that’s giving rise to its popularity, where we are in the hype cycle, and why and how real estate marketers should care about it and craft campaigns in the space.
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE LAUNCHES NEW WELLNESS COLUMN
As a company dedicated to creating successful communities, we understand the key to that success is our first-rate team at Campus Advantage. We value a culture where team members thrive with a work-life balance, and an essential component to that is an increased focus on mental health in the workplace. To support this effort, we launched a column in June written by Kaitlyn Vicars, our Human Resources Manager, that features a variety of resources and information covering various aspects of wellness.
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE AND CATALYST ENTERTAIN CLIENTS AT DELL TECHNOLOGIES MATCH PLAY
Every spring, Campus Advantage and Catalyst invite clients to a first-class, fun experience at Dell Technologies Match Play — a PGA-sponsored world golf championship held at the Austin Country Club. Our guests enjoyed this exclusive event with Hill Country chalet access, premium views, complimentary food and beverages, and beautiful weather. Thank you to everyone who joined us in Texas!
CATALYST REPRESENTS AT AIM
In April, Christy McFerren, President of Catalyst, presented at the Apartment Innovation and Marketing (AIM) Conference in Huntington Beach, California. The annual multifamily industry conference provides sessions on a variety of topics, including marketing technology and what the future may look like within this spectrum.
McFerren, along with Laurel Zacher, Vice President of Marketing and Talent Development at Security Properties, hosted a session titled “Metaverse Marketing Mania — Driving Leasing with Crypto, NFTs, Streaming, and More.” McFerren and Zacher led attendees through an exploration of the metaverse and how the housing industry can prepare and benefit from the cutting-edge marketing approach. This topic paired well with news that a recent Cyber Monday campaign Catalyst launched alongside Campus Advantage’s leasing and marketing team won a Communicator Award of Excellence for marketing effectiveness.
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE AND TRAMVIEW CAPITAL MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCE JOINT ACQUISITION OF THE STRETCH
We’re thrilled to announce the recent acquisition of The Stretch — a student housing property located near the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The Stretch is a 170-unit, 533-bed property with a mix of 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom apartment homes, all of which have bed-bath parity. The community also features a strong amenity set with a two-story fitness center, a newly renovated pool area with a heated pool and hot tub, an outdoor grilling station, a fire pit, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court, a dog park, individual study rooms, and a business center.
ADDRESSING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE POST-COVID-19 WORKPLACE
When a global pandemic became our reality in spring 2020, it’s fair to say no one was prepared for what the next couple of years would look like for Campus Advantage and the student housing industry overall. From the dynamic of our on-site teams operating as frontline essential workers serving 20,000-plus residents to how COVID-19 hit home personally for everyone within our CA team, it was a collection of unprecedented situations.
As a company committed to creating successful communities, we firmly believe this principle applies to the good times and the difficult times. Even when tested with a global pandemic, we adapted by implementing innovation, gaining wisdom, strengthening our fortitude, and seeing new facets of our core values shine — integrity, intelligence, passion, and mojo.
Campus Advantage has navigated the effects of COVID-19 on our industry remarkably well, but in no way does that imply it was a stress-free experience.
Fast-forward to our current post-COVID-19 workplace environment and it’s clear that normal is a destination in front of us instead of something we can return to, and there are some silver linings to be explored. One of those is an increased focus on mental health in the workplace.
Student Housing Investments
Student housing’s recession-resilience makes it a solid investment to buffer your portfolio during times of economic uncertainty. If you, or someone you know, is interested in participating in our private fund, please inquire. Campus Advantage specializes in all aspects of student housing — operations, marketing, consulting, development, and acquisition — and has delivered excellent returns for over a decade. Learn more about our investment fund opportunity.
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!
OUR LATEST CONTENT
STRATEGIES FOR AN IMPROVED RESIDENT EXPERIENCE
At Campus Advantage properties around the country, we strive to provide experiences that put Students First®. These experiences assist in preparing students for success while they focus on postsecondary education and beyond. By categorizing resident experiences under life, growth, and success, we give residents opportunities for personal and professional growth, as well as stress relief and a break from hitting the books.
NO DAY IS THE SAME AT CAMPUS ADVANTAGE FOR NICK MOBILIA
Starting with Campus Advantage in March 2021, Nick Mobilia plays an important role on Campus Advantage’s Investments team. Nick strives to empower his team by excelling in his own work, leading by example, and showing up each day with a positive attitude. He shares what first drew him to Campus Advantage, his favorite thing about the workplace culture, and what motivates him to get up every morning and problem-solve in the world of student housing.
JORDYNN BILLINGSLEY LIVES BY THE GOLDEN RULE
Reaching her five-year anniversary this July with Campus Advantage, Jordynn Billingsley serves as a Corporate Leasing Specialist (CLS), traveling to various sites around the country. Leading her team with empathy, she emphasizes treating others the way she would want to be treated. We talked to Jordynn about her experience at Campus Advantage, her team empowerment tactics, and some of her most memorable moments with the company.
ROBERT BROWN’S JOURNEY IS MARKED BY PROMOTION
Robert Brown has been working for nearly 15 years at Fairway View, a Campus Advantage community located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Robert’s journey has been one marked by promotion, and for the past three years, he has been responsible for all facility-related operations of the community, including delivering great customer service. Learn more about Robert and why he plans to stay at Fairway View until he retires.
DELANEY HAHN IS ALL ABOUT THE MOJO
Delaney Hahn joined the Campus Advantage family six months ago, and though their tenure has been short, they feel right at home. Serving as the first point of contact for CA, Delaney’s friendly and easy-going style is key when it comes to the responsibilities of providing first-class customer service and administrative support across the organization. Learn more about “the face” of CA and why the MOJO value makes them smile.
Question of the Month
The Right Choice When Experience Matters
A Pragmatic Approach: Creating realistic rental rate goals and maintaining focus on revenue management have become more important than ever during COVID-19
Virtual Is Reality: The metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs are headed our way, like it or not
Christy McFerren — President, Catalyst
Katie Degutis — Vice President of Operations, Catalyst
Melissa Cornine — Vice President of Client Services, Catalyst
Thomas Demiranda — Vice President of Business Development, Catalyst
Connor Cauley — Operations Manager, Catalyst
Jessica Garibay — Senior Accountant
Jamie Mancine — Area Manager
Christopher Nordin — Director of Property Accounting
Stormy Hofmann — Traveling Operations Specialist
Jasmine Rivera — Learning and Development Manager