Campus Advantage Achieves Student Housing Industry Milestone

Campus Advantage recently announced a 45 percent returning resident ratio for the school year--an unprecedented percentage in the student housing industry.

Austin, Texas—Often after freshman year of college, many students eschew student housing for off-campus apartments with their friends or fraternity or sorority houses. This makes it difficult for landlords and property managers to maintain a high rate of returning customers. However, Campus Advantage, an Austin, Texas-based real estate firm that offers student housing management, development and acquisition, recently announced a 45 percent returning resident ratio for the 2011-2012 school year among its managed student housing portfolio—a percentage that’s unprecedented in the student housing industry (the national average rate of returning students to student housing is 30 to 35 percent).

Additionally, Campus Advantage’s occupancy reached more than 95 percent, with 26 of its properties reporting 97 percent or greater occupancy. And Campus Advantage was able to raise the rental rates for its clients.

So how did the organization manage to attract so many returning students?

It starts with Campus Advantage’s motto: “Live wisely.”

“We offer the right product, the right engagement for the student and the right price point,” Tim Hanson, director of public relations, Catalyst (a division of Campus Advantage), tells MHN.

Campus Advantage buildings offer traditional dorm amenities, such as a residential advisor and on-site management. Some of their buildings include resort-style swimming pools, tennis courts and tanning beds. But that’s only part of it.

They keep a Resident Life database filled with 6,000 program ideas for the students, from traditional pizza parties and ice cream socials, to workshops on how to dress for an internship or interview. The database includes 1,200 large-scale event ideas.

Additionally, Campus Advantage makes it easy for students to transfer from one of its properties to another within the multi-state portfolio.

“At the end of the day, it’s about the customer, the student,” Hanson says. “You can provide them with a great place to live, but that’s only half of it.”