Meet Tetro Student Village the MHN Excellence Gold in ‘Marketing’

San Antonio—A Gold winner in the MHN 2015 Excellence Awards Marketing Program Category, Tetro Student Village is a 198-unit, 590-bed student housing community that leases its units in a “per-bed” fashion, with each unit housing between two and four students. Bedrooms and the common living space come furnished. The community caters to students at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) located directly across the street. Tetro Student Village set out to give students a small village feel within the larger UTSA/San Antonio ecosystem. The community’s heartbeat is the Town Center that includes amenities mimicking street-level retail.

Marketing to students is always difficult, but Tetro Student Village found more challenges than just being new to the market. The UTSA student housing market is a very challenging, saturated market, with the delivery of 3,000 beds in the last two years and modest demand growth. Cardinal Group had to figure out how to market and interact with mass amounts of students on a face-to-face level. Cardinal Group’s management arm combined a robust, aggressive digital marketing campaign anchored in social media engagement, with a very active guerilla marketing campaign that engaged prospects wherever they were—on campus, at their current apartment community, at a sporting event—anywhere.

See the full list of MHN 2015 Excellence Award winners here.

The Tetro Truck was conceived through inspiration from the burgeoning food truck scene in San Antonio. This joint venture between Carter, Cardinal Group Management and Cruising Kitchens brought the truck on or near campus every Tuesday, delivering custom slushie orders, handing out free food, throwing large-scale events at bars and more. These “Tetro Tuesday” gatherings brought students to have a good time—and they ended up signing a lease. The marketers employed a unique iPad leasing experience on the Tetro Truck, at the leasing trailer and for all outreach marketing. A custom iPad site was mirrored on a large flat screen TV to show off the community, with virtual tours, photos, floor plans and more to show students Tetro living.

Although the community was under construction, Tetro was able to offer one-of-a-kind events to future residents and prospects beyond the Tetro Truck, including river tubing, foam parties and a grand opening party. Tetro also launched a heavy social media strategy, using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to facilitate conversations with prospects and encourage them to talk about Tetro. Every Wednesday, they posted a prize that fans and followers could win. Prizes varied from an Apple TV to concert tickets. To win, fans and followers had to share or re-tweet the post to enter. This led to massive reach and interaction that grew the fan base. To encourage renewals, they kicked off a renewal campaign to generate buzz rather than just offering the typical incentives, including the choice of cash or a free puppy! Residents loved the idea and kicked off the leasing season with a bang.