September 4, 2015

How to Win Students and
Influence Lease-Ups

There's lots of choices for student housing, so how do you get those college kids to ink the lease at your project? Building an effective brand strategy kids can identify with can make or break the lease-up of a project in a competitive market. Here's three ways to do that in language college kids speak.

Serendipit Consulting co-founder Alexis Krisay tells us the first step is to build a strong persona. That means identifiying your community's student demographics. Alexis says to ask what they're interested in, what are their hobbies, what brands are they wearing? This should all be asked during the identification process and key messaging creation. With that info in hand, the brand should take on characteristics that students identify with on an emotional level. 

A student housing community's logo is the first impression made on students; it needs to effectively illustrate the overall brand strategy and stand out in the market, Alexis (pictured) tells us. Once you've picked the logo, all collateral items and signage need to be cohesive and complementary. It's all about getting the students familiar with the brand while creating something that makes them want to be a part of the project and call it home, she adds.

The logo has been picked, so now it's important to create a brand standards guide to communicate the brand personality, brand elements, design requirements, student personas. That info needs to be in one place to ensure that all team members are aware of the brand strategy and that a cohesive brand design is maintained, Alexis says. An effective brand standards guide should includes the fonts, color palette, logo usage, additional brand design elements like the personas and key messages, lifestyle imagery, hashtag research, a brand pyramid, brand mantra and value proposition. Brand consistency is crucial, Alexis says. If students feel proud of the community they'll share that and your community will be able to spark interest in prospects more effectively and ultimately sign more leases. (Pictured is a leasing team member at 25 Twenty, which serves Texas Tech students.)

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TIC Sells Student Housing Near ASU

One of the largest student housing properties near ASU, the 918-bed Gateway at Tempe, traded hands. An undisclosed buyer acquired it from a group of 33 tenant-in-common (TIC) co-owners who were advised by National Asset Services during the deal. The TIC acquired the property in 2006 for more than $55M. According to National Asset Services president Karen Kennedy, aggressive leasing and "entrepreneurial management" maximized property value by increasing occupancy to its current level of over 95%, resulting in a $1M cash reserve and a 6% cash distribution to the co-owners. 

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Developer Plans Student Housing for Retail Spot in Berkeley

Landmark Properties has purchased a retail complex south of UC-Berkeley for $18.5M from Bancroft Center Co, which it plans to redevelop into a 132-unit student housing project. The property, located at 2580 Bancroft Way, is not entitled for student housing but Lowney Architecture has designed a potential six-story building that could be built on-site. Landmark specializes in building off-campus student housing. Berkeley has seen more interest in larger housing projects since voters approved a denser downtown area last year. Colliers repped both parties and received bids from 12 private companies from around the US. [SFBT]

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10 Historic Buildings Converted into Luxury Hotels

Gutting and refurbishing historic buildings isn't a new concept, but these 10 have lucked out. Hoteliers have put millions into them, giving them facelifts and modern amenities. From government buildings to newspaper HQs to a former strip club, these buildings' walls tell many tales and could tell many more, should you choose to visit them.

Click here to see the full slideshow.

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Put Down That Coffee: Your Sales Gig Awaits

Take it from Alec, and our three reasons why you need to pursue our Bisnow sales opportunities:

You'll make a ton of money.

You'll be moving and shaking with the most powerful players in real estate.

Our head of sales is hilarious, easygoing and motivational, like Alec here in Glengarry Glen Ross. Trust us: This rising tide lifts all boats. 

Here's what you need to bring:
• A college degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 (to be backed up by a transcript).
• 3-5 years of sales experience, excelling at sales: handling objections and making them disappear, researching prospects and pushing them to take a meeting.
• Excellent follow-up and documentation skills.
• Your favorite flicks are Boiler Room and Glengarry Glen Ross.

If you have the closing skills to earn that cup of coffee, send us an email telling us how and why. Competitive salary (based on experience) and bennies, of course. Email javier.bautista@bisnow.com

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