Student Housing Business

MAY-JUN 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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Page 68 of 88

CONSTRUCTION TRENDS May/June 2018 68 had to, you could cut incentives like the gym membership, but I would never advise cutting the communication spend. There are so many consequences that can happen after bad com- munication that will damage your reputation far beyond monetary value." Meier adds that one of the things people don't often think about factoring into a new delivery is whether any other new supply opened late in the same market in the past three years. "This can make a big impact on a development that's coming in right on the heels of a previous late delivery. You may have to look at increasing your marketing dollars to overcome the negative perceptions, and you may need to add a construction guarantee in your lease." Not often used, construction guarantees allow students to terminate a lease if the com- munity doesn't deliver when promised. These types of guarantees can help put skeptical renters at ease regarding a developer entering a market on the coattails of a late delivery or two. Meier says one owner client had a unique way of handling a new opening to a market scarred by previous late deliveries. The com- pany flipped their construction schedule to prioritize the completion of the outside of the building and the landscaping to ensure that passers-by knew the project was going to open on time. Since community-building is an essential part of living in a student property, the last of the five steps — to connect — urges owners not to wait until a key is delivered to start building community. "Involve residents in activities and commu- nity events while they are residing in their temporary accommodations," Meier writes in the white paper. "Deliver breakfast to the students in their temporary hotel rooms or coordinate an eve- ning pool party at the local city pool. Getting in front of the issue now is imperative to your success at turning this unfortunate situation into an opportunity to showcase your brand's commitment to customer service and resident satisfaction." SHB Fountain Residential Partners has 687 beds under construction for 8FOUR8 Mitchell at the University of Texas – Arlington, delivering in fall 2019.

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