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The-Knox-Clubhouse-Lounge Part of the brand for The Knox was an orange-and-white color scheme, the same used by the University of Tennessee

CHICAGO—Student housing has become an extremely competitive market. Providers are frequently expected to include a great number of amenities at each property, and are responsible not just to residents, but school administrators and, above all, parents. And everyone in the sector increasingly needs some way to differentiate themselves from the competition. At the National Apartment Association’s Student Housing Conference & Exposition, held this week in Chicago, one strategy discussed was the need to develop a powerful brand.

“As operators, our feet are held to the fire,” Madison Meier, director of business development and transitions with Campus Advantage, told a morning meeting. And having a top marketing firm that the company trusts has been quite beneficial. With the help of Catalyst, an Austin, TX-based firm, for example, Campus Advantage, which manages about 25,000 apartments nationwide, has brought their properties to a 96.1% occupancy rate and garnered a 3.5% average rental increase in the past year.    

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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