AUSTIN, TX-After years of providing student housing consulting services solely to its student housing clients, Campus Advantage is opening the advice side of its business to all interested parties. The organization’s consulting arm provides market guidance and other information to owners, lenders, universities and private developers.”Like any other organic growth, we woke up one day and realized we’d been practicing this line of business for years,” explains Mike Peter, Campus Advantage’s president. “Providing these studies and information had been little more than an added service for existing clients who were investors and developers, but then we learned our studies were getting circulated among lenders, bankers and developers.” When the clients started referring others to Campus Advantage for information, “we put it all together and realized it was time we offered this up as a service,” Peter tells Advantage, which acquires, owns and operates student housing nationwide, could go national with the consulting as well, though it’s gotten plenty of interest for its consulting services in the United States. “We’ve been asked to do studies in different companies,” says Brittany Belson, the company’s senior market analyst. “We’ve gotten calls from Australia and parts of Asia for information.”Peter isn’t surprised that interest in the consulting side has taken off. Student housing, he points out, is still recession resistant – “not recession-proof,” he is quick to say. What’s adding more interest are the distressed student housing assets that are coming on the market these days.”When times were good and things trading at ridiculous cap rates, people bought and overpaid for assets. And if you were even moderately okay at operating these things, you looked like a genius,” Peter comments. But these days, “moderately okay” doesn’t cut it when it comes to student housing management. As a result, many of these buys from two and three years ago are becoming distressed assets. “The wheat is being separated from the chaff,” Peter says. “This is providing some outstanding acquisition opportunities.

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