Rebuilding the Reputation of a Struggling Site


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Rebuilding the Reputation of a Struggling Site – with Jeremy Steed

‘We came in humble and approachable, wanting to collaborate.’

How do you turn around a student housing site that has spiraled into decline? Where do you begin when all of the problems—occupancy, reputation and facility issues—are intertwined? How do you look at the situation with Fresh Eyes and change the narrative, rebuilding the site’s reputation one step at a time?

Jeremy Steed is the Operations Director for Capstone On-Campus Management. He began his housing career as an RA while studying biology at the University of Alabama—Birmingham. Since then, he has worked in several roles with COCM, most recently leading a site takeover at a community college before becoming an Operations Director. In his role at the community college, he built a residence life program from the ground up and headed the turnaround that rebuilt the site’s reputation in the eyes of the students, campus partners and community at large.

Today, Jeremy joins me to explain how he became the Site Director at a struggling facility, discussing the gradual decline of the property under previous management as well as its interconnected reputation, occupancy and facility issues. He walks us through COCM’s Fresh Eyes process and offers insight as to why rebuilding trust with the campus partner became top priority. I ask Jeremy how he rebuilt the site’s reputation with a complete rebrand, and he addresses the significance of open, honest communication with students.  Listen in for Jeremy’s advice around getting out ahead of a property on the decline and learn how he went about creating a better, safer living environment for the students at his previous site.

Topics Covered

  • How Jeremy became the Site Director for a struggling facility
  • The site’s gradual decline under previous management
  • The site’s intertwined reputation, occupancy and facility issues
  • The Fresh Eyes process COCM used to assess the site’s problems
  • Why rebuilding trust with the campus partner became top priority
  • Why a complete rebrand was necessary to change the narrative
  • The use of focus groups to determine student experience, needs
  • Using honest communication being present with students
  • How building trust with the institution translated to parents, students
  • Jeremy’s advice around preventing decline with annual walk-throughs
  • The significant increase in occupancy at the site each of the last 3 years
  • How Jeremy created a better, safer living environment for students
  • The rewards of turning around a struggling site

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