Ted Rollins, co-chairman and CEO of Campus Crest Communities Inc. (NYSE: CCG), joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT's Annual Convention at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
Campus Crest develops, builds, owns and manages student housing properties.
Rollins discussed the factors driving Campus Crest's strong performance in the third quarter of 2012. Rollins attributed Campus Crest's performance to the company's "operational excellence initiatives," which include "people, processes and systems."
"We've done a lot of work in the last 18 months to drive better results. In our marketplace, we're also driving a better customer experience," he said. "By focusing in on this customer experience and using our operational excellence initiatives, that has really made a big difference in our company."
Rollins reflected on some of the major changes in the campus housing business during his time in the sector.
"The biggest shift in our company has been the continued focus and emphasis on residence life. As we get [students] more involved in our communities, our business does better," he said. "It has really been a nice shift. Yes, the amenities have changed a little bit, but I think that really for us it's about integrating that student into our environment and creating that sense of community."
Rollins provided some insight into Campus Crest's development program and the factors that the company weighs before its shovels hit the ground for new building.
"Our underwriting parameters are fairly deep. At any given time, we're evaluating about 40 different statistics," Rollins said. "If you look at the returns that we generate on our products, they're fairly well north of 9 percent on costs. As we continue to improve our processes and grow our business that migrates upward. People are starting to see those results at this time."
Rollins discussed Campus Crest's sustainability program.
"I think it's an important thing to do if you're running a business. It really resonates with our customer base. More importantly, on a global basis, we balance economics, we balance environment and we balance social [concerns]," Rollins said.