Student Housing REIT Fills a Void

12/8/2011 | By Allen Kenney

As states tighten the budget on higher education, Ted Rollins, CEO and co-founder of Campus Crest Communities (NYSE: CCG), said his company is helping to fill a void.

Rollins sat down for an interview with during REITWorld 2011: NAREIT's Annual Convention for All Things REIT in Dallas last month to discuss the campus REIT's operating platform.

The squeeze on higher education has impacted business, as Rollins said that 38 states so far have decreased higher education funding. This has impacted their ability to finance much needed, new housing, according to Rollins.

"There's a limited amount of money for schools to invest in non-core assets, so more and more we're seeing the private sector fill that void," Rollins said. "Housing stock needs to be replaced on campus and that's an opportunity for our company."

Student housing has changed over the decades, and Rollins said that students have quite a bit of input as to the type of housing and amenities included. There are nine student community assistants at every Campus Crest property, and Rollins said they continuously offer input into program development.

"If you look at the way we operate, we build all of our products ourselves and continue to grow organically," he said.

Rollins added that each year the company has the opportunity to upgrade and adapt campus housing programming according to feedback from both student employees and resident surveys.

In terms of keeping the student housing facilities fresh and free from damage, Rollins said the company involves the students so that they are active in the housing community.

"When you create a sense of place, they are generally better on the asset," he said.

Additionally, Campus Crest inspects the units regularly and bills any damage back to the student.