jointheconversation's podcast

‘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 in East Peoria, Illinois. In that role, 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 Illinois Central College.

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

Connect with Jeremy

Jeremy at COCM

Jeremy on LinkedIn

Connect with Leigh Anne

Student Housing Matters

Student Housing Matters on Facebook

Student Housing Matters on Twitter

COCM on LinkedIn

Leigh Anne on LinkedIn