Tallahassee’s largest student housing company, Student Housing Solutions (STU), will host a grand opening block party March 1 from 4-7 p.m.
The party will be held at Jennings Place on South Adams Street to celebrate the opening of a new leasing center, in an effort to build the company’s brand and create a better reputation with Florida A&M students.
“We wanted to create the leasing hub on the Southside after we took a better look at the market and realized that it was completely different from the FSU and TCC markets,” said Mike Still, Student Housing Solutions’ director of operations. “The Southside market is different, like the culture, for example. FAMU is going through some difficult times right now so we have to adapt as the university is adapting.”
Three new employees from FAMU were hired as part of the company’s team of leasing agents and field marketing team on the Southside.
FAMU students Kayla Robinson, a two-year STU veteran, and Tia Miller, a Southside leasing and marketing manager, also make up the leasing center’s staff.
“I am elated to have the opportunity to succeed with Student Housing Solutions,” Miller said. “My goal is to provide STU with a positive name on the Southside and tie any loose ends that current and future residents see as a deterring factor, in terms of leasing with us.”
Still said STU hired people who are more familiar with the market so the company could give back to FAMU’s student organizations and build relationships with these organizations.
“We figured that those who are more familiar with this market are going to know better than us,” he said. “This way we can cater to the residents more and put on more events that the market is more likely to enjoy.”
The decision to implement the leasing hub was made after University Courtyard Apartments’ change of management. STU now manages several properties on the Southside, including The Pointe at Adams Place, University Gardens I and II apartments, the Cottages at Magnolia and Jennings Place.
According to Still, the new leasing office is close enough to campus so that people can walk there if they wanted to.
“We wanted to set up the new management office at Jennings Place so the people would have better access to learning about our options since most of our properties are hidden,” he said.
Alex Hall, a junior health care management student from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is a resident on one of STU’s Southside properties. He said he previously felt “discouraged” by STU.
“I was actually considering moving because I did not feel like my individual situation was cared about by management,” Hall said. “Simple things could have been easily improved, like roommate matching and awareness events for us to actually know and understand any changes that management is undergoing. Instead, sometimes we are just uninformed while feeling the effects of the changes in management.”