Innovative Website Shows College Students How Their Lives Would Look Living at One Student Housing Community

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's college students are a savvy bunch. It's no longer enough to simply tell them about a product. They want to see how that product fits within their individual lifestyles. That's why a new website designed by a leading student housing marketing firm uses social media to give students a glimpse of life at one student apartment community.

Visitors to the website of 33° North student apartments in Denton, Texas have the option of logging in to the site through their Facebook accounts. Those that choose to do so will see a website that has been personalized for them with pictures borrowed from their Facebook pages to show them how they would fit in with the community.

The website was designed by Catalyst, an Austin-based marketing firm that specializes in the student housing industry. The firm was asked by the Grand Campus Living property management company to create a website that captured the vibe of the Denton community and reflected the local attitude of "live what you are."

"Grand Campus Living is very excited to be involved with such a progressive and creative project like 33 North Apartments in Denton supporting UNT and TWU students," said Stacey Lecocke, vice president of Grand Campus Living.

Catalyst CEO John Kerrigan said college students use social media so often that it makes sense for student housing communities such as 33° North to use it to personalize the experience of website visitors – particularly college students searching for an apartment. Today's college students aren't followers, he said. They want to see how they fit into the larger community, and social media can help student housing communities do that.

"This is the first of the kind in the industry and is leading the trend to make the brand experience move beyond the real estate and into a true community-building portal," Kerrigan said. "The technology allows us to provide enriched experiences for future residents and current residents."

A lot of websites have Facebook feeds but to find one that uses Facebook Connect to personalize someone's surfing experience is unique to the student housing industry, he said.

Grant Chambers, Interactive Lead for Catalyst, said the use of social media to personalize websites is a nice surprise for students. It shows the property cares about its residents and their overall experience. More importantly, he said, the social media aspects of the 33° North website are prompting visitors to spend more time exploring it. That's good news for the property's marketing team.

"The website does a great job of encouraging visitors to familiarize themselves with the property," he said.

The actual 33° North property is currently under construction but is expected to welcome its first residents in the fall of 2013. It is named after its latitude – 33 degrees North. The 427-bed property is located adjacent to the fraternity and sorority area of the University of North Texas.

"We are excited to provide the students in Denton with a next generation student housing community that is across the street from the University of North Texas campus on Eagle Drive and designed specifically with the student in mind," said Brent Little, president at Fountain Residential, which is the developer of the property. "The suites at 33 North Apartments will offer a creative environment, the most luxurious accommodations in the market and a convenient location that is so important to both UNT and TWU (Texas Woman's University) students."

About Catalyst

Catalyst is an Austin-based marketing firm that specializes in the student housing industry. The firm's designers, web developers, marketing professionals, PR czars, social media maestros and idea generators are leaders in residential and student apartment marketing. To learn more, visit http://thelyst.com.

SOURCE Catalyst Media



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