Speakers and Sessions Coached Best Practices at NAA Student Housing Conference

by Katie Sloan

Las Vegas — Public and private companies, university staff and industry vendors gathered for event.

Jessica Nix of Peak Campus hosts a “Family Feud” inspired game show format that delivered student-housing survey findings.Las Vegas —  The fifth annual National Apartment Association (NAA) Student Housing Conference & Exposition wrapped Friday after three days of seminars, panels, guest speakers, an exhibitors’ hall with 120 booths, networking events and even a game show.

Conference seminars focused on new waves of social media marketing, hiring and retaining student RAs, improving collections, training leasing staff and other management and operations topics. A Q & A led by JoAnn Blaylock, president and CEO of Grand Campus Living, polled a panel of executives from EdR, American Campus Communities, Campus Apartments, Asset Campus Housing and Campus Advantage on topics including operating expenses, trends in rental rates, marketing and smart development.

Thursday’s general sessions concluded with a “Family Feud” style delivery of a student housing survey by J Turner Research and NAA. A panel of UNLV students and parents were pitted against each other in a quiz-show format, with Jessica Nix of Peak Campus Management hosting.

Survey questions gathered information from students and parents on a variety of topics. Major findings reinforced that bed/bath parity and text messaging communication are important to student renters.

The conference’s keynote speaker was Bruce Kimbrell, program facilitator with the Disney Institute. More than 450 paid attendees turned out at the conference.

— Lynn Peisner

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