Edgewood Management Drives 90-Day Lease-up for ARHA Community
Challenge: Experienced Required to Manage Income Diversity, Provide Guidance
When the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) began development on Lineage at North Patrick Street, it knew that the success of the low-income and working family community would largely hinge on the installment of a management team that could cater to the specific needs of the property and its residents.
The new community – which features 15 low-income households and 37 households with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the area median income – required a property management company with experience managing a wide range of economic demographics.
Because its portfolio consists primarily of subsidized households, ARHA also desired an operator with a level of expertise that it could learn from, so it could apply those lessons and knowledge to future development projects.
Solution: Edgewood Management Selected to Launch Lineage
ARHA’s asset management and development staff toured some Edgewood Management properties that contained public housing and market residents and chose Edgewood as its management partner for Lineage. Edgewood’s proven record of managing properties with a range of incomes and providing a quality living environment for all residents was the deciding factor.
ARHA CEO Keith Pettigrew said the ARHA staff that toured was impressed with the level of professionalism and care that Edgewood provided to all its residents and guests, as well as Edgewood’s commitment to diversity.
“At ARHA, we place a premium on civic engagement, personal development and educational achievement among our residents. Edgewood’s sites demonstrated this commitment to the family as much as a commitment to quality management and maintenance services,” Pettigrew said. “Edgewood’s site teams also reflected the racial and ethnic composition of the households that we serve. This is an important factor because we always strive to provide employment opportunities to communities of color.”
Pettigrew said Edgewood further differentiated itself from other potential management companies through its ability to integrate public housing and low-income households into a quality building experience, and quality resident service programs.
Results: Lightning Lease-up Limits Advertising Costs, Creates Smooth Transition
With Edgewood on board, ARHA and its new management partner immediately got to work on a rebranding and renaming campaign to help generate interest in the community.
“We researched the Alexandria submarket to understand trends and predict absorption during the pandemic,” said Edgewood Vice President of Marketing Wendy Simpson. “We launched a strong digital and signage campaign aimed to attract the most qualified prospects. The location of the community was stellar, and this was just one of the key amenities that we chose to leverage throughout the messaging.”
The interest in Lineage took off so quickly that ARHA had to adapt on the fly.
“There was an impressive response to the advertising that their marketing team created,” said David Cortiella, real estate development consultant for ARHA. “Before engaging Edgewood, we had developed an internal backup plan in the event that the building did not market well. But the first month of advertising was so successful that by the end of that month we had already started talking about reducing the advertising budget.”
Within a week of the advertisements going live, the combined advertising media generated over 2,000 hits and 100 applications. By the end of the second month of pre-leasing, ARHA had already started advertising applications for the Lineage waiting list. Within 90 days, Lineage was fully leased.
“We felt confident that the SEO optimized website and CRM platform would help to reach our target audience and drive enough prospects to meet our absorption goals,” Simpson said. “We saw an immediate impact from Day 1, and the campaign was generating hundreds of leads each week. The operational team did a tremendous job of leasing, and without offering concessions we yielded a waitlist almost from the start. They really understood the target customer and made the application process seamless and simple for the new residents at Lineage.”
The results thus far have exceeded expectations and checked off all boxes for ARHA.
“We achieved all our goals: diversity in income, race and ethnicity; making a smooth transition for the applicants; and, establishing a great working relationship throughout the entire leasing process,” Pettigrew said. “We couldn’t have hoped to have the building fully leased in the first three months. Edgewood’s efforts made impacts that we could not have previously imagined.”
Simpson said Edgewood hopes to expand the relationship moving forward.
“The collaboration with the ARHA team couldn’t have been better. Even with the building material delays due to Covid-19, everyone has remained nimble, transparent and collaborative,” Simpson said. “We look forward to working with the ARHA team on more of their developments.”
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