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The Challenge

Realco Capital Partners (RCP) is a real estate investment company with a strong focus in student housing. They needed assistance with establishing a stand-out digital presence that would drive qualified leads to 303 Flats — a student housing community in Knoxville located near the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

After working with another marketing agency that failed to deliver enough leads, RCP partnered with Catalyst for an innovative strategy that would produce desired velocity. Some initial pain points included:

  • Aesthetic limitation on their website due to it being an Entrata template
  • Website did not convey the class-A experience the community is known for
  • Lack of communication with previous marketing agency did not provide clarity on results and strategy
  • In 15 months, 303 Flats jumped only three organic positions in the Google search engine results pages (SERP) with target keywords

The Solution

To gain recognition as a refined community in the Knoxville student housing market and increase signed leases, Catalyst created a custom website and a series of social media marketing (SMM) and search engine marketing (SEM) ads to push 303 Flats’ digital presence. For website design and ad deliverables, Catalyst incorporated a combination of established fonts, colors, and visual elements that aligned with the community’s existing brand, as well as provided all messaging that captured the voice of the 303 Flats lifestyle for residents.

Catalyst recommended SMM and SEM ads due to the ability of these digital tools to produce a successful lead generation campaign. High-quality and visually appealing ads were created and placed on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and the Google Display Network. In addition, to alleviate the struggle with organic traffic and keyword rankings, Catalyst also recommended search engine optimization (SEO) services to improve positioning in the Google SERP.

The Results

The SEM and SMM campaign ran from August 2021 to January 2022 and proved to be very successful — 303 Flats is currently 100% pre-leased. Due to the results, the campaign was paused, but Catalyst continues to manage SEO services. Campaign highlights since launching in August 2021 include:

  • In the past six months, the average position on the organic Google results page is 20.8 vs. 41.5 (when compared to the previous six months). 
  • The SEM campaign resulted in 4,766 new users to the website and 235 leads, with an average cost per lead of $69.81.
  • The SMM campaign reached 116,743 users and served 842,871 impressions.

Due to the successful partnership with RCP, Catalyst also now serves three additional communities within their portfolio:

  • Clemson Lofts (Clemson, South Carolina) — Clemson University
  • Quarry Trail (Knoxville, Tennessee) — University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Summit Place (Charleston, South Carolina) — College of Charleston

“Catalyst has done an amazing job for the Realco Capital Partners portfolio over the past year,” says Bobby Child, a Principal of RCP. “They are constantly tuned into the needs of the properties and are very responsive to those needs. We are thankful to have them as our digital marketing partner.”