News & Resources


Letter from the President
Christy McFerren

On March 18, Catalyst celebrated its 17th anniversary — an exciting milestone amid a strong start to the year for our Austin-based agency. The year ahead is a promising one as we continue to build foundational partnerships, embark on exciting ventures, and explore the uncharted waters of new innovations in our industry.

Our team kicked off the year with our third annual Goldie Awards, an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the preceding year. It was a joyous occasion filled with laughter, camaraderie, and well-deserved recognition for the outstanding efforts of our team. Our Goldie winners are chosen based on weekly nominations from their peers, from major wins to small, everyday moments that add up to make a big impact. Please join me in congratulating this year’s winners:

  • Patsy Muniz: 24k Goldie
  • Allison Diep: 18k Goldie
  • Kristy Johnson: 14k Goldie

Speaking of awards, recognition also came in another form — the announcement of Catalyst as Entryway’s 2023 National Volunteer Partner of the Year. Our team has been privileged to partner with Entryway for more than six years, and when they began talks of a strategic rebrand at the start of 2023, our team immediately jumped in. In this issue, you’ll discover more about the details of this transformational project, and I encourage you to visit Entryway’s website to learn more about their life-changing mission.

We worked hard on our 2024 Trends Report, which was released in early March. This year’s publication includes 30 new and emerging trends spanning digital marketing, brand and creative work, and the real estate industry. From AI-powered advertising and the importance of authenticity to personalized experiences and proptech consolidation, we explored the contrast between innovation and intentionality that seems to be infused in all aspects of our lives and work. It’s clear that the advancements of 2024 are being consistently met with an intentional attempt to slow down, practice mindfulness, and enjoy the moment. As the year continues to progress, it’s always exciting to look back at this report and see what predictions rang true — and which ones we never saw coming.

The start of this year also included the launch of Centricity, a new joint-venture company from Campus Advantage and Student Quarters. From conceptualization to execution, Catalyst was privileged to play a central role in crafting the identity and branding of this innovative endeavor. With Centricity poised to make waves in the real estate industry, we’re thrilled to have assisted in laying the groundwork for its success and are eager to see what the future holds.

But that’s not all — we’re also thrilled to announce the expansion of our portfolio-level partnerships, which provide industry leaders the opportunity to streamline marketing services across their full suite of properties. From branding and custom websites to successful lead generation across multiple markets, this approach is designed to create more value, stronger leasing, and fewer decisions for you. We’re proud to partner on this level with notable names such as Bozzuto, Willow Bridge (formerly known as Lincoln Properties), The Franklin Johnston Group, TAM Residential, Daniel Management Group, and more. These collaborations aren’t just about business; they’re about forging thriving relationships that inspire and drive us forward.

So, what’s next? Well, the future’s looking bright. We’ve got a whole year ahead of us, brimming with new opportunities to be gained, challenges to be faced, and triumphs waiting to be embraced — and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together.

Voicing Values

By Katie Degutis

A few years ago, the Catalyst team made the conscious decision to add a fifth value — empathy — to our existing four of integrity, intelligence, passion, and mojo. At the time, I didn’t think much of it considering you can go into pretty much any corporate office in the United States and see their values prominently displayed on a wall. Unfortunately, they’re something you become a bit blind to. Of course, every company wants to display integrity and intelligence; that’s a given. But this past year I’ve felt the impact of our team’s empathy in ways I never expected.

About 18 months ago, I started going through some health issues that were completely unexpected and, even worse, unexplainable. For unknown reasons, I was going to doctor after doctor and no closer to getting better. This led to a lot of isolation and frustration that no one else could really understand from afar. The side effect I never saw coming was the empathy from my team and friends at Catalyst. From stepping in to help on projects to even just listening to me whine for a minute, the team was there for me, and I could not be prouder to work with this group of people day in and day out. Luckily, I’m about six months out from the last occurrence, and it’s largely in part to processes we changed within Catalyst and the willingness of our leadership team to help balance some of the stress I was taking on.

I think by most definitions you could say that empathy helps to enhance the customer’s experience with a brand. It can lead to referrals and long-term loyalty that drive business growth and profitability. But, even more so, it leads to employees who feel understood, valued, and supported. The show of support I saw from my team members reignited a passion in me to show up and lend my own support back.

While I wish the wake-up call had come in a different form, the show of empathy I got from everyone at Catalyst has been such a good reminder of why we show up every day. It’s not the individual projects or the menial tasks that have to be done — it’s the people. And these people are pretty great.

A Deeper Dive
Case Study

In March 2023, Catalyst provided a recommended digital strategy to heavily push the opening of Heyday Sun Prairie, a brand-new rental home community in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. A combination of SMM, SEO, reputation, and digital ad strategies proved very successful for Heyday, giving them a very strong start to leasing the first phase of the community, averaging 10–15 leads per week.

  • 277 total lead submissions
  • 19 high-volume keywords ranked for within first 6 months
  • 4.6 review rating on Google
  • 10.25% average Google Search CTR

For-Purpose Work

During their State of the Organization webinar in January, Entryway Talent recognized Catalyst as their 2023 National Volunteer Partner of the Year. Our team has been privileged to partner in the exceptional work this organization is doing since we heard their mission from the stage at a conference in 2017, from ongoing marketing support to a transformational rebrand from Shelters to Shutters to Entryway over the past year.

From extensive name research and logo design to foundational brand collateral, a new website design, and more, the new identity reflects Entryway’s forward-thinking growth and momentum while also remaining true to their mission of providing a life-changing solution for situational homelessness. We’re grateful for this recognition and so excited for the future of Entryway! Click below to learn more about the full rebrand and reveal process.


Emerging Trends

We’re excited to announce the release of Catalyst’s 2024 Trends Report: our third annual compilation of industry forecasts and marketing predictions spanning the digital space, creative and branding, and the real estate industry. In each of these categories, the innovation and advancements of 2024 were consistently met with an intentional attempt to slow down, practice mindfulness, and enjoy the moment. It’s evident that, despite the accessibility of artificial intelligence (AI), humans crave connection and authenticity more than ever before.

This year, we explored a range of new and emerging topics, including AI-powered advertising, streaming and short-form video, the ethics of data and privacy, proptech consolidation, hybrid work environments, and more. Throughout this trend report, you will see a contrast between innovation and intentionality, and between the new and the nostalgic. Somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum, trends emerge that will set the tone for marketing, branding, and real estate in 2024 — and help us set a framework for how we understand (and add to) the ever-changing world around us.


Industry Talk

In the dynamic world of property management, unexpected challenges can arise, ranging from incidents such as crime on site to sudden waves of negative reviews pouring into your Google listings. We’ve all heard the stories of someone threatening to have their family and friends take down your property in reviews. What’s more, it can sometimes feel like a burden for operators to suddenly become experts in navigating these circumstances. In such critical moments, having a dedicated process and approach becomes not just an option but a necessity for property management companies with diverse portfolios.


We are proud to announce that Thomas Demiranda has been promoted to the role of Chief Sales Officer! Thomas joined Catalyst in 2017 and most recently served as our Vice President of Business Development, where he was responsible for more than $6 million in new business and 200 new clients. Prior to that, Thomas started his career in B2B and B2C start-up sales and contributed to the success of several companies.

In his new role, Thomas will be responsible for driving new revenue for Campus Advantage’s third-party management and consulting platforms, as well as continuing to oversee new business development and strengthen partnerships for both Catalyst and Centricity.


In late January, Campus Advantage h.≤eld their Momentum Summit ’24 onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise! Our visual designer Amber had the opportunity to join leasing managers and corporate employees from across the country and led sessions on reputation management, Canva designs, and more. The group enjoyed five days of teaching, learning, and collaboration — plus, plenty of island time along the way!


We recently awarded our third annual Goldie Awards as part of Campus Advantage’s CAmmys celebration and would like to take a moment to give our winners some well-deserved recognition. Each week, we take time to nominate and honor our colleagues for their Gold Standard-worthy accomplishments, and those stack up to result in major recognition at the end of the year. Congrats go out this year to our big winners.

Golden Moments
Catalyst team nominations

Good Mood Marketing™ comes from the Gold Standard

Allison Diep

“Allison consistently goes above and beyond to use her downtime on strategic research, trends, and opportunities. Her customer journey map is an excellent example of the proactive measures she takes to enhance our strategic marketing skills. You are a rock star!”





Steven Jetton

“Steven came in clutch with a property management website this week, going above and beyond with getting a tutorial video that we’ve already been told was ‘excellent’ by client. Very grateful for his partnership in getting clarity on to-dos. Here’s hoping we launch next week!”






Lydia Becker

“During our CS training this week, I got to see Lydia’s expertise come through with the articles and optics she looked over that our team would benefit from learning. I constantly see Lydia developing her knowledge with the services she handles and oversees, and it’s just one example I felt compelled to nominate her for.”