The Ranch Lubbock Gets a New Resident Life Center

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Exciting news for Homestead U and The Ranch family in Lubbock, Texas. The property recently finished it’s bigger and better resident life center. The project included a bigger bistro, a bigger fitness center and a bigger computer lab. With a complete overhaul of the interior design. “With this competitive and evolving market, this is the game changer we were looking for.” Said Ally Herron, Homestead U Asset Manager.



Bigger, Better Resident Life Centers Coming To The Ranch Lubbock and The Ranch at Star Pass

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The Ranch Lubbock and The Ranch at Star Pass will be getting updated Resident Life Centers this winter. This will include larger fitness centers, computer labs, bistros and more. The projects are expected to be complete by Spring 2017. Check out the properties Facebook pages for updates.





Employee Spotlight: Kaitlyn Key

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Stacey Boone2Name: Kaitlyn Key (Better known as Stacey Boone)

Job Title: Leasing & Marketing Manager

Property: The Ranch Lubbock

1.) How long have you been with Homestead?: 812 days.

2.) What were you doing before Homestead?: Working for Campus Crest and going to school.

3.) Where are you originally from?: Texas!

4.) What is your dream vacation?: Heliskiing in Switzerland.

5.) What do you like to do outside of work?: Hunt, ski, play sports and tailgate.

6.) What is the best concert you have ever been to?: I have never been to a concert.

7.) You are well known within HU for motivating your leasing team to succeed. What’s your secret?: Work as hard as I can and be positive.

8.) Who is the most famous person you have ever met?: DJ from the show Roseanne (aka Ryan McGahan).

9.) What is a talent you have?: Adult Mutton Bustin.

10.) Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: I played ice hockey growing up and in college.

11.) What is your proudest HU Moment? Hitting 100% two years in a row.


The Ranch Lubbock Receives First Annual Blue Flame Award

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The Blue Flame is the primary source of energy and represents the power of intent, cause, direction, centralization, and unity.  

The Blue Flame Award represents our HU Flagship Property of the Year. This team did a fantastic job of demonstrating excellence across each important metric for the 2015-2016 Leasing Season:

  • NOI
  • Employee Retention
  • Achieving Pre-Leasing Goals and Occupancy Goals
  • Meeting physical inspection
  • YOY Improvement
  • YOY Budget to Actual

Congratulations to The Ranch Lubbock!



New HU Community Managers in Texas

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SettleAshley Settle, The Ranch Lubbock – Previous Ranch Community Manager, Amy Bennett, has been promoted to Southwest Regional Manager, and Settle has stepped in as her replacement. Originally from Lubbock, she brings 10 years of Multi-Family Housing Experince. She started out as a part time leasing agent while attending school, and fell in love with the industry. Settle moved her way up to the Property Manager level, and looks forward to expanding her career with Homestead U! “This is my first venture in the student housing market, and I am very excited about it!” Settle has an Associate’s degree from South Plains College, has her Texas Real Estate License and has Certified Apartment Manager Certification. In her spare time, she loves going to/watching Texas Rangers baseball games, Texas Tech football games, and spending time with friends and family.





BenBen Kologinczak, The Cottages of College Station – Kologinczak is taking over as Community Manager at The Cottages of College Station. Originally from Houston, TX, he brings multiple years of experience in the student housing industry. Kologinczak has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. In his spare time, he enjoys camping and traveling. He is a family man who loves spending time with his children.


Amy Bennett Promoted to Southwest Regional Manager

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amy5-211x300Amy Bennett was recently promoted to Regional Manager over our four communities in Texas and Arizona. Bennett brings to the team a wealth of knowledge in the student housing industry. Prior to her promotion, Bennett was the Community Manager of The Ranch Lubbock since 2012. Bennett demonstrated incredible leadership skills during her tenure with The Ranch, continuously hit 100% occupancy goals, built a great team, and managed her business extremely effectively. “I love working for HU and helping all of my new teams across the Southwest!” said Bennett.


Homestead U Featured in Student Housing Business

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Renovations, CapEx and ROI

by Amy Bigley Works

Click here to read on the

Crafting a relevant and balanced renovation strategy can lead to big pay-offs for operators and owners of student housing properties.

Right now, renovation is a hot buzzword in the student housing industry. With the right preparation and plan, a renovation can be a big pay-off for an owner’s return on investment, but it’s not always as simple as a fresh coat of paint or new appliances. Each property and market is different and requires its own dedicated research to understand if a renovation is needed and/or what type of renovation will offer the largest rent driver or value-add potential.

First Steps

For the River Park at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Homestead U executed a $1.2 million renovation for the 958-bedroom property. The crowning jewel of the renovation was the addition of an exterior amenity area, including a new resort-style pool, pool house and barbecue area.

For the River Park at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Homestead U executed a $1.2 million renovation for the 958-bedroom property. The crowning jewel of the renovation was the addition of an exterior amenity area, including a new resort-style pool, pool house and barbecue area.

There are many approaches to renovating student housing properties, but the first step is identifying properties and.solidifying a plan. On the acquisition side, there are two trains of thought on how to approach a new asset: 1) simply as a cash-flow property with no renovations, or 2) as a value-add property with potential rent increases from renovations. For many in the student housing industry, the potential of rent increases from renovations wins.





Creating a successful property with premium rents that compete with new product is a huge draw, and many companies have crafted business plans around that idea.

Chicago-based The Scion Group has spent the last six years purchasing older properties (five to 10 years old) from REITs and other companies with a renovation as part of the initial acquisition plan. Birmingham, Alabama-based Capstone Real Estate Investments (CREI) has infused more than $9.1 million in direct construction expenses for 2014-2015 delivery and has nearly $22.5 million in renovations slated for a 2015-2016 delivery across its portfolio. And Raleigh, North Carolina-based The Preiss Company spent more than $10 million on renovations as part of either acquisition or recapitalization plans.
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Employee Spotlight: Amy Bennett

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amy5Employee Spotlight

Name: Amy Bennett

Job Title: Community Manager

Property: The Ranch Apartments in Lubbock, TX.





1.) How long have you been with Homestead?:   Since October 2012

2.) What were you doing before Homestead?: General Manager of The Grove, before I was Lured away by HU to head up the take over of the newly revamped Ranch

3.) Where are you originally from?:  Total Texas girl from Lubbock. I moved away to the Dallas Ft. Worth area over 10 years ago, but Lubbock reeled me back in.

4.) What’s your favorite part about being an HA employee?:  The upbeat personalities that make up the HU core. Every day here at The Ranch is a new adventure and it keeps things interesting.

5.) What do you like to do outside of work?:  Retail therapy is always a necessity. My two kids, Kylee (20) an Slaton (8), keep me hopping in my down time.

6.) What’s your favorite band or type of music?: Wade Bowen, Texas Red Dirt Country.

7.) What’s your favorite website?:  Google. That is my answer to everything.

8.) What’s your favorite local restaurant?:  Las Brisas. They have a fun patio and yummy Creme Brûlée

9.) What’s your dream vacation?:  Anywhere with sand and sun.

10.) What’s the best TV show you have seen lately?:  Bates Motel

11.) What’s your favorite HA memory?:  Donna was here and I was taking her to lunch. I had on super cute wedges and tripped over a microscopic pebble. I fell to the ground in slow motion and skinned my knee. This was definitely memorable.


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