Centurion Internalizes Student Housing Portfolio Management and Launches New Student Brand
Centurion Asset Management Inc., the asset manager of Centurion Apartment REIT, in its commitment to becoming a leader in the Canadian student housing marketplace, is pleased to announce the internalization of its student housing portfolio. Along with the strategic management internalization, Centurion is excited to announce the concurrent launch of its new student housing brand, The MARQ and its student portal www.themarq.ca.
Effective May 1st, 2014, six of the seven portfolio student communities, comprising 1,540 units in London and Waterloo, were re-branded The MARQ (by Centurion), a strategic branded initiative dedicated to providing housing for university students across Canada. In developing the new branded position, Centurion engaged with an external third-party brand development agency to conduct an extensive brand research project, which included interviewing student customers, parents of university students, as well as a wide array of industry stakeholders, to assess the competitive marketplace and gain insights into what the market was truly looking for in university student housing.
The MARQ, will be focused on providing an authentic University experience for its customers. Centurion’s President and CEO Greg Romundt says “Internalizing management and focusing on a dedicated student housing brand, reinforces Centurion’s commitment to student housing and to its existing student customers. Over the last couple years that we have asset-managed the REIT’s student portfolio, we realized that there is a need for a quality, institutional grade operator that is focused on off-campus housing for those who are moving out of first year University residence. The MARQ will allow us to satisfy that need in a unique manner from anyone else in the Canadian market, while leveraging our own in-house expertise in both the student housing and standard apartment operations.”
As The MARQ’s new brand essence is introduced into the marketplace, it will strive to ensure that university students and their parents are aware that living at The MARQ means living in a clean, safe and well-managed property that is close to everything important in a student’s life, and is centred on being a part of a student’s authentic university experience. “We spent a considerable amount of thought, time and effort in determining what students really wanted in a living experience” explained Romundt, “and to that end we’re committed to making sure our students know that their university life should be the time of their lives. And where they live should be at the centre of it all.”
Centurion anticipates retaining all site level staff through the transition, and is excited about re-focusing efforts toward development of Canada’s premier student housing brand.