Dinerstein - Sterling Heights
Case study subtext
Dinerstein is one of the largest and most successful student housing developers in the United States. They build best in class facilities in close proximity to major universities, with properties housing students from Columbia College in Chicago, the University of Arizona in Tucson & the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, along with several other campuses around the country.
The Problem: Designed to house students from the University of Texas in San Antonio, Sterling Heights is a flagship project for Dinerstein. The property features amenities such as a 2 story fitness center, a waterfall edge pool and a game lounge; it's a world class facility catering to every student need imaginable. Unfortunately, infill construction is a complicated, messy endeavor that doesn't lend itself well to marketing! Whereas construction, architecture and design professionals are usually able to easily visualize end results, prospective tenants (or in this case, their parents) often struggle to see past the dirt, cranes and concrete to envision the end product. The typical still renderings provided by architects were not enough to overcome this hurdle and prospective tenants were being lost to other student housing product, none of which provided the level of quality or amenities promised by Sterling Heights.
<Graphics (2) : Empty Building Site with Cranes, crappy render if we have one>
The Solution: Dinerstein hired Epigraph to create a lifelike, detailed preview film to allow future residents to fully visualize everything Sterling Heights had to offer. This included a detailed drone composite video, showing a lifelike completed building against the backdrop of the city, while also highlighting lifestyle aspects of the location and surrounding area, such as Six Flags and the Palladium IMAX movie theater, along with bars, restaurants and other nearby amenities. A photo-realistic fly through first highlights the stylish common areas and living spaces, then transitions seamlessly to the pool and outdoor areas, giving prospective tenants a first-person experience of how well the layout flows from inside to out, allowing a true sense of what it would be like to actually live there. A closing shot of the facility at dusk, complete with Six Flags fireworks in the background, left no doubt that if you were a student at UTSA, there was no better place to live than Sterling Heights!
<Graphics (3 images): Finished Render on same site, Pool shot next to it, then interior>
Results: Epigraph's preview film was teased prior to its full release on social media and on Dinerstein's website for Sterling Heights. The buzz created was incredibly effective, causing the average number of new leases signed per month to more than double. "This made us stand out among other lease-ups in the market and has tremendously helped with brand awareness and the sales process", said Megan Bugg of Dinerstein, "It continues to be one of the biggest closing tools the leasing team uses and is an integral part of the tour path". This success was also of tremendous benefit to Dinerstein's bottom line, paving a path toward an early transition from construction financing to more traditional commercial loans and creating a stronger IRR for equity partners. As icing on the cake, Dinerstein won an AIM Award for the film in the AR/VR category, highlighting Epigraph's status as an industry leader in the category.
<Graphic: Building with fireworks in the background>