The Preiss Company is beginning its 26th year in the student housing industry with an impressive business performance over the last 12 months. The Raleigh real estate company, founded in 1987 by company CEO Donna Preiss, has reported over $300 million in new business activity through acquisitions, recapitalizations, development, and refinancing. The Preiss Company specializes in the development, acquisition, and management of off-campus student housing and currently employs over 280 employees throughout the United States.
Preiss has been in the real estate industry for almost three decades. In that time, she says that she has seen an evolution in student housing and how it is perceived. For years, The Preiss Company has helped set the “gold standard” in student housing by anticipating students’ needs and expectations rather than reacting to them. Preiss says that one of the top mistakes that many companies make today when entering the student housing market is lack of scalability.
“The student housing sector has enjoyed significant growth over the last five years through greater access to lenders and the lure of more high-end amenities for students to enjoy,” said Preiss. “This growth has led to rapid expansion, which must be factored in to an overall management plan. In many cases, companies either don’t account for this type of growth or are merely unprepared for it. If you don’t account for it, you don’t budget for it, and the end result is having to dilute your management resources in order to cover the cost of expansion.”
The Preiss Company is currently the fifth largest private student housing provider in the nation. The company’s portfolio has grown with properties around the University of Texas at Austin, West Virginia University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Georgia State University. Of the $317 million in new business activity, 39% was in new acquisitions, 14% in recapitalizations, 16% in development, and 31% in refinancing.
Preiss said that the key to success is always looking forward and never backward. However, when asked to reflect on her extensive real estate career, she said that the one word to which she would attribute her success would be “relationships”.
“Student housing is very management intensive,” explained Preiss. “Students not only expect high-end amenities and state-of-the-art technology, but also insist on personal attention and care. Our property management team has to assume a variety of roles, but perhaps the most important to our success is establishing that personal connection with each of our residents. Students want to be treated as individuals and not just a rent check. While the financial and management side of the business are important, the relationship side should not be underestimated or undervalued.”
Preiss says that for the remainder of the year, she plans to continue to grow the company by identifying new development, acquisition, and third-party management opportunities that provide acceptable risk adjusted returns. The Preiss Company’s current pipeline consists of nearly $160 million in acquisition and development opportunities in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Company Chief Investment Officer, John Preiss, added,“Despite a new wave of start-ups and merged companies in the student housing industry, The Preiss Company has and will continue to stay steadfast in its commitment to lead and define the student housing industry. Our end goal is simple: To provide the best student living experience anywhere.”
About The Preiss Company
Founded in 1987, The Preiss Company (tpco.com) employs over 280 employees throughout the United States and specializes in the development, acquisition and management of off-campus student housing. The Raleigh-based company is the nation’s fifth largest privately held and largest woman-owned owner and operator of private student housing. The company’s portfolio currently comprises approximately 16,000 beds located in eight states and eleven markets.