Property Marketing Success - the University Village Towson Case Study

Topics: Marketing Toolkit, Digital Media, Media + Advertising, Property Marketing, Campus Media

Posted by: Marketing

Recently we interviewed one of our team experts about a newly published case study that demonstrates how our proven property marketing process works for a specific student housing property. Today we’re exploring the successful University Village Towson housing communication campaign. Learn how to achieve property marketing success with this case study as your guide.



University Village Towson offers fully furnished apartments with a wide range of amenities all within walking distance of Towson University, Maryland. The housing communication campaign we created for them is an excellent example of our proven Discover | Create | Execute process. 

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Before creating University Village Towson’s occupancy campaign, we began by defining the problem, first examining their existing marketing strategy. We explored what was working, what wasn’t working, and the strengths and weaknesses of the plans and efforts they had in place. We considered whether there were ways they could augment their existing endeavors to meet their objectives or whether they needed to start from scratch.

Next, we worked with University Village Towson to develop crystal clear marketing goals that were specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. In this case, University Village Towson was looking to increase website traffic to optimize student housing occupancy and improve their “heads in beds” numbers. We set campaign goals for all types of advertising impressions, click-through rates, and lease applications, aiming to have the campaign in place for the back to school season.

Marketing Worksheets


To maximize engagement success, we helped University Village Towson identify a specific buyer persona for their target Millennial and Generation Z audience, considering demographic information, what the student population is looking for when it comes to housing, and what motivates this target market to engage with advertising efforts. 



“Without the audience, we cannot drive revenue of any kind.”



Marketplace and competitor research provided valuable insights into what else was available in the market and the ways that University Village Towson outstripped their competition.

MSSmedia Buyer Persona Worksheet-1


By identifying the marketing channels and assets that University Village Towson already had in place and the tactics that most effectively influence their target buyer persona, we were able to consider which approach to take with this property marketing campaign. 



To achieve optimal results for University Village Towson’s property marketing campaign, we incorporated both traditional transit advertising and campus signage and digital geo-targeted advertising  This type of integrated campaign extends reach as each piece of the campaign amplifies the efforts of the others. 

+ See the benefits of an integrated marketing strategy for student housing.

We employed traditional media in the form of posters, billboards, transit advertising, and bus shelter signage, taking advantage of the excellent bang-for-your-buck of campus out-of-home (OOH) advertising.

Using in-app mobile proximity targeting, we geofenced the Towson University campus and competing properties to get the attention of those prospects looking for apartment rental options close to campus. We included our own landing page in order to increase engagement with those that clicked on the banner image. The format we chose allowed prospects to not only go to the website, but also to call or ask for directions directly from the landing page.

+ More digital marketing solutions that drive property marketing success.

Part of arriving at this strategy was consideration of the target buyer's journey. In relation to the goals University Village Towson established for this marketing campaign, they were looking to establish a full funnel strategy. They wanted to amplify awareness of their property in the market, lead potential renters to consider the value of their apartments, and convert interested parties to engage (i.e. complete lease applications) with the ultimate goal of optimizing occupancy.

Placing outdoor advertising signage strategically (in areas with high student traffic) enabled University Village Towson to build awareness and familiarity with their property brand for the duration of the school year. Combining OOH advertising with the geo-targeted mobile tactic connected the business with students’ virtual world. This digital approach made it easy and intuitive for students to view apartment options, amenities, and rates on their ever-present mobile devices while further prompting students who engaged with the campaign to fill out lease applications.





For the University Village Towson property marketing campaign, we executed the following:

  • Print and Digital Campaign
  • Campus Signage
  • Transit Advertising
  • Bus Shelter Signage
  • Mobile In-App Advertisements

Once all the pieces of University Village Towson’s housing communication campaign were in place and operational, we began gathering the data necessary to assess the campaign’s effectiveness and make important adjustments for maximum results. 

Depending on the scale of the campaign, we need 15-30 days worth of campaign pacing to have enough data to make productive changes. When that observation window passed for this occupancy campaign, we analyzed what was working and what wasn’t, derived data-driven hypotheses, and made adjustments for further optimization. This is an iterative process throughout any campaign, and can include anything from revamping campaign copy and keywords and testing the variants to creating remarketing campaigns to drive higher conversions. 

As we do for all clients, we provided University Village Towson with monthly reporting highlighting the campaign key performance indicators. In this case, that reporting included impressions, click throughs, conversions, proof of performance photos, and optimization recommendations.




By coupling a variety of OOH advertising strategies with in-app mobile proximity targeting, University Village Towson maximized exposure to their target Millennial and Gen Z audience. Above-average Click Through Rates and Secondary Action Rates led to increased interest and inquiries in the property. Due to the success of this initial campaign, University Village Towson continues these efforts year after year.


See Our Complete Guide to Property Marketing in the Student Housing Sector


Here at MSS Media, Inc., we’ve been providing Education, Government, Real Estate & Lifestyle clients with succinct, optimized, and successful marketing solutions for more than 15 years. Consider MSSmedia a full-service, one-stop shop for all your Media and Public Relations needs. Your goals are our motivation. And our mission is to propel your message, further and faster, to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. If you found this blog post helpful, please share!

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