Lincoln Ventures

From Zero to 100%: Rambler’s Unstoppable Leasing Momentum  

“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire.” -Malcolm Gladwell

One day in late August 2022 Rambler’s team arrived at the leasing office to find a line of students eager to sign leases before it was too late.

That week, Rambler leaped from 6.85% to 27.78% pre-leased. The following week? A jump to 41.37%.

So, how did Rambler, a new development in a crowded West Campus market, lease 282 beds in only two weeks and achieve 95% pre-lease in January 2023 when the rest of the market was 54% preleased?

Rambler’s marketing team acted on four key beliefs:

  • People lease on emotion, and justify it up with facts
  • Honest and transparent content is the best sales tool in the world
  • Influence the influencers, and the rest will follow.
  • The power of habit.

With these principles as the fuel, Rambler hit the tipping point.

Rambler Exterior during golden hour

Big Reputation  

Rambler began leasing in May 2022 for August 2023 delivery and move-in. Rambler was the third new development in four years from LV Collective in West Campus, with the previous two, Moontower and Waterloo, smashing successes. Rambler had the blessing and the curse of reputation. The blessing, the reputation of jaw dropping spaces and energized amenities.

The curse? Rambler had to compete with these successful properties.

Rambler followed LV tradition offering a curated set of amenities, including Daydreamer cafe, two-story fitness center, spin and yoga studios, a resort-style pool, dog spa, and Zen Den complete with rooftop terrace and saunas.

The design was uniquely Rambler; warm and welcoming, with Tulum-vibes and Austin-inspired themes. We needed a brand that reflected this, set us apart from the competition, and resonated with students.

Girls walking through bustling Rambler Daydreamer Cafe
Girls sitting and chatting in Rambler Austin fireplace lounge
Rambler ATX Pool Deck
Girls high fiving at Rambler ATX Spin Room
Residents hanging out by the pool at Rambler Austin

Evoking Emotion  

Rambler’s brand is friendly, positive and inspiring with an aesthetic that goes hand-in-hand with the southwestern-inspired interior design.

The brand isn’t just a logo and colors; it’s the voice and copywriting, it’s the photography and video style, it’s what the students in our photos and our leasing office wore. Every detail was considered from a brand perspective.

The brand instantly connected with students. The proof: Rambler had over 1,000 Instagram followers before peak leasing season in August 2023.

We heard it from our brand ambassadors, “Waterloo was so aesthetic, but Rambler is so me.”

We created a brand that students wanted to be a part of. It wasn’t because of the two-story gym or resort-style pool. They bought in on emotion. And they justified it with facts.

Person on Rambler ATX TikTok
Rambler ATX Record Room

Building Trust

TikTok trends and giveaway campaigns are common in student housing. But thinking about social media as a way to engage an audience, educate them and build trust – to answer their questions, to transparently talk about pricing, process, problems, and even competitors? That was uncharted territory.

Rambler’s mission was to become the best and most helpful teacher in the world for students looking to lease an apartment in West Campus. To transparently and honestly answer prospects’ questions.

In four months we published 40 videos, garnering over 300,000 views. (That’s an average of 7,500 views per video.)

This strategy created the type of viral success most student housing social campaigns only dream of.

Our audience was watching, they were educating themselves, and we were gaining their trust.

Creating Habit  

One of our most powerful marketing tools was Rambler’s leasing office, complete with a fully staffed coffee bar, Daydreamer.

Brand Ambassadors and Future Residents enjoyed free hand-crafted espresso and matcha drinks from Daydreamer five days a week. Rambler became routine, Daydreamer a morning ritual. And they brought their friends.

Rambler’s leasing office oozed energy. It was designed in the style of the building and featured the same finishes and furniture. If you stopped in any day, you’d find future residents, brand ambassadors, prospects, baristas, and leasing agents gathered, studying, chatting, sipping coffee. You’d think it was a coffee shop, not a leasing office with how many students were studying there every day.

The space just felt good. It was somewhere you wanted to spend your afternoon. It had energy and made you want to be a part of it. In peak leasing season, baristas were serving over 250 drinks each day. Now, that’s a lot of foot traffic.

Lincoln Ventures

Wildfire.

Rambler’s marketing was firing on all cylinders. Our target audience was emotionally connected to the brand, influenced by the decision makers and leaders in their circles, and most importantly, they trusted us. They were ready to lease.

The result? Unprecedented leasing momentum. Lines out the door. A 34% jump in leases in two weeks. An audience so educated and bought-in that 52% signed their lease without ever taking a tour of the property.

Rambler outpaced the market and outperformed proforma, achieving 95% pre-lease by January 2023 and delivering 100% pre-leased.

daydreamer seating area reality

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