The Cottages is one of the largest student living complexes in College Station, and this past August, many residents were shocked during move-in when they discovered the furniture promised for their units was missing or broken.
Homestead U took over the operational management of The Cottages of College Station in October. As the management ownership company of The Cottages, Homestead U had previously given operational management to another company while they oversaw asset management from Homestead U’s headquarters in Ohio.
This previous operational management company likely missed their deadline last spring when ordering furniture for the new academic year, said Laura Formica, vice president of operations of Homestead U. It normally takes about six to eight weeks for new furniture to come in, but possibly waiting until the last minute to complete the order may be the reason residents were left without certain pieces of furniture.
“We continue to work on this, as this is a large logistical situation,” Formica said. “Currently, all of the key pieces are in place, however this is a kind of band aid solution. We are working on replacing temporary furniture with the matching Cottages furniture in all units.”
Homestead U estimates to have all permanent furniture ordered and placed within the next three to four months, but Formica said that is a worst-case scenario. The company compensated those residents who were seriously affected by the error, with some even given hotel stays for their first couple of nights. Formica said the management team dedicated itself to reconciling the situation as soon as they took over operational management.
“Within the first week of management, we sent a team of six out to College Station to perform unit inspections and asses the situation,” Formica said. “We then sent out two members of the team to actually speak with residents to hear their stories and really be their sounding board. We have looked up every single scenario to compensate for what happened.”
Homestead U’s main focus after returning all permanent furniture to units will be bringing The Cottages’ standard back to where it used to be, Formica said.
Formica said the company is also looking at boosting the resident-life experience. The Cottages’ recent resident appreciation week allowed management to show how invested they are in the neighborhood and its people, she said.
“We wanted to give residents the opportunity to see what new management is about,” Formica said. “Instead of just saying we’re going to make things better, we’re actually showing them. Homestead U is excited to be back in College Station. We love The Cottages, and we are so excited to be back managing the neighborhood.”