New management at The Melrose is responsive to student-tenant needs

Living off campus moves students one step closer to life after college, aka “the real world.” Everyone has heard the horrible roommate stories, landlord misdoings and that “some students say pricey housing still has problems,” as the headline of Koran Addo’s Oct. 27 article said. Although such reports and stories do have some legitimacy, there is another side of the story that shows how at least one community has taken action to curb bad customer service and enhance students’ living-learning experience.

The Melrose of Minneapolis is a student-services community, not a real-estate developer dressed up in “customer service clothing.” The community has undergone a complete transformation from its billing systems to its management staff in order to create an environment that is both conducive to a student’s well-being and happiness. Additionally, the billing system at The Melrose is way ahead of the other communities in town. Instead of having to set up utilities yourself, remember what your rent is and divide the utilities among your roommates, The Melrose invoices do all of this for you – automatically. And, while the billing system might have kinks to work out, the management staff has been busy developing programs and activities to deliver the much-hyped student services The Melrose promised. What an idea – actually deliver what you promise!

Adam Weber, a first-year University medical student, is one of many who said they are pleased with The Melrose. “The friendly staff is more than willing to go out of their way to make sure I have everything I need,” Weber said. “The Melrose is unquestionably the best place to live near the University campus.”

This summer, The Melrose was busy installing new furniture to replace the lower-quality furniture initially installed at the community when it was under the old management. Additionally, the new Melrose Coffee Cafe, which opened in June, delivers “fresh beans” to the residents of this state-of-the-art facility. Once again, promises made and kept at The Melrose. Since the new management took over in November 2002, they have been working steadily to improve everyone’s experience, including the utility bills.

Because of the high-rise nature of the building, The Melrose has a very technical and advanced heating and cooling system to monitor building temperatures. Management realized the system needed to be re-configured to appropriately distribute airflow throughout the building. While their consultants worked on the system, The Melrose management waived the utility charge because the problem was The Melrose’s, not its residents’. Now, the system is operating efficiently, thanks to the attention to detail The Melrose’s new management has.

That same attention to detail includes a new staff at The Melrose focused on providing the best customer service around, period. Addo’s report is not a clear indicator of what life is like at The Melrose or the philosophy behind our mission: happiness, success and peace of mind. Those three ideals dictate our company on a day-to-day basis.

Although I write this as a member of that management staff, I am not asking for a leap of faith. However, I am asking that everyone come to The Melrose to see for themselves the wonderful changes that have taken place.

John Kerrigan works for United Campus Housing, which owns The Melrose. Send comments to [email protected]