05 / 01 / 2004
Taking over any business from a long-standing, established family is difficult in any industry. For student housing, it was unheard of until 2004 when San Miguel Management was in the enviable position of stepping into the shoes of a successful family business--Hardin House located in Austin, Texas. Since 1937, the Hardin family had created a private girls dormitory that catered to young ladies attending The University of Texas at Austin and Austin Community College. With a historical record of no marketing budget, there is one reason for the long-term success of Hardin House and that is CUSTOMER SERVICE! Nine years later and Hardin House continues the tradition of service, satisfaction and no marketing budget. Word of mouth still drives the clientele seeking the finest female student housing accommodations near the U.T. campus.
Before the transition, San Miguel Management recognized that this dormitory was an “institution” of its own. Understandably, many of the tenured staff were anxious with a change in ownership and management. After several meetings, San Miguel was able to convince those that had made Hardin House a success that little would change with regard to how the business was run. This year marked a historic event for Hardin House and San Miguel with a staff member achieving their 40th year of service at Hardin House. Unbelievably, other staff members have 10, 20 and 30 years of service there and look forward to reaching higher milestones.
Aside from the operational success of Hardin House, San Miguel Management has recorded other achievements as well. Until we assumed control, standard operating procedure called for closing the dorm and laying off staff during the summers. San Miguel desired to avoid these necessities, and reached out to summer camps like cheerleading, film, debate, and girls softball camps. These new business opportunities for Hardin House have permitted San Miguel Management to retain its staff over the summer and drove the NOI up over 10%. Similarly with a bit of creative thinking, San Miguel has also taken the dorm from 223 residents who call Hardin House “home”, to over 320 girls who now do the same. Proudly, San Miguel Management has continued the legacy of Hardin House and its staff, its service success, its ability to operate with no marketing budget and increase the NOI by more than 77% since 2004.