Operating a total portfolio of 4,500 beds across nine cities throughout the UK, true student has a relentless focus on experience delivered through design, services and via their truelife programme across three distinct pillars – health, community and experience.
Peter Prickett, CEO of the Bricks Group, who currently operate across the student, co-living and hotel sectors, explains the memorable journey for true guests and why Technogym plays an important role.
Wellbeing at the core
Student wellbeing is at the heart of true by creating a range of spaces to study, exercise, relax and socialise, so the partnership between Technogym and true has been pivotal to their success to date and aspirations for future developments.
Peter previously worked for the leisure arm of a Hong Kong property firm, and launched a gym operation which grew swiftly across Asia, and explains that his experience of the leisure sector shaped his passion for brands such as Technogym that work for positive change.
“When we entered the student accommodation sector in 2015 with our new brand, true student, most operators seemed to view their guests as a commodity,” he says. “We knew we could make a significant difference in a large market by being bold and different.”
As a parent of two teenagers, Peter has a good insight into this well-informed demographic, and knew that building memorable experiences was critical to the new brand’s success.
Creating memorable experiences
“It’s not what we do that’s important, but how we make our guests feel,” says Peter. “This principle has allowed us to disrupt the market, quickly becoming one of the leading student accommodation brands in the UK.”
A relentless focus on guest experience has enabled true student to swiftly establish itself as a premium brand, winning Property Week’s Best Student Halls of Residence in the UK in 2018 for the brand’s landmark development in Glasgow’s West End.
“We’re proud to be leading the sector in areas such as quality of accommodation, guest experience and investment in wellbeing, specifically student mental health support,” says Peter. “Ultimately, we want our guests to have a fun and rewarding experience whilst with true student, giving them the best platform from which to launch their careers after uni.”
The Bricks Group’s development team are currently building half a billion pounds’ worth of student and hotel assets such as The Hilton Garden Inn situated on the start/finish line of the iconic Silverstone Racing Circuit and a Courtyard by Marriott next to London City Airport. Due to the current success of their fitness offering, Bricks look forward to continuing to strengthen the partnership with Technogym for upcoming projects when it comes to their members’ wellness journey.
A big focus on student wellness
Many of true student’s team members come from the leisure and hospitality sectors, and know how to put true students’s guests at the heart of the experience. The true student gyms are an integral part of the offering.
“Our wellness offerings are a ‘must-have’ of the brand,” says Peter. “By making this a core part of the experience, we translate this into commercial gain by way of higher occupancy and rates. Our objective is to be the leading brand for students, and wellness is an essential part of our approach. Market-leading brand Technogym was the only choice to align with our own wellness principles.
Choosing premium partners for true’s gym spaces
“We have purposely designed our training spaces for the student sector with the help of format and design through Technogym, and our choice of equipment partners reflects this,” said Peter. “Technogym shares our passion for wellness and has been a great support in helping us bring world-class facilities to our student guests.”
“Technogym is a premium brand that leads the way in wellness and technology, with great aesthetic design,” he said. “That brand strength and alignment is crucial to true. To be a leader in student health and wellness, we need to partner with world-class lifestyle brands, and we are excited to be working with Technogym.
“To build state-of-the-art facilities, you need world-class providers. Technogym offer advanced technology and the very highest quality, and have a comprehensive wellness philosophy that aligns with our vison and passion.”
Supporting true with future wellness offerings
As part of the unique ‘truelife’ experience, the brand provides personal training, nutrition talks, and education classes and seminars to students, and true student is the only student accommodation provider to have an in-house professional advisor offering students mental health support.
“We are always listening and learning about new services we can offer our student guests,” says Peter. “The bigger picture for us right now is looking beyond our own business to champion wellness for the whole student sector. We’re encouraging the industry and partners to come together, to develop a collective mindset for innovative products, services and experiences. We believe this is the best way of supporting students in the longer term.”
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