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Listen Your Way to Leadership in Student Housing – with Brian Kraft

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How I Got Into Student Housing – with Brian Kraft

To be a successful leader in the student housing space, you need buy-in from all of the players involved. But how do you determine what’s driving each stakeholder and make decisions accordingly? Brian Kraft argues that learning to listen is the most critical skill for leaders in student housing.

Brian is the Regional Vice President at COCM. He is responsible for supporting the directors of six properties on the east coast and serving as a liaison among institutional partners, owners and the home office. Brian has 19 years of experience in student housing, serving at large public institutions and small private campuses all over the country before joining Capstone in 2009. His background in mathematics and data analysis informs the way Brian assists site staffs in performing more efficiently and improving their ability to forecast issues.

Today, Brian joins me to discuss his path from undergrad RA to Regional VP. He explains the competition he faced to become a Resident Assistant and the reasons he was drawn to the position. Brian shares the deans who mentored him as an undergrad, his decision to pursue grad school, and how his assistantship integrated his background in math. He also offers insight around his student-centered approach and his current challenge in prioritizing the needs of diverse stakeholders. Listen in to understand the most rewarding part of Brian’s role at COCM and learn how to leverage listening to have a successful career in student housing!

Topics Covered

  • The competition to be an RA in Brian’s undergrad experience
  • Why Brian was drawn to the RA’s duty to connect with residents
  • The deans who mentored Brian when he was an undergrad RA
  • Brian’s decision to pursue grad school rather than teach math
  • How Brian’s assistantship merged student housing and teaching
  • Brian’s student housing roles in Florida, California and Ohio
  • Brian’s transition from the university setting to COCM
  • Brian’s student-centered approach to student housing
  • Brian’s challenge in prioritizing the needs of all stakeholders
  • Brian’s responsibilities as Regional Vice President at COCM
  • Why Brian enjoys sharing what he’s learned with colleagues
  • How communication and listening are key to success
  • Brian’s advice around challenging yourself to try new things

Connect with Brian

Connect with Leigh Anne


Leigh Anne is the Director of Creative and Brand Marketing at COCM. In her role, she supports the development and implementation of the annual corporate marketing plan. She is responsible for overall brand strategy, content marketing, social media, video production, COCM’s website, marketing materials design and production, as well as serving as our liaison for COCM's sponsorships.