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Student accommodation idea

Tipoki13

New Contributor
Jul 8, 2019
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Hi all,

So I thought of an idea today that I would love to get your feedback on.

The idea came to me after reading a newspaper article on the lack of student accommodation available. The idea is to create an Airbnb-like online platform that links up students with host families who are willing to give up a room in their home in return for rental income.

I literally came up with this idea today so I haven't conducted extensive market research just yet, but here's what I've found thus far:

Demand/market size:
The demand certainly seems to be there. The problem of lack of student housing seems to be a global problem; UK/Ireland, all across Europe, US, Canada, Oz, NZ and South Africa. Not to mention that number of people attending university is growing in all of these countries too.

Challenges:
There are namely two players already in the market (at least that I've discovered), a start-up from Portugal called Uniplaces and a start-up from Ireland called Homestay. Both use a similar model to what I described above (families post a listing for rooms available and students search on the website for a suitable match). Homestay, however, don't specifically target students, they target travellers in general and many of the cities listed on the site aren't exactly university towns. Uniplaces, on the other hand, have niched down to uni students. It took me a bit of digging to find them though , maybe their marketing efforts could be outdone? They are also only operating in Europe but seem to have a good operation going here and will probably expand in the near future. I assume there would be a lot more challenges than the competitors listed but this idea is still fresh in my mind. I would imagine that it could be quite a costly start-up and would need significant VC.

Potential Opportunity:
Like I said, there seems to be a market and room for another player. It's definitely a problem that needs to be solved and when there's a problem there's an opportunity.

Do you guys think this idea is viable? Like I said, I only thought of this idea today and I'm sure there a thousand holes to be picked in it, so please be my guest.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Conor
 

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Rawseed

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Hey @Tipoki13!

I think it's a great idea.

Seems like there are way more than two players in the industry though.

I list a few of the many companies already doing this below.

But, this isn't a bad thing.

Maybe you could serve these businesses somehow. It's what Demarco calls crowdfeeding or selling shovels to prospectors.

What do they all need that you can provide?

Good luck.

-----------

With a simple google search, I found a bunch of them, including AirBNB:


Then there's:


There were many more. Just google 'student rental platform'.

Here's a Quora question about it:

 
OP
OP

Tipoki13

New Contributor
Jul 8, 2019
7
9
11
Hey @Tipoki13!

I think it's a great idea.

Seems like there are way more than two players in the industry though.

I list a few of the many companies already doing this below.

But, this isn't a bad thing.

Maybe you could serve these businesses somehow. It's what Demarco calls crowdfeeding or selling shovels to prospectors.

What do they all need that you can provide?

Good luck.

-----------

With a simple google search, I found a bunch of them, including AirBNB:


Then there's:


There were many more. Just google 'student rental platform'.

Here's a Quora question about it:

Hi @Rawseed,

Thanks for your response.

Yeah I knew there must've been a lot more players.

I'll have to figure out a way to separate myself from the pack. Figure out what I could potentially offer that these companies aren't already offering.

Once again, thanks for the feedback

Conor
 

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