Digital platform StudentStay.co.uk aims to take the frustration out of finding student accommodation – and inject a little bit of fun into the process
StudentStay Sponsored Feature
For students coming to study in the UK there are many new challenges - not least finding a place to live.
But now a new digital platform is aiming to take the frustration out of finding a student bed, and make the process of booking accommodation much smoother.
StudentStay.co.uk is a single online platform that allows students to search and book their accommodation in a few simple steps - but it is more than just a booking service. Through partnerships with STA Travel, Amazon, Booking.com and Skyscanner, the platform provides discounted travel and other products targeted at students. Interestingly, the platform also provides a home-stay service for students in the 16-18 age bracket.
“It’s not just a booking platform - it is also about building a relationship with students; it’s about creating a hub that provides something fun and attractive for them,” says Pim Assen, a Dutch real estate entrepreneur, who founded StudentStay.co.uk along with his business partner Danish Arif, who also has a background in real estate.
“Student accommodation is something you book once or twice a year then that is it and the student has no affiliation with that operator. But we are offering trips, flights, hotel bookings, cinema tickets and other student-related discounted products. It is about creating a community.”
Assen undertook four years of research with more than 700 students from 27 different countries, with the results feeding into the development of the platform. “We listened to the experiences of finding student accommodation, and there was a lot of stress, frustration and irritation. We took all thaton board.”
The platform, which launches in December, has already signed partnerships with a number of major UK student accommodation operators, with details to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Assen says StudentStay.co.uk only partners with reputable student accommodation providers - whether university halls, private sector operators, or larger HMO landlords.
“That’s about keeping standards high - we are not going to have every Joe Average property on the platform. We work with trusted student housing operators and we also work with HMO landlords, but only those with high-quality buildings - not just one or two units here and there. It’s about providing a good product and security for the students.”
Providing a high-quality product is crucial - and so too is building trust with both operators and students. The platform, which has multimillion-pound backing from south-east Asian investors, allows students to search for accommodation by applying filters, such as location and distance from a university, but it does not provide preferential results.
“We are an independent platform and we are very keen to have a level playing field, so there are no premium listings,” says Assen. “That is really important - there’s no preferential treatment to operators as it’s about the service to the student and the student needs to trust that service.”
With StudentStay.co.uk now set to launch, students may soon find that the sometimes painful and frustrating process of finding a student bed is altogether easier - and fun too.
At a glance: StudentStay.co.uk
- ‘One-stop shop’ online platform for students to search and book their accommodation
- Students can book directly with StudentStay.co.uk - or through an integrated operator booking system
- A dedicated 24/7 live-chat help service is available to help deal with student enquiries
- Partnerships with STA Travel, Amazon, Booking.com and Skyscanner provide flights, hotels and other discounted student products