ALEXANDRA ECONOMOU BUSINESS REPORTER The Advertiser February 10, 2015
ADELAIDE company Student Rooms is expecting 30 per cent revenue growth this financial year as more international and regional students seek its services.
Launched in 2010, Student Rooms placed international and domestic students in fully furnished share houses at affordable rents — starting from $120 per week which included rent, water, gas, internet and a fortnightly cleaning and gardening service.
Managing director Glen Vollebregt said research from HSBC showed the average annual cost for international students studying at an Australian university was $48,000.
Having held previous roles in the university sector, Mr Vollebregt noticed many students struggled to find affordable accommodation options.
“We partner with investors and landlords and we secure a property (for rent) for up to 10 years,” he said.
“We manage it a bit like defence housing and what we offer is security for landlords.”
Prospective student tenants underwent extensive reference checks and were offered individual rental contracts and a guaranteed private bedroom in the shared accommodation.
Properties were located across Adelaide and Student Rooms expected to offer 1000 rooms within the next couple of years.
Mr Vollebregt said Student Rooms was much more than a property management service.
“It’s in our interests to make sure we have tenants looking after the houses,” he said.
“Property managers looking after a property is easy, but looking after people is much more difficult.
“At Student Rooms, we believe that we must take an all-inclusive, complete sector approach to providing the best student experience.”
He said the business had enjoyed 25 per cent growth in the past three years and was on track for 30 per cent for 2014-15.
Student Rooms is a member company of Adelaide business leaders group The Engine Room. For information visit www.theengroom.com.au