Wanting to solve a problem faced by students from local colleges and universities, 4 founders came together back in January 2015 to create a room rental platform that focuses on student accommodation.
Now more than a year later, an idea that started out to help students with their housing woes now wants an even bigger share of the room renting scene.
It didn’t all start out easy, though. Wen Khai, CEO of Hostel Hunting shared how they had faced a general bias amongst landlords against letting property out to students in the beginning of their venture.
“We focused on understanding their concerns and how we could them help mitigate and manage these, as well as getting people to understand the accommodation problems that students face. The result of our efforts is a platform that offers protection to both students and landlords,” said Wen Khai.
With their second year of fully operating Hostel Hunting inching closer, the platform has managed to gain attention for their service that eases the process for students to search through their extended list of potential residences to rent according to their different needs.
One of the biggest growth for them is being able to increase the number of rooms they have available to rent out. In January 2015, they started with renting out just 300 rooms and as of November 8 2016, 71,000 rooms sourced from 5,000 owners are being offered on their platform for students to rent.
“Our unique visitors have increased by almost 800% in the last 6 months and are continuing to increase by 150% every month. The actual enquiries we receive have also increased by more than 5000% over the last 6 months, and are still growing between 200 to 400% every month,” shared Wen Khai.
They also kicked off the year by setting up their sister platform based in Singapore to further extend their service to our neighbouring country. 1,500 rooms are currently available on the platform as of now.
With the growth of their service brings the expansion of their team. They made the decision to move into a new office back in February of this year to accommodate their growing employee base.
The team spent the month of March this year going around Malaysia for 25 roadshows to create awareness of their brand.
Being one of the most popular platforms for student accommodation bookings has also allowed them to sign collaboration agreements with 38 educational institutions, the most recent being University Malaya. Their other partners include KDU University College, Monash University, Universiti Tuanku Abdul Rahman, INTI International College Subang, International Medical University Malaysia and Olympia College of the Raffles Education Group.
“We are now gaining traction because we have built a good reputation since our establishment in early 2015. We are now known as a trustworthy platform that facilitates transparent transactions between students and landlords,” said Wen Khai.
The Next Step
Though their main demographic consists of the student community, Hostel Hunting also sees themselves as a useful resource for working professionals, especially those struggling to search for accommodation with their early-stage paychecks.
“With Hostel Hunting’s market intervention, our tenants are assured of safe and secure places to stay and landlords are assured of a hassle-free rental experience. We are happy that our platform is able to offer real solutions to these ongoing problems in the market,” said Wen Khai.
The team also shared their excitement in the potential of their business as their next plan involves regional expansion into markets like Thailand.
Feature Image Credit: Hostel Hunting