There’s a large market in Australia for servicing the accommodation needs of international students. With so many pouring into major cities, and from Australia’s own regional areas, inner-city apartment builders have thrived.
But Glen Vollebregt of Student Rooms identified a key problem – they were always expensive and quite small. To counter the trend, he’s set up a series of spacious accommodation locations on Adelaide’s city fringe.
They’re fully furnished, but best of all, he argues – they have space.
“Rather than living in a squeezy city apartment that many student accommodation options offer – 'Housemates' at Student Rooms get large rooms, fully furnished, with all the bills included – as well as Telstra internet, a gardener and a regular cleaner.”
“Student Rooms locations are city fringe and are about half the cost of city-based student accommodation options – for twice the space!”
Vollebregt spent five years working in the university sector both in Australia and overseas, along with a history of recruitment in North America. It was during this time, he says, he came up with the idea.
The business has had its challenges, such as bringing good quality people on board early in the company’s run. And “developing systems and procedures” to run such a complicated business has been difficult.
But the business is continuing to grow, with Vollebregt’s goal to make the business run without him.
Of course, there’s an added benefit to success: “Winning a bet against my brother that this business couldn't become scaleable!”