HousingAnywhere .com : the international housing platform for students

Founded in 2009 by Niels van Deuren, HousingAnywhere started life as a ‘lightbulb moment’ when Niels faced a problem common among most international students, what to do with his room while on exchange?
Niels was about to start a semester abroad in Singapore but had a room in Rotterdam that he didn’t want to give up. Paying double rent wasn’t going to be an option, so Niels began the long journey to find a subletter for his room. Which, turned out to be trickier than expected. Friends only wanted to take the room on a permanent basis, the same with others on Dutch rental platforms and Airbnb was catering to tourists looking for shorter-term lets. So, Niels decided to create a platform of his own specialising in midterm lets for international students and HousingAnywhere.com was born!

Video: How to use HousingAnywhere  

Your products and services 

HousingAnywhere.com is a peer to peer marketplace and we have three different clients: students, accommodation advertisers, and universities, so we tailor our service to each one.

  • Students can search for rooms, studios, and apartments and book their new home online without any intermediaries. Students can also sublet their room to other students while they’re away on exchange.
  • Advertisers: landlords, housing operators and anyone with a spare room can use the platform to reach and rent to a market which they wouldn’t be able to reach through agencies. With our advertiser dashboard, their inventory can be managed from one place completely online. 
  • For the universities that we partner with, as the number of students going on exchange grows year on year, we help relieve the pressure that’s on accommodation offices as they can track their student bookings through the platform.

Your success factors 

We partner with universities around the world (more than 160 universities currently) who then refer HousingAnywhere to their students. 

Innovative booking system: payment of the first-month rent through the platform. The funds are held by HousingAnywhere until 48 hours after the tenant moves in, allowing for the student to let us know if the room is as advertised, the funds are then transferred to the advertiser. 

Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing 

We’re currently the only open marketplace dealing with mid-term rentals, where tenants and advertisers can freely communicate with each other and book accommodation in a safe environment without any intermediaries.  

Your business model  

  • 25% service fee from tenants
  • Commission fee from advertisers, first booking free. 
  • Yearly subscription from university partners. 

A few words about your competitors

Global competitors: Uniplaces.com, Spotahome.com, and Student.com

Local competitors such as agencies but these can be considered indirect as they don’t market to international students. 

Your website 



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