Students' Yourcampus.ca offers an alternative to finding London housing

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Screenshot of Yourcampus.ca

A new housing website designed by a team of Western students is up and running, and it claims to be more user-friendly than Western’s Off-campus Housing search site.

Initially, Yourcampus.ca was a marketing project, but after extensive market research, it opened to the public earlier this month.

To expand their user base, creator Shawn Feldon and six other Western students began providing the service. Now that the trial period is over, landlords will be charged $30 for a single-unit listing and $55 for a multi-unit listing.

This is higher than the $25 charge for any listing and $10 for multi-unit listings on the Off-campus Housing website.

Yourcampus.ca provides accounts for users. Once users find a property they’re interested in, you can communicate with the landlord and discuss times to see the property.

Renters can break down their search through filters at the top of the page. Students can choose a lease type, for example, of one-year, eight-month or four-month.

Other filters let you search by rent, furnished houses, parking availability and air conditioning.

Roughly 30 listings are currently on display but the creators say the number is growing.

“Before summer, we hope to have detailed student classified listings [where] students can buy and sell furniture or used textbooks,” Feldon said. “Hopefully we’re adding a lot of value to the student off-campus search program.”

Western’s website changed its layout in early January and will announce more improvements in June.

“We’ve learned not to give out too much information [because unrestrained disclosure sparked competition]; however, I can say that we have surveyed housing websites across North America and we know what to do [in terms of upgrades],” said Glenn Matthews, Housing Mediating Services officer.

“The university search site is not profit-driven and all the money we make goes back into helping students with their housing affairs,” Matthews said.

As an example, Matthews cited Off-Campus Advisors, a program sponsored by proceeds from Western’s website, which employs 19 university students working on campaigns to assist in conflict resolution with roommates or landlords.

Yourcampus.ca intends to pursue an aggressive advertising campaign, targeting students through advertisements, booths in the University Community Centre, distributing flyers on campus and talking to prospective clients at bars.

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