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This start-up doesn’t want international students crashing on their friends’ couches for weeks anymore

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Ricardo Gutierrez

There is an exciting newcomer in Australia’s accommodation industry who is set to change how students find suitable and reliable accommodation.

Bedssi is Australia’s first online student housing marketplace. By collating all possible housing options onto one centralised portal, Bedssi has made searching for accommodation significantly quicker and easier for students.

Anyone can be a host on Bedssi, from someone wanting to make some extra money out of their spare room, to large student accommodation businesses with hundreds of rooms to offer

As things are looking for a place to rent is already a tedious, lengthy and stressful process for any native Aussie. So imagine how hard it must be for an international student looking for a place to stay in Sydney when they are fresh off the plane!

Bedssi is determined to do something about this.

What gap is Bedssi fillling?

The Australian tertiary education sector recruits over 20 per cent of students from overseas every year. However, many new students often spend their first weeks on friends’ sofas or in city centre hostels as they struggle to find affordable accommodation in this new strange land. Institutions are doing their best but unsurprisingly can’t find accommodation for all their students. Support for student accommodation isn’t up to scratch and it can be as detrimental to institutions as it is to students.

This is where Bedssi comes in. To help not only students but also the institutions they attend. Two birds, one start-up…

In 2015, it was reported that Australia had a student bed shortage in the hundreds of thousands across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, a shocking statistic that, in time, is likely to discourage many overseas students from coming to Australia to study. Evidently our warm climate and beautiful beaches may not be enough of a draw card…

How exactly does Bedssi work?

Bedssi has revolutionised the process by which students can find affordable accommodation. It does so by collating all possible housing options onto one centralised portal, communicating directly with education institutions and enabling host families to advertise spare rooms available for students.

It is the first Australian website that can fully resolve the housing dilemmas of international and domestic students to enable a seamless passage into student life.

Bedssi is bringing student accommodation out of the dark ages, allowing students to book suitable housing online before they arrive. Tourists have had this convenience for years, but until now students have been ignored in the online accommodation market (with some housing offices still posting paper ads outside their offices!).

Unlike other accommodation portals on the market, it is aimed at medium to long term stays; ideal for students who will usually be studying for 6-12 months. By using Bedssi, students are assured of finding quality accommodation which accepts student stays for the duration of their studies. The opportunity for longer-term bookings is also a convenient way for hosts to enjoy a stable income while helping a student make the most of their studies.

Bedssi wants to make the process of finding accommodation reliable and easy for all parties. Accordingly, it verifies all hosts with rooms and all prospective tenants upon joining the portal and profiles on both hosts and tenants are available to view for peace of mind.

Hosts may specify the type of tenant they are looking for eg.non-smoker, female, over 21 etc. Each host has the option to accept or decline the prospective tenant before a booking can be confirmed with the potential tenant.

Bedssi can also help anyone with a spare room or looking for a new flatmate to make additional stable income whilst helping a student enjoy their time in Australia.

It can also help companies, organisations and educational institutions that want to find short to medium-term accommodation for their overseas delegates, interns or visitors coming to Australia for events, conferences etc.

How did Bedssi come to be?

Bedssi founder Ricardo Gutierrez, originally from Colombia, was an international student in Australia and has a firsthand understanding of the struggles many students face when it comes to locating affordable accommodation.

“It was very difficult to find a room when I first came to study in Sydney. After several stressful weeks of intense research, visiting many unsavoury properties, going to the university housing office and checking availability online, I finally found a room where I lived for the next two years. This didn’t mean that everything went smoothly from here.  I came with a limited budget which meant I had to share a room for the first two years, work part-time during the semester and study almost every weekend. This is precisely why I started Bedssi; because I genuinely want to help as many students as I can!”

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