Home SMART 100 (2013) Student Rooms (SA) – 2013 Anthill SMART 100

Student Rooms (SA) – 2013 Anthill SMART 100


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This innovation came to life when…

After studying abroad in a few places around the world Glen (founder, SR) joined some friends to start an exchange student club. This launched him into half a decade in the university sector teaching and recruiting students around the world. Through this he discovered a lack of affordable, safe and quality student accommodation options in his home town of Adelaide. Combining his own knowledge of property development with this need and know-how of student life around the globe he launched his first managed student sharehouse, focusing on the needs of out-of-town students.


The purpose of this innovation is to…

Provide furnished, safe and affordable student accommodation in close proximity to unis, colleges and transport hubs. We focus on all the things students need at a price they can comfortably afford.

It does this by…

Creating a collaborative (consumption) approach to inner-city living. We either renovate, buy, lease or build substantial houses with large bedrooms. We then furnish them down to the tea-towel and toilet paper with everything a student needs. Students (we call them Housemates) apply and we analyse their needs and suitability against our available stock of rooms.


This innovation improves on what came before because…

As an out-of-town student you’ll either pay a premium price for a tiny box of a room in a student apartment, or you’ll be living in great Aunty Jill’s spare room with her creepy cats and be a 75-minute bus ride away from campus. SR offers affordable, organised and safe rooms close to the city and campus.

The benefits to the customer/end-user include…

  • feeling safe
  • getting on with important things like studying and socialising at uni
  • knowing you have a company that specialises in looking after students
  • getting twice the space for half the price
  • fully furnished
  • unique Australian experiences (for international students)


In the past, this problem was solved by…

Well…we don’t really think it was! We’ve used technology to help automate processes and designed systems which in turn have created efficiencies and given us a great and viable product at an affordable price. We use technology to

  • source properties
  • develop virtual tours
  • automate marketing
  • provide customer service
  • billing and accounts

plus have real people for real service.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

Big property developers in recent years have been building towers containing tiny boxes they call bedrooms and a few residential colleges offer reasonable accommodation but at prices which are unaffordable for most. Room with Aunty Jill and her crazy cats.


This innovation is made for…

Primarily university and college students whom we design room and houses to suit and generally those under 30.

We offer the best value for those who are from outside of a major city (just Adelaide at present) and who don’t have family/friends to live with or means to obtain their own independent accommodation and set it up with all they need.

In SA we estimate there are about 70,000 domestic and international students, and 1.1 million Australia-wide.


It is available for sale through…

Studentrooms.com.au where we can provide virtual tours of rooms and houses and offer in-office or Skype interviews for your application. Contracts can be signed and paperwork completed before a HM arrives to collect their keys.

Our marketing strategy is…

After reaching a bet of turning over $1m in 12 months without a website, we thought we were doing well. We’ve capitalised on our successes through third-party advertising and connecting with university and college accommodation departments. Our next phase is to travel and build our network of recruitment partners in Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries.


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This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.