A Chat with Tom Walker, Co-Founder at Student Accommodation Portal: StuRents

StuRents is the largest UK platform for student accommodation listings. With more than 750,000 beds, we have the most comprehensive data on the sector. Our software supports every stage of the student accommodation lifecycle, from finding a place to stay, through contract signing, right-to-rent checks, deposit and rental payments, maintenance, and check-out.

We help connect house-hunting students with landlords and property managers who can provide what they need. On top of this, we leverage our extensive data and knowledge of the sector to curate research insights for institutional stakeholders, helping them to make investment decisions.



How did you come up with the idea for the company?

When we were studying at Durham, we struggled to find accommodation. We realised that having a centralised property listings platform focused solely on student accommodation would make it so much easier for students to find what they were looking for.

Since then, our listings website has grown into an end-to-end solution. Now, not only can students find everything they need on our website, StuRents.com, but landlords and property managers also have access to a full toolkit to handle all matters related to student housing.



What do you think makes this company unique?


Three things set us apart. Our end-to-end offering is unique because it lets property managers do everything they need to do for every asset in their portfolio without leaving the platform. We’ve pioneered many innovative solutions that are now industry standards, including automated right-to-rent checks and online contract signing.

Secondly, we’re one of very few student letting companies that place equal focus on standard properties for private rent (house in multiple occupation, HMO) and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) listings. We understand the crucial role played by HMO landlords in this space, and we work to ensure that they have the tools they need at price points that make sense for their business model.

Finally, the extent of our role within the sector – spanning marketing, contracting, payments, maintenance and accounting – offers us a unique vantage point from which to offer granular data insights on the sector. We analyse millions of proprietary data points relating to student accommodation searches, contracts and payments to create detailed, actionable insights to help support investment and development decisions. Each quarter, we collate and release our quarterly city-level data insights to help developers and investors understand trends at a hyper-local level across the UK. Since we don’t have any property to sell, we don’t have an agenda when we supply this data, which makes it relevant, comprehensive and unbiased.



How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?


We place a high value on company culture and retention, which is reflected in the fact that the three of us who founded StuRents are still at the helm. In fact, our current CTO was also our very first developer and wrote the company’s first line of code. After successful rounds of funding, our team has doubled in size from 18 to 36 people over the last 2 years. We’re currently in a recruitment drive to increase the team to around 45 (+25% growth) over the coming months.


What can we hope to see from your company in the future?


We are therefore focussed on extending the automation and customisation of the platform to ensure our clients can deliver an on-brand experience for their tenants while lowering their acquisition cost for new tenants.