Every new student dreads one thing; How to find accommodation. For one thing, the university’s on-campus hostels can’t accommodate all admitted students. A fact that has left many students looking for accommodation off-campus. That and the fact that most on-campus hostel rooms are already overcrowded with living conditions nothing to write home about. Such a state of degeneration has left students in a state of dilemma as to getting good accommodation.
Contrary to popular belief, finding a hostel off-campus is not easy, especially for new students. Since they have to shuttle from their houses to the school area. If you live in a different state from your new school, then your case is particularly difficult. Again, the increasing rate of fake house agents makes finding houses a daunting task. Many students have fallen victim to these imposters already. This and more makes it difficult for new students to adapt to their new school. By the time they have finally secured a place, they might have missed some lectures and orientation sessions.
Coincidentally Okafor Davidson, the founder of Hostel.ng witnessed these unpleasant experiences first-hand. Thus inspired, decided to build a solution that would make it easier for students to secure accommodation off-campus. In 2019, he partnered with Olujobi and Tobi Otomowe to build Hostel. Ng. A hostel assistance service that uses technology to provide the best hostel accommodations for students across Nigeria. This simply means that undergraduates can check hostel listings available in the areas they want and inspect them on Hostel.ng while its team confirms the availability of the rooms and schedules an appointment with an agent on behalf of the student.
Overall, Hostel.ng offers undergraduates the following,
- A Large archive of different hostels to pick from.
- Exact and verified hostels.
- A fast and secure online payment of rooms.
- Option to inspect a room before payment.
- A platform to find and interact with students in need of roommates(coming soon).
- Lower service charge and affordable listings.
For now, Hostel.ng operates only on the Nnamdi Azikiwe University campus. Where it has 150 hostels housing about 2,000 rooms on its platform. It has been able to connect about 500 students to their dream hostels. Needless to say, a startup’s major aim is to solve a problem and generate revenue. A case that is not the same for hostel.ng. Even though students were using the service yet it is not making much money. For example, there is a feature for students to pay for their accommodation on the website. But they were not using it, rather they prefer to pay directly to the hostel’s manager. This situation does not benefit Hostel.ng.
In 2021 however, the site earned a 20% service fee during the beta testing phase on its short-stay leasing feature. Perhaps it’s their much-needed break on how to make more money. The short leasing feature allows students to rent their rooms to other students for a short period. This is a win-win situation since both students and the website gets to earn money. Later this year, Hostel.ng will partner with kwaba (rent financing startup) to launch a rent financing feature that allows students to pay for hostel accommodation in instalments spread over 6 months. Via their partnership, kwaba will verify lenders, disburse and collect credits when due.
The website has continued to grow due to organic bookings from its SEO-friendly name, as they don’t have a marketing budget. The launch of the short-stay lease and rent financing features will make the site more popular and profitable. The startup is already working on raising pre-seed funding before launching these features. And is currently building a waitlist for its sub-leasing and rent-financing features.
Hostel. Ng has succeeded in making accommodations search easy and free in Unizik. It is expected that o off-campus hostels in other schools will soon be listed on it. Hostel. Ng has positioned itself to be the go-to website for finding hostels in Nigerian universities. Thus students are advised to use the website to simplify their hostel search.Featured Image Source: Hostel NG
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