News / Meet Nestpick: The Airbnb for international students
Meet Nestpick: The Airbnb for international students
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Founded in Rotterdam, Nestpick is here to change the real estate market for students. It all started when one of the founders came to Rotterdam for his international studies and almost ended up homeless. It was really hard to find his way through listings that have not been updated in years and scammers, that took advantage of the inferior position international students found themselves in. Here is where the idea for Nestpick was first born. Founder Fabian Dudek is here to discuss the team behind Nestpick, the product and its future ambitions.
Tell us about your product / service?
We are the Airbnb for international students. We enable international students to conveniently and securely rent private places online – or differently: We enable every landlord or real estate company to rent their rooms, apartments, studios or whatever space they have online. In essence: We enable students to rent places, they could have never rented otherwise. Every single nest on our site is unique and as a matter of fact can be rented in an easier manner, than any corporate housing. (You need to wait a bit for the landlords answer :))
For landlords our concept is interesting because by renting their rooms online, they do not only save an enormous amount of time (no viewings, long e-mailing etc.), but we also enable landlords to rent their rooms months in advance, ultimately reducing vacancies dramatically. Since our system tracks the availability of the nests in our portfolio, landlords enjoy a continuous inflow of new tenants while deciding themselves which tenants they would like to accept. They also receive a free professional photo shoot of their apartment.
Who is in the team?
Me, Fabian Dudek: I founded my first student housing company in 2012, after starting to help international students to find a place in 2010. On the side I finished my Bachelor (IBEB) at the Erasmus University and am now finishing my master in Strategic Management. Nestpick is my third business.
Peter Hofman: Peter is our CTO and he is an amazing guy. He has 10 years of coding experience and founded more than 5 companies. We were introduced by my first investors, which I met after my pitch at the Erasmus Centre of Entrepreneurship.
Our student team: Operations are mainly executed by students. Because; who would be better at solving an issue, if not the people who experienced it first hand. We believe in students and the passion they can develop, when they are presented with the opportunity of changing something for the better.
What is the business model?
Nestpick wants to solve the student housing problem instead of only capitalizing on it, therefore we charge a fee of 50% of one months rent (incl. VAT) and intend to reduce this with an increasing user base. In order to grow our portfolio the service is free for landlords.
What are the milestones you plan on achieving in the coming six months?
After launching the last pages in the coming weeks, our aim is to continuously improve the products user experience. Regarding the business part, our goal this summer is to help 1000 students find their home online via Nestpick. To reach our goal we will have to further expand within the Netherlands and potentially in neighboring countries. After the summer we would like to team up with the right partners and start expanding into europe to help thousands of students in 2015 find a place.
What is your strategy for growth?
The success of most startups depends on its scalability. By focusing on helping students to rent rooms from abroad we are able to expand to any city in the world. (If we can of course find some professional photographers). In order to build our housing portfolio, we will largely need to leverage on media attention in the beginning. Our supply acquisition team, made up out of motivated and creative international students is additionally working on ways of increasing the portfolio.