Rent College Pads, a service that assists students in finding off-campus housing, recently came to Appalachian State University.
The service partners with landowners and allows students to view all the important information when deciding where to rent, such as price, number of bedrooms, whether they allow pets and more. It also shows when upcoming open houses are and helps students find roommates.
“The main goal of RCP is to simplify the housing search for students,” said Jeremy Schmidt, the director of marketing.
RCP currently represents 19 landowners in Boone, said Chris Hoff, the market development director for Appalachian State.
The service’s website allows students to search campuses by zip code and compiles available housing in their system on Google Maps. Students can instantly access online forms that will send messages to landlords and phone numbers are provided to call landlords immediately.
Hoff said the number of Appalachian students already using RCP is a testament to the service’s success.
“In the first 10 days, over 1,500 students have used RCP,” Hoff said. “This was a great response in such a short period of time. I’m excited to see this number continue to climb.”
The company makes a concerted effort to represent small, independent landowners rather than just big companies. Schmidt says this is an important part of RCP’s mission statement.
“Big, national conglomerates are already very visible,” Schmidt said. “Mom and Pop shops don’t have the money for marketing, or they might not be able to do it as well. We find it’s important to help them.”
RCP chose Appalachian as the next school to expand to because it met the criteria they look at when selecting a school.
“We look for a high percentage of students living off campus, we look for growing enrollment trends and we look for college towns,” Schmidt said. “Appalachian met all those requirements.”
Schmidt said the service was created because the founder, Dominic Anzalone, realized how difficult it can be for students to find a place to rent.
“When he was in college, there was a year when he had a hard time finding a place,” Schmidt said. “He exhausted all the routes available, and realized there needed to be an easier way.”
Over the past five years, RCP has grown from only being at Marquette University in Milwaukee to being at 30 universities nationwide.
In their second year, they expanded to the University of Wisconsin and in their third year they became interstate, expanding to universities such as the University of Georgia and Texas A&M.
Schmidt said they prefer to be thorough at a small number of campuses.
“We find it’s important to form relationships,” Schmidt said. “We don’t want to be one of those companies that works with you and then you never hear from us again. We do value quality over quantity.”
Schmidt said the company is a successful service because everyone working for them understands the situations that college students are in.
“We all remember how hard it is to find a place,” Schmidt said. “It shouldn’t be that hard. There needs to be resources available to students in these busy times.”
Story by: Tommy Culkin, Senior News Reporter