An online property letting portal that aims to help landlords and letting agents reach students seeking private accommodation in university cities launched this week.
Road 51 – the first portal of its type in the UK – is the brainchild of founder and CEO, Bso Tsang.
The portal, which acts as an advertising platform for property management companies and sales agents across the country, can also be used by private landlords who have smaller property portfolios, something other popular listing websites don’t allow.
Making an informed choice about where they should live can be tricky for students opting to study at a university in a town or city they have no previous knowledge of, especially if they don’t choose to live in halls.
This is arguably an even bigger problem for international students, given they often have no means of getting in contact with letting agencies and private landlords before their arrival in the UK. In addition, studies have shown that large numbers of international students prefer to live off campus – this might be because they want to bring family with them or because they plan to live with other students from their own culture.
The principle goal of Road 51 is to bridge this gap, connecting prospective students to private accommodation that might otherwise have been inaccessible to them. As well as this, the online portal enables landlords to provide as much detail as possible about their properties, from the amenities available nearby to detailed images and videos. This means students can make a more considered choice before they put down their deposit from overseas.
Tsang, owner of a successful letting agency, a private landlord and a former international student himself, is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. He also has connections throughout Asia which have provided Road 51 with a number of incoming international students who are eager to live in private accommodation.
“I am excited to announce the launch of Road 51,” Tsang commented. “My experience as both a student landlord and letting agent made it clear that there was a need for a platform that would allow landlords like myself to access this valuable market. Our website provides a cost effective solution for landlords looking to extend their reach.”
He added: “I hope that students will find our new website helpful in their search for properties that are right for them in areas that they are not familiar with.”