Tyler Roth is the president of StudentSpace, a free housing service available to all Northwestern Law students as well as other graduate and professional students across the city. He was kind enough to sit down with our office to tell us more about the StudentSpace organization in addition to what services it can provide incoming and current students at the law school.
So tell us a little about yourself and StudentSpace.
StudentSpace was founded by a Northwestern JD/MBA student who saw a need for a housing service for graduate students here in Chicago. I took over operations of StudentSpace in 2009 when the business was only catering to Northwestern Law students. Since then, the organization has grown to provide housing options for most of the graduate programs located within the city. However, Northwestern Law is still one of our business’ closest relationships and one of our strongest advocates.
StudentSpace is geared specifically towards finding housing options for graduate and professional students coming to school in Chicago. Most of the students that we help come from out of state, and about half of those students are international. We help students, their parents, and their families with the apartment search.
How does the process work?
First, a student makes contact with us through our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by making an appointment. Next, we go over all of the criteria that the student is looking for in their housing search. This can include budget, location, safety, pets, laundry, amenities, and the like. Then, we take the student on a tour of the housing options that fit their criteria, and we find a place that works perfectly for them.
For international students or other students who cannot make the trip in person, we can also provide all of our services remotely. We speak with the student through email, over the phone, or on Skype to obtain their housing criteria. Then, StudentSpace scouts all available housing, brings back options for the student to choose from, and walks them through the entire process. We have had a lot of positive feedback from students who have chosen housing through this option and we are available to answer questions from any student who is thinking about using StudentSpace remotely. It is a very simple process.
But is it really free for students?
Yes! The service is really free for all of the students who use StudentSpace. There are no hidden fees or other costs that the students will get surprised by later. Whether the student uses our services or does it on their own, the entire process (most importantly the rent they are charged) is NOT affected so using us can only improve their situation. Buildings love our clients as they’re generally a more mature tenant. We have a phenomenal rapport with buildings all over the city. They are always sending us updates so if they’re offering any student specials, we know about it.
Do you need an appointment?
Appointments are preferred, but are not necessary to take advantage of the services provided by StudentSpace. Our busy season runs from February through September, and making an appointment usually works out best for everyone involved during that time. If you would like to stop by, our office is located at 420 East Superior St., Suite RB181 Chicago, IL 60611. The best initial route is to send us a quick email.
Do international students need to provide anything extra?
Domestic and international students provide almost all of the same materials when finding a place to live through StudentSpace. However, it is helpful for international students to also provide an I-20 form and, if possible, a copy of the acceptance letter to the school for the property manager.
When is the best time to use StudentSpace services?
Typically, a landlord will let a renter sign the lease between 30 and 60 days before moving in. This window also gives us the latest rates and availability for students. However, we strongly encourage you to reach out as soon as you know you’re coming to Northwestern Law to handle any paperwork or just to go over your general criteria. Additionally, if you plan on using StudentSpace during the busy season, the sooner that you contact us, the better. It’s never too soon!
What is the best way to contact StudentSpace?
The best way to get in contact with our office to set up an appointment or to learn more about our services is by emailing StudentSpace at email@example.com. In addition, our website also explains more about how StudentSpace can help with the apartment search.