"My Spartan Sublease" Aims to Streamline Subleasing Process
You couldn’t be happier — you just got an email congratulating you on your acceptance to the internship program of your dreams this winter off in sunny California. But before you start celebrating, you realize there’s a catch: you’ll still have to pay rent on the East Lansing apartment you won’t be living in.
This can only mean one thing: you’ll have to sublease your place. Normally, this would be an uncertain process, but a local business hopes to change that.
MySpartanSublease.org is the newly revamped project of four MSU alumni: Andrew Lauten, Ben Perfect, Emily Grevel, and Salim Al-Shatel.
“Before this, the only way you could really post for a sublease is making your Facebook status or putting it on Craigslist,” Al-Shatel said. “Those are pretty much the two options you really had, where you can try and network with your friends. So essentially we wanted to make it an easier and more organized platform for people to sublease their spaces.”
The subleasing process is designed to be simple for both the owner and the renter. The person doing the subleasing goes onto MySpartanSublease.org, fills out their contact and address information, and pays a one-time fee of $24.99. They can then send in photos of the property, and it is posted to the main website as well as the My Spartan Sublease Facebook page.
From there, it’s all up to the person looking for a place to live.
“You can set your price range for what you’re looking for, and then which neighborhood as well, and then the contact information will be there as well,” said Al-Shatel.
Ben Coberly is a 2015 graduate of MSU, and now works as a lab manager on campus. While living in Berrytree Apartments in Okemos, he had subleased an apartment to a friend of a friend – but says it wasn’t easy to find someone.
Coberly tried using the internet and fliers to find candidates, but wasn't very successful, he said.
My Spartan Sublease might have made it easier for him to sublease, especially if the website had many users, Coberly said.
Al-Shatel anticipates that the site will become more popular.
“We’re open for business right now," he said. "We’re hoping in the next two months or so we’ll see a strong flow. In the middle of the semester is usually when people find out about internships or maybe that they’re not gonna be around for a semester.”
Once My Spartan Sublease builds up a solid user base, Al-Shatel hopes to partner with local businesses for advertising and memberships.
“We’re hoping we could set up a membership program, so that when you make the payment of $24.99 you’re not just getting the posting of your listing on there, you might get discounts for some of the local businesses,” Al-Shatel said.
Businesses interested in a partnership can contact him at email@example.com.
As for the future, Al-Shatel and his partners are already eyeing the college real estate world beyond MSU.
“The further long term goal of it would be to move over to other campuses as well, nationwide.”