How Two Lifelong Friends Turned a Bad Situation into an Opportunity with PadLink

In life, we are sometimes put into certain situations which may seem unfair or unfortunate. At the moment, we may get angry, upset or feel sorry for ourselves. But, when you sit back and think about it, that can be a moment where opportunity presents itself.

This was the case for two Hofstra students in 2013. Andrew Marks and Andrew Schaeffer were lifelong friends, having attended elementary school through high school together, and were both Finance majors at Hofstra University on Long Island. The latter was moving into his first off-campus house in the surrounding neighborhood. He had viewed the property with a few members of his fraternity, and it looked like a great place to live. Plenty of bedrooms, close proximity to school and a nice sized backyard. “Everything looked to be working out perfectly,” said Schaeffer, “until the day we went to move in”. The private basement room he had chosen seemed great when viewing the property but, when he saw it without the furnishing that was previously there, he was blindsided. There was black mold where a picture had been hanging and a large missing tile in the floor underneath where a dresser once stood.  

“We have heard of too many students being taken advantage of in the off-campus housing market because they often don’t have a lot of prior experience with renting a Pad. As a result, we aimed to create a platform to protect students from such circumstances” remarks Andrew Marks from PadLink’s office in Long Island, where he can overlook Hofstra’s campus. Through years of research, the two listened to friends and different testimonials, some of which they share on their website, from students throughout the country to discover many of the important issues that college students face while moving off-campus; from imposter landlords creating fake listings and landlords being unresponsive with maintenance requests to the lack of data that off-campus housing representatives at different schools possess that prevents them from being proactive when a student is put in such a situation. PadLink also provides resources for Students, Landlords, and Parents on their website.  

Through a partnership with KiwiTech, a large tech fund, the two have built out the online platform on PadLink.com. It’s more than just a reliable listing service, taking care of care of many other needs in the off-campus housing experience. “From an immersive search system, roommate finder, customizable payment system, university platform, and many back end systems to protect students from untruthful listings, we are there for students from the day they start their search until the day they graduate,” says Marks, “we are constantly working to cover all issues in the market and doing research to stay on top of important security measures. Now there are so many students that won’t get taken for a ride like Schaeffer was.”

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