As college students, we are away from campus about 3 months out of the year. At NYU especially, during our infamously long winter break, it can feel as though we are embarking on a mini summer break. So what happens to your housing during these long stretches of time?
I’m assuming it goes uninhabited. If you live in an NYU dorm then this goes without saying, because you already have paid for your room for the entire academic year. In this case, there is no way for you to make any money while you are home doing your laundry.
On the other hand, if you live in an apartment, you should be making bank if you play your cards right.
Have you ever thought about renting out your apartment for the weeks or months that you are not living there?
If you’ve ever taken an intro econ class then you’ve probably learned about the concept of fixed costs: a cost that doesn’t change depending on the goods or services produced. For businesses, this comprises salaries and utility bills. Similarly, you pay your rent plus utilities regardless of whether you are using your apartment or not.
Considering the fact that many of us have low-paying jobs, unpaid internships, or are unemployed, this is not an efficient use of our housing. Maybe you’ve thought of using Airbnb or a similar site to list your apartment while you are on break, but you didn’t have time between exams to post your place. Or perhaps your parents warned against renting out your apartment because valuables could get broken or stolen.
I also wouldn’t know where to start.
Have no fear, there’s already a business out there that can help: MetroButler. As its name suggests, it will serve as the metaphorical butler for your future guests.
As Co-Founder and CEO Matt Lerner explained, “If you think of Airbnb as the world’s biggest hotel, then MetroButler is the front desk, concierge, and maid service rolled into one.” There are a lot of logistics that go into renting an apartment, such as dropping off the keys to the renter and having specific measures in place if something goes awry. Their service is fantastic for students like us, who have limited resources to attempt to run our own side-business literally out of our apartments. Another significant perk from MetroButler is that their insurance covers your property up to $1,000,000; although I’m assuming few of us have a property worth that much.
Once you sign up, the process is crazy easy. After you fill out preliminary information (name, address, etc.), you’ll be contacted for a 10-minute phone consultation. Next, you’ll have an in-home (apartment) consultation, where a staff-member will walk through and take pictures of your space. These will then be used to build a profile for your apartment. So, this is great for people like me, who are technologically inept and would struggle to create their own profile.
This company is the 3rd business founded by its CEO, Matt. His first was a food-ordering service created specifically for college students. MetroButler was established with our struggles in mind: as a company to help us make money. MetroButler is commission based, meaning they only make money if you do. Their commission remains the same no matter how many nights they rent out for you.
So why not sign up and save some money now, at least until you graduate and have your own startup.