Northwestern students create to aid with off-campus housing search

Meghan Morris

Rather than ripping flyers from the walls of Norris or weeding through Craigslist, students can now search for housing in a website tailored to Northwestern.

Four students created, a new website that launched in early January and intendeds to provide a simpler way to search for housing. Users can search for housing options or post information about rentals or sublets for free.

McCormick sophomores Dan Zuo and Matt Schauble, Weinberg freshman Alex You and Weinberg junior Avery Alchek all saw an opportunity for a new type of website that goes beyond Craigslist, specifically tailored to the NU community.

“I transferred to Northwestern, and coming here it was nearly impossible to find housing,” said Alchek, head of business development for WildcatPad.

Communication sophomore Bridget Illing listed her apartment on the website in order to find a subletter for next Fall Quarter. She said WildcatPad was the first website she used to find a subletter, and since Saturday night has received one email about the apartment.

“It’s nothing you have to commit to,” Illing said. “I’m sure a lot of people have trouble trying to find someone for that short amount of time.”

Each page for a house or apartment lists pertinent information, such as utilities, parking and cost, and the homepage shows where each listing is located relative to campus.

“A lot of people want statistics to weed out what places are worthwhile,” Alcheck said. “It’s important to have all these different options at your disposal.”

The group worked with Associated Student Government to help advertise for the site. ASG closed its online sublet directory Friday and now redirects the page to WildcatPad.

Alcheck said the website will undergo minor design tweaks and the students plan to continue publicizing it. As of Monday night, the site had 110 registered users, more than 60 listings and over 1200 unique visitors, said Zuo, the company’s CEO.

The website has helped not only its creators, who said they gained project management experience, but also those who list housing options. Milan Petrusic, a leasing agent for Prospect Equities, added multiple apartments to the site.

He said he usually lists rentals on Craigslist, but he used Wildcat Pad because it allows him to directly market to students.

“Traffic is craziness now and I get calls all the time,” Petrusic said. “In terms of Evanston, it’s a good advertising site and I will continue using it in the future.”

The WildcatPad creators reached out to realtors and landlords at the housing fair earlier this month and contacted others, like Petrusic, by email.

“We just want to help the community,” Alcheck said. “It’s ridiculous nobody’s done this before.”

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