LiveSmart

LoftSmart's Guide to Off Campus Living

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have questions? We’ve got answers!

Can I sign my lease without having to visit the property?

Absolutely! Once you find a place you’ve fallen in love with, you can apply, sign, and pay instantly on LoftSmart. In fact, nearly 70% of students sign their leases online, sight unseen. Bloomberg calls it “the future of renting.”

How do I know that the listings are real?

Our full-time business development team personally vets each and every property management company on LoftSmart. We work with some of the largest and most reputable student-focused managers in the U.S.: PeakCampus, Aspen Heights, EdR Trust, Campus Advantage, Collier Companies, The Dinerstein Companies, and more. Not just anyone can list with us, which is how we’re able to guarantee the authenticity and legitimacy of the properties on the platform.

Where do I start?

If you already know where you want to live and you’re just looking to lease online, choose “I know where I want to live” on our home page. If you need help finding the perfect place, choose “I’m still searching” on our homepage to see all of the available listings near your university.

Or if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for and need a bit more assistance, reach out to your personal concierge via the chat feature in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Your personal concierge will be there to provide all the best recommendations based on what you’re looking for and will be there throughout the entire leasing process to walk you through each step.

What if I have roommates?

Once you begin an application, you’ll be prompted to invite your roommates via email. They’ll get an email inviting them to come onto the platform and complete their part of the process.

What if I don’t have roommates, but I want to live in a multi-bedroom apartment?

It depends on the property, but in many instances, leasing is done by the bed, meaning that you can lease a single bedroom within a multi-bedroom unit. The property will then match you with other students that have done the same.

How is credit and criminal history screening done?

Every property has a different way of doing their screening, but we use Transunion (NYSE: TRU), which is the market leader in credit information services and services over 500 million consumers in 33 countries every year.

Where do reviews on LoftSmart come from?

Tens of thousands of students just like you. They’ve lived there before, and want to make sure you’re armed with all the right information before making such an important decision.

Where do virtual tours on LoftSmart come from?

Like Google Streetview, we have a team of operators who travel the country capturing virtual tours. So that our discovery is experience is as up-to-date as possible, all of the virtual tours on LoftSmart have been captured within the last six months. We’ve been there in person, so you don’t have to.

How do I know LoftSmart is safe? How are payments processed?

Your safety and security are of paramount importance to us. We’ve built LoftSmart with the highest-level SSL encryption, and don’t store your personal data on the platform. Payments are done with bank-level security through the world’s foremost payment processing providers: Stripe, PayPal, and Plaid. Finally, we’ve raised over $5 million from of the world’s leading venture capitalists — people behind companies like Airbnb, Postmates, OrderUp, CommonBond, LendingClub, and more.

What about my security deposit?

Security deposits are protected by and monitored by your state’s Attorney General. Your property management company has the right to deduct from your security deposit at move-out if you’ve rendered material damage to the property, but we recommend certain best practices at move-in — like taking photos of the apartment, documenting any issues, and sharing them with the property — to prevent any issues or disputes at move-out.

What happens when I’m done leasing on LoftSmart?

Welcome home! Your property manager will promptly send you a welcome packet with information such as move-in dates and procedures, building policies, and more.

Can I pay rent through LoftSmart?

It depends on the property. Most properties that use LoftSmart for leasing and deposits use a different payments provider for monthly rent. You’ll find out from your property manager once you receive your welcome packet.

How long does the entire leasing process take through LoftSmart?

It depends on the renter, the other renters in the unit, and the guarantors. The average renter spends only 15 minutes on LoftSmart completing their part of the lease transaction, and more than 90% of applicants are able to successfully lease.

What happens after I submit my application?

Upon your application submission, the property manager will generally take 12-24 hours to review your application. In all likelihood, the property manager will either accept your application or request a guarantor. If your application is accepted, you’ll go on to sign the lease (and any other relevant documents) and submit an instant deposit payment. It’s lightning fast.

What’s a guarantor, and how do I invite mine to LoftSmart?

A guarantor is someone, usually a parent or close relative, who is willing to guarantee the value of the lease for you. College students often need guarantors because they don’t have much, if any, income history. If you apply to a property and they request a guarantor, you’ll be prompted in your Application Dashboard to invite him or her into the process via email.

When is the best time to start applying for places?

We always recommend applying to your perfect place as soon as possible for the coming school year, but in general, most universities start leasing up in October and November.

What do I need to do as the guarantor for my student?

Once your son/daughter has found their perfect place, they can start their application and lease entirely on LoftSmart. Once they wrap up, they’ll be prompted to submit their guarantor info, where they can easily enter your email address, granting you access to complete your portion of the lease in less than 7 minutes from start to finish. We’ve been told it’s the most seamless guarantor experience to date (which we don’t mind flaunting)!

How do I submit guarantor documents (like paystubs and ID’s)?

After you wrap up signing your portion of the lease, if additional documentation is required, you can easily upload required files within your dashboard. If something happens to be missing, the property manager will follow up in a convenient chat window.

How do I know LoftSmart is safe? How are payments processed?

Your and your child’s safety and security are of paramount importance to us. We’ve built LoftSmart with the highest-level SSL encryption, and don’t store your personal data on the platform. Payments are done with bank-level security through the world’s foremost payment processing providers: Stripe, PayPal, and Plaid. Finally, we’ve raised over $5 million from of the world’s leading venture capitalists — people behind companies like Airbnb, Postmates, OrderUp, CommonBond, LendingClub, and more. 

How do security deposits work?

It’s very common that when you sign your lease, a security deposit will be included. Most deposits are around a half of the first month’s rent, but often times less. The deposit is used to cover potential damages (like paint chips, malfunctioned appliances, etc) that will be assessed once your son/daughter moves out. For the most part, residents do not typically see their deposit back due to wear on the unit, but there are a number of measures you can take to improve the chances that you do. Take detailed notes and photos of any imperfections with the unit when you move in and be sure to share these with management.

What if my son/daughter doesn’t have a roommate?

All student housing complexes allow for your son/daughter to request their own roommates. But if they don’t have one lined up, don’t sweat it! Many apartment complexes have amazing roommate matching systems and will set them up with a roommate before move-in. This process typically consists of a brief survey to match them and a potential roommate based on their major, hobbies, habits and more.

How long does the process typically take after I submit an application?

Upon your application submission, the property manager will generally take 12-24 hours to review and accept or decline your application, all based on the time your app was submitted. Once your app is accepted, the property manager will send over necessary docs for you to complete which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to as long as you may need to finalize the contract and payments.

Do you have a team on-site in the markets where you have properties?

We do! We employ Operations Directors in each market to assist with all incoming inquiries on any given university. In addition, we work with the most knowledgable students in each market, all of which have real estate backgrounds and aspirations, to best provide our users with up-to-date data and accurate student feedback on all of our listings.

How does LoftSmart differ from an ILS?

LoftSmart is first and foremost a student-focused website, which means our most successful partners are student-housing assets. With that being said, we strive to have all the options within a given market for students to be able to choose from. Because of this, we’re more than happy to partner with multi-family complexes and properties, traditionally those are relatively close to campus.

What kind of properties can I list on LoftSmart?

LoftSmart is first and foremost a student-focused website, which means our most successful partners are student-housing assets. With that being said, we strive to have all the options within a given market for students to be able to choose from, so we do partner with multi-family companies and properties, as well, as long as they are relatively close to campus.

How can I list with LoftSmart?

To list with LoftSmart, all you have to do is submit a new Landlord Request at the top right of the page, or reach out to our Senior Director of Business Development, Felipe Beraldo (felipe@loftsmart.com).

Does LoftSmart act like a broker between student & property?

Unlike other sites out there claiming to be a “marketplace” for residents and property managers, LoftSmart is truly the first transactional marketplace that gives the student and property a direct line of communication with one another. In the simplest of terms, LoftSmart acts as a secure, transparent meeting place for both sides to have a seamless and delightful leasing experience.

How can I get my property to the top of my school page?

The properties we partner with that are completely transactional (properties with a ‘Lease Instantly’ designation) will always be the first properties on a school specific page. Beyond that, the order in which properties are displayed is simple. Properties with the most reviews are put at the top of the page as they allow for a more transparent experience for both students and properties. We always encourage properties to get all residents to leave truthful reviews on our site as it’s beneficial to all parties!

How can I get my property to say 'Lease Instantly'?

The 'Lease Instantly' designation just means that a certain property is completely transactional on our site. To partner with LoftSmart, please reach out to our Senior Director of Business Development, Felipe Beraldo (felipe@loftsmart.com). 

Sounds simple enough, right?! So what are you waiting for? Click below to start your search or join 100s of Property Managers accross the nation and list on LoftSmart!!