Off-campus housing fair offers variety of options to students

Mckenzie Vogt

By this time of the year, most students have been exploring their options for places to live next school year, while others have already signed a lease.

“We still have 25 percent of our rooms available,” said Alexander Cabot, leasing director for Campustown Property Management.

Thursday, a handful of representatives from different property management companies filled the Campanile Room in the Memorial Union to address any questions future renters may have.

“The typically question asked is usually about the availability of our units,” said Kayla Sansgaard, front desk receptionist for Jensen Property Management.

RENT Iowa has been holding the Off Campus Housing Fair since 2002 on Iowa State’s campus.

“This fair helps students find and connect with landlords face to face,” said Rob Wiese, president of RENT Iowa. “As a company we load information on our website about off campus living since most students do not know what to expect.”

“Our website,, also has a pre-rental checklist so that the renter knows what they are getting into and the condition of the apartment.”

Last year RENT Iowa received about 75,000 hits.

“It’s a great tool for people outside of the United States too,” Wiese said.

For Evan Morris, freshman in chemical engineering, the fair allowed him to get a broader spectrum of different properties available in Ames.

“Our main focus is price and the cost of utilities,” Morris said.

A few properties are offering specials for anyone who signs a leasing agreement with them. Jensen Property Management has a coupon on the back of some Hy-Vee receipts for half off the deposit, Shriver Rental Properties has a special 15-month lease that will allow the renter one month free and Campustown Property Management has a deposit special and a few giveaways to anyone that stops into its office.

Another marketing tool that was used by both South Duff Community Park and University Plains is short-term leasing.

“South Duff’s theme this year is GTL [gym, tanning and laundry],” said Amanda Huff, assistant manager of South Duff Community Park. “We have a washer and dryer in all of our units, and we are pet friendly.”

“University Plains is a really friendly property and we also have on-site tanning, basketball and sand volleyball court, free fitness center, pool and hot tub,” said Taylor Nystrom, leasing consultant.

Other students might be more interested in something closer to campus.

Mike Frisk, manager and owner of First Property Management, said they have about 350 units still available within three blocks from campus.

Whatever the potential renter’s personal motive is for picking out the right apartment, one thing is certain: Ames offers a variety of housing to choose from.