Students, landlords to meet at free event to showcase housing options

Student organization Seidman Real Estate Group will host its fourth-annual Student Living Expo on both GVSU campuses Thursday, Friday

By Julie VerHage | 10/31/10 6:36pm

Grand Valley State University students will have the opportunity to learn about several off campus housing options all while staying in the same building at the Student Living Expo, which will take place Thursday and Friday.

The Seidman Real Estate Group, a student organization at Grand Valley State University, hosts the event.

“We believe the expo is the premier event for students to find housing for their following years,” said Derek Williams, president of the Seidman Real Estate Group.

The expo brings landlords and local business together on campus so students have the opportunity to check out all their options in one location.

“As students, we understood how hard it was to find housing downtown and in Allendale, and as landlords, (we) saw the opportunity to promote on campus,” Williams said. “The event is a great opportunity for everyone involved.”

The event will take place in both Allendale and Grand Rapids. On Thursday the event will be in downtown Grand Rapids at the DeVos Center’s Exhibition Hall in room 105E, and on Friday it will move to Allendale’s Henry Hall Atrium. The expo will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

“There were many places off campus that students had no knowledge of,” said Nathan Biller, GVSU alumnus and former member of Seidman Real Estate Group. “The expo gives students the opportunity to see almost everything that’s available and they get to do it in a setting that’s comfortable and convenient for them.”

Attendance at the expo has grown each year. There are expected to be 20 to 30 landlords and local businesses at the event along with 500 students in Allendale and 300 in Grand Rapids.

“There will be free food, free massages and free giveaways, not to mention the opportunity to find yourself the best place for you and your friends for next year,” Biller said.

The Seidman Real Estate Group has put on this event for four years on both campuses. The exhibitors are charged to participate in the event, but it is free for students. The group has also partnered with to host information about the event and serve as a source of available housing options between the Student Living Expos.

Joe Pohlen, a 2010 GVSU graduate, started the Seidman Real Estate Group in 2007. His idea of purchasing residential single homes and renting them out to college students took fourth place in the first Elevator Pitch Competition sponsored by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.

By starting the Seidman Real Estate Group, Pohlen has helped other students interested in becoming homeowners or expanding their knowledge of real estate. The members now own more than 40 houses worth more than $4 million. The club also offers networking opportunities for those involved by hosting speakers from different real estate disciplines, touring ongoing and past developments as well as discussing market trends specific to real estate. The group meets every Thursday night at 9 p.m. on the Grand Rapids Campus in the DeVos Center.

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