Supporting Documents for Accommodation Providers

We've added a new feature to allow accommodation providers to upload supporting documents, such as ID and rooming house registration papers.

This feature is similar to Supporting Documents for Students. But instead of requiring documents to be uploaded during registration, providers can optionally add their supporting documents at any time. This lets you request documents for certain accommodation (like Rooming/Boarding Houses) if you choose, possibly in response to a new listing approval.

You can enable supporting documents for providers from Admin > Settings > Providers:

When you have enabled Provider Documents, providers will see a new option to upload their documents from their dashboard (and there's also a link in the user menu at top-right).

You can customise the name of the documents and the "form hint" to make it clear which providers need to upload documents, and what sort of documents you require.

Provider documents can be seen in admin by clicking on the provider's record, so you can refer to their documents during listing approval if you need to.

You might also like to update "form hints" for the listing categories that identify the type of providers that need to upload documents, to let them know what your requirements are. If you're not familiar with category hints, they can be modified while editing a category (Admin > Settings > Categories, under Additional Categories). When editing a category, there is a link to "Edit form hint" on the right hand side.

Work Placement Accommodation

StudyStays now lets you offer work placement accommodation as a service to students.

This feature could be especially useful for clinical placements, or in other cases where students need to find accommodation in remote regions. For these students, the standard option to search for accommodation near a campus might not be particularly helpful.

The Work Placement Accommodation feature gives your StudyStays website a new tab, where students can search by any town or city in Australia.

Using this feature is optional and available free to all universities on the "Big" plan. To enable the "Work Placements" tab on your website, you simply need to go to Admin > Settings > Work placement accommodation and tick the box. You can also customise a short amount of content (including links to useful resources) to be displayed above the location search box on the "Work Placements" tab. If you have lots of content related to placements you might like to break this out into separate pages (under Admin > Content > Pages) and just provide a few links from the Work Placements tab so as not to bury the search box too far down the page.

If you'd like to help students find placement accommodation, of course it will be necessary to promote the idea to accommodation providers in the areas placements might be made. We will leave it to you to decide the best ways to get the word out!

We hope you find this feature useful. And if you do make use of it, we'd be interested in hearing your ideas about how it could be improved or extended to offer even better service to your students.

More room details for shared listings

Shared listings now provide space for advertisers to specify details about individual rooms for rent.

Previously, an advertiser could only list the room types available. Now, each room can be listed with different rent, bond, availability date, furnishings and bathroom.

This will allow us to give students more targeted search options when they are looking for a share house. It will also allow us to do student better matching for a new "Find a Flatmate" add-on which is currently under construction.

Rental (whole property) listings will not be affected by this change.

All existing shared listings have been automatically updated to support the new functionality. We have attempted to set furnishings based on your existing categories, but where this was not possible rooms will show unfurnished as the default. All rooms have been set to "Shared bathroom" as the default. Advertisers can manually make changes to their listings if they want to show furnishings or private bathrooms. All new shared listings will require advertisers to enter these details up front.

There are a couple of configuration changes you might like to make through admin.

Firstly, if you have room types (Admin > Settings > Room Types) that include a bathroom type, these can be removed. For example, "Single with Ensuite" could be removed, which will give you the option to replace it with just "Single".

Secondly, categories that contain information about furnishings for rooms, the entire category could be removed.

If you have any questions, please contact support@studystays.com.


Quick Shortlist

There is now a quicker way for students to shortlist ads from search results. A star appears when hovering the mouse over a listing in search results, and clicking this will shortlist the listing.

This saves students having to click through to each listing that they want to shortlist. It also provides a reminder when they have already shortlisted a listing in an earlier search.


Map Directions to Campus

Note: This new functionality requires first upgrading to the New Look for StudyStays. Please contact support@studystays.com if you'd like to upgrade.

Listing maps now include a new way to quickly look up directions to a campus.

Hovering or clicking (or tapping on mobile) on a campus in the listing map will load a route and approximate driving time to the campus.

For listings that are within 1 kilometre of a campus, walking directions will be shown instead.

Does this keep addresses private?

As you're probably aware, some listings don't show the exact address; either because the admin settings require it, or the provider has chosen to keep their address private, or the user is not registered as a student.

In these cases, the blue line showing the route to campus begins just within the red circle showing the approximate location of the listing. The travel time shown is still the approximate travel time for the entire route.

More map tweaks

Initially with the New Look, maps would all display at the same zoom level. This zoom level would often not show a campus. Now maps are automatically zoomed to the level that will show the nearest campus, while still keeping the map centred on the listing.

Arrows for campus markers are now displayed at the top of the marker instead of the bottom. This allows the marker text to expand downwards to show directions without changing the location pointed to.