Casita, an all-in-one platform for student accommodation showcasing over one million rooms across 62 destinations, has partnered with AI-powered international education marketplace MSM Unify to tap into a growing base of international students worldwide.
Casita offers over 1 million student rooms in more than 700 cities close to 3,000 colleges and universities. It has 70-full time employees spread across its main hubs in Thailand, India, and Egypt, along with offices in the United States and satellite centers in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East.
The trusted platform covers accommodation needs in students’ chosen country and school at MSM Unify, which connects international students with industry services such as education loans, flight bookings, opening bank accounts, scholarships, and internship and work placement opportunities, to name a few.
“We were attracted to how MSM Unify is student-centered and tech-driven. We are also aware of the in-country offices that MSM operates and how their model helps in the student flow from pre to post-departure preparations. This is similar to our vision: helping students in their whole student journey,” said Leigh Pulford, Chief Marketing Officer at Casita.
“This partnership allows students to explore practically every choice available based on their need, budget, location, and other requirements. Accommodation solutions are a very important and one of the final decisions in the international education journey, allowing students to relax, study, and socialize with new friends and the local community. It takes a lot of burden off the parents’ shoulders when they are assured their child has a secure ‘home away from home’ from a reliable provider,” said Avinav Sharma, Head of Strategy and Operations at MSM Unify.
While heavily affected by halted student mobility from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions, Casita pivoted through highly diversified source markets and added more room stocks, going from 350,000 to 1 million rooms during the pandemic. Since May, the company has seen a huge uptake in lead generation and booking volumes.
“The owners and operators of student accommodation assets we have on our website have done a fantastic job in guiding students through providing clear COVID policies, providing fantastic refund and cancellation terms, and overall flexibility. That really demonstrates that this is a very resilient sector compared to retail or office space and has a laser-sharp focus on student safety and convenience,” said Pulford.
Through its alliance with MSM Unify, Casita seeks to push its ever-expanding, well-vetted room stock through API integration and optimum university or city-based search criteria, ensuring that students see room options as close to their school as possible and within their price points. MSM Unify users can inquire or directly book a room with Casita within the automated environment. They can also enjoy Casita’s unique brand of customer service, being one of few companies in their space to offer multiple customer service centers in multiple languages and markets.
The MSM Unify Marketplace uses AI-based technology to help meet the study-overseas aspirations of prospective and current international students. Its reliable features include an intuitive search powering over 3,000 programs as well as institutions and study destinations; study guidebooks; a dedicated discussion forum for peer-to-peer content sharing; virtual counseling; webinars and interactive knowledge sessions; and other unique offerings responding to every aspect of the student journey and all available for free access.
“It is a student-centric platform where various providers come together, whether as universities, agencies, or service companies, to offer best-in-class tools to learners wherever they are,” Sharma said.