Dorm rooms and roommates are quintessential parts of the college experience. But when today’s students struggle to find appropriate housing options, moving to a new town for college becomes a point of anxiety rather than an exciting part of the experience. That fear and anxiety are, in part, what inspired Lumi, an all-inclusive co-living technology solution for university and college students.
“The process of finding and securing off-campus housing hasn’t changed much in 20 years. It’s just as stressful and aggravating as it has always been. Except in today’s market, the process is even more challenging due to a student housing crisis,” explains Lumi’s chief executive officer and co-founder, Ryan Stohl. “Right now, 90 percent of housing developers are focusing on 20 percent of the population: Renters hunting for luxury apartments earning well over six figures a year. Students are left looking for housing elsewhere.”
Becoming the Airbnb of Student Housing
Founded in 2022, Lumi aims to change the student housing experience. According to Stohl, the brand creates a seamless process for students to leave behind cramped, outdated dorm rooms and find their own space. Lumi aids students in every stage of the off-campus housing search, from finding the perfect house and roommates to navigating the rental application process through its all-in-one digital platform.
Currently, Lumi features 11 Instagram-worthy rentals in Miami, Florida—many within walking distance of the University of Miami campus. The local market is an example of how new construction leaves out student-friendly housing for college-aged tenants, as luxury apartments and condominiums dominate the rental market while driving up construction costs.
Lumi curates an off-campus living experience that students would not find in a typical apartment. A Lumi house offers the traditional co-living experience while providing the privacy and personal space not always available in a college dormitory. Students’ monthly rent is an all-inclusive cost that covers the essentials for off-campus housing—furniture, utilities, parking, smart-home features, landscaping, and cleaning. Even pantry items and favorite streaming services like Hulu are included in the flat rate fee.
“But you still have to do your own grocery shopping,” Stohl jokes.
Streamlining Mom and Pop Rentals
Lumi also supports another essential player in the off-campus housing market: Landlords. An estimated 99 percent of all single-family rentals in the United States are owned by private individuals or investors, according to the National Rental Home Council—sometimes called “Mom and Pop Landlords.” These individuals balance landlord duties with the demands of daily life, including full-time careers and families.
“We are an intermediary between the two groups,” says Stohl. “Lumi is there to solve two distinct problems: The student house crisis that is happening across the country and the resource demands that come with being an effective landlord.”
Lumi’s technology platform helps manage the typical lengthy processes associated with a new renter. From rental applications to credit checks, the platform provides a holistic solution that simplifies the tenant screening process.
But Lumi continues that seamless experience through move-in and beyond: finding renter’s insurance, putting in maintenance requests, and more. Students’ monthly fee funds their entire living experience that includes a fully-furnished home, internet access, cable and streaming services, utilities, and even a bi-weekly cleaning service. The all-inclusive pricing creates a low-stress experience to both student renters and landlords. Because homeowners who add their houses to the Lumi rental pool receive more than onboarding support.
The brand is a cost-effective property management solution that addresses the unique needs of both renters and landlords. Lumi sets itself apart from typical property management companies as a 360-degree technology solution that serves landlords at every stage of the rental process. Maintenance requests, rent collection, and other time-consuming duties are handled on the platform. But Lumi goes on to craft an elevated experience for renters, helping to ensure tenant satisfaction and consistent rental cash flow through its elevated amenities and high-touch services.
With rapid expansion in markets across the United States, Lumi is working to be the solution to that immediate demand. The technology brand is set to launch in Boston and Atlanta after its pre-seed round of investing. Tour Lumi’s student housing options and co-living platform at lumi.house.