By Katie Stiefel
Entirely East Lansing Staff Writer
As the cold weather persists, thoughts of summer invade minds of East Lansing residents, and with them, thoughts of subleasing.
Co-founders of My Spartan Sublease, communication junior Andrew Lauten and accounting senior Joseph Vanderstelt, launched the business in November 2013 and moved into an office at 325 E. Grand River Ave. in mid-December.
Subleasing is the lease of a property by a tenant who has leased the property from an owner. The business idea sparked from Lauten’s previous subleasing experience.
“It was just a long, dragged-out process and I encountered a lot of scams along the way, so I thought there had to be someone out there that had a central subleasing business,” Lauten said.
When they found no such business, Lauten and Vanderstelt laid the groundwork for My Spartan Sublease.
Communication junior Andrew Lauten, left, and accounting senior Joseph Vanderstelt sit in the office of My Spartan Sublease, 325 E. Grand River Ave.
“If you’re looking to list (a property), we send out a professional photographer to take pictures of your place, upload them to our website and do active marketing on and off campus to promote it,” Vanderstelt said.
Lauten and Vanderstelt must promote listed properties and their business as well.
“We partnered up with a lot of the major leasing companies like DTN (Management Company) and CRMC (Community Resource Management Company) to promote it off campus, and we do a number of activities on campus to promote it,” Vanderstelt said.
CRMC is a student housing rental agency and DTN is a student apartment rental agency in East Lansing.
CRMC president David Olson helped Lauten and Vanderstelt look at the business as a whole to see what could be systematized and made easier as well as the marketing plan.
“The great thing is, is that they have found this market space that will help a lot of people and a lot of our customers, and I trust them enough to help our customers,” Olson said.
Flyers promoting My Spartan Sublease are distributed and Vanderstelt started doing lecture pitches to target freshmen and sophomore students in classes required by the university that underclassmen are known to enroll in.
Communication junior Andrew Lauten works on his laptop in the office of My Spartan Sublease, 325 E. Grand River Ave.
“Their business isn’t something where you would put an ad in The State News. You could, and that would reach a certain population, but I think it’s better served with flyers, and they’re doing that,” Olson said.
My Spartan Sublease has produced results that Lauten and Vanderstelt are pleased to see.
“This is an experiment, like a test market you could say, which is already proving to be more than just that. It’s proving to be really successful,” Vanderstelt said.
Lauten and Vanderstelt would like to see My Spartan Sublease become the premier subleasing company in East Lansing. The co-founders have high hopes.
“We are hoping if things continue to be as good as they are now, we are considering expanding to a lot of the other schools in the area, more Big Ten schools,” Vanderstelt said.
They would eventually like to take the business to a national level.
“Those guys are taking the ball and running with it, and for really a small fee, trying to provide a lot of service and a lot of utility that will save students hundreds and hundreds of dollars,” Olson said.