Another Hokie tradition goes virtual this semester. The Off-Campus Housing Fair will be held online Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing site will provide the portal to the extravaganza, which features more than 30 property management representatives as well as resources from housing-related Virginia Tech departments.

Each spring and fall semester, the Virginia Tech Off-Campus office hosts an Off-Campus Housing Fair to offer an opportunity for those providing housing, those seeking housing, and those who provide housing-related services to connect in a central location. It is also the perfect place to inform students, families, and other “housing hunters” of what is available in the Blacksburg and New River Valley communities.

Traditionally, the Off-Campus Housing Fair has been held in the Commonwealth Ballroom in Squires, with more than 1,000 students attending. This year’s fall fair may not look like the fairs in the past, but all the elements will be there – property representatives to chat with, information on how to find a roommate, apartment search tips, advice on leases, and information and resources from Blacksburg Transit and Student Conduct. The only thing missing is the free pizza at the fair.

But there will be prizes including a MacBook Pro, Apple AirPods, a flat screen TV, $500 Amazon gift card, an electric scooter, Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones, and more.

The Off-Campus Housing Fair virtual experience will be structured like virtual Gobblerfest. Students will visit, where there will be a link to the live fair. Students can select the different properties they are interested in and will be taken to a zoom or google hangout room to meet and chat with property managers. There are directions on how to navigate the fair on the top of the link as well. Participants may want to look at the websites of properties they are interested in before the fair and prepare questions they want to ask the managers directly.

“We also hope that families will join this year with it being virtual, so they can get questions answered and learn as much as possible about the properties in the New River Valley,” said Sarah Proffitt in Student Engagement and Campus Life, who works with the Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing office. FAQs for families were included in the October issue of the Hokie Family eNews and are posted online. Students and their families can also view the Off Campus Housing: 101 presentation from Family Weekend, which includes questions from those who attended.

“We are excited to host this event to get information out to Hokies and to continue building relationships with the New River Valley Community,” said Heather Wagoner, director of Student Engagement and Campus Life. “This event provides so much information for students looking for off-campus housing. And this year, we are happy to invite families to join us, too.”

Written by Sandy Broughton