Giving Students an Easier Way to Find Roommates

According to Scholarships.com, the average cost for college dorms can range between $7,500 and $9,000 per year.

This gives private colleges and organizations, such as the Educational Housing Services, the license to overcharge students in overhead fees, such as residential assistance.
Kyle Freedman, a Baruch College Corporate Communications major, along with his cross-collegiate staff have a different vision.

A vision where a student is able to find the perfect apartment for a fair price, without the uncertainty of having an unreliable, incompatible roommate.

“MyStudentApartment.com is set to become a full service brokerage matchmaking algorithm platform that helps every student find the perfect apartment with compatible roommates,” said CEO and founder of MyStudentApartment.com, Kyle Freedman.

In fact, My Student Apartment is set to become the first and only real-estate brokerage provider with its own integrated roommate matchmaking algorithm in the world. This will be thanks to its partnership with Citi Habitats, “the premier residential brokerage firm in Manhattan ,” according to their site.

Freedman came up with his concept in June after working for Educational Housing Services (EHS), the largest provider of dorms in New York City.

While working for EHS, Freedman realized that most students pay $1,500 each month just to rent a shared dorm for less than 50 square feet, which he feels is too expensive.
MyStudentApartment.com is comprised of three facets.

The first is the type of housing the person is looking for, the second is Facebook’s connect log, which extracts over 50 percent of data from the user’s profile.

The final and most integral part of this systematic algorithm is a series of 40 check boxes comprised of living preferences and dislikes.

The result is a compatible match similar to what one may find in a dating service, such as Datemyschool.com.

“Jean Meyer, Datemyschool.com’s CEO and founder actually gave me the confidence, motivation and good feedback to pursue my idea. ‘That’s a good idea,’ he would tell me,” said Freedman.
The website is intended to be a safe haven for students, which is why Freedman and his staff decided to make the site only .edu accessible. It is a way to ensure that only students use the service.

Unlike sites such as Craigslist, this site assures students financially viable and compatible roommates by reviewing credit scores, pay stubs, bank statements and other financially pertinent information, rather than “the 90 percent fake Craigslist user listings for housing,” that Freedman claims are on the web.

This summer they will have close to 2000 elevator accessible properties available in Stuyvesant Town in the East Village.

They currently receive $3,000 to $4,500 in commissions for each Stuy Town property they rent out. Starting this summer they will be implementing a plan where they will give back $1,000 from each property to a student to help pay their rent, which is something unique to the industry.

Aside from offering locations in the East Village they also have access to over a thousand properties throughout the city, in places such as the Financial District, Flatiron District, Greenish Village, Gramercy, Midtown, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Harlem, and Downtown Manhattan.

MyStudentApartment.com plans on partnering with Roomsurf.com, a service that matches students with dorm-mates and receives over 6000 subscribers every couple of days, in order to help students transition into long term housing arrangements.

Freedman’s team is comprised of Avner Hadash, the Chief Technology Officer of MyStudentApartment.com studying Math and Finance at New York University, graphic designers’ Mandy Brandl and Kat Broydo from Fashion Institute of Technology and 10 other staff members.
Freedman and his staff own the company in its entirety along with the aid of their private investor Elan Lutinger.

They plan on competing in Georgetown University’s Business Plan Competition this May to win $25,000 for their start-up.

Currently they have pre-signed over 400 students into their database and have begun to match up people to apartments without the algorithm that is set to launch on May 17, 2012.
Freedman and his team are also in midst of developing an app version of their site. The app will be available for the iPhone starting mid-summer and android and blackberry users by the end of the summer.

Following their first month they plan to expand into the other boroughs and then other college cities.

Source

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