Kyle Freedman wanted to provide students and post-grads with an easy, interactive way to find apartments and roommates online. Freedman has since founded the new startup, RoomMatchers, which provides users with a safe, user-friendly and interactive environment to connect with likeminded room-seekers. Freedman’s site is unique in that it uses an algorithmic compatibility application to match people based on the information they input onto the site.
Freedman, a Jewish entrepreneur, incorporated a section where users can input their dietary restrictions as well, acknowledging that Jews may be searching for kosher roommates.
Freedman’s idea stemmed from his own housing situation at Baruch College, where he realized student housing was expensive compared to what his fellow students could actually afford. Only 200 out of 8,000 students from Baruch College lived in student housing through a local off-campus housing company, he said.
When doing research, Freedman said he found that according to Scholarships.com, the average cost for college dorms could range between $7,500 and $9,000 per year, while student loan balances are now the number one debt in America, surpassing credit card debt.
“Living off campus is less expensive for students and if we can help diminish their college expenses, we are reaching our goals,” Freedman said. “My goal was to improve the dynamics of student housing by allowing the functionality for students and young professionals to find their roommate(s) and then look for an affordable apartment together.”
RoomMatchers’ algorithm helps students and young professionals sift through potential roommates and rental properties to maximize their desired living arrangements, first finding each other and then looking at apartment listings together.
Freedman said his start-up is unique in that it allows individuals to rent apartments much faster than other brokerage firms since more people are looking individually than in groups.
“We cater specifically to generation Y and within three weeks of launching had 400 users,” he said. “We tapped into a legitimate service need for students within the city. RM is dedicated to serving this market niche and hopes to help students locate and integrate into neighborhoods and become part of the community for the long haul post-graduation.“
RoomMatchers is expected to release an app later this summer.
Danielle Chazen is a regular contributor to Jspace's technology division. Danielle is a freelance reporter and technology event coordinator with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.