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the harlem times

WHOSE YOUR LANDLORD?

by: Ateleson Fitzgerald Holder 1st Journalist, Writer & Lecturer Mr Pregnant Production Lecturer on Linguistics and Humor
January 27, 2015

“The Mastermind of Ingenuity”

Ofo Ezeugwu, is the mastermind behind WhoseYourLandlord.com (WYL), a website that enables college students to rate their housing experiences; including residence halls, landlords or housing complexes. Imagine rating and sharing it amongst college-peers to determine the livability of a property or environment, a platform that places the power of ownership in the hands of students. Finding housing can be stressful, and sifting through good and badlandlords can be a cumbersome process: the unpredictability of lease signing can also intimidate prospective renters. “Whose Your Landlord” provides a new age technology that aggregates the disparity between landlord services and renters experience.

There’s a chained-tandem of entrepreneurship exploding in New York City, and Digital.NYC’s technology ecosystem provides the hub for young startups to leverage their projects. Digital.NYC is a public-private partnership website recently unveiled by Mayor Bill De Blasio, as a final destination where people can gain hands-on connection with the technology boom. An all inclusive comprehensive platform that connects entrepreneurs with smart investors; the platform includes information and resources you can capitalize on to materialize your ideas, and transform innovation into sustainable businesses. The listings of employments, events, job openings, courses, work-spaces and startups automatically updates itself with the most current information

There’s a myriad of websites that offers renters “post a review” option, but Ofo Ezeugwu, has designated a renters platform specifically for college students, and the information can be shared with fellow peers. A housing hub for students to rate their experiences; from exceptional to mediocre, and the opportunity to eradicate the discrepancy between a contractual agreement and service provided is uncanny. This platform will not only benefit college students but subsequently the longevity of prosperous business etiquette in the housing industry. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Ofo Ezeugwu, and he’s undeniably an inspiration to young entrepreneurs and aspiring innovators. The man who conglomerates information and technology on a digital platform to solve real world problems.

Harlem Times Interviews Efo Ezeugwu

Question: How did you come up with the idea for Whose Your Landlord?
Answer: This started about two years ago, i was a Junior at Temple University in Philadelphia, “Pennsylvania,” and i was trying to figure out a way to help students on Campus when it came to off Campus living. So i thought during a meeting, “what if students could rate their landlords,” that way those coming behind them would know what to expect before ever signing the lease. So the site was created to help renters looking for housing to rate and have the ability to find their next home. Often times that kind of information is not made common knowledge to everyone, so the ability to move that word of mouth on an online platform is invaluable to the renters.

Question: How are college students responding to the Whose Your Landlord?
Answer: It’s been great so far, initially we started in Philadelphia, we’re now moving into our New York Office; we have an international presence, but our biggest attraction is coming from the New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco area etc—

Question: How rewarding has it been since its initial launch?
Answer: It’s been phenomenal, anytime you have a startup and you go through the rigors of business it’s rewarding, you learn so much, you meet so many different kinds of people, but at the end of it all you’re always proud to say you’re still standing, ” if you’re still standing.” We’ve been able to gain alot of success doing this, helping and aspiring so many people, and seeing that your product is helping folks to make smarter and more educated decision is rewarding. Also, to do our own story and share our work as a means to inspire young people to get into Entrepreneurship, and pursue their passion.

Question: Are you still in College?
Answer: No, i graduated May 20th 2013, i moved to New York immediately after graduation

Question: Tell us more about the Kids-to-College programs
Answer: I started the Kids-to-College program in College, and it did really well, the response was tremendous in Philadelphia, especially in the West Philadelphia area.  Kids-to-College is Temple affiliated so it is still running but through the student Government there.

Question: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Answer: In the next couple years we see ourselves being that place people would come to when they’re looking for housing. We want to position ourselves so the landlords and property managers become very familiar with the site and take full advantage of what the site can provide; in terms of positive comments, reviews and constructive criticisms that could help their businesses in the long-term. We also want to Integrate the ability to actually find yourhousing as well. That’s where we see ourselves growing in the future; an interpersonal website that we aspire to make a difference.

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