Ofo Ezeugwu, a recent graduate of Temple University, has created an app that allows renters to rate their landlords. During his junior year at Temple, Ezeugwu was running for vice president of the student body. As part of his platform he began thinking of ways to further support off-campus students. From this, the app WhoseYourLandlord was born.
Ezeugwu says that WhoseYourLandlord is not just another Yelp. When asked what makes the website different from other rating websites out there, he stressed the site’s emphasis on “the core of the problem.”
“[WhoseYourLandlord] is a unique place where you can review the service being provided to you,” Ezeugwu said, emphasizing the app's focus on the interpersonal aspects of renting. This allows users to concentrate on the service and responsiveness of their landlords and not just the physical aspects of their rented homes.
“If you have an outlet where you can voice your opinion, it will come back to you,” Ezeugwu said, referring to the increased responsiveness that users receive from the lessor. "Companies guard their brand."
By creating more transparency within the relationship between renters and landlords, Ezeugwu hopes to give some power back to the renters. A keen eye will notice the app name uses "whose," the possessive form of who, and not "who’s."
“Current real estate websites are backwards facing, focusing on landlords and owners. We use the possessive form because we are giving renters ownership,” Ezeugwu said.
Ezeugwu hopes this initiative will allow students to know what to expect before signing a lease. So far, his response has been largely positive at Temple.
“I definitely wish I had known about it before I signed my lease,” Temple junior Lauren Tedrow said.
“It’s very user friendly and it’s actually very helpful," Chris Konowal, a Temple sophomore, said. "It's very hard to know you will get a good apartment and even harder to know if the landlord is good.” Konowal says he is using WhoseYourLandlord to help him find housing for next year.
Initially targeted towards university students, the app has an expanding presence, with its largest markets being Philadelphia and New York. This Friday, the company will receive its biggest coverage yet when it will be featured on ABC 20/20 at 10 p.m. EST. But Ezeugwu is already a known presence on Temple's campus.
“I feel like everyone knows him. He’s super nice,” Tedrow said. "If I say his name, right away people know [who he is]."
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