23-year old Ofo Ezeugwu is the CEO and co-founder of Whose Your Landlord (WYL), a free service that provides renters with landlord reviews so that they can be better informed about the properties that they want to rent. The web site exposes landlords who try to scam unaware consumers in the marketplace, and also provides community insights and reveals the best available apartment listings.
Think about it! Before you watch a movie on Netflix or Hulu, you want to first see the reviews. Before you make a purchase on Amazon, you also want to first see the reviews. Shouldn’t it also be that way when searching for a rental property?
During an interview with TheGrio.com, Ofo comments, “Our goal at Whose Your Landlord is to inform renters on better practices when it comes to finding their housing. We are creating a platform that through transparency, access to information, through reviews based on commission of property, safety, respect we are able to gauge who are doing a good job in the market and who is doing a poor job. You name and shame those folks and highlight who they are too.”
Common issues that renters face with their landlords include discrimination, theft, unaddressed plumbing issues, sewage problems, bed bugs, rodents, illegal evictions, and more.
So how does it make money?
As mentioned earlier, the service is free. But it will still be a major revenue generator through paid partnerships. For example, companies like Allstate, Roadway Moving, DOZE Beds, etc. want to advertise to their audience.
Also, landlords and property managers will eventually have to pay market rate subscription rates to list their properties on the web site.
Another source of revenue will be through their revenue share partnership with TransUnion that allows renters can request their credit report, background check, and eviction history.
The innovative company is already proving itself to be a success. They already have thousands of reviews on their web site, more than 500,000 listings, and the service has already been featured on BET, ABC News, CBS News, and in Newsweek.
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