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The Room Ring takes roommate hunting the way of online dating

At any given time, New York City and the surrounding area holds about 10 million people. It’s a vast place with countless attractive neighborhoods, abundant employment opportunities, and a multitude of rooms for rent.

For these reasons, it continues to draw in countless professionals, many of whom are not equipped with built-in roommates or the ability to afford a rental residence without someone to help split the cost.

“Last summer, our CEO and co-founder, Lia Wayman decided to move back to Boston where she’s from and was breaking her lease early,” co-founder and COO of The Room Ring, Josie Hubschman told Brokers Weekly.

Wayman, the other co-founder of the venture, soon found herself wishing a product existed that could help make the transition smoother.

JOSIE HUBSCHMAN
JOSIE HUBSCHMAN

“Her roommates needed to find someone to replace her. They couldn’t find anyone,” Hubschman continued.

“They had to resort to Craigslist. They couldn’t find anyone that they knew and it led to a really stressful situation.
“Some of our best friends had to move cross country due to jobs. And they don’t know people in places that they haven’t grown up.”

After Wayman’s move was handled, she and Hubschman put their heads together and began to develop a solution that would give renters an alternative to Craigslist, or other more anonymous methods of finding a suitable cohabitant.

What they come up with is a platform that operates similar to popular dating websites and apps such as Match.com and Tinder.

Those in search of a new roommate — whether that be someone to move in with, someone to share an already rented space, or someone that has a room to rent — can log on and view possible candidates.

These potential roomies often share mutual friends, provide a picture, and reveal other salient details off the bat.

“The whole process from start to finish will take anywhere between three to five minutes,” said Hubschman. “We aren’t trying to find out every last detail about what type of person you are, we just want to know the bare minimum that matters to a roommate.”

Currently, The Room Ring only requires that users provide their job and desired location in addition to the basic info, such as age and sex.
In the coming months, users will be asked to disclose their typical sleep and work schedules, their social habits, and the level of cleanliness in which they tend to live.

LIA WAYMAN
LIA WAYMAN

“Millennials are the ones using this,” said Hubschman. “They don’t want to be on a website or an app for longer than three-to-five minutes.”

If two potential roommates matchup (both select that they’d be interested in getting to know the other), then a chat feature becomes available that allows the two parties to get acquainted.

While the official decision to move in together may not be made over instant messenger, it allows the two parties to make a much more informed decision on whether they’d like to meet their counterpart in real life.

The site, which officially launched on October 1, is not currently available in app form, but Hubschman said that it will be available in the Apple App Store in January, with a

Droid format soon to follow.
The ultimate goal for the platform is to be an all-encompassing “one stop shop for everything related to moving,” Hubschman said.

“Right now, the service is free,” she continued. “We are planning on working with brokers and other companies to provide discounts for users.”

In conjunction with paid advertising, professionals involved in the moving process, such as brokers and van fleets, will be able to offer special deals to Room Ring users.

With the product now officially available to users, Hubschman has stepped away from her previous career in marketing and is devoting her full attention to the new venture. She oversees the technical and marketing strategy of the company while focusing on the daily operations, the brand, and customer loyalty.

Her previous professional and education history has given her a significant leg-up in helping to design a product that will be both useful and efficient to the company’s target audience of millennials.

Hubschman received a degree in psychology from Brown University and held various positions in sales, marketing, and operations before partnering with Wayman to create The Room Ring.

Hubschman was so confident in her product that she delayed the search for a new apartment in order to use the service when it went online.
Wayman focuses on the finances and development aspects of the company. She studied accounting and finance at Georgetown University and, after graduating in 2011, moved to New York City to work in private banking.

Wayman is still employed in Boston, but she eventually plans on making The Room Ring her full-time endeavor.

Ultimately, The Room Ring will provide tenants an efficient tool with which to find new housing and replacements for lost roommates.

It will also offer brokers another outlet with which to advertise their services.

Moreover, those who view the deals and promotions of brokers via the website or app, will be doing so at the exact moment that they are giving serious consideration to what their next residential situation will be, thus providing optimal exposure.

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