Two current MSB students and one alumnus will demonstrate the spirit of Georgetown entrepreneurship this Wednesday with the launch of a website focusing on off-campus housing.
For Peter Swiek (MSB ’10), Joey Friedrich (MSB ’13) and Michael Crouch (MSB ’13), an ordinary MSB class project one year ago led to the group’s brainchild: an online application to provide students with a more efficient means of searching for off-campus housing. The service, dubbed FindMyHousing.com, is a central database listing of off-campus housing in which individuals can find, post and rate various residential offerings in the university area free of charge.
Swiek, president and founder of FindMyHousing.com, said there was a clear need for this service on the Hilltop. The company has developed strong connections with both Georgetown University Student Association and Georgetown University Off Campus Housing Resource Center and is currently engaged in dialogue with the university in order to become an official service for students, Crouch said in an email.
“This business began when I recognized a dire need for an off-campus housing service at Georgetown University,” Swiek said. “The current housing environment is a real burden for students because it fails to address their needs and wants.”
Through the website, students may search for housing by viewing an aerial map of Georgetown populated with color-coordinated pushpin graphics for different types of listings, such as apartments, houses, rooms and parking.
Additionally, students can view posted pictures and take advantage of the website’s integration with Google Street View. When students find a desirable property, they can bookmark it for later or send a message to the user who posted the listing. Listings expire after 45 days have elapsed.
“Students will now have the ability to search, post and rate off-campus housing options easily and free of charge,” Crouch said.
Swiek added that the website will include a database of all theoretical off-campus housing.
“We worked the entire summer refining the directory and can’t wait to release it to students,” he said. “While regular listings expire, the directory is a permanent listing on FindMyHousing that students can view to research and rate properties.”
Properties are rated on six different axes: value, location, conditions, neighbors, landlord and overall. Only students will be able to access this portion of the website.
The website, which will officially be launched to the Georgetown community on Sept. 15, has already attracted over 100 students and selected landlords who have registered.
The team hopes that what started as a class project will evolve into a successful business, leading to increased experience and knowledge of the business sector.
“Being able to witness an idea for a school project evolve into a fully functioning business has been an incredibly motivating and confidence-building experience,” Friedrich said. “It has shown me that, with the right work ethic, good ideas really can develop into something real and concrete.”