New app might ease some moving woes

by Christine Whitman, Senior Staff Writer

At the end of every academic year, Aztecs have an issue: moving and the choices that go with it. Finding a place to live after freshman year can be hard. Finding roommates can be even harder. So many aspects go into the moving process, including arguments, that can make the experience overwhelming.

However, there’s a new potential solution with Roomi, an app for finding rooms and roommates.

The company promotes a concept of co-living and having a good quality of life, and it may be able to make the lives of college students easier.

Roomi is a peer-to-peer marketplace where users can post a listing for their rooms and search for roommates for free. The app is available for both iPhone and Android.

Headquartered in New York City, the company officially launched in June 2015.

CEO and founder Ajay Yadav was inspired to create Roomi after enduring his own problems with having roommates for 10 years. When the app was still being developed, he took the idea to social media, where it was positively received.

“San Diego especially needs this app because the price of living keeps rising, making places within the users’ price range harder to find,” Yadav said.

Users have the ability to connect their accounts with their social network profiles before searching for potential roommates.

“Users can get a better sense of who you are and what you like to do,” social media manager Alina Heim said. “You don’t want to have a roommate you don’t like or a bad experience.”

The secure app interface is verified by employees. As an extra precaution, there are a series of warnings displayed on the app to show telltale signs of user fraud.

“If you ever encounter a situation where someone is asking for money outright, you can always contact our fraud and security center,” Heim said.

Roomi also allows users to chat directly with other users without revealing any personal information, such as an email address or phone number. After the first few conversations, appointments can be made directly without a middleman.

Users have the option of exploring potential places to live in other cities after graduation, as the app is now available in San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

“It can be scary to move to a new city and not know anyone,” Heim said. “We want users to know there is a community that’s there for them.”

Even if students are not ready to move, the app can be a great resource to get to know what’s around and who’s out there looking for a new roommate.

The app will be launched in Austin in February, and Washington D.C. and Chicago are to follow some time after. Yadav said plans for the future include expansion to all major metropolitan areas.

Editor’s note: The story was updated to correct the misspelled names of Ajay Yadav and Alina Heim.