RooMigo (like amigo, but with room instead) could be the answer to the housemate woes of every university student in Ireland.
Think Tinder but instead of finding the perfect partner (or friend, whatever you use it for), this is to help you find the perfect housemate. Launched last year, RooMigo connects people with others of similar lifestyle choices to make sharing a home as painless as possible.
RooMigo wants to transform how we end up with roommates, and not leave it entirely up to luck.
A user signs up with a personal profile, adds photos, describes themselves in the Bio box and uses the different Lifestyle tags to tell other members about themselves such as their hobbies, interests and the way they like to live in a house.
— Roomigo (@roomigohq) April 26, 2018
When searching for roommates, members get to filter according to gender (Male, Female or No Preference), age (18 to 99), Living As (Couples, Non-Couples, No Preference) and Status (Students, Professionals, No Preference). Connection requests are then sent to potential matches, who can then accept or decline.
If accepted, they can chat on the platform and later, arrange a viewing and book the room. Nifty, right?
“We provide an easy-to-use platform where you can find and connect with like-minded housemates based on shared interests and lifestyle choices,” said RooMigo founder and CEO Edmund Burke to Silicon Republic.
Burke explained to Irish Times how his own experience flat-hunting while studying abroad in Singapore sparked the idea for RooMigo: “I was working long days and there were tons of potential apartments to visit. It could have taken me weeks to find a place with the right people.”
“I finally found somewhere with a bunch of young entrepreneurs, but I thought it should have been possible to do this with the click of a few buttons. However, no such solution existed.”
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“Before we parted ways for Christmas break she left me the cutest note, thanking me for all of the good times we’d had together that semester and reminiscing on all of our fun memories. Now two years later, we have a ritual of leaving these notes for each other before every break and I look forward to it every year.“ – Caileigh #RoomigoStories #LiveWithFriends
For university students, sharing homes with strangers would most probably be a novel experience.
Beyond campus grounds, this space is where the rest of their lives would be spent so of course it matters to find people they can get along with.
As for international students, having housemates to get along and share experiences with, could make or break their entire experience studying abroad.
There’s another feature to RooMigo that students in Ireland would find helpful. In addition to removing the time, effort and stress of finding the right housemates through emails and social media, it also tackles the problem of online fraud in the rental industry.
Last year, Síona Cahill, President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) told the Irish Times that international students were being asked to forward deposits without ever having seen the property, relying on the landlord’s word that such properties do exist.
“We would have a real concern that there’s quite a number of properties on the market that are fake listings,” Cahill said.
An awareness campaign called ‘Scamwatch’ has been launched to bring awareness to the issue, trying to prevent international and Irish students from falling victim to the scams.
Common swindles see landlords show people around properties they live in, asking for the deposit then disappearing with the money, or issuing fake keys that don’t actually give access to the accommodation.
RooMigo aims to solve this through its secure payment system on the platform.
Before moving to the city, members can secure rooms by securely paying but the money would not be released until after the person has arrived.