Ofo Ezeugwu, CEO and co-founder of Whose Your Landlord (WYL), says that when it comes to renting, knowledge is power.
In an era where millennials are owning fewer homes and spending more of their money renting, the stakes for finding a good place to live are much higher.
But for landlords, it also presents an opportunity to take advantage of (and in some cases scam), unaware consumers in the marketplace.
“The problem is we will spend time looking at reviews before we go to a restaurant or a ratings for a movie before we watch on Netflix, but we don’t do anything like that when it comes to housing,” said Ezeugwu. We just kind of blindly sign the lease and go with what the landlord, broker, or property manager is saying. Our goal is to inform renters on better practices when it comes to finding their housing.”
Whose Your Landlord (WYL) has set out to change the power dynamic of renters being at the mercy of landlords, by providing in-depth reviews of properties and the people in charge.
“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,” said Ezeugwu.
For Ezeugwu, empowering renters is just as much about social justice as it is about finding a place to sleep at night.
“We are growing as a company and from the social standpoint of it we want to make the world a better place, we want to be able to empower and inform renters so they are aware of their rights and also how to execute them” said the CEO.
“There many more people that can be in this position like myself, my team but they are not giving the opportunity. Getting funding is always the hardest part. It is hard for everybody, but it is particularly hard for minorities, Black, Hispanic folks. The stat is known less than 1 percent of venture capital funding last year went to African American founders. The discrepancies are large and everyday that we can keep in business, keep growing, expanding we can proves that we can do this and capable of achieving. That is why I enjoy being a Black entrepreneur so I can keep defying the odds every single day,” said Ezeugwu.