Startups
Real estate / Startups

This DreamIt Ventures startup spent $5K on SEPTA ads and its user base grew 27%

Founded by Temple grads, Whose Your Landlord (not a typo) is working on building out its user base in Philadelphia. The startup's revenue model depends on it.

Whose Your Landlord cofounder Ofo Ezeugwu at DreamIt Ventures' Philly HQ, March 2015. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Whose Your Landlord is on the hunt for users. (What looks like a grammar mistake is actually intentional.)
The landlord-rating website first experimented with buying $3,000 worth of ads on Pandora last fall, targeting eight zip codes around Temple, Penn and Drexel. In the first two weeks, the site saw its daily visitor count double, but after that, it plateaued.
Now the site has taken to SEPTA, spending $5,000 on ads that will be up for three months in three major SEPTA stations and 80 train cars. On the first day the ad campaign launched in late March, Whose Your Landlord saw its daily visitor count quadruple. Its user base has grown by 27 percent since then, said cofounder Ofo Ezeugwu, 23.
There are 1,800 reviews on the site and about 600 landlords and property managers are listed, he said.


The company also hosted a party last Friday in Northern Liberties where partygoers could get in for free if they rated their landlord. Whose Your Landlord founders were flown out to South by Southwest (and won a pitch competition) and are also being flown to Atlanta for a launch event (it’s part of a prize package from a car company that Ezeugwu said he can’t disclose yet).
Users, users, users. So goes the plight of the consumer-facing tech company.
Whose Your Landord’s revenue model is dependent on building a user base: the company plans on selling leads to landlords whose properties are listed on the site, but it hasn’t launched that part of the site yet, choosing instead to concentrate on acquiring customers. Without customers, there’s little value proposition for the landlords Ezeugwu is approaching. (It’s free for landlords to list properties on the site.)
The startup, part of DreamIt Ventures’ current class, initially launched in 2012, while Ezeugwu was a senior at Temple. (His cofounders are Temple grad Nik Korablin and Ezeugwu’s childhood friend Felix Addison.) Post-graduation, the team left for Brooklyn to join the first class of angel investor David Rose’s AREA real estate tech accelerator, from which they received a $10,000 investment in exchange for 2 percent equity. It made sense to relocate to New York City, Ezeugwu said, because it’s a more active real estate market.
They have seen the advantages of being in Philadelphia, however, to which they returned to join DreamIt earlier this year. It’s the site’s biggest market, beating out New York City.
“You hear this a lot,” Ezeugwu said, “It’s hard to make noise in a noisy room, and that’s New York.”

Companies: Whose Your Landlord / DreamIt Ventures / Temple University

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!

Trending

Philly-area gold exchange startup reaches $1M in revenue just 10 months after launch

Cal Ripken Jr. essay: The MLB legend explains his drive to build STEM centers in schools across the nation

Calling all parents with too much toy clutter: This Philly startup can help

He started at Neya as an intern. 10 years later, he’s director of robotics — and loving life

Technically Media