Looking for a roommate or a place to rent? Ole Miss grad has a solution
Published 8:00 am Friday, August 13, 2021
Many college students have struggled with finding a place to live that won’t break the bank while also trying to find a roommate they can trust and who can fit their lifestyle.
Now, an app created by a recent Ole Miss graduate can help relieve the burden of house-and-roommate hunting for students living in Oxford.
Brea Givens graduated May 2021 with a degree in finance and will launch Froomie, an all-in-one app that helps college students find roommates and find affordable and quality housing, on Aug. 23.
Givens went through the trials of being a student herself and wants to make the process easier by working with universities, property managers and students through the application.
“I transferred to Ole Miss from Austin Community College in 2019,” she said. “I had trouble finding a roommate to live off campus with and finding an apartment since I came into Ole Miss not knowing anyone.”
Givens researched online but was disappointed to see the school did not offer many options to help students.
“I was talking to a lot of Ole Miss parents and a lot of them are out of state so they don’t help their children look for apartments,” Givens said. “[Parents] can download the app as well and view all of the student housing complexes in Oxford.”
Givens participated in the Edwin C. Gillespie Business Plan Competition, an annual event presented by the University of Mississippi’s School of Business, for the first time in 2020 and submitted an early version of the Froomie app.
“I didn’t get to the final round that time, but I ended up working on it all throughout 2020 and going into 2021,” she said.
Givens re-entered the competition in 2021, garnered first place for her app and received money from the School of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to launch it.
Froomie allows users to browse and filter student profiles to find the perfect roommate to suit your lifestyle, to connect with other students in the school through an in-app messenger, view rental properties near their campus and even directly contact property managers.
Froomie is currently partnered with 25 properties in the Oxford area and will connect their social media to make it easier for users to connect with them.
Givens said the app will be safe for students to use unlike some she came across during her research.
“I went on a ton of websites to find [a roommate] and they all seemed unsafe,” she said. “There was no verification process, a lot of them required you to pay money to find one and, when you sign up for these sights, all of your information is shown on the internet.”
Students can sign up using their school email address and use the app for free — the only exception is if students sign up for renter’s insurance with GradGuard through the app.