Felix Addison, a Mason 2012 graduate, is currently living in Brooklyn, New York where he and his best friend are working on their company, WhoseYourLandlord.com.
The free website allows users to search for landlords by state. Users can then describe and rate their time while renting and experiences with landlords and housing units. The ratings that users can leave are full of detailed information including the lease length, the average rent, and a six category scale of ratings on responsiveness, privacy, information, conditions, pests and safety.
“This site is an open area for you to tell us about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dealing with your past landlords,” said the WhoseYourLandlord “about us” page.
For now, the site focuses on college renters.
“The idea was designed in February of 2012 and by October 2012 the website was launched,” Addison said.
Addison is currently COO/Vice President of WhoseYourLandlord.com, a website he and his best friend started as undergrads. In August of 2013 they moved to Brooklyn where they are currently working on their company full time.
David Rose, from the Rose Tech Ventures real estate tech accelerator, invested in WhoseYourLandlord this past June. Rose helped Addison and the rest of his team get an office in Soho, New York.
“It has a ping pong table, a bean bag chair, a hammock, monitor screens and mac screens everywhere,” Addison said. “It looks really cool.”
WhoseYourLandlord created a way for users to get involved by starting the Million Rating Challenge. When a user leaves a rating on the website, WhoseYourLandlord will donate 10 cents for college scholarships to the Just Heart Help non-profit organization. If their users refer their friends to the website, they will increase their chances of winning gift cards to places like Starbucks and Ikea.
“Every single week we are going to have a giveaway,” Addison said. “Every person who leaves a rating or takes one of our surveys, they are automatically entered into the raffle.”
According to Addison, one of his biggest accomplishments so far is realizing that the website was making an impact on the Internet and in people’s lives.
“Once we found out that one of the property managers was actually fired because of how he was rated, I mean it didn’t make me feel good that he was fired, but it made us feel good because our website is actually having an impact” Addison said. “To have someone make a difference and change the way that they were operating because of us, that really made me feel good.”
Not only did Addison and his co-workers have to adjust to the city life, but they had to shed their relaxing college life for the daily business grind.
“I used to live in Potomac. It was so easy, everything I needed was pretty much right there,” Addison said. “Now I’m living in the real world, everything is up to you.”
When he attended Mason, he was a sports management major.
“Sports management taught me how to be an entrepreneur,” Addison said. “One of the most important classes I took was marketing because I use that all the time now.”
Addison and his team have had a long journey up to this successful point in their lives that was full of networking, hard work and patience.
“You have to be willing to take risks, because a lot of people just stay in their comfort zone,” Addison said. “If you really want to make it to that next level, you have to challenge yourself a little bit more.”