Finding a place to live in New York city after graduating is hard enough. But finding a roommate? That might be even harder. Sarah Beth Hill is the founder and CEO of Perfect Strangers of NYC.
After graduating from UMass Amherst in 2010, Hill was offered a real estate job. She was required to move to New York City within a weekend.
“I literally had to find a place to stay in a weekend and I used Craigslist as the only resource I knew available,” Hill recalls. “And in the process of having to go on Craigslist and meeting this individuals at their apartments for the first time — I realized how sketchy that was. And being entrepreneurial myself, I realized that I could probably make a difference and create a service to help people move [to New York City].”
Hill started off by blogging and that eventually transformed into a “full blown service” in 2012. The service, Perfect Strangers of NYC, asks clients to fill out a questionnaire to help match them with the perfect roommate.
Most of the clients want to have their own personal lives, but to be friendly with their roommates, says Hill.
Perfect Strangers of NYC is “tech enabled human verified,” which means that Hill and her colleagues meet the clients in person before pairing them up with their roommate.
“Even though we have them fill out this very detailed questionnaire, we essentially verify it by an in-person meeting. And once we’re able to verify the perfect apartment for them, we’re then able to match them with the best roommates,” says Hill.
There’s also a Perfect Strangers of NYC internship right here on the UMass campus. The brand ambassadors’ main task is to bring Hill back to UMass and educate students about moving to New York.
“Many people think that New York City is just Manhattan. And that’s definitely not the case. There are many boroughs outside of Manhattan,” says Hill. “I teach students to look at other neighborhoods besides the main ones they can think about like East Village, SoHo or Tribeca.”
For more information on Perfect Strangers NYC, check out their website: http://www.psofnyc.com/
Interview by Lucy Martirosyan
Production by Lucy Martirosyan
Photo credit: Mayank Mishra