The eHarmony of student housing: Pingplot.com hits the housing search market

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BYU graduate Jordan Wright was having a hard time finding housing soon after his marriage.

“My wife and I were looking for housing, and it was brutal,” Wright said. “We were looking through Craigslist and other sites and couldn’t find anything. I hated to have to go searching every day; I just wanted someone to respond to me when properties came up.”

Pingplot.com founders, Scott Weinert a UVU grad and Jordan Wright, a BYU grad, have created a housing website  that helps match property managers and potential student renters through an online profile. (Photo courtesy Pingplot.com)
Pingplot.com founders, Scott Weinert a UVU grad and Jordan Wright, a BYU grad, have created a housing website that helps match property managers and potential student renters through an online profile. (Photo courtesy Pingplot.com)

Besides having a difficult time finding housing, Wright and his wife were also frustrated by the fact that they couldn’t let potential property managers know why they would make great renters.

“We couldn’t project anything about ourselves to get the apartment managers to be interested in us,” Wright said. “That’s when I came up with an idea. We wanted to give potential renters a way to give their resume and any additional information about themselves to apartment managers.”

With the idea in mind, Wright and Scott Weinart, a UVU graduate, went to work on developing a website that would help solve the problems that students commonly run into when searching for housing. Pingplot.com was born soon afterward.

Wright compares Pingplot to a sort of eHarmony website for apartment managers and renters. It matches property managers and potential student renters through an online profile. Along with matching renters to properties, another popular feature on the website helps students sell their contracts by connecting them to interested renters.

Students can create an online profile through the website by logging in through their Facebook account or creating a new account. Once a profile is created, the website matches each profile with properties. Each property is matched to a profile by rankings based on a percentage score. Property managers can review and respond to prospective renters and make them an offer.

Since its launch in December, Pingplot has attracted more than 400 renters and 75 complexes, with popular complexes such as The Village at South Campus, King Henry, The Riviera and Carriage Cove using the system.

Amy Bliss, a leasing agent at Mountain View Management, one of Provo’s biggest management firms, has been with Pingplot since February and seen results.

“It’s a great resource for our tenants; they have a very user-friendly and unique website,” Bliss said. “A lot of our tenants try to sell their contracts on Craigslist and KSL, and they’ve run into a lot of scammers. It’s safer and it’s good for us to have good resources to refer our tenants to.”

When talking about her experience in working with Pingplot, Bliss said it has been a pleasant and professional experience.

“They’re very professional and easy to work with,” Bliss said. “The website works by itself without having us to go in — it’s easy.”

Eric Petersen, an information systems major from Provo, discovered Pingplot when he saw some friends on Facebook who liked the Pingplot page. As soon as Petersen saw the website, he was impressed with the service Pingplot provided.

“My very first impression of their website was how nice it looked,” Petersen said. “It was very simple to navigate, and it was really fast and professional. I put in what I was looking for, and it was very quick in replying back, and I found an apartment that I liked. It’s way better than anything else I’ve tried, and the suggestions they offer are actually what you are looking for.”

With these kinds of results, Wright hopes pingplot.com becomes a solution to help solve the problem of the student housing search.

“My biggest hope is that this becomes the hub for BYU housing and students no longer have to spend hours looking for apartments while studying for finals,” Wright said. “We want to save them time and energy finding apartments, and we also want to help people trying to sell their contracts.”

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