BYU senior public relations student Jacob Molnar had grown tired of the frequent housing posts cluttering his Facebook news feed. So he did something about it, creating a Facebook page in 2014 to assist with student housing needs in and around the BYU community.
The page, entitled “Buy and Sell BYU Contracted Housing,” makes it easier for students to buy, sell and search for local student housing according Molnar. The page now has over 5,600 members.
“I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I make a page where my friends who are buying and selling their housing contract can talk to each other in an easier way?'” Molnar said.
The group page, originally created for Molnar’s friends, soon caught on and began spreading among the students within the BYU community.
“Once the page reached over 500 members I was like, ‘Wow, this is growing.'” Molnar said. “I knew it wasn’t just my friends. Now the page has more than 5,600 members — that’s a big chunk of BYU students.”
Molnar said he manages the page every day and has seen how it has offered students solutions to student housing problems.
“I understand that many housing complexes around BYU have good intentions, but a lot of the time they don’t work with the students,” Molnar said. “Especially in an emergency like serving a mission or getting married, any time you have to sell your contract fast, the page is a great solution.”
Crew Naylor, BYU student and member of the “Buy and Sell BYU Contracted Housing” Facebook page, said the page helped him and his friends find housing in an emergency.
“It was the end of summer, with fall semester coming up, and every complex was full,” Naylor said. “After endless searching we finally found a whole open apartment because of the page.”
Alex Muirbrook, another member of the page, said a last minute job offer forced him to move and the page helped him fill his room within two days.
“I literally posted my contract for sale and had someone move into my spot in less than two days,” Muirbrook said.
Students like Naylor and Muirbrook are often scrambling to buy and sell housing contracts, especially around the beginning and end of each semester.
“The page has activity throughout the year. However, activity is concentrated during the beginning and end of the semester,” Molnar said. “A month or two before the semester ends there are a lot of ‘selling’ posts and a month into the semester a lot of people searching for housing.”
Although Molnar is graduating in the fall, he said he plans on managing the page until further notice.
“The page is here to stay. I want the page to exist for as long as people use Facebook,” Molnar said. “I’m happy that people are using the page and that it has helped so many people.”