With the fall semester just around the corner, you might still be having trouble looking for a roommate, and finding a Muslim roommate to calm your parents’ concerns does not make this process any easier.
Enter MuzRoomie, where, “Searching for roommates has never been so simple.” Launched just several weeks ago, the website allows users to create an account, search for Muslims near them to room with for a specified duration and has a chat option to get to know prospective future roomies!
Muslim Girl had the opportunity to interview Franc Nikolla, web developer of MuzRoomie, to learn more about how the site works and its inspiration!
Muslim Girl: What inspired you to start MuzRoomie?
Franc Nikolla: I think anyone who’s been in a large Muslim group chat or thread has noticed almost every week there is someone asking for a friend if anyone knows anyone looking for a roommate. And nothing usually ever comes out of it. Right now, finding a Muslim roommate is a hard and tedious process filled with a lot of disappointment — when it doesn’t have to be. As a programmer, I realized I can simplify this process and use tech to help match Muslims who need roommates. I can create a platform where it’s easy to find out who else needs a roommate.
How does it work?
You go to the website and search for which city you need a roommate in. You can either search for people looking for roommates or people who have an apartment and are looking for someone to move in. In the search page, there are filters such as gender, move-in date, and we plan to add more here — anything to make it as easy as possible to help narrow your search. So let’s say you’re moving to Chicago in September.
Launched just several weeks ago, the website allows users to create an account, search for Muslims near them to room with for a specified duration and has a chat option to get to know prospective future roomies!
You register and in your profile page, you enter your city and move-in month, and then it takes you to the “connect” page where you see users looking for a roommate in your same city. You contact whoever you want and let the conversation start.
How many users do you currently have, and which city has the most users currently?
We currently just passed a 100 users! We’re only in week two. Chicago currently has the most users. New York and Washington D.C. are catching up along with San Francisco right behind. We have one brave user in Canada.
Is the matching done by users themselves or by the staff?
We do some of the matching if the person comes directly to us. If you registered, we send email updates (if enabled) whenever someone who matches your criteria signs up. The matching however is ultimately done by the users.
We encourage everyone to add an info and use the current filters to help narrow your search. And then work on getting to know each other before making the big decision.
How many successful matchings have you had?
We’ve had a large amount of matchings alhamdulillah. As far as whether they’re currently living together or not, I’ll have to follow up with a couple. It’s still too early to tell.
How are you dealing with any safety concerns/making sure that those who sign up are Muslim?
I want to make it clear this will always be a roommate app for Muslims, but if someone is open to having Muslim roommates because they’ve heard how great Muslim roommates are and/or maybe because they have Islamic values and principles and don’t drink, etc., they will not be removed. Also it’s not always clear to see who’s Muslim or not as well. They could be a convert like me. However, if someone is clearly being a troll, the user will get heavily banned. Trolls are a problem for every app and we encourage our users to report any inappropriate users.