Need a room?
By Leah Sankey
News & features editor
Jakub Adamowicz created the free student housing app, Roomdig, his sophomore year at FGCU. Adamowicz is now 22 years old and the CEO of his own company. He graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in May of 2019. According to Adamowicz, Roomdig has users spanning the United States, and he estimates they have approximately 20,000 users.
Roomdig is an app that connects students to housing opportunities that are posted by other students. Students have the ability to sublet a room, or to find the perfect living situation -which obviously includes finding compatible roommates. As college students, we all know that a cool place can easily be ruined by nightmarish roommates. Many of us have experienced this firsthand.
The idea for Roomdig came to Adamowicz after experiencing his own bad living situation.
“I had issues with my roommate, and we ended up going separate ways. This left me with an entire room to fill,” Adamowicz said. “I didn’t know what to do. So, I ended up just paying for the entire place myself. I wanted to find a roommate but didn’t want to mess with Craigslist because I had already had one bad roommate and had heard horror stories.”
This is when a lightbulb went off. He realized that nothing existed for students who are searching for other students to live with.
Roomdig allows users to create a profile describing their lifestyle and ranking the importance of certain habits and their preferred home environment on a scale of 1-5. The days of students trying to find housing or roommate(s) on the perpetually sketchy Craigslist are behind us.
Recently, the app has expanded to include upcoming events, allows students to post items for sale and enables students to post services that they provide, like dog walking.
Roomdig is currently available for iPhones and according to Adamowicz, will be available for Androids sometime this year. Roomdig has a website as well.
The app itself is clean and easy to navigate. There are four main tabs along the bottom. The first tab is your profile, where you describe yourself, your lifestyle, and how important certain things are (e.g. splitting up chores, roommates without pet allergies, etc.) Then, there’s the housing and roommate tab, which lists available housing and includes the monthly rent and lease length; the roommate tab shows nearby college students who are on the lookout for college roommate(s) and allows you to view their profile. The next tab is the community tab, which shows nearby events, items for sale in the area, and services. Lastly, is the tab that allows students to create housing posts, roommate posts, or social posts.
At just 18 years old Adamowicz was a realtor – and a successful one at that. He said that he did just short of a million in sales within his first six months. He was majoring in engineering and planned to get his master’s in architecture and then move up North to work for a major construction company. He worried that he would make more money as a realtor than he ever would with the “real job” that he was working towards.
Then, he heard about the Runway Program at FGCU, where students work on a launch plan for starting a business while continuing to work on their degree. He became fully invested in the program and changed his major to entrepreneurship, which had just become available at FGCU. He initially planned to use the Runway Program to grow his real estate business, but had a change of heart.
“I realized that if I used all of these resources just to sell more houses, it’d be a waste of all of this help,” Adamowicz said. “They were connecting you to tons of mentors, and at the end of the first six months you get to pitch for funding. We’ve raised close to $60,000 just through FGCU.”
“I joined every CEO and Business club I could. I went to entrepreneur breakfasts and spoke with any mentor who would give me their time,” Adamowicz said. “I was everywhere. That led me to meaningful connections and helped me to hire people.”
Before starting the company, Adamowicz and his team traveled to nine major universities in the state of Florida to compile data. They asked students, faculty and housing communities what their main issues were concerning student housing. A lot of the problems involved students struggling to find other students to live with through platforms like Craigslist and Facebook and having to live with non-students and having issues as a result. total, Adamowicz and his team spoke with about 1,000 people.
After compiling this data, Adamowicz and his team realized that they were onto something – something that could potentially revolutionize the way students find housing and roommates.
“If this platform had existed for most of the students that we spoke with, they would have likely been in better living situations,” Adamowicz said.
“I’ve been on the FGCU campus and random people have come up to me and told me that they were able to find roommates or sublet their place, or that they were in a bad situation that they were able to get out of because of this platform,” Adamowicz said. “Having random people come up and tell me that I’ve helped them is the best payoff. That alone, is worth doing what we’re doing.”