Susannah Vila, Co-Founder of Flip, steps on to the New York Launch Pod to discuss her marketplace for flexible housing that helps people sublet their apartments.

Finding an apartment for less than a year is a difficult task.  Sites like Craigslist can be unorganized, inconsistent, and difficult to navigate.  Similarly, for the person looking to sublet an apartment there was no great way to vet a prospective subtenant to ensure he or she would pay the rent on time.  This was a significant pain point for a large constituency of people that was yet to have a comprehensive solution.  Realizing this, Susannah set off to establish Flip as the ‘go to’ marketplace for residential subletting.

Flip users create a profile that links their credit score, employment information and even bank account to show that they are qualified to rent an apartment.  Similarly, renters can post photos and details of an apartment  and even create a “bounty” that encourages others to help find a subtenant on their behalf.  Once a match is made, a sublease is drawn up, rent payments are held in escrow, and the site provides an easy way to ask the Landlord for permission to sublet the apartment and show that a qualified renter will be in the space.

The result: a dynamic marketplace that draws users looking for flexible housing.  And what started out as a marketplace for subletting has grown to attract people looking for roommates as well as landlords.

Listen to the episode to hear how Susannah has grown the business, why she thinks Flip will win in the marketplace and how she has been able to make the once ‘shadow market’ of subletting easier and more user friendly.


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