Alumnus Creates Site to Find Perfect Neighborhood

“YourNeighborhood” seeks to help people find their “best-fit” neighborhood in New York City.

Your Neighborhood
March 27, 2013

George Washington alumnus Eric Levy, B.A. ’09, has created “YourNeighborhood,” a website that helps users find the “best-fit” area to live.

Users simply answer questions like “How often do you eat out?” and “What is the maximum amount of time you are willing to commute?” and provide information about price range, age and favorite types of entertainment .The site tabulates the information and generates a list of options.

Currently in beta mode for New York City residents, Mr. Levy and friend Andrew Curtis, who helped him develop the site, hope to expand the effort soon. George Washington Today recently spoke with them about what sparked the idea for the site and where they hope it takes them.

Q: How did the idea for the site come about?

Mr. Levy: YourNeighborhood was born based on the urgent need in the real estate market to provide detailed, factual data along with reviews and guidance to help individuals find best-fit neighborhoods. Countless friends and family, along with colleagues to whom I presented the premise, were thrilled at the business plan and felt the website could provide them with real assistance and make the relocation process easier and more streamlined for many people. You would be surprised as to the number of individuals who do not feel confident in guiding people to optimal neighborhoods in their own cities!

Q: So you had the idea. What came next? What goes into developing something like this?

Mr. Levy: Once the idea came to fruition, Andrew, a close friend from high school, and I embarked on a lengthy process to develop a template for the design of the site. We also worked to aggregate and make presentable public data and use it to create a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide for neighborhoods in New York City. While Andrew worked diligently to take the data and program the website, I ensured that the business side of the venture was operating smoothly. As for difficulties along the way, being a new company ensures a challenging path to brand recognition. However, we were fortunate to be featured recently in Business Insider!

Q: What do you hope it accomplishes for the user?

Mr. Levy: My hope is that individuals and the community begin to view our site as a great resource and guide to the true feel of a neighborhood, and, based on budget and lifestyle, find their best-fit area. Our end goal is to create a one-stop shop and carve a niche as the Yelp or TripAdvisor for real estate.

Mr. Curtis: I would like users to be able to go on to our site and find their ideal neighborhood. I want individuals to find a user-friendly, helpful environment that takes a good portion of the guesswork out in finding a new neighborhood in which to live. Moving to a new home can be a stressful, difficult time. I would like our users to find at least some of the burden lifted off of their shoulders through our site.                   

Q: How did your time at GW help inform this project?

Mr. Levy: While at GW, I gained perspective on how businesses work. More specifically, one important skill I learned during my time at GW that has been integral in our continued progress is financial modeling. As we are preparing to raise venture capital, modeling has been quite beneficial in helping us with our preparations for this important stepping stone.

Q: How has feedback been so far?

Mr. Levy: Overall the feedback has been quite positive. People are very excited about the concept of the site and its growth potential. As we are in our first beta, most suggestions have evolved around bugs, many of which we have fixed, and others which we are diligently working to remedy for our next release.

Q: What are your future plans for the site?

Mr. Levy: Our goal is to expand the feature set and geographic reach of the site over time. Be sure to continually visit the site and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest YourNeighborhood updates.

Mr. Curtis: More cities, more neighborhoods. Great things to come, all in due time.