Equipped to Lead and Succeed

TikTok to Entrepreneur, MBA Student Markets the Hottest SF Apartments

Meet Daisy Hernandez MBA ’24 who saw an opportunity to help pay her rent during the pandemic when there were vacant rooms available in her building. Working with her landlord, she began showing the vacancies online as content. Nearly two years later, she is wrapping up her graduate degree from USF, and scaling her business, The Apartment Plug, to the next level.

How does The Apartment Plug work in terms of a business?

The Apartment Plug is a real estate marketing platform. Landlords use me as a platform to market their vacant apartments in their buildings. I get the leads myself. I am the middle person that connects the social media post to the landlords, and I help facilitate the rental experience.

I get paid based on the marketing, and real estate agents, and the landlord pays based on the lease. The third income is the San Francisco small business marketing flat fee like influencer marketing, and I get paid through the TikTok creator fund as well.

Did you ever imagine you’d become an entrepreneur? What do you see for yourself in the future?

When I moved to San Francisco, I wanted to become a physical therapist, and then COVID hit, and it was hard to find a job.

After that, I did small events, and I felt way more driven in this field than I did in physical therapy. That’s why I wanted to get my Master’s in Business Administration at the University of San Francisco because I wanted to learn how to make my ideas successful and scale any idea I had.

The Apartment Plug transitioned into a full-time gig after the San Francisco Standard wrote an article about me in January 2024. My clients increased and business revenue increased.

After graduating, my immediate goal is to scale and grow the business, and hire people for a team so I can do this full-time. Right now, it’s just me.

How did you know there was an opportunity for The Apartment Plug?

I saw how much exposure the content was getting, and I saw nobody else in San Francisco was making this type of content — that’s when I knew that there was a real opportunity here. Originally, I was only posting content on TikTok, and I knew TikTok was going to work because it was already proving to be working for me personally.

How has your USF education helped you and positioned you for success with The Apartment Plug?

Alum taking a selfie
Daisy Hernandez MBA '24 records TikTok content. Photo credit: Claire Butler

In the MBA program, the consulting capstone project shaped me the most. I learned how to successfully build a business plan and was able to scale The Apartment Plug to where it is today.

When I started implementing the learned strategies in the MBA program and the capstone project, and I made the decision to try to scale the business in November 2023, that’s when I really started seeing growth.

All the landlords feel more confident working with me knowing that I am getting my MBA.

What are some challenges and positives that you face in this role being a content creator and an entrepreneur?

I work every day and I work at least 54 hours a week. Social media is a hustle, you have to post consistently, and it can be overwhelming when I am also a full-time student. Posting consistently can take up a lot of time.

My favorite part of my job is having an impact on small businesses in San Francisco. I feel like I’ve been building a community in San Francisco, and I get to help people make the tedious process of moving as easy as possible.

Entrepreneurship and innovation thrive at the University of San Francisco. Read more about how you can support the university’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation initiative.