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Connecting technology innovation and real estate industry leaders…
Brendan Wallace, Co-Founder of Fifth Wall Ventures (fostering collaboration between innovative technologies for the Built World and industry-leading incumbents from all sectors of the real estate industry including: retail, industrial, hospitality, multi-family, homebuilding, office, and brokerage), joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.
Two halves of a career, the historical absence of funds in the largest economic sector, and playing translator
Wallace shares the mission is to accelerate innovation in the Built World to improve how we live, work, sleep, consume, move, create, connect, and play. He comments how the company envisions a future where technology is seamlessly integrated into the physical spaces around us, creating a shared environment that is more accessible, efficient, and delightful than ever before. He covers his successes as entrepreneur and an exit, arriving at real estate tech, the marriage of the first half of his career (real estate banking and private equity, witnessing the boom and bust) and the second half of his career (going to business school, starting a data analytics business for recruiting and targeting the right kind of workers, raising $35 million as students, then creating the largest ride sharing platform in Latin America, and finally angel investing). How real estate tech offers low-tech risk because innovation is usually technically simple. Real estate is the largest asset class and lending category and store of consumer wealth—so why have there been no funds? What if one could raise capital from the largest buyers of real estate technology themselves, then collaborate and understand or influence what they are going to do, allowing them to make better investments, while supporting portfolio companies. This approach offers the best of traditionalist and generalist VC and corporate VC. How Fifth Wall is like an outsourced recruiter for companies to invest, and on the side of the companies, playing translator between major real estate incumbents and innovators, and partnering with generalist funds. And, how Fifth Wall has relationships deep into every subsector.
A demand for tech, big drivers, and learning from Amazon’s business model
Is Fifth Wall inciting change or making change themselves, and how the demand for real estate tech is growing. Playing a role in translating needs to specific solutions, a focus that is more on commercial real estate, less on residential brokerage, and concentrating on what partners are looking for. Big drivers are energy efficiency and building data assets, why more companies haven’t had a huge impact on the real estate industry with data, and the challenge with collecting meaningful data. Looking at brick and mortar retail and learning. Does Amazon know its business model? The meaning of retail is changing, and the line between online and offline. Plus how there must be more consideration of the physical store in online purchases, and how this relates to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods.
A technology divide, rushing for the exit, and real estate on Mars
East Coast vs. West Coast divide in technology, how technology is becoming all industries, New York as the nerve center of the real estate industry, and why Fifth Wall is likely to open office in NYC sooner vs. later. How rushing for the exit might have been the biggest mistake of Wallace’s career, both tech and real estate boom cycles won’t last, and why the real test is how you perform during imminent retractions. How Fifth Wall is effectively an advisory business and a venture fund, so Wallace’s time belongs to other people. And a look at rare free time, running and physical training, and the search for balance when one is being paid for good judgment. Plus, maintaining reality as a great partner while creating space to identify the next great opportunity, playing pool, early real estate memories, favorite rooms, and spending a lot of time on the roof. Plus, buying property on Mars.