030 – Ryan Baxter of PASSNYC – PropTech, Education, and Going Big

Ryan Baxter

PropTech, education reform in New York City, and motivating innovation…

Ryan BaxterRyan Baxter, making NYC’s built environment more educational, Founder/Chairman of PASSNYC, Real Estate Liaison for MetaProp NYC, and Co-founder of PropTech Challenge, and former Vice President of REBNY, joins Tom Kutzman in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Real estate tech/prop tech
  • Baxter‘s unique path to prop tech, how he started in a trade association, Real Estate Board of NY
  • His undying love for NYC, looking for way to work around that, loved lobbying as a concept
  • The opportunity to make lots of impact
  • How the Association is older than NYC, serves more than 17,000 members across real estate professions
  • How Baxter started a regulatory effort on changing how ConEd treats power plants within buildings, taught him a lot about how NYC interacts with and treats techRyan Baxter
  • Aaron Block, a founder of PropNYC,  knocked on door asking for help, saw them as distribution platform
  • How his work allows outcome beyond pursuit of wealth
  • Bing Co-Founder of Protech challenge, started last year grew to over 100 people from 47 companies,
  • Moving from personally-participated to virtually to impact many more people, to spur innovation, increase diversity, and create opportunities around the world
  • An augmented reality tool to overlay real time building information, helpful for engineers to know what a particular system’s flow of info in real time
  • A lack of agility and responsiveness in real estate is going changing
  • The need to understand that there are only five value propositions
  • A limitless opportunity for the human imagination
  • A $230 Trillion and growing opportunity worldwide
  • Developers should lean into PropTech
  • Why PropTech is years behind FinTech, yet broader than any other tech vertical we’ve seen
  • Is PropTech only one part of it, and a low hanging fruit, and limiting lens?
  • MetaProp
  • Starting with community building approach as a new fundRyan Baxter
  • Why learning the language across the industry is crucial
  • Promoting better educational access and equity using community organizing and coalition tactics
  • Why the tip of PropTech spear should be public schools, and how they can design the future
  • Enabling schools to be specialized, motivating participation and resource provision, and working toward continual desegregation
  • The debate on why specialized schools have value
  • The Empire State Building, Jay-Z, and a great restaurant

025 – Vincent Pavanello and Robin Rivaton of “Make Real Estate Great Again – Real Estech in Europe

Vincent Pavanello and Robin Rivaton

Real estate technology disruption…

Vincent Pavanello and Robin Rivaton Vincent Pavanello and Robin Rivaton co-authors of the book “Make Real Estate Great Again”, focused on real estate technology disruption and is co-founders of the Real Estech community in Paris, France, join Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios in New York, powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • The show’s first guests from continental Europe, who are building a community in real estate tech
  • Bridging the gap between offerings those who want to buy goods and services
  • The community’s first days, three friends created website produced articles on startupsVincent Pavanello and Robin Rivaton
  • The consumers are changing and companies have to pay attention to user experience
  • The need to be merging pieces of a value chain and control quality, like automotive industry
  • Making real estate great again
  • Tech makes buildings fitted with people’s needs
  • Urbanization, more people living in more cities than before
  • Making a city denser to attract more people
  • Density leads to productivity, wealth requires different types of people with different skills put together
  • Next, thinking of how you move them all around efficiently
  • The perfect city for all social classesVincent Pavanello and Robin Rivaton
  • The importance of creating buildings fit for real people now, while respecting history of city
  • Cities that exist today vs. the kind of cities that can exist 100 years from now
  • Considering climate change, population change, culture, economy, and when people will/would start migrating
  • Direct access to the sea as a factor in city creation and growth
  • When a city becomes toxic
  • A classy snack inspired by a birthday
  • Political influences can cause major shifts in people, Brexit as an example
  • Trends seeing, action to fund entrepreneurs to make changes happen, several funds currently support this
  • How they are building the first venture capital fund for real estate in continental   Europe, with $60M
  • Hip areas of Paris people are moving to
  • The importance of a larger presence of women in real estate tech

013 – Jonathan Wasserstrum of Squarefoot – Now It’s Time for Commercial

Squarefoot

Transparent commercial brokerage with proprietary smart tools…

SquarefootThe real estate industry is antiquated. For most people they think of the residential real estate first, and that’s lagging enough. But technology and innovation in the commercial real estate space? That’s twenty years behind residential. An exception to this is Squarefoot, an online brokerage platform that enables companies to find commercial properties without going space to space.

SquarefootJonathan Wasserstrum, Co-Founder and CEO of Squarefoot (”a team of trusted commercial real estate experts armed with our own technology to help guide you from initial inquiry to lease signing and beyond”), joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • SquarefootThe state of affairs of commercial real estate today, two decades behind residential real estate, comparative sizes of residential vs. commercial
    Enabling tenants to find space more easily
  • The problem being solved by Squarefoot is offering transparency and technology, as a listings platform,
  • Squarefoot’s biggest size deal ever, and the average size and company needs commercially
  • Playing a role in helping solve real estate problems
  • How Squarefoot clients can see the inventory
    Squarefoot aligns better incentives between broker and client, instead of commission based on deal size, a flat fee per broker, a different comp model, so its not about steering toward biggest commission.
  • Most brokers aren’t still at the same brokerage after three years, and at Squarefoot the rate is better than the industry average
  • First efficiency, not having to prospect, how inbound people search online and wind up on the Squarefoot site
  • Offering further efficiency via tech and products in the space and discovery, and a proprietary app
  • Looking ahead to the next level: agency business representing landlords
  • Commission structure in commercial vs. residential similar, and how many buildings average landlord own
  • A lack of interest from Squarefoot in competing against CoStar — being just a channel for tenants to find space and landlords to market the spaces, not a current interest in data.
  • Is Wasserstrum a technology guy or real estate guy?
    Ample Hills ice cream makes a special appearance
  • Are most companies actually tech companies?
  • 20% of market is moving every year, but it takes 5 cycles for everyone to go through a new change of process/tech, with commercial taking even longer
  • The need to ask “how do I do it better”
  • Anything that can help increase the top line, and decrease expenses, should be a welcome thing
  • A lack of Houston TX accent
  • Houston’s lack of zoning

004 – Harley Courts of Nooklyn – Beyond Brooklyn

Taking the friction out of rentals and roommates with tech…

Harley Courts, CEO at Nooklyn ( Brooklyn-based tech start-up fixing the experience of finding apartments and roommates) joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

From skateboarding to real estate, data as a core asset, and why brokers are here to stay

Courts discusses the impact that the company’s atypical management and structure has contributed to its success, what he took from running a skateboard company, leadership, building a collaborative, mission driven team, how his skateboard company failing led to becoming the super of a building, then meeting numerous real estate brokers and realizing he can do that, starting Nooklyn as a blog, and having so much success that he had to hire agents. How when giving listing data away you have nothing, as it’s a core asset. How Nooklyn is giving renters control over process, plucking away at removing friction for renters, the majority of the country is still on Craigslist for rentals, and why the highly regulated nature of the real estate industry, and the fact that this is the largest purchase most people will make, means brokers will remain.

Taking on Manhattan, fixing the experience, and growing quickly

A spectrum of vegan offerings make for a dynamic snack. Court reveals how Nooklyn is growing beyond Brooklyn, and being on a mission to fix the experience for renters, and to take on a new market, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Why 200 listing number is a magic number to make progress, how Nooklyn offers an advantage for landlords, getting into shared housing on the platform, and the ability to facilitate transactions. Why with currently 250 agents Nooklyn is trying to hire 375 more agents in the next year. And how more than half the deals are split between at least two agents, who often contribute different skills sets and resources.

The skateboarding business, a police offer and a party animal, and eating vegan

Personal questions cover missing skateboarding, a broken elbow, a daughter (also) named Harley, learning the skateboarding industry in detail, seven layers of wood, difficulty in competing in the skateboarding business, a bad experience moving in with a police officer and a party animal who both stopped paying rent immediately, and how Court has personally gone through many challenges of rentals and roommates and what’s driven him to make the process better. Plus, a roommate platform built into the site, and favorite Vegan restaurants in Brooklyn.

003 – Brendan Wallace of Fifth Wall – Tech, Funding, and Mars

Fifth Wall

Connecting technology innovation and real estate industry leaders…

Fifth WallBrendan 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

Fifth WallWallace 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

Fifth WallIs 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.