027 – Joy Fan of Storefront – Short-Term Spaces, Long-Term Impact

Storefront

Marketplace for short form retail and pop-ups…

StorefrontJoy Fan, Chief Creative Officer of Storefront (@storefront – the world’s leading online marketplace for renting short term retail space) joins Thomas Kutzman, Scott Pollack, and guest host Pavan Bahl in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • How Storefront “cracked the code” on short-term rentals
  • Real estate brokers have open arms for pop ups, changed from 5 years agoStorefront
  • How pop-ups and short-term rentals transformed from trend to strategy
  • Perfect timing, how Storefront rode a wave for the last 6 years
  • Demands of retail has changed
  • Bringing digital into physical
  • Providing pricing up front so anyone can see it and share it
  • Servicing both landlords and tenants
  • Why Storefront doesn’t own spaces, technology makes it easy for brands to search for space
  • Now in Canada and US, just opened Dallas and Austin, plus already in LA, NYC, SF, Chicago, Miami
  • Looking at events and experiential, but focus on storefrontsStorefront
  • A lot of long-term leases are coming up and vacancy rates have risen a lot in major metropolitan areas
  • Low cost at a conference
  • Retail on the rise in US, story-sharing
  • Making the physical experience feeling sensory like the online presence, creating addiction
  • The international opportunity – where there is retail and where there is storefront
  • Fan’s opinion on a brand that’s getting it done
  • The story of twins
  • Incredible donuts

026 – Doorbell Communities and VeryApt – Bettering the Rental Experience

miami

Two startups sharing their company visions on providing a better rental experience…

Benjamin Pleat, CEO/Founder of Doorbell Communities (supercharging apartment living through curated event experiences) and Ashrit Kamireddi, CEO/Co-Founder, and Scott Bierbryer, COO/Co-Founder, of VeryApt (a trusted apartment review community for people who want to make sure their next apartment really feels like home) joins Thomas Kutzman on location at The Future of Real Estate Summit in Miami,FL. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Conferences as a great opportunity to discover new ideas/innovators

Doorbell Communities

  • Looking at the experience side of things, not changing real estate, don’t redesign spaces, how the use of space is a platform for community creation
  • Leverage existing spaces from lobbies to community spaces
  • Creating meaningful experiences to cerate sticky communities
  • Work in best in class providers including local businesses, good to support local businesses and get them in building
  • Skepticism that neighbors don’t want to interact in a place like NYC, content gets them out
  • The business model, and expense structure
  • The value of software and analytics
  • Offering experiences from psychic mediums, pastrami tastings, coding classes, and more.
  • Currently in Boston and downtown Wooster
  • Challenges are in the real estate finance world, recurring fee treated as different kind of expense, and Class A vs. Class B
  • Avoiding technical debt, and how software augments experience without inhibiting, and enables community building and personal interaction
  • Affordable housing, offering the same experience or hurdle distribution and acceptance by community

VeryApt

  • A data-driven concierge rental platform that makes finding the perfect apartment effortless
  • Having very accurate data and content, making the ecosystem transparent
  • Not just scraping listings, accurate [ricing/inventory, data from tenants talking about experiences in apartment
  • Unique IP on recommendation engine, able to highlight buildings
  • Concierge replaces much of the value of traditional agent
  • Owning listings, not just scraping and taking data feed
  • Trying to instill same culture and processing several markets
  • Building out the brand, opportunities tangential to what they’re doing now ,rental insurance, figuring out moving
  • Taking infrastructure and help solving problems beyond the immediate rental part

024 – Chris Avery of Updater – America’s Favorite Moving App

Updater

UpdaterWhy influential real estate companies offer an invite-only moving app from Updater to clients, delivering huge value during a stressful time…

Chris Avery, VP of Real Estate for Updater (Updater‘s moving app is the smartest and safest way to reserve a moving company, connect TV and internet, update accounts, forward mail, transfer utilities, etc.), joins Thomas Kutzman and guest host Marc Raco in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • How Updater is solving a logistical problem
  • Relocation tech
  • Buyers, sellers, renters, branded experience through real estate partners, brands, multi family companies, realtors
  • Automate all moving and related tasks that are all part of a painful experienceUpdater
  • Forwarding mail, subscriptions, and utilities
  • Fostering partnerships, teams of industry experts
  • Doing new things vs. creating new experiences
  • How Updater is paid for, and it doesn’t affect the consumer (free), and the broker or property management company pays for it, as an invite-only platform
  • How the app catalogues everything that moves and event the condition of property
  • Testing new ways to keep consumers engaged in platform even post moveUpdater
  • Providing moving offers with discounts, helpful info etc., coupons
  • Giving the consumer a complete view of a market, not recommending specific purchases, created competition on the platform including ratings and scores
  • Last year nearly 20% of all household moves were processed though Updater
  • A lot of A/B testing and measuring consumer behavior
  • How Updater works to get brokers on board
  • Setting an expectation with the consumer that this is what they should expect of brokers, a kind of seal of approval
  • Incredible donuts that are an Updater favorite
  • How the process works for an agent, and how Updater only works with real estate brokerages that work with one of the tech partners they integrate with
  • Agents/brokers as independent contractors, brokerages don’t require people to use it, running behind the scenes so agent can just decline it
  • Once an agent signs up they don’t have to do anythingUpdater
  • Updater is seamless for the agent, easy deployment, training, and engagement process
  • The ability to stay connected, keeping consumers engaged, bringing value, platform stays open for this reason
  • When Updater decided to IPO on ASX, as the smallest tech company to IPO there, and ultimately one of the most successful to do so
  • Building community with brokers, looking beyond being a mere mechanism to their success
  • Early moving memories, playing The Oregon Trail on early computers, and Seattle

 

022 – Naman Desai of Quo – Enabling Collaboration and Engagement

Real estate agent + client collaboration platform…

Naman Desai, Co-Founder at Quo (which simplifies real estate agent + client collaboration via a platform and mobile app) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • A customer engagement tool that empowered brokers, allowing them to work closer with clients, increasing efficiency
  • How the app allows agents and clients to search and share listings together in one place, as a neat and organized way to keep track of properties they view, with the ability to take notes and store photos, better streamlining the process to make better decisions more quickly
  • Allowing the app to maintain a place as preferred place to engage and track real estate opportunities and clients
  • How Quo gives brokers an app to put in their clients’ hands, positioning the broker as more tech-forward
  • How Quo can help speed up process of scheduling a viewing, with automation, and reduces time lag
  • More feedback opportunities for the client, providing a good data and analytics resource
  • Building out algorithms to suggest properties actively
  • Obvious use case in New York City, but why in Cleveland?
  • Looking to integrate CSS, zero lag time
  • Is the tool more vertical vs. suburban?
  • Markets with a lot of buyer and seller activity
  • How Quo started as a concierge service for renters looking for new apartments
  • How the co-founders realized a lot of people had a similar knack for helping people in the real estate space to help with real estate process; and, as the company grew and looked to scale, it started doing focus groups and one was people helping with what worked for them — and the biggest was when they had a friend that helped them
  • Agents wanted the communication platform, not the concierge service
  • Pivoting to the communication tool
  • Data in which people said what they wanted and so Quo followed it
  • Not so stuck on idea that they wouldn’t listen, letting customers guide where they go
  • Getting consensus on a change in company direction, and how the co-founders were married to solving a problem — not on the way to solve it
  • The importance of continuing focus groups
  • The pushback from brokers — overcoming friction in getting clients to download the app
  • A must-have feature was a team collaboration piece
  • Being comfortable with changes in business, such as pivoting in his previous business ClassPass
  • Real estate as learned behavior vs. in the blood, etc?
  • Taking risk in business and startups
  • How finding one’s passion brings the opportunity to make more than anywhere else by doing what one thinks is right
  • Fear of missing out

020 – Yin Lin of Sage Vacations – Vacation Rentals As a Group Experience

Yin Lin

Short-term vacation rentals for groups…

Yin LinYin Lin, Founder/COE of Sage Vacations (a private real estate company with 10 vacation properties across the country, and partnering with institutions and investors to acquire, develop, and commercialize its property investments) and Founder of SheWorx (global collective of ambitious high-growth female entrepreneurs redefining leadership) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • Lin discusses acquiring and commercializing residential property, undervalued property valuesYin Lin
  • Distributing them on short term rental sites
  • Developing a short term rental portfolio.
  • There is a demand for large spaces for groups who cannot get same experience in standard hotel rooms
  • Looking at lesser known cities with high regional tourism, emerging cities
  • The experience of a space needs to be great, and the people feel the sense of community
  • Creating great experiences, and getting buy-in from the community for creating a network
  • Creating more bespoke developments which cater to the needs of the audienceYin Lin
  • How short term rentals have changed the vacation model, and the future of it depends largely on regulation
  • Why professionalism of short-term rentals reduces risk all around
  • How Lin got into the business
  • Part of Lin’s inspiration in building her business and portfolio is wanting to help women build wealth through real estate
  • What marathons have meant to Lin in understanding herself and her potential
  • Running in 5 continents so far, and what about Ironman competitions