007 – Paraag Sarva of Rhino – Securing Rentals

Paraag Sarva

Security deposit alternative for rentals with Paraag Sarva…

Paraag SarvaParaag Sarva, CEO/Founder of Rhino (replacing security deposits with a smarter alternative that’s better for both renters and landlords) joins hosts Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

An atypical path, from dating site to the Mayor’s office, and why Rhino was created

Paraag SarvaSarva discusses how Rhino is making renting easier, starting with security deposits and figuring it out after that. He reviews how his path has not been that of a typical real estate entrepreneur, taking a journey starting with financial services, working as a policy advisor in the NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s office, a principal at Grow Real Estate, and his role as Vice President, Media and Partnerships for the dating site How About We. Plus, why Rhino was created, and some amazing donuts.

Insuring the landlord, marketing, and additional applications

Paraag SarvaHow instead of signing a lease with a security deposit, Rhino insures the landlord for damages caused by the tenant, solving challenges and pains from owner’s side. How Rhino marketed it to landlords, being mindful of ignorance of forfeiting security deposits, how the renter/landlord dynamic is adversarial, and why it takes a culmination of experience and learnings to do something in a complex space. The potential of applying this type of thinking to other components of real estate transactions.

Business strategy, customer adoption, and a presidential “prediction”

Business growth strategies based on looking at the concentrations of where people live and want to live, following the population and obvious opportunities, how Rhino achieves customer adoption, and employing geography by geography company-building much like dating sites. Sarva’s favorite industry so far, the implications of being the youngest in an entrepreneurial family, sibling rivalry, and a 2020 presidential race prediction and candidate suggestion.

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.