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

021 – Francesca Loftus of hOM – Amenities, Data, and Bouncy Houses

hOM

Developing community with residential and office properties and gathering data by providing technology-enabled amenities for tenants…

hOMFrancesca Loftus, CEO of hOM (technology-enabled amenity provider that partners with residential and office properties to develop community by providing on-site fitness programming and unique events for tenants) joins Thomas Kutzman and Scott Pollack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Presented by Prevu.

In this episode:

  • How Loftus became focused on amenities
  • The company’s focus on amenities, especially in commercial buildingshOM
  • The cash outlay to adjust floors is a big step, so offering programming or events in a vacant space or available accessible spaces is a useful alternative
  • The genesis of the idea, two of her cofounders are in fitness and real estate, her background in theater management,
  • Some success because of the proximity of buildings to fitness studios
  • Selling to amenities managers
  • Most managers have tried other things, trying to be on trend with other buildings, then contact them to execute, cant do it themselves
  • Despite offering a wide range, fitness is most requested and engaging, yoga leads that interest
  • The hOM programs are unique and catch people’s attentionhOM
  • Mini golf, bouncy houses, partnerships to execute and deliver in diversity
  • Building community gives an edge for landlords
  • Figuring out a model to provide benefits to fitness instructors, finding it was actually cost effective,
  • Why Loftus was forced to be smarter how running business
  • Utility players with the ability to get anecdotal data on the building, valuable team members but tough to find
  • Looking at people with their whole selves i.e. developers and yoga teacher
  • Listening for grit and experience (28 full time employees and 50 part time)hOM
  • Loftus is from Canada, ended up in New York, from a competitive girls prep school, full college ride in mathematics, wanted to go to NY for theater, ended up managing a theater at 17 years old, having a public facing “beard”, doing a lot of programming work
  • Being curious about everything, having a dual role as performer and manager
  • The kind of culture in the hOM office with meditation and breath-work, the company’s C3P0, rituals in the office
  • Putting a voice to the tenants of buildings, creating incentive to communicate with them and close a gap of communication

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

009 – Thomas Kutzman of Prevu – On a Mission to Save Homebuyers Money

Prevu

Smart online brokerage enable commission rebates via an end-to-end Platform…

PrevuThomas Kutzman, Co-Founder of Prevu (a smart online brokerage focused on saving people money) and host of “Real Estate Is Your Business” podcast, joins Scott Pollack and Pavan Bahl in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Better Technology. Better Service. Best Commission Rebates.

PrevuKutzman touches on how commission rates too high in real estate, with rates in the US/NYC being double and triple than other developed countries, and how his experiences along with his co-founder Chase Marsh led to creating a solution with Prevu. He continues that in New York City the average real estate price is $1.5-2 Million with high commissions, and how it really is not free to be represented by buyer’s agent because it’s built into the price because of commission split with buyer’s agent. How Prevu gets up to two-thirds back on commissions of buyer’s side to the customer, receiving money back as a commission rebate check. It is not because of a lesser service, instead using technology for better experience for buyers and to make agents more efficient, plus a lower internal cost structure. Controlling the consumer experience and the quality of service and interaction. Despite some 30,000 licensed agents in NYC, 10% of them are doing 90% of work. The Prevu brand acquires leads and customers digitally, and provides more stability and experience/activity for Prevu agents. Plus, why it is a scalable model, and best for major markets.

Engineering a smarter buying experience

PrevuHow Kutzman has been looking at it through the lens of other industries have changed like travel and financial, changing the way agents com into the industry and their expectations of stability, and why you’ll never learn a profession doing it part time. Prevu’s compelling value proposition, the impact of the new tax reform on real estate, and why it won’t impact most people. And, making use of a commission rebate, and expanding to other markets.

Charitable giving, learning, and treating people well

Personal questions cover giving back, a focus on charitable giving, Children’s International, and Code2College which encourages STEM careers at a high school level for underprivileged and minority teens, and how encouraging tech careers at earlier ages leads to greater success. The NYU Violets, how Kutzman was encouraged to save and buy a property instead of having cancelled rent checks, making sure if you didn’t know something, go take a class to learn it. How there are a lot of great real estate people, and a lot of great technology people, but few have a lens on both areas. As time goes on, more people will know both. The meaning of success, a great mentor, treating people the right way serving you well, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, and “Principles”.

 

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.