40 minutes | May 25, 2023
Oli Farago - Navigating Economic Uncertainty With Data
How has the definition and usage of the term proptech expanded as the space has matured? Why has proptech innovation historically been extremely limited compared to other industries? How did effective data management allow M7 to differentiate itself for other real estate asset managers? Prior to Coyote entering the market, what tools were firms using to manage real estate asset data? Why did M7 decide to spinout Coyote instead of keeping it as a proprietary internal tool? What is the process like to take a bespoke piece of internal software, separate it from the parent organization, and turn it into a scalable platform as an independent company? How was the transition from being the CTO of an established real estate firm to being the CEO of a tech startup challenging on a professional level? What are the greatest technical achievements Coyote has solved during its spinout from M7? How do you successfully transition from appeasing all the customer demands of early adopters to building product to support your platform and saying no to certain customer requests?Oli Farago - Founder & CEO of Coyote Software, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a corporate acquisition resulting in a difference of opinions led to the unique opportunity to spend six months doing deep thinking on how to correctly build a new asset and fund management platform from the ground up, efficiently and to scale from day 1.
45 minutes | May 10, 2023
Domingo Valadez - Reevaluating Home Ownership
Why is the reasoning from first principles approach so successful in unlocking creative solutions to complex problems? What can you do to differentiate true customer needs from the noise of what customers are asking for outloud? How long does it take the average homeowner to save up their down payment on their first home? Why does the real estate industry thrive on information asymmetry? What is the benefit to the individual investor of cutting out the middlemen currently involved with most residential real estate transactions? How can you achieve transparency with blockchain based transactions without completely forgoing privacy? What is the reason special purpose vehicles in the form of an LLC are commonly used for real estate tokenization? Why is Homebase co-purchasing a small percentage of the homes they are fractionalizing? What are the tradeoffs that Homebase made by prioritizing its legal and regulatory adherence framework? Has the US created significant disadvantages for web3 innovation with its current incomplete regulatory framework? Domingo Valadez - co-founder of Homebase, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his experience growing up as the son of Mexican immigrants who achieved the American dream of purchasing real estate unknowingly planted the seeds for his passion around real estate and rethinking home ownership.
46 minutes | Apr 26, 2023
Kevin Shtofman - Mastering the Businesses of Real Estate
From a professional standpoint, why do people choose to pursue a career in consulting? What were the travel advantages of working with real estate consulting clients versus other industries? What were some of the challenges with working with international real estate clients? How did the opportunity to evaluate proptech companies come about within a real estate consulting role? How do generalized skillsets developed while working for consulting companies translate to being an executive at a tech startup? What are some of the challenges one experiences when moving from a large consulting firm to a startup? How does one overcome impostor syndrome when working at a startup? What does the role of global head of innovation entail? How robust is the M&A pipeline today given the challenging venture capital funding markets?Kevin Shtofman - Head of Innovation at Cherre, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a timely decision to pursue an MBA (based on aspirations of becoming an investment banking VP at Morgan Stanley) allowed him to successfully navigate the great financial crisis and establish a career in real estate consulting.
48 minutes | Apr 13, 2023
Ryan Barone - The Importance of Listening to Your Customers
Why can there be value in recreating the wheel when first starting out in a new role? How is it that renting an apartment is a much harder and more involved process than people initially imagine? Why have independent landlords traditionally been a neglected customer base for technology companies? How can customer conversations uncover previously undiscovered revenue opportunities? What insights can be acquired by attending customer meetups during the early days of a startup? How can proptech companies build everything you need and nothing that you don't for their customers? What was the lightbulb moment that convinced this aspiring entrepreneur to leave his paying job and make the jump to start his own company? Why does the independent landlord space have such a surprisingly strong community? What are the benefits of live chat vs a ticketing system for early-stage companies?Ryan Barone - CEO, CTO, and co-founder of RentRedi, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his first experience of trying to rent an apartment in New York City while an intern at Goldman Sachs planted the seed for a product idea that ultimately consumed him and led to the founding of RentRedi.
51 minutes | Mar 29, 2023
Scarlet Chen - Bridging DeFi and TradFi for the Real Estate Industry
What are the synergies between crypto and real estate? Why has crypto traditionally lacked good real world collateral? Is real estate's % of GDP as large in other parts of the world as it is in the US? What caused the housing correction in China after the initial privatization run-up? What are the benefits of decoupling housing ownership and occupancy? Can technology innovation help solve many of the structural inefficiencies that exist in real estate investing? Are there similarities between the debugging process in academia, debugging a startup, and debugging code? What are the uncanny similarities between the stages of a startup and the stages in academia? Why should founders think of a startup as a fluid concept? What makes MakerDOA the equivalent of the Federal Reserve in crypto? Which events contributed to crypto's current deep winter? What are the advantages of being able to offer Robinland's real estate offerings through Reg-D and Reg-S? Why have construction loans been a source of good investment debt on the Robinland platform?Scarlet Chen - co-founder of Robinland, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how her interest in housing and real estate was the result of her parent's regret of missing out on the massive appreciation boom from the privatization of the housing market in China because they did not understand the investment opportunity that real estate represented.
44 minutes | Mar 15, 2023
Matthew Sutika - Simplifying Rental Property Insurance
How did partnering with realtors through creative strategies lead to a successful insurance business being built at an early age? What challenges do real estate investors who intend to be landlords encounter when trying to get real estate insurance products? Why is it important today to be where the customer is and not rely on or hope that the customer comes and finds you? How did the opportunity arise to work with many of the most prominent insurance companies? What are the advantages of partnering with complimentary proptech companies to build a distribution channel? How are entrepreneurs wired differently from career employees? Why do so many businesses forget to ask potential partners or customers how they first might be able to help them grow their business? How does cultivating a reputation as a trusted advisor open doors to new and unforeseen opportunities?Matt Sutika - Chief Insurance Officer of Obie, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and briefly discuss how his dad's community status and financial stability combined with a healthy work-life balance inspired him to pursue a career in insurance.
49 minutes | Mar 1, 2023
Zach Gorman and James Rogers - Organizing & Improving Residential Real Estate Data
What is Chat-GPT's definition of proptech? Will Chat-GPT be a future podcast guest of Proptech Espresso? What material value has been generated from the considerable investment in proptech over the last couple of years? Has the use of the term proptech been overextended to the point that almost any company that touches the home is now considered a proptech company? How has a unique bond formed as friends contributed to the successful chemistry as co-founders? Why are traits such as grit and authenticity so fundamental to entrepreneurs? Why do so many proptech founder stories originate from a painful home transaction? What is the number one reason that prevents innovation in the real estate space? What would be possible if you put every bit of real estate data in one place and made it accessible to anyone? Zach Gorman and James Rogers - co-founders of BHR (Blockchain Home Registry), join Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and briefly discuss how a friendship formed at Tutfs led to mountain climbing together across the globe (where they overcame life-threatening situations), and ultimately building a couple of successful tech companies in the proptech space.
37 minutes | Feb 15, 2023
William Shaw - Delivering Tenant Loyalty
Does the generalization of the term proptech help those outside the industry establish a framework to start understanding the space? How did a background in consulting establish a strong underlying skillset for being a tech entrepreneur? Why is iterative problem solving important when improving processes for complex businesses? What has been the likely cause of poor tenant experience for renters historically? Why is addressing operations for landlords important in providing an improved tenant experience? How do European markets differ from US markets in the residential rental space? What are some examples of differing European rental sub-markets needs? How has a focus on community helped drive the adoption of hococo's tenant experience solution? William Shaw - CEO of hococo, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a new vision of tenant loyalty can help property landlords and owners move tenants across a portfolio of properties as they transition into different life phases.
38 minutes | Feb 1, 2023
Jesse Schmidt - Remodeling Renting
Can rental leases provide a pathway for building a career as a real estate agent? How did a high school friendship uncover the emerging co-living scene in New York? Why are real estate investors critical for the co-living business model? What sorts of opportunities are multifamily operators looking for to be innovative? Why would a successful real estate agent make the jump to a risky proptech startup? What is causing fewer and fewer renters to fit the ideal multifamily renter profile? Why do leasing agents have so few tools to help renters that don't fit the desired candidate renter profile? What have been some of the contributing factors to multifamily's slow adoption of technology? How did a chance meeting with a tech entrepreneur lead to a career switch? Why is bad debt such a problem for property owners?Jesse Schmidt - SVP of Sales at TheGuarantors, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his dad's job running The Real Estate Book for the northeast afforded him his first job as the on-staff real estate photographer for the publication, instilling in him a love for real estate and all the various forms on this asset class.
32 minutes | Jan 18, 2023
Jarred Kessler - Using Your House as an ATM
How does the introduction and application of technology to an industry create a catalyst for change and re-invention? Why did a job at MTV during its heyday lead to a career switch into high finance? How did becoming an intrapreneur create massive opportunities to build new businesses at the intersection of two asset classes? Why can land registry be considered the original blockchain? What has created the trapped equity crisis that American homeowners are experiencing today? How is housing affordability geo-specific? What causes people to think of their home asset differently than traditional financial assets like stocks and bonds? Why is education critical in financial asset decisions? Can you consider EasyKnock a countercyclical business model? Jarred Kessler - co-founder & CEO of EasyKnock (and author of Death of a Real Estate Salesman), joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his belief in the innate right of human beings to have access to shelter led to founding his non-profit which provides resources to homeowners to help figure out how to keep them in their homes and avoid eviction when experiencing life situations outside of their control.
51 minutes | Jan 4, 2023
Jason Lewris - Building A Global Real Estate Investment & Data Company
How can passion projects outside of work and school accelerate learning a new skill? In what ways do government regulations create so many complex challenges for businesses? Why isn't there more effort to invest in regulation reconciliation to alleviate inconsistencies? How has Microsoft leveraged natural language processing techniques and its global data sets to address hyper local and domain specific problems? What is the compelling reason to index every residential property in the world? Why is getting accurate residential real estate data a challenge and how does it differ between the US and other countries? How does reporting data lag contribute to the challenges of providing accurate and specific information real estate reporting? Where are there opportunities for deep learning to help overcome some of the real estate information gaps that we have globally? Why did Parcl choose to build its marketplace platform on web3 blockchain technology? In what ways can web3 technology improve the customer experience? How can computer vision augment the information set for global residential real estate data? Jason Lewris - co-founder of Parcl and Parcl Labs, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his discovery of analytics and coding during his MBA program led to a career pivot away from business to the emerging discipline of data science and the future opportunities around leveraging machine learning architectures to solve complex data problems. For those listeners interested in learning more about the intersection of real estate and web3 check out the REw3 newsletter!
42 minutes | Dec 21, 2022
Christine Wendell - Making Affordable Housing More Efficient & Accessible
What is the difference between a proptech company and a venture backable proptech company? How does mixed-income housing support diversity and improve the chance for income mobility? Why is housing NIMBYism so pronounced in San Francisco and how does this contribute to its rampant homeless issue? What is the definition of affordable housing and how prevalent is it in the US? Is creating affordable housing only a big city issue or do rural cities also struggle with this? Why are there so many misconceptions around the affordable housing opportunity? Are affordable housing and public housing the same thing? Why do affordable component lease-ups take so long to complete? Is there a lack of education about affordable housing in university and MBA real estate programs? Christine Wendell - Co-founder and CEO of Pronto Housing, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how living in a diverse collection of cities across the US early in her career exposed her to various city zoning approaches which later informed her perspective on the positives and pitfalls of different affordable housing approaches.
36 minutes | Dec 7, 2022
Michael Bourque - Funding the Real Estate Investor Industry
What compelled a rising star in GE's management training program to pivot and jump to the real estate industry? How did mortgage servicers look to find positive housing outcomes during the great financial crisis and help keep people in their homes? What is the importance of access to capital for real estate? Are there unique challenges you encounter when taking over a company from a founder CEO? How does a finance professional get deeply knowledgeable about the fundamental technology of an organization so they can challenge and support an engineering team? Are there environmental impact differences between new home construction and renovation? What does it mean to re-invigorate the aging US housing stock? How do speed and scale benefit the real esate investor? Is it possible to recreate the experience of dealing with personal finances for the real estate investor? How does Kiavi help real estate investors make money over 20% more often than other lenders?Michael Bourque - CEO of Kiavi, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a 15 year career at General Electric gave him the toolset to dig in and understand new and complex businesses, as well as allowed him to travel the world and experience many diverse cultures.
48 minutes | Nov 23, 2022
Jeff Allen - Digitizing Residential Real Estate
Which industries rely on real estate data beyond the home transaction itself? Why has almost no one heard of RELS? What are the benefits and downsides of being acquired by a co-owner? Why did the appraisal industry need innovation and what was fundamentally broken with it? How did the modern appraisal project come about at Clear Capital and what were there the challenges the team faced? What was it like partnering with the GSEs (Fannie and Freddie) to transform the home appraisal process? Why are floorplans critical in appraisals and why is this a linchpin in the process? What lessons from prior acquisition experiences did leadership apply to Clear Capital's deal with CubiCasa? Were there unique challenges due to the global pandemic around acquiring a company on another continent? Why has the US not digitized floorplans as much as Europe and Australia? What property data attributes are not common today but are likely future elements?Jeff Allen - President of CubiCasa joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how the freedom granted to him by his first employer to explore housing data led to spinning out his first company building market reports for the broader MLS community.
49 minutes | Nov 9, 2022
Vernon J. - Affordable Housing Investing on the Block
Has Amazon morphed into a proptech company? Is the US transforming into a warehouse nation? How did getting punched in the face by the 2008 financial recession force a career pivot into managing bank owned real estate assets? What learnings came from working through the foreclosure process with multifamily properties? Were virtual tours happening in New York City as early as 2006? How a lightbulb moment led to launching a startup developing storefronts into touchscreens for real estate companies and landing Ryan Serhant as an early customer? Did the desire to invest in a resilient real estate sector lead to uncovering profitabile opportunities within affordable housing? Are government contracts around real estate a lucrative opportunity and provide a pathway to positively impact local communities? How will blockchain technology revolutionize the financing of real estate in the future? What is the best way to educate oneself about web3? How can helping disadvantaged families get access to safe housing positively impact communities? Vernon J - Co-founder & CEO of EquityCoin, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a scholarship opportunity to attend a New England prep school led him to uncover a recurring theme of family real estate businesses amongst his peers which he parlayed into real estate jobs during his high school years where he earned monthly commission in excess of five figures. For those listeners interested in learning more about the intersection of real estate and web3 check out the REw3 newsletter!
51 minutes | Oct 26, 2022
Demetri Themelis - Making Multifamily Easy
How do you evaluate ideas on a quality scale to make sure you are pursuing those that will actually result in a successful business? Does perceived risk impact the willingness of a customer or individual to adopt a new technology? Can the pursuit of one's passion impact the staying power of a tech founder? Should the real estate asset class drive different customer engagement models? What AI initiatives are underway in supporting property management businesses? How does fostering community benefit the broader housing ecosystem?Demetri Themelis - CEO & co-founder of Knock, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his experiences entering the workforce at the start of the financial crisis shaped his desires to move from investment banking, and dreams of lucrative bonuses, to tech entrepreneurism and the opportunity to create a transformational business.
35 minutes | Oct 12, 2022
Ray Wu - A Personal Crusade To Improve Indoor Air Quality
How was working as a management consultant at McKinsey similar to going to college? What was the intellectual challenge that compelled a deep tech engineer to change careers and go to work for a private equity firm? How essential is indoor air quality to physical well-being? How did trips home to Beijing uncover a rapid negatively changing air quality? Why have human senses not adapted to sense changes in air quality? How much worse can indoor air quality be than outdoor air quality? How did fear of the unknown in the early days of COVID force people to clamor for better instrumentation and cleaning of indoor air? What are some of the challenges of maintaining a retail channel for a consumer technology product? How has the education level around indoor air quality changed over the last couple of years? How can you improve indoor air quality but require minimal time investment from homeowners? Ray Wu - Cofounder and CEO of Wynd Technologies, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his curiosity as a child led him to constantly take equipment apart and pretend to invent things, creating his later desire to start and build a technology company from scratch.
45 minutes | Sep 28, 2022
Anya Chrisanthon - Powering Online New Home Sales
How did working for a highly ethical financial services company benefit a recent college grad? What practical life skills did jobs in finance and new home sales hone? What compelled a successful financial service professional to pivot and move into the homebuilding space? Why has the homebuilding space historically been reluctant to adopt visualization technologies like virtual tours? Why is there an online pricing transparency issue within homebuilding? What does the ideal customer journey for buying a new home online look like? Anya Chrisanthon - Chief Brand Office at Anewgo, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how her discovery that there were no women producing podcasts about selling real estate despite women being the majority of employees in real estate led her to fill this void.
38 minutes | Sep 14, 2022
Ben -Johnson Helping Multifamily Communities Chore Less
Is the underlying purpose of proptech to make our lives better by improving the places where we live and work? Why are marketplace businesses so fascinating? How do network effects help create outsized economic value? Why are mercenary founders not as loved in the media as missionary founders? What caused the flurry of services companies working inside the home to fail? Why did working with local service companies prove more successful for Spruce rather than relying on gig workers? How did transforming into a logistic company fundamentally change the success of Spruce's service company partners? Ben Johnson - Founder & President of Spruce, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how the skillsets he developed as an investment banker allow him to take a set of numbers and craft an entrepreneurial narrative that describes his business in a way that draws investors in.
47 minutes | Aug 31, 2022
Robert Salvador - Revolutionizing the Global Construction Industry
What compelled a successful construction entrepreneur to pivot and move into technology? Why have legacy construction businesses shied away from digitizing many of their paper processes? What are the supply chain challenges that exist today in construction that technology could help solve? Will construction's increasing adoption of bleeding edge technology draw a broader workforce into the industry? Can the rise of technologists within construction company leadership further accelerate the adoption of technology within the broader construction industry? How does blockchain technology and smart contracts solve the inherent trust issues that plague the construction industry? Robert Salvador - CEO of DigiBuild, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how his humble beginnings working for the family drywalling business gave him firsthand experience into the tough tactics big firms exert on smaller industry players and the opportunities to digitize significant elements of the construction business that will level the playing field. For those listeners interested in learning more about the intersection of real estate and web3 check out the REw3 newsletter!