CREtech Founder and CEO, Michael Beckerman, reveals the advice he gives to landlords that ask him how to evaluate real estate technology and where to get started.
Hey, it’s Michael Beckerman, CEO of CREtech. Thanks to my friends at Enertiv for giving me this beautiful white board to talk about the landlord perspective in terms of approaching technology.
In my job talking to startups, VCs, brokerage firms, the landlord community is one that is coming on strong in terms of their interest in CREtech, I get a lot of calls from them about how to get started.
This is typically the advice that I share with them.
The first thing we talk about is the state of the marketplace. Clearly when you go from $30 million invested in this space in 2010 to $12.5 billion last year, stuff is happening, there’s real momentum, and the development community is active right now.
People are feeling the pressure to adapt. But it’s hard to differentiate between the 3,000 different startups.
So then, this is where we’re kind of left, right?
You’re a landlord, you’re new in technology, you’re jumping into the space, it’s kind of freak out time, many are asking: “how do I get started”?
This is what I typically say.
First thing you should do when evaluating a startup is get in front of the management team, get to the CEO, if they’re not responding, there’s a problem, right? It’s one of my personal pet peeves. This are not Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon…yet! They should be responding, they should be hustling for your business.
Make sure the product fit is there, right? Make sure this solves a pain point for you, make sure it’s also something that can scale as you grow your business.
Look at who their customers are, talk to their customers, find out who their investors are. There are some great blue-chip investors out there, you want to know who those are, and you want to also make sure that the company has staying power. This is really important.
And again, make sure you’ve got a strategy.
Beyond those, other important things to do are, one: get a referral. Don’t just jump in, talk to some of their customers, get an introduction. This is a great way to vet these companies.
Learn more about CREtech, come to one of our events, there are a lot of other great events out there, network, listen to some of the speakers, go talk to some of the startups and integrate into the community.
Also, assign somebody in your organization whose responsibility it is to vet the tech and products that are out there, and to work with the team, work with the company, to make sure it is successful for the long term. This is not something where you go buy an iPhone and it gets turned on and you’ve got this magical solution. You need somebody that’s accountable all the way through.
And don’t start with a Google search, that’s a waste of time, do your homework, and understand that this is going to take a while, that you’re investing in the long term and when you do, you will position yourself, not only against your competitors but for the long term. Hope that helps.
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