Tech Nest: The Proptech Podcast

Nate Smoyer

Tech Nest is the proptech podcast where we discover all the latest in proptech by interviewing the innovators and leaders from startup that are challenging the way we buy, sell, and invest in real estate. When you listen to Tech Nest, you'll get in-depth interviews and discussions each week, focused on uncovering trends in proptech and how startups are transforming the real estate landscape. Don't miss an episode, subscribe today!

Embedded Landlord Insurance for Proptechs with Ryan Letzeiser, CEO of Obie
4d ago
Embedded Landlord Insurance for Proptechs with Ryan Letzeiser, CEO of Obie
Oh do I have a special goodie for y'all this week.It's with great joy I got to interview Ryan Letzeiser, Co-founder and CEO at Obie. For those that don't know, I work at Obie. So of course I'm biased as to whether or not I think Obie is doing something unique and leading the industry. It's not often you get to put your own CEO in the hot seat and push on buttons. Obviously, I've got inside baseball information, but I used that to get Ryan to spill the goods. In this interview, Ryan talks a good deal about what is and what is not embedded insurance, why this is such an important feature for proptech and fintech companies alike, and how Obie is working to bring about a much simpler insurance experience for real estate investors. Hint: simpler for investors means incredibly difficult for the tech company—but with big rewards.More about Obie and RyanObie is the leading insurtech, focused on providing insurance for real estate investors. By focusing on partnerships with proptech and fintech companies, Obie is the first and only company to offer instantly bindable quotes as an embedded insurance experience. Additionally Obie provides insurance via local independent insurance agents or directly to investors through its online portal—changing the shape and feel of insurance for investors by meeting them where ever they may be.Obie was recently honored as Business Insurance Best Places to Work and one of Inc Magazines Fastest Growing Companies for 2022. Obie is a Y-Combinator and a NAR REACH accelerator alum. To date, Obie has raised $13.7 million from leading proptech investors including Battery Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, MetaProp, Second Century Ventures, and Funders Club.Ryan is the Co-founder and CEO of Obie. As a seasoned real estate investor and technology executive with years of experience acquiring, developing, managing, real estate, Ryan saw the inefficiencies real estate investors and operators faced with insurance. After much exploration alongside his brother Aaron, he realized the insurance industry was not moving to meet the investor where they were. Obie was created to deliver a greater insurance experience that is more transparent and faster that ever before for the every day real estate investor.Follow Ryan on TwitterConnect with Ryan on LinkedInFollow Obie on TwitterFollow Obie on LinkedInCheck out Obie
Advanced Management Tech for Vacation Rentals with Marcus Räder, CEO of Hostaway
Sep 3 2022
Advanced Management Tech for Vacation Rentals with Marcus Räder, CEO of Hostaway
More about Marcus and HostawayMarcus Rader is co-founder and CEO of Hostaway, the leading all-in-one vacation rental management software. Originally from Finland, Marcus has lived in many countries around the world including Sweden, Poland, and The Netherlands before settling in Canada. It was this passion for travel and dedication to learning about the vacation rental ecosystem, together with the deep expertise in technology and start-ups of Marcus and his co-founders, that enabled the creation of Hostaway. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys following the latest in the venture capital markets alongside playing guitar and listening to death metal with his daughter. Hostaway is the world's leading vacation rental software which makes it easier for property managers and hosts - whether they have 5 or 1,000 vacation rentals - to get more out of their business while spending less time on tedious manual tasks. Hostaway's property management system and channel manager offer scalable solutions for marketing, sales, reporting, communication, and more, with an extensive Marketplace of over 100 integrated software and service partners, backed by award-winning customer support.The company was founded in 2015 by a team of ardent technology enthusiasts. Unlike competitors, Hostaway’s platform was built in-house, making it one of the most reliable solutions on the market. This reliability has been recognized by leading online travel agencies Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com who have also chosen Hostaway as one of their elite software partners.Connect with Marcus on LinkedInFollow Hostaway on TwitterCheck out Hostaway
Design Driven Prefab Homes with Steve Glenn, CEO of Plant Prefab
Aug 9 2022
Design Driven Prefab Homes with Steve Glenn, CEO of Plant Prefab
More about Steve and Plant PrefabSteve Glenn, CEO, founded Plant Prefab in 2016 as an offshoot of the award-winning residential design studio, LivingHomes, which he founded in 2006. Previously, Glenn worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique. He was also the founder and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise community solutions; founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised and invested $1 billion in a number of successful companies; co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio at Walt Disney Imagineering; and co-founder of Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer in 1988. He holds a BA with honors from Brown University, studied Urban Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Coro Fellow. Plant Prefab is the first Certified B Corporation™ building technology company dedicated to sustainable design, materials, and operations. The company’s patented Plant Building System™ utilizes advanced digital modeling and fully customizable Plant Panels™ and Plant Modules™ to help architects, developers, general contractors, and individuals design and build multifamily and custom single-family homes 20 to 50 percent faster than site-based methods. The system provides better quality control, design flexibility, and time, cost, and material efficiency than traditional methods of offsite or on-site construction. Plant Prefab has two factories in California (Rialto, Ontario) and a design studio and show home in Santa Monica. With a mission to build a better world by design, Plant Prefab was the first housing prefabricator to announce a net zero goal and has achieved carbon neutrality in their operations since 2020. Plant Prefab is backed by leading investors including Amazon, Asahi Kasei, Gerdau Paris Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and others.Follow Steve on TwitterConnect with Steve on LinkedInFollow Plant Prefab on TwitterCheck out Plant Prefab
Modern Commercial Lease Management with Matt Giffune, CEO of Occupier
Jul 19 2022
Modern Commercial Lease Management with Matt Giffune, CEO of Occupier
More about Occupier and Matt GiffuneThe way organizations interact, leverage, and use real estate has changed, especially throughout COVID-19, but the way in which teams manage their real estate tasks has not. With an increasing demand for real time data, quick insights, and collaboration tools, the use of email and spreadsheets to get things done just doesn’t cut it. Teams need a smarter way to rapidly gather, organize, and share critical information within their real estate portfolio.Tenants are faced with unique real estate challenges and we set out to build digital solutions that automate and streamline the management of your lease portfolio and transaction. Occupier's lease management software connects brokers, real estate teams, and lease accounting professionals so that they can make rapid, strategic real estate decisions, and proactively adapt to the changing needs of their business.Occupier recently completed a $10.5 million series A fundraise, co-led by Stage 2 Capital and OMERS Ventures with participation from seed stage investors, Alate Partners, MetaProp, and Second Century Ventures.Matt Giffune has been in the commercial real estate industry for over 15 years and his experience spans many facets. Prior to co-founding Occupier, Matt was the Vice President at JLL representing tenants and landlords of office, industrial and laboratory space and then moved onto becoming the National Director of Strategic Sales at VTS.Follow Matt on TwitterConnect with Matt on LinkedInFollow Occupier on TwitterCheck out Occupier
Resident-First Property Management with Marcela Sapone, CEO of Alfred
Jul 12 2022
Resident-First Property Management with Marcela Sapone, CEO of Alfred
More about Marcela and AlfredMarcela Sapone is the co-founder and CEO of Alfred, the most advanced residential technology and management platform in the U.S., specializing in a single-stop solution to maximize asset value. Alfred’s footprint expands to over 300,000 residents in single-family and multi-family rentals, in 52 markets in the U.S. and Canada. Sapone has been named to Crain’s 40 under 40, Top 30 under 30 by Forbes and among Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, and winner of Connect CRE's Women in Real Estate Award in 2021. Her experiences living abroad and studying Urban Development in Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Beijing, and Bangalore as a young adult greatly influenced her work. Named one of Goldman Sachs’s “most intriguing entrepreneurs,” Sapone earned her B.A. & B.S. from Boston University as a full tuition Trustee Scholar and holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, where she created the Alfred business model from her Boston apartment. Prior to founding Alfred, Sapone began her career at McKinsey & Company, worked at a mid market Private Equity firm, American Securities, and at Bridgewater.Alfred is the largest and most advanced residential management platform. Since its inception, Alfred has focused on providing a resident-first experience. With an unparalleled knowledge of what residents want and technology that boosts income and efficiency for owners and operators, Alfred provides a single stop that elevates the rental ecosystem for all involved. Named by Fast Company as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies, Alfred's AOS technology drives lower operating costs and higher returns for property owners and operators. Alfred's portfolio now extends to more than 300,000 residents in 52 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Follow Marcela on TwitterFollow Alfred on TwitterConnect with Marcela on LinkedInCheck out Alfred
Vacation Rental & Hospitality Market Tech with Vince Breslin, CEO of Uplisting, and Emmanuel Lavoie, CEO of Jetstream
May 18 2022
Vacation Rental & Hospitality Market Tech with Vince Breslin, CEO of Uplisting, and Emmanuel Lavoie, CEO of Jetstream
More about Vince and UplistingUplisting, an Airbnb Preferred Partner, is a property and channel management software built specifically for growing short-term rental businesses. Property managers can manage short-term rentals and bookings, automate tasks, message guests, take payment, and so much more, in one easy-to-use platform (that never double-books).Vince Breslin is a co-founder of Uplisting, a property and channel management software built specifically for growing short-term rental businesses. Launched in 2017, after the co-founders met working at HouseTrip (sold to TripAdvisor) Uplisting now works with managers across the globe, helping them to increase revenue, decrease inefficiencies, create 5-star guest experiences and reliably grow.Follow Vince on TwitterConnect with Vince on LinkedInFollow Uplisting on TwitterCheck out UplistingMore about Emmanuel and JetstreamJetstream Hospitality Solutions is an all-in-one technology platform and services solution that provides a powerful way for owners, managers and developers of short-term rental properties to maximize revenues and realize opportunities in the short-term and flexible rental market. Jetstream combines best-in-class marketing expertise and distribution technology with high-quality customer support to deliver guest delight, streamline operations and reduce financial risk.Emmanuel is a passionate French-Canadian engineer and entrepreneur who values integrity and competent execution above all. Graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2002, Emmanuel landed in the HVAC Consulting world where he specialized in sustainable and energy efficient solutions for his clients. Following a successful exit of his small HVAC consulting engineering firm, Emmanuel took a major fork in the road and joined Jetstream in 2015 in the role of COO. Initially a small niche OTA, Jetstream quickly found itself providing connectivity and channel marketing services for an ever-expanding list of vacation rental resort management companies throughout North America and Europe. Emmanuel co-led the rapid growth of the company including a successful Series A and eventual exit to The RedAwning Group in 2018. Seizing on the financial difficulties suffered by the travel industry at the onset of COVID, Emmanuel and his business partner seized the opportunity to re-acquire Jetstream from under the parent company, and are now delivering on their bold vision for the future of hospitality. Emmanuel is a disciple of data-driven decision making and leading by values. When not trying to build an exemplary business, Emmanuel can be found skiing, sailing or paragliding.Connect with Emmanuel on LinkedInFollow Jetstream on TwitterCheck out Jetstream