Last week we were in New York City for a real estate technology focussed forum organized by Knotel and propmodo.com. We called it “Builders” because the participants we hoped to attract were all working in their own way to improve upon legacy real estate processes. The invite-only event, which attracted leaders in real estate, PropTech and FinTech, took place in a Knotel-designed space in SoHo and included a authentic Syrian lunch prepared by refugees, followed by decadent deserts prepared by Lady M.

Our guests enjoyed a panel discussion featuring Vishal Garg from Better Mortgage, Amol Sarva from Knotel and Susannah Vila from Flip. A key focus of the conversation was identifying and nurturing strategic partnerships. While we advocate for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help cutting-edge companies evaluate data and make informed decisions, perhaps nothing can ever replace the collective wisdom of a group of experts and entrepreneurs from diverse yet complimentary and co-dependent industries.

At the conclusion of the panel, each panelist explained a business challenge they had encountered, like how to get landlords to adopt new technology or try using their commercial space in a new or more flexible way. We then asked all of the guests in attendance to breakout into roundtable groups to discuss those challenges and offer opinions and potential solutions. This format really helped demonstrate the continuing power of networking, and the value of listening to the diverse perspectives of executives from different industries.

Among those in attendance were Sonu Panda, CEO at Prescriptive Data; Edward Shenderovich, Co-founder and Chairman at Knotel; Jordan Nof, Head of Investments at Tusk Ventures; Ryan Freedman, Chairman and CEO at Corigin; Ryan Baxter, VP and PropTech Liason at REBNY; Daniel Wilpon, Senior Vice President at CBRE; Dan Teran, Co-founder and CEO at Managed By Q; Ryan Coon, Co-founder and CEO at Rentalutions; Connell McGill Co-founder and CEO at Enertiv; and several other PropTech and FinTech innovators.

The next Builders forum is slated for November 15th. If you’d like to request an invitation, please request access to the Google Group or reach out to Omri Barzilay, Ron Zori or myself, Travis Barrington. We hope to refine our roundtable “hackathon for founders” concept and add other interactive elements to future forums in order to learn from and support each other in a market brimming with opportunities. We all agree that the last couple years represent a turning point for real estate innovation, with notable investments, mergers and acquisitions. Still, we believe that we are just experiencing the tip of the iceberg, and great opportunities and changes are yet to come.

Travis Barrington

Travis BarringtonTravis Barrington is the Founder of propmodo.com, a new media property focused on the commercial real estate technology scene. He is also the Founder of High Rise Facilities, a website and magazine for owners and managers of tall buildings. He routinely participates in real estate events and logs a lot of airline miles from his home base in San Diego.