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Proptech Espresso

Business & Economics Podcasts

Learn everything you need to about Proptech from the real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, and visionaries at the forefront of this evolution. Proptech encompasses the wider digital transformation of real estate as innovators reimagine, reinvent, and rebuild the real estate industry. It considers both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry, and its consumers to our attitudes, movements and transactions involving the built environment. Are you ready? Join the cutting edge of the Proptech movement on Proptech Espresso.


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Learn everything you need to about Proptech from the real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, and visionaries at the forefront of this evolution. Proptech encompasses the wider digital transformation of real estate as innovators reimagine, reinvent, and rebuild the real estate industry. It considers both the technological and mentality change of the real estate industry, and its consumers to our attitudes, movements and transactions involving the built environment. Are you ready? Join the cutting edge of the Proptech movement on Proptech Espresso.





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Irina Constantin - Streamlining Real Estate Developer Sales Processes

Is the right way to think about proptech to frame it in terms of how humans live, work, and function in our communities? What is the proptech scene like in Romania? Why were real estate developers experiencing so many issues in their sales process and turning to tech solutions to solve these? What has led to Romania having such a high property ownership rate? Why are Romanian property valuations continuing to grow year over year? What impact is AI having on the real estate industry? Why was it important for the solution Vaunt was building to maintain the feeling of being proud that goes along with buying a property and in no way take away from it? Why have real estate agents historically not been a profession in Romania? What has the introduction of private creditors done to open up access to foreign buyers across Europe? How has word of mouth been instrumental in Vaunt's growth? What has allowed Vaunt to build a valuation index so buyers can appraise their properties on an ongoing basis? Why are foreign buyers purchasing investment homes across Europe? How is Vaunt planning to tap the US market? Irina Constantin - Co-founder & CEO of Vaunt joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how internships were instrumental in exploring potential career paths and ultimately giving her the conviction to seek out an entrepreneurial opportunity where she knew she would not be bored.


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Paul Kromidas - Making Vacation Home Ownership Make Sense

Why has proptech evolved from initially innovating and disrupting the four walls of a physical asset to now primarily encompassing secondary industries such as financing and servicing which are asset light? Does ESG fall under the big umbrella of proptech? What are the benefits of having job experience in an industry and getting the exposure necessary to be able to speak the language of an industry? How was the New York startup scene changed since the early 2010s? What are some of the most important skills learned working in management consulting? Why is culture and cultural fit so important in successful M&A transactions? Is Airbnb a proptech company? What are the challenges of choosing a vacational rental property that will be profitable? Why are most vacational rental properties not a passive investment? How has Summer expanded its product offering to vacational home buyers since its initial launch? Why do vacational rental property owners need better data? Paul Kromidas - Founder & CEO of Summer joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss why its important for proptech companies to develop relationships with the city officials that the company will be operating in.


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Chet Kittleson - Simplifying Cross-Border Buying

Why are many of the most successful real estate agents true entrepreneurs at heart? How is Redfin able to focus on solving the core issues of the real estate agent and in turn solve problems for the homebuying consumer? What has been the driver of more and more homebuyers looking to purchase real estate properties outside the US? Why is purchasing real estate internationally such a black box? What are the primary differences between purchasing a home in the US and purchasing a home in Mexico? Why is working with a real estate agent in Mexico as important for home purchases as it is in the US? Why aren't cross border mortgage products more readily available to international homebuyers? How do marketplace business models make or break growth dynamics for early stage tech businesses? Why are the best real estate agents so relationship focused? What telephony challenges for international real estate transactions has Far Homes needed to build technology to help solve? Why has technology for the real estate agents in Mexico not achieved the adoption levels of their US counterparts? How do you solve for listing aggregation when there is no MS equivalent in international markets? What are the profile types of US buyers purchasing internationally? Are there opportunities to create deeper technological innovation within cross-border home buying? Chet Kittleson - co-founder and CEO of Far Homes, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how watching the personal struggles and triumphs of his real estate agent mother created a love of home ownership and a deep entrepreneurial drive from these deeply impactful childhood experiences.


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Brandon Peterson - Unlocking the Built World

Why does coming to terms with the fact that you won't lose everything by becoming an entrepreneur help founders cross a mental threshold for diving into a new venture? How did the term 'burn it to the ground' directly apply to the entrepreneurial ventures of Brandon's family? Why is galvanizing a team and building a great culture central to entrepreneurial success? What was the importance of Geokey being hardware agnostic? Why is it important to use data to make better decisions and to then pivot based on these insights? What are the benefits of having a solid grasp of all functional groups and how they holistically impact an organization? Why is understanding the impact on NOI critical to companies looking to enter the multifamily space? What is the difference between a B2B company and a B2B2C company in the multifamily space? How many times on average does a person in a multifamily unit access their unit daily? What are the benefits of hardware implementations in multifamily? What does it mean to do deep integrations in the mobile access space for multifamily? Are there challenges to retrofitting an existing building for mobile access? What are the critical differences between multifamily and student housing industries that proptech companies need to fully understand? Brandon Peterson - co-founder and CEO of Geokey, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how being part of a serial entrepreneur family that has started more than 50 businesses across multiple industries, sees that success many times boils down to having a good idea that solves a problem and surrounding this idea with a team of great people who want be part of the journey.


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Kathleen Egan - Simplifying Sustainability in the Built World

Why is it important to include supply chain in the proptech tent? How do asset lifecycles contribute to the complexity of the real estate industry? In what ways did a class in entrepreneurial marketing at Harvard Business School cause a reset of notions around who can be an entrepreneur? How did a personal experience with a shipping oil spill in her backyard cause Kathleen to rethink how commerce and the environment need to interact? Why does the built environment provide such a large opportunity to impact sustainability? What are the different impact buckets that fall under the sustainability umbrella? Why was a product catalog of building materials and sustainability data forming a single source of truth desperately needed across multiple stakeholders in the built environment? Who are the constituents of Ecomedes' three-sided marketplace? How has the federal government taken the early lead in driving standardization and reporting of real estate sustainability? What circumstances led to there being over 100 different sources certifying and testing building materials? Why is building an API an important strategic initiative to broaden the distribution of impact awareness data? How will generative AI help a broader group of people engage with Econmedes' sustainability data? Kathleen Egan- co-founder and CEO of Ecomedes, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a missed opportunity to be a Disney Imagineer led to a career in consulting that enabled her to cultivate her broad interests as an intellectual dilettante.


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Eric Law - Reclaiming Construction Wood Waste With Robots

What macro factors motivated Eric's initial decision to enter the construction field right out of college? Why is it so difficult to drive change within the construction industry? Is technology adoption within the commercial construction sector finally starting to the hit the adoption hockey stick? What are the cost advantages of using technology in pre-construction to minimize in the field problem issues? Where is the bulk of cost in construction projects? Why are back-office construction technology solutions easier to develop than in the field solutions? What are the two technology levers driving in the field construction innovation? Why are construction field crews so supportive of robotics innovation? What are the primary categories of construction robotics currently being used in the field today? Why is deconstruction better environmentally and economically as compared to demolition? What is meant by the term urban mining? Why are field tests so important for construction robotics? How do lumber mills participate in the partner ecosystem for reclaimed lumber? Why would a lumber rental model make sense for the construction industry? Can contaminated wood be reclaimed? Are there reclaiming opportunities for Urban Machine robots outside of the construction industry? Eric Law- co-founder and CEO of Urban Machine, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss why reclaimed lumber hitting price parity with virgin lumber is such an important milestone for the construction circular economy.


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Brent Wadas - Revolutionizing Construction with Robotics

How are many investors today differentiating proptech and construction tech? Is entrepreneurship genetic or learned? Why are the siloed dynamics typically involved in construction processes? What are the realities and challenges that residential homebuilding laborers face on the job site today? Why do we need a supply side solution to the housing crisis? How is BotBuilt's robotic system optimizing for cost efficiency? Why is velocity important in building momentum for a new startup brand and how did participating in YC help this? What factored into BotBuilt's decision to bridge the gap between what is happening today in home construction and then pursue what is possible in the future using robotic manufacturing? How does the type of lumber (driven by cost) factor into the panelized framing products being produced today? Why did BotBuilt choose to target custom home builders to begin with? How quickly can framers complete a home with BotBuilt's penalized system? Why is understanding construction culture so important for technology startups within this space? How has robotics become more normalized in construction over the last few years? Brent Wadas - co-founder and CEO of BotBuilt, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss why he joined the military later in life, the leadership skills he developed while serving in special operations, and how he has translated this experience into the lofting goals he is pursuing with his team at BotBuilt.


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Robin Rivaton - Delivering Real Estate Property Data At Scale

How are smart cities and proptech-related terms? Which other investing domains typically fall under smart cities? What are all the different real estate asset classes that airports manage as part of their operations? How do the sizes of typical multifamily properties differ in North America compared to Europe? Does vertical transportation differ in European vs North American multifamily properties? How has the rise in interest rates provided a shock to startup tech entrepreneurs and reminded them of the need to be profitable? Where has all the real estate data on properties historically been locked up? How can asset owners unpack the real estate information in PDF documents and digitize them at scale? What are the benefits for tech startups to have a service offering while perfecting their SaaS application? Does a service offering increase the stickiness of a SaaS solution? How can implementing a Chat-GPT solution remove the gatekeeper problem? Are the US real estate markets much more transparent then their European counterparts? Why have real estate investment managers only made the beta of the market and not created any alpha? How has office evolved into a lazy real estate asset class and will it need to change going forward given the impact of work from home on corporation's office footprints? Will new technologies like Apple Vision Pro and smart glasses disrupt different real estate asset classes? Robin Rivaton - CEO of Stonal joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how European Union and country policy mandates are impacting the real estate industry and driving change for the better.


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Aleks Gampel - Empowering Others to Build a Better Physical World

What was it like to work at WeWork during its hypergrowth phase? Which businesses outside of the WeWork mothership were Aleks involved with? What did Aleks learn about the right cost of capital for different business models while at WeWork? Why are boutique hotels generally not profitable? What serendipitous introduction led to the Cuby Technologies co-founders meeting? How do the start-up costs for an industrialized construction company differ from that of most other proptech companies? Why has construction efficiency been decreasing over the last couple of decades? How are construction companies planning to overcome a continued reduction in skilled labor in order to meet the chronic housing shortage? What are some of the scaling challenges for volumetric construction and how does this differ from the scaling challenges of 3D printing? Why is the manufacturing world moving towards a distributed network of localized manufacturing vs giga-factories? What was Ryan Homes doing in the 1950's that is similar in nature to what Cuby Technologies has innovated on? How are Tesla and Cuby Technologies similar? What are some of the benefits of using steel in the residential homebuilding process? Why does Cuby Technologies fall under the deep tech umbrella? Aleks Gampel - co-founder & CEO of Cuby Technologies, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a childhood fascination with big city building architecture led to a career in real estate development and proptech.


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Sean Roberts - Redesigning Homebuilding To Solve Today's Challenges

How do investors in businesses fundamentally differ from operators of businesses? What is intellectually compelling about building and running a business that has not been done before? Are there unique challenges for high-growth proptech businesses? Why do proptechs need to fundamentally understand how humans value where they live? What are the ripple effects within society of having a massive lack of housing supply? Why are smaller entry homes not being built by production homebuilders? What are the reasons there are no scale builders for infill housing today? Why is prefab construction well suited for infill housing? What is driving the ADU revolution? Define missing middle housing and what policies are local jurisdictions passing to stimulate the creation of this needed housing stock? What are the different pathways to homeownership that adding ADUs creates? Does Villa create a competitive advantage by owning the permitting process? Why do investor/operator groups represent a big opportunity for Villa? What changes at the GSEs are stimulating demand for asset capital investment? Which principles of e-commerce has Villa applied to homebuilding? Sean Roberts - CEO of Villa, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how consumer psychology is underappreciated as a driver of consumer behavior and sentiment for how individual consumers look at real estate.


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Troy Harvey - The Toolkit for Building Autonomy

Are we in the early days of proptech or have we moved into a period of real estate technology maturity? Why has it taken so long for deeper technology solutions to be introduced into proptech? What are the parallels between automobile manufacturing advancements and building automation advancements? Why have mentorships become a cultural tenant at PassiveLogic? When designing solutions, why is it important to allow yourself to be a novice again and design the right solution for the problem at hand? How have buildings become the most complex robotics systems by orders of magnitude? What is a fully autonomous building platform? Why are real estate owners and operators now starting to invest in digital transformation strategies? How do building automation and autonomous buildings differ? How is the growing issue of lack of skilled labor impacting building operations & maintenance? Where and what type of AI is finding success in the built environment architectural world? Troy Harvey - Co-founder & CEO of PassiveLogic, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and share how an engineering job in high school at an electronics engineering consultancy led to an unorthodox college timeline but a clear focus on what problems he was passionate about working on.


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Dominic Collins - Taking Control of Digital Asset Rights

Does it make sense to be thinking about proptech as the technology that real estate companies should be building but can't? How is the digital transformation of media companies relevant to real estate owners and operators? Have we already entered a transition point where we are moving from the flat two-dimensional web (screen) to the spatial web (location)? Is the real world becoming the canvas for the digital world, and if so, isn't real estate a huge player in this transformation and the lynchpin to ultimately make this scale? What is unique about outdoor advertising that makes it the one area of traditional advertising that is still growing? How are digital asset rights positively impacting property valuations? Are the tokenization and fractionalization of real-world assets impacting property valuations? Is there a marketplace today for the trading of fractional shares of digital asset rights? Dominic Collins - CEO & co-founder of Darabase, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how an early role at a prominent magazine company allowed him to identify opportunities to exploit the disruption of print media and set the stage for a career helping companies successfully navigate digital transformations within their industries.


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Niles Lichtenstein - Leading the Co-Buying Revolution

Do investors or customers drive the naming of tech sectors? Will co-buying be rebranded as mommunes or boommates as shared housing continues to explode? Why leave the Bay Area to experience winters and explore self growth? Which traditional routes of homeownership are now showing up as alternative modern options? What does the phrase act with urgency and maintain patience mean and how does it apply to start-ups? How can homeownership be hacked? Why might people buy their second home first? What is Gen Z learning from watching Millenials struggle to achieve homeownership? How do you define the drunken walk of the entrepreneur? What are the different strategic ecosystem partnerships of the Nestment platform? What are the five points of friction in co-buying? Why have agents historically shied away from assisting or suggesting co-buying transactions? What makes agents important in the co-buying process? Why is participating in the home finding so important to first-time homebuyers? Niles Lichtenstein - co-founder and CEO of Nestment, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and shares how experiencing a parent passing at an early age influenced his perspective of homeownership and the financial options afforded to homeowners.


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Arunabh Dastidar - Turning Data into Cashflows

Is the correct definition of proptech the application of all things technology to real estate in order to achieve improved business results in the 21st century? What are the benefits of working on large built world infrastructure projects on multiple continents? Why did Arunabh switch from working for multinational firms to starting his own company? What are the supply chain challenges of hyper-local residential renovation? Why switch from real estate development into real estate investment? How is Western policy regarding real estate different from that of developing countries? Why do multifamily investors need a decision support system for their portfolios? Why is real estate analysis still so reliant on Excel? What are the challenges of data ingestion and integration in the real estate industry? How is AI being implemented within real estate data insights? Why is it important to move from pure data visualization to data insights for real estate data analysis? Arunabh Dastidar - Co-Founder and CEO at RealSage joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss the decisions that led him to set aside a likely career in computer science to forge a new path to study civil engineering and physical real estate.


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Masha Sharma - Anticipating Real Estate's Technological Challenges

Why did the pace of social impact work cause a career pivot to technology and data analysis? What makes culture so important in company building? What were some of the technical hurdles that needed to be solved in order to stream audio from satellites? Did the lack of challenges while working at the DoD set the stage for a professional move into entrepreneurship? How did a lack of female technology mentors also contribute to Masha's desire to start her own company? What was the opportunity in commercial real estate finance that Masha observed that screamed out for a technology solution? What happened to the commercial lending startup that Masha co-founded during the COVID pandemic? How did participating in Toptal Network during a career break lead to the opportunity to work with AvenueOne? What is the attraction of optimizing the operations of a hard asset that drew Masha into working extensively with AvenueOne? Masha Sharma - Head of Product Engineering at AvenueOne, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how experiencing the immersive audio environment at XM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM) headquarters caused her to turn down a more lucrative job offer to work in an office and culture which she absolutely loved coming to every day.


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Nolan Browne - Seizing The Building Revolution

What is the definition of industrialized construction and how does this fit within proptech? Which benefits to construction should be realized with the adoption and ongoing innovation of industrialized processes? How does American foreign policy on energy relate to housing? How did a student group at MIT help shift leadership from traditional energy to sustainable energy? What is building science and how does it relate to energy? Who famously said "building energy efficiency isn't the low hanging fruit, but the fruit that has fallen on the ground and rotted"? Why has building energy efficiency historically been so catastrophically bad that it is nothing short of a tragedy? Where are energy efficient buildings best built? How does the reindustrialization of the US economy intersect with the future of housing? What are the 2 major things causing headwinds against the industrialization of construction in the US? Why does housing and real estate need to be a product vs being a project? What is causing trade unions to start to shift their resistance towards industrialized construction? Why are the margins of general contractors in real estate so small relative to other industries? Why have industrialized construction companies over the last 100 years typically failed to survive for more than a few years? How is ADL Ventures working to partner large industry leading companies with smaller companies to drive innovation in and around cleantech? What is an industrialized construction epicenter and why will this be a game changer in creating success in industrialized construction? Nolan Browne - founding partner of ADL Ventures, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and share a fascinating story about the Hershey family and their largely unknown success in industrialized construction.


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Armelle Coutant & Candice Delamarre - Switching Up Building Reuse

What challenges does the range of real estate asset classes present to technology innovators? Does an interdisciplinary approach to the challenges faced by the built world provide a beneficial approach? How did the concepts of ecosystem revival intersect with real estate during graduate studies at Stanford? Why has curiosity to improve the impact humans have had on the planet been a driving force for pursuing a career in the built environment? How did a diversity of educational backgrounds and expertise form the foundation of problem resolution at Kit Switch? What are the challenges of keeping people in mind when solving for built world issues? What is the Ivory Innovation Hack-A-House Competition and what did participating in this lead to? How did having a sponge mindset at Stanford help create opportunities? What does "Lighting up your soul" mean and how did it help set the business course for Kit Switch? How has bespoke construction led to many of the challenges around real estate adaptive reuse? What is the premise behind productized interiors for real estate? Why is room flexibility important for newly constructed real estate? Having been recently selected to participate in the Terner Center's Housing Lab, what does Kit Switch hope to achieve during this program? What opportunities exist for cities to reimagine their urban planning efforts and take advantage of more intentional urban mixed-use real estate? Candice Delamarre and Armelle Coutant - co-founders of Kit Switch, join Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss the challenges and the benefits of starting a physical construction product company during the onset of the COVID pandemic.


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Harri Majala - The Journey of Digitally Evolving a Family Homebuilding Business

Where do proptech and construction tech intersect and where do they diverge? What was life like growing up in a family homebuilder business in Finland? What entrepreneurial ventures did Harri get involved with as a kid to enable him to buy Christmas presents for his family? Did Harri's initial foray into software coding lead to a lucrative early professional career? What pulled an independent entrepreneur back into the family homebuilding business? How do you build credibility with the workforce of a family business when you haven't spent your entire career there? Why are the processes within homebuilding so siloed and manual? What did Harri see in BIM that led him to believe this would be transformational for the homebuilding sector? Why did Harri acquire the code of a CAD solution company? What were the early results of Harri's homebuilding company eating the dog food of the software code they had purchased? Why did GBuilder introduce environmental impact reporting in its solution? What are the benefits of a digital twin for homebuyers when purchasing from a builder that has digitized the end-to-end building process? Harri Majala - CEO & founder of GBuilder, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how a special bond with his uncle led him to chase a dream of earning an economics degree from the Helsinki School of Economics.


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Adi Pavlović - Creating a Real Estate Ecosystem Where Everyone Wins

Are WeWork and Airbnb proptech companies? How did attending SXSW influence and create a desire to participate in the startup technology sector? What large data problem was facing and how was this similar to data problems the MLS is resolving? How do you get a product management job without even knowing what product management is? Why do great technology companies fail if they cannot create a monetization strategy? How do unsuccessful startup experiences create a fire to do the startup cycle again but the next time around to do it right? Why is it that so many startup technology companies repeat the common mistake of not doing enough market research? What skill sets do you develop when going deep on market research to understand and become an expert on global industries? How did market research on smart homes lead to a job opportunity at Keller Williams? Why was Keller Williams so interested in bringing in experts from outside of real estate? What are some of the common misconceptions about real estate agents and their use of technology? Why are there so many agent personas in residential real estate? What about today's environment makes it ideal for innovation within real estate? Why has there been a shift in younger generations going to talk to lenders before they talk to real estate agents? What opportunities exist to expand partnerships with credit unions that at their core focus on member benefits? Adi Pavlović - CEO of Newzip, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and share a story about his early days at Keller Williams investigating the technology investments happening within real estate and how his conversation with the leading market research firm at the time helped to shape what was and what was not included in the early definitions of proptech.


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Ben Bacal - The AI Real Estate Matchmaker

Does proptech have a fixed definition or is it in a constant state of evolution? What makes Los Angeles a particularly challenging real estate market to have success in? How did a customer focused approach of relentlessly seeking opportunities for clients create success despite a limited track record in the luxury home market? Why is building relationships the cornerstone of success, whether as a real estate agent or as a tech entrepreneur? How do the sales cycles of luxury real estate differ from the typical house transaction and how does this mirror an enterprise sales process? What is the tech stack for a highly successful luxury real estate agent? Why don't brokerages focus more tech development and spending on lead generation? Has the proliferation of technology become overwhelming for the average real estate agent? What was missing in the CRM world for real estate agents that Rila helps solve? Which business scaling issue does Rila help solve for real estate agents? Ben Bacal - CEO & founder of Rila and Revel Real Estate, joins Proptech Espresso to answer these questions and discuss how respectfully ignoring the advice of his successful real estate agent mother led him to conquer the LA luxury real estate market and sell some of the most expensive homes ever sold in the US.