We’re an interesting hybrid at Kiddar Capital in that we invest directly in both tech startups and traditional real estate. As a result, a lot of startups come to us for advice on how to sell their technology and catch the eye of highly inaccessible RE decision-makers.

Frankly, it’s hard to do. A lot of your success will depend upon your value proposition and the segment of the real estate market you plan to target. Real estate is a massive market with a tremendous amount of opportunity for your startup to be successful — IF you take the time to understand what matters to them.

THE LANDSCAPE: Real estate is poorly penetrated by technology, despite the fact that it comprises over $217 trillion of asset value. If you were to stack $217 trillion in $1 bills, it would go from the earth to the moon and back over 30 times!

My analyst, David, standing next to $14.5 trillion in $100 bills.

Additionally, this market overlaps with other large urban industries such as transportation and utilities, and almost all of all of those industries are wildly inefficient. In theory, it should be easy to start businesses that provide real value and gain traction fast.

THE PROBLEM: There is a fundamental disconnect between the language of startups and the priorities of real estate decision-makers. Tech startups live in the future and create for it. They’re defined by rapid growth, new opportunities, and change. Real estate companies are extremely pragmatic. Their stakeholders tend to be risk-averse when it comes to new tech because decisions they make can have decades-long consequences.

THE SOLUTION: Embrace your market! Understanding what this market cares about will allow you to successfully pitch your technology in a way that will be understood by your audience. If you do this well, you will be miles ahead of your competition.

So, what does the real estate industry care about?

NOI is the spice of the real estate universe. I’ll be breaking down NOI as a series of three articles:

1. UNDERSTANDING NET OPERATING INCOME (NOI)

2. THE TOP LINE

3. THE BOTTOM LINE

UP NEXT: Understanding Net Operating Income (NOI)

Welcome to Real Estate 101.

Questions about real estate technology or smart cities? You can find me on Twitter @CherylFoil.

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