Ex-Property Shark CEO launches new web venture

By Jen Benepe | April 18, 2008 02:30PM

Ryan Slack has left his job as CEO of PropertyShark.com, the Brooklyn-based online property Website, to start a new online venture that will help real estate professionals network, plan events and form networking groups.

The new company, MyDealBook.com, is expected to be launched this month, Slack said.

Slack has big plans for the firm: after officially launching in New York with a May 13 networking party, he plans to expand it in other big U.S. cities and then overseas. Slack said funding will come from his own finances.

Slack said the new venture was formed originally as a
subsidiary of PropertyShark.com, but is now an independent entity.

Slack said MyDealBook.com will be a real estate-specific alternative to the social networking sites like Facebook and professional sites like LinkedIn. (Slack is collaborating with an independent Webmaster, Nima Negahban, who also works for The Real Deal; the magazine was told about the project by Slack.)

“It will allow people to connect, to network, to advertise their services, to discover events and training that would interest them, and to form or join groups,” Slack said.

Slack, who was named one of 2007’s “Forty Under Forty” by Crain’s New York Business magazine for his role at PropertyShark.com, said the site would attract brokers, developers, building owners, and other real estate professionals.

Slack said he expected to draw from the Real Estate Board of New York and its 12,000 members.

Four years ago, as its first CEO, Slack helped PropertyShark.com founder Matthew Haines launch the real estate information and search function, which focuses primarily in the New York market. Haines is now running PropertyShark as chairman, while the CEO is Bill Staniford.

Like LinkedIn, MyDealBook.com will offer free accounts as well as subscription-only services. Advertising and other functions will provide revenue streams.

Slack expects advertisers to include companies that provide services to real estate professionals, such as accountants, lawyers and appraisers.

Consumers and homebuyers will be discouraged from establishing accounts on the site, unless they are serious property investors. The site will enable groups to organize and connect with members, provide information, grow membership bases.

“The new site is for networking among real estate professionals,” and is not intended to sell homes or provide consumer information, Slack said.

Slack said he has been developing the new Website for over a year.


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