The Real Deal New York

WATCH: PropertyShark’s Matthew Haines on data competition, why the firm’s offices are located in Romania and more

By Nathan Bickell | August 08, 2018 03:00PM

The online database PropertyShark, founded in 2002, has long been a go-to source for New York City real estate investors looking for information about properties.

The company’s founder Matthew Haines sat down with The Real Deal‘s Konrad Putzier to talk about its early days, the firm’s sale to Yardi, new competition from data companies like Reonomy and his decision to move to Romania.

“The good programmers wanted to work for Goldman Sachs so I started working with people over the internet from around the world,” Haines recalled. “I had a lot of good experiences with one particular programmer — his name was Alexandru — and one day I asked him, ‘Where are you from?’ and he said, ‘Romania.'”

Less than three months later, Haines opened an office in the Romanian city of Cluj with a total of eight programmers.

Today, the firm employs 150 workers in Cluj, though Haines does plan to move himself back to New York. The PropertyShark vice president also sees a future that includes a heavier investment in data analysis.

“Up until now PropertyShark has been the website you go to when you want a dump of all available public record information. It’s like drinking from the firehose,” he said. “But PropertyShark hasn’t analyzed the data for you. We are changing that.”

To see the full interview, check out the video above.

Video produced by Jhila Farzaneh