There’s better data on “the best kind of running sock to buy”: Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace on the iBuying imperative and why building sustainability is here to stay

In Part 2 of TRD interview, real estate venture capitalist talks betting on green buildings and standardizing homebuying

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 08, 2020 02:20 PM

There are red states, and there are blue states. But cities, according to the head of the largest real estate-focused venture capital fund, are going green no matter what.

In the second part of an extended conversation with The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani, Fifth Wall Ventures’ Brendan Wallace laid out his central premise for the Carbon Impact Fund, Fifth Wall’s new building sustainability fund — launched in January with a target raise of $200 million — that will help landlords reduce carbon emissions.

(Watch Pt. 1: Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace on the need for a retail bailout)

“The similarities between a public-health crisis and the climate crisis are uncanny,” he said. When Samtani pointed out that many real-estate CEOs do not believe in climate change, Wallace said they’d be compelled to play ball given the left-leaning dynamics in most of the major cities they operate in.

“You can’t move a building,” he said. “So it doesn’t matter what your political beliefs are. If you’re going to get taxed and fined for not meeting carbon-neutrality standards, that’s now an economic incentive.”

Fifth Wall is a key investor in Opendoor, the first startup to take on instant homebuying. Opendoor — like many other players in the iBuying space including Zillow and Realogy — was forced to suspend activity at the height of the pandemic, and just resumed operations this week. It has been hit by mass layoffs but Wallace remains optimistic about its prospects, given the size of the problem it’s trying to tackle. He said the pandemic had made customers more open to digitizing all aspects of the homebuying experience, from tours to appraisals to title insurance, and an institutionalized central player like an iBuying company could stand to benefit.

Finally, the discussion turned to the need — accelerated by the pandemic — for landlords to take greater ownership over a tenant’s well-being. There’s a growing realization, Wallace said, that landlords have “a social and health imperative to protect them, which is very much like being a micro-mayor — you have jurisdiction over your assets.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?

What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?

What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
The Observation Deck at Hudson Yards (Credit: Adam Pogoff)

Views from 1,100 feet: A tour of Related’s “the edge,” the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere

Views from 1,100 feet: A tour of Related’s “the edge,” the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere
The Real Deal's E.B. Solomont and Brown Harris Stevens' CEO Bess Freedman

The Interview: Bess Freedman on how resi firms will look post-Covid

The Interview: Bess Freedman on how resi firms will look post-Covid
Director of Research & Analytics for CBRE Tri-State Nicole LaRusso, Vice Chairman & Director at Savills David Goldstein, and President of Newmark Knight Frank's Tri-State region David Falk

“For years we all laughed at them”: office brokers warm to virtual tours

“For years we all laughed at them”: office brokers warm to virtual tours
Suri Kasirer, Jonathan Bing and Michele de Milly

Top NYC lobbyists riff on pandemic politics

Top NYC lobbyists riff on pandemic politics
Office landlords: Don’t eat before watching this

Office landlords: Don’t eat before watching this

Office landlords: Don’t eat before watching this
Cohen Brothers Realty president and CEO Charles Cohen and Cushman & Wakefield Chairman of Global Brokerage Bruce Mosler

The Intrepid, Quad Cinema and real estate: Bruce Mosler and Charles Cohen discuss Covid-19’s impact on their businesses and their passions

The Intrepid, Quad Cinema and real estate: Bruce Mosler and Charles Cohen discuss Covid-19’s impact on their businesses and their passions
WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani (Credit: CNBC via YouTube)

WATCH: Sandeep Mathrani says WeWork paid 80% of its rent

WATCH: Sandeep Mathrani says WeWork paid 80% of its rent
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...