Ryan Simonetti divides real estate into four key buckets: design and development, service and operations, sales and marketing, and finance. The key to shaking up all of them at once, he believes, is applying fintech.
“There is a massive opportunity for fintech-oriented solutions to enable a lot of the movement of money and payments across that entire value chain across every asset class,” Simonetti, the founder of flex-space operator Convene and an active proptech angel investor, said in a conversation with The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani. “From acquisitions to finance, to rent payments, all of this stuff is going to be digitized.”
He mentioned startups such as Built, which caters to the construction lending industry, and Otso, which does away with security deposits for commercial office leases.
Simonetti also discussed the commercial real estate “turf wars” playing out between service providers such as Cushman & Wakefield and JLL, large landlords such as SL Green Realty and Brookfield, integrated facilities and hospitality services companies such as Aramark and ISS, and startups such as Convene and Industrious.
Watch more from The Real Estate Interview:
- Digital Bridge’s Marc Ganzi on IoT in real estate
- Understanding the new real estate capital stack with Square Mile Capital’s Craig Solomon
- VTS’ Nick Romito on the power of knowing your office tenant
“The reality is that what all of us do is converging,” he said. Some people are building out their own service businesses, others are tapping their balance sheets to do M&A, and others are partnering with startups.
Watch highlights from the conversation above, or check out the extended interview in Q&A format here.