The Innovation Conversation is a series of Q&A sessions between the real estate technology industry's top leaders and MetaProp NYC Co-Founder and Managing Director Aaron Block. Topics include thoughts on the future of property and technology, corporate innovation activities, and executive development in the real estate technology space.
Margaret Porres, Founder and President of Newcastle Realty Services
What are your day-to-day responsibilities in your organization?
Being the President, I oversee all aspects of the business.
Describe how you became interested in real estate technology and innovation.
To my mind, it is the logical progression and so it has always been of interest. I think since college I have been exploring technology and the built environments intersection, either through advanced computer modelling software, photovoltaics, wireless technologies or even advancements in operating systems.
How is today’s real estate technology different from when you started your career?
If we could speak in lightyears…but when I started, technology meant an accounting software or lease modelling; now it truly touches all planes.
What is the most important innovation and technology-driven initiative in your organization today?
Important is hard to define, so I’m going to go with the greatest positive impact on our environment as the definition of important, and therefore the answer is: wireless controls and gauges. This applies to an ever increasing arena within our industry and company, from watering systems, to heat systems to lighting. Reducing the use of natural resources is both good stewardship of the environment and good for the bottom line.
What do you do to stay on top of cutting edge trends and developments in real estate technology?
Newcastle prides itself on staying not just with, but ahead of the trends in technological advances in the real estate arena. As such, we routinely send our employees to trade shows, on occasion, we have participated on panels involving green technology, and we explore through trial, and constant innovation and research thereof. We are constantly looking for how to do it better, be it through reduced emission production to energy tracking to app development for management in the field, we’re open to all ideas.
As a mentor, what is the #1 value you bring to a high-growth real estate tech start-up?
I truly enjoy the intersection of real estate and technology and respond well to positive innovation.
Who have been your most important mentors and why?
Mentors are meaningful to me when they have the ability to give their honest feedback. I also find that kindred spirits who are intellectually capable can be great mentors even if they come from very different walks of life.
What is your favorite business book?
I don’t read many, but prefer trade magazines. However, I recently read Profit from the Core.
What is one interesting thing about you that most people don’t already know?
I love Halloween.