The Innovation Conversation is a series of Q&A sessions between the real estate technology industry's top leaders and MetaProp 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.
WHAT ARE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Finding people. Meeting with, talking with, connecting with people. I am continually seeking out strong teams and team builders. As much as I am interested in seeking out ideas it’s more important to find the people who can and will implement and execute them.
DESCRIBE HOW YOU BECAME INTERESTED IN PROPTECH AND INNOVATION.
At the very start, it came out of frustration as a broker and the incredibly antiquated way of doing business. It was the “there must be a better way” thought process that leads me to start seeking out innovative and forward-thinking solutions. Think of where we are today compared to 10-20 years ago and then think how far we can go from there.
IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS, WHAT AREA OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY DO YOU THINK WILL CHANGE THE MOST DRAMATICALLY?
Construction. The basics of providing shelter and space for the entire world. Think of the resources needed to do that today. What are we wasting now that we can never get back? How can we improve and innovate far beyond anyone’s expectations and do we have a choice?
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN INITIATIVE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION TODAY?
Data acquisition and accumulation of [it]. It is and has always been the basis and market-maker for real estate. The implications of how that data is used touches every aspect of real estate.
WHAT ROLE HAVE MENTORS PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS? HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHERS TO DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH MENTORS?
Without my early mentors I’m not sure my real estate career would have even existed. The value of their honesty, experience and willingness to share not only their knowledge but their time is incalculable. Be willing to take the tough answers and use them to your advantage. Anyone can be friendly and helpful, but are you looking for a friend or someone who will tell it to you straight and be a true mentor. Seek those people out, they want to help you grow. Are you willing to let that happen?
WHAT IS ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T ALREADY KNOW?
I am a devastatingly fantastic putter. Seriously, just stay in the cart, I got this. And if I miss it is a once in a lifetime moment so be sure to acknowledge that fact. I’m also humble about my golf game, which is a character trait I am most proud of.
INNOVATION CONVERSATIONS GALLERY