The Origin of Nukondo
We are turning a challenging niche of the real estate industry into an efficient global new condominium marketplace.
How did everything start? Well, the truth is that Nukondo was born after a venture capital class, at Harvard Business School. Unlike the majority of the startups in America born either in a Silicon Valley incubator or in a garage, its founder Jorge Brugo came to the realization about the power of technology to drive change, and it’s ability to scale. Once back in Miami on a sunny morning Jorge shared his idea over breakfast, with Juliana Romero his co-founder and spouse. Together they came up with a concept for an app to revolutionize the way that new condominium buildings in top gateway cities, are marketed and sold.
“Technology is supposed to fix a real world problem, but in order to do that, you better know what you are fixing.” Jorge says. Where else a real estate professional was supposed to start? As a condo developer Mr. Brugo was exposed to all the ins and outs of this specific niche of the industry, throughout a 25+ year career. He knew that the biggest risk for a project is to achieve the pre-sales needed to qualify for construction financing. This pre-sales process includes long periods typically over a year, as well as hefty marketing and sales costs in excess of 15% of revenues. These expenses include media campaigns, online advertising, business class travel, multimillion dollar sales centers, sales commissions, presence in trade shows and much more.
“The projects we see being delivered today, started at least 5 years ago. They went from the underwriting, to the land acquisition, to the drawing boards, to the approval process, to its’ sales and marketing, to arranging the financing, and ultimately to getting built.” says Jorge. “Without the pre-sales most of these milestones will never happen.” he adds.
So how can people benefit from Nukondo? Well for starters, you can’t find reliable information about buildings yet to be built in most real estate appls which mainly focus on the resale markets. Why? Simply because the buildings do not exist. These companies pull the information from the public records and the MLS, but there is no way to get information on a pre-construction project, because all that the public records show is land. “If you want to live in a beautiful condo, on a landmark building with a stunning view, in an international city, that no one else has used before, you have to get ready to start a long and painful journey.” says Juliana Romero VP of sales.
Buyers and their agents spend days kicking the tires hopping sales centers only to get abundant, but confusing information from the projects. This makes it really hard to decide. In the best case buyers end up making gut decisions, in the worst scenario they get analysis paralysis, walk away and everyone looses.
With over 12 years of experience as an in-house sales associate, working for several of the major Miami master brokerage firms, Juliana and her teams had to struggle to make those pre-sales happen. Enduring long days of multiple presentations, working after hours to follow up with buyers and their agents, and investing plenty of travel time to showcase the projects to real estate trade shows overseas.
The founders felt that the traditional way of selling and marketing pre-construction projects was not effective anymore. All those trips were expensive and time consuming, all those hours of floor time in the sales galleries had quite low conversion rates, all those follow up emails that took hours to draft had low response rates, and the message that the projects wanted to convey got completely lost among those of the competitors. They wanted to change it all by providing standardized and unbiased information in one place.
The idea behind it is simple: to provide a transparent marketplace to access updated and accurate information about any new condominium building, and to enable users to research, filter, compare and decide the most suitable unit.
Through a platform that would enable real estate developers to onboard their projects, master brokers to manage their inventories, and expose them in a mobile app where buyers and their agents could go find new condos in the coolest projects anywhere in the world.