After pitching a property management idea to a venture capitalist a couple of weeks ago, my teammates and I realized that it would be difficult to penetrate the proptech industry. Furthermore, talking to landlords — the primary target market we were after — revealed that most small scale property owners could not afford such a service. Our tool could be helpful but would not drastically improve their bottom lines. To build a viable business, we had to find a more significant problem.

Property management is a hassle for large property owners. Still, proptech giants like Yardi and Real Page dominate that sector and will fight fiercely to keep things the way they are. A small team of two engineers and one MBA has close to zero chance of stealing that business from them. Therefore, the Tankwa Town team is back to the drawing board. We have decided to reach out to CRE professionals to get more insights into their workflows.

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Since our initial pitch, we have spoken with several market participants and learned a great deal about this industry. The general theme is centered around data. It is not always there, and when it is, it is dispersed and nonstandardized. Every CRE player needs clean data that is up to date to make investment decisions.

People we interviewed so far have expressed a strong desire for more data and tools to normalize their information. We will explore using NLP for data normalization, and crowdsourcing additional data points from civil engineers, architects, government offices, and brokers. So, please reach if you know anyone who can help us solve this problem.

Product Management | Financial Technology & Data Analysis | Cornell University & Simon’s Rock Alum | Brooklyn, NY

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