#TechFoundersTalk #1 - Interview with Olivier Grinda

14 May 2020

To keep our readers informed and inspired, ByteAnt is launching #TechFoundersTalk - a podcast series with successful tech entrepreneurs.

Our first guest is Olivier Grinda, a co-founder of Clickon, Brandsclub, and Shoes4you. Aimed at changing the real estate industry, he founded Home61, a Florida-based real estate tech startup. In our recent interview, Olivier shares his insights on the real estate business and advice for founders.

 

Yuriy Stakh (Y.S.): Hello everyone. This is the first interview in the series of ByteAnt interviews with successful startupers, businessmen and tech gurus. I'm your host Yuriy. And today we have our, the very first guest Olivier Grinda. Who is a passionate tech entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO at Home61. Hi Olivier. 

 

Olivier Grinda (O.G.): Hey, Yuriy, thank you for having me here. Yeah. 

(Y.S.): So the first question, could you tell us a bit more about yourself and about Home61? 

 

(O.G.): Sure. Absolutely. 

 

So I have been a tech entrepreneur for 10 years now. I was very lucky and right out of college, I got an opportunity to join as a co-founder, one of a startup called Brands club. So I co-founded it from the very start, and it was a private sales club where we would sell luxury goods over a special event of 24 to 48 hours.

 

In the United States there is a business called gilt.com that is very similar. And we brought it to Brazil. And I got very lucky because at that time there was a commodity boom in Brazil and they love brands and discounts and the company made like a million dollars in revenue in the first six months.

 

So that was unbelievable. Two years later, I co-founded another company called Clickon, which was like a Groupon business, but again in Brazil, and it made a million dollars in revenue after three months. And I was like, wow, this startup thing is really, really easy or I'm really, really good.

 

But the reality was actually quite different. We had the right model at the right time, and we were extremely lucky. I went on later on to do a JV with Xcel partners, and Red point to open Shoes4you, which was a subscription business for shoes also in Brazil. And at that time, unfortunately that business didn't work. I learned for the very first time that not everything does a million dollars after six months. And it was very interesting because the team was absolutely stellar, founders around me were absolutely stellaris. And yet it didn't work.

 

And so this business closed in. Um, at the same time, I sold my shares in Brands club and Clickon, which ended up being like two of the biggest e-commerce of Brazil. And with this I was looking for a new challenge.

 

I talked to one of my friends who told me like, perhaps I should not have a hundred percent of my wealth in startups because there was a bubble burst, you know, years before. And I was myself either… invest in my own startups or invest in other people's startups, convince me to purchase real estate.

 

And I was like, okay, why not? This is going to be pretty exciting. I'm going to have something real to touch and see. It's like a physical good. It's going to be very exciting. And Oh my God, it was hell. It was pure hell. A broker had no idea what the numbers were like. He kept on asking me what I wanted and I was like, I want a good investment in something that has a good rentability and et cetera.

 

And he couldn't give me any information. So I ended up doing the research and found something that was pretty good, so we made an offer. So, it's going to be pretty cool on top of that. He is a broker who was the only person I could talk to apparently. 

 

Um, could not, like explain to me the contract. Like he knew three things about the contract word side and whether it was the price, basically. Uh, alright. That's kind of weird. And then I was like, okay, we got the price we wanted. What else can go wrong? Like it took 45 days to 60 days to close.

 

There was endless paperwork that kept on wanting some bullshit. And finally I go to the apartment, I didn't even like it anymore. And the worst part is that I still own this apartment actually, and it's a great investment, except that it was such a hell.

 

So I was like, okay, wait, that doesn't make sense. If this is for me... I have experience with contracts, I'm, you know, I know a little bit how things work. How is it for people who've never seen a contract in their life? Who, you know, just work nine to five and never really had to deal with any of this?

 

How does it manage? And then I uncovered a very ugly truth that most of the people get a horrible, horrible service. Owns their number one asset, which is real estate, people put their life on the line, they get indebted significantly in order to purchase a home. Reality is that they have no help.

 

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some amazing real estate agents out there. They are highly educated, providing an amazing service, but they are limited in the amount of deals they can do. So they of course, go towards a higher average ticket. So what ended up happening, which happens all the time, is that the people who need the least help get the best to help as the people who need the most get the least help.

 

And I was like: Hey, that doesn't make sense! On top of that, the process to find a home is pretty, pretty simple. It's like, okay, discovery data is available. The actions are very repetitive. We can definitely do something better. So we ended up creating basically a system that from the very first click all the way to your closing, we accompany you and we make sure that you have the maximum amount of information in the easiest and seamless way so that you're going to be enabled to find the right home for you with all of the right decision done. Furthermore, we also saw that there was a struggle for real estate agents who didn't have enough leads and not enough training and therefore was very capped.

 

In terms of income, most people feel that real estate agents don't earn enough. Most people feel it that they earn too much, but in reality their average income is like, I think it's 18K their first two years, and then the agent average after 6 years in the market, so they survive 6 years, is like 76K. So it's not all the glory that you see on TV, far from it. And the major difficulty for this is that this is a sales job and one of the very few sales jobs where there is no training and it's not recognized as a sales job. People think that real estate is very special and there is a low barrier of entry, but it's not true. It's very, very hard to be a successful real estate agent. 

 

Um, and that's how Home61 was born. 

 

(Y.S.): That's a really, really great story to hear from you. And just a quick question about Brazil, why Brazil? How, how did you come up there? 

 

(O.G.): Oh, I really want to tell you that I did this beautiful market analysis, and it was like clearly the place of the future.

 

But in reality, I had met this investor who had already done this business model in Germany. He wanted to launch it in other countries. And initially he wanted to launch it into the US and that's why I was joining. But Guilt had a launch with massive amount of money, and he's like, well, fuck it.

 

We'll do it again. We'll do it in a developing world, but more like up and coming, if you will. And he launched in Brazil, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and India. And he was like: okay, do you want to do Brazil? And I was like: absolutely. I am 22 and I have nothing better to do. So, absolutely. And I actually took my diploma on the 18th of December and I left on the 26th of December to go open the company. To be clear, I wasn't alone. I had plenty of co-founders. They didn't leave the keys to the 22 year old, but I was definitely one of the few that was helping build the house.

 

(Y.S.): Yeah, that's a great adventure. Ok and the next question. In January, your firm closed its doors to reopen with the new business model on a 100%t commission brokerage platform. How does your business operate now in times of Coronavirus crisis? 

 

(O.G.): As I was very lucky with the timing with Brands club and Clickon, I was perhaps a little bit unlucky with Home 61. In sense, my original business model, which was creating leads and having real estate agents manage those leads with guidance and help and most of all, a lot of technology, would probably have worked very well in a downturn, which is what I expect. By the way. Right now we're in a Coronavirus quarantine period. But very soon, we're very likely to be having a massive recession. Just simply because SMBs have about 26 days of cash.

 

We've been closed up for a month and a half now. And on top of that unemployment is going to skyrocket. People will not have as much disposable income. I mean, it's just going to be a recession. 

 

The hundred percent brokerage was a response to basically.... once a market was going really, really well our business model was not scaling.

 

Our business model was not scaling when we're generating leads and helping our agents close them. Because we didn't have enough agents. A lot of them were being drawn out to a hundred percent brokerages. The market was super liquid, so even those, they might make less money overall… if they were picking a hundred percent brokerage it would be difficult for them to say, okay, why am I going to do 78% with Рome 61. I mean, if I get leads, I get 70% of my leads and 50-50 on their leads, why don't I just go do 100%, I'll work less and make more money. And that never really ended up being true, but it was very competitive to hire agents, so we never really been able to scale properly.

 

So it's like, okay, well screw it. It's not working. We're gonna go a hundred percent brokerage, and then we're going to offer our tools that we offer to our agents. That works pretty well. So might as well do this. So we changed the business model and immediately Coronavirus hit.

 

Now the problem is that this business model requires you to hire agents on a very big scale because you make money through a subscription. However, if all real estate agents have very low... Um, if the market is illiquid, entry is very low transaction, the real estate agents are actually much more happy to get leads and much more happy to give away part of their commission than go to a hundred percent.

 

So fuck, um, well in this crisis well we can’t hire agents. Uh, but we're still getting quite a lot of leads, so we're going to try to change. Tthis actually going to be our first announcement of this. We're going to try to change, to let our clients buy directly online.

 

Um, we have the leads, we have the tools and we feel that because... Anyway, we can't really visit the houses. So you're going to have to get video shoots and whatever. Listing agents will be happy to introduce us. So, we're going to try them to do a hundred percent online brokerage.

 

(Y.S.): That sounds fascinating. But probably you have to adapt to survive these times. So the next question is actually about real estate startups because they got impacted, with this Corona staff... and what problems do you see in current markets that must be solved?

 

(O.G.): So first and foremost, to answer from the point of view of a startup, is the biggest challenge that you're going to have is that contrary to most businesses, we typically run in the red. We are, you know, we were losing money. Um, and typically we lose money for about 18 months before we raise another round. A rule is you raise a round and you have 18 months of cashflow, that thing.

 

But the problem is we just lost what, a month and a half now, probably three months, maybe six months worth of operation. Doesn't mean that we were not going to be able to show the growth. We're not going to be able to show what comes with it, which means you need to cut. It's not fun. It's like people sometimes think that being an operator or co-founder is really glamour and on top of that, maybe a little evil like capitalism where you fire people. Firing people is not fun. You do it because if you don't, you aren't going to have to fire everybody and close. 

So, I heard one of startup founders say something that was... Harshly true, if you cut too much into your expenses and it's your workforce, you might lose a quarter to get back up. If you don't cut deep enough, you're dead. Like everything has gone. So right now, the first harsh reality is: cut as much expenses as you can. If anything, just shut down your doors for three months. Like don't pay your rent. Do whatever you need to do so that you can just survive this.

 

Most businesses went to zero revenue. I think the moving industry went from something like 220 million in the first two weeks of March last year to, $5,000. Like, holy fuck. Um, so step one from a startup point of view is conserve cash or whatever you need to do to survive. Keep a bare minimum, rehire them afterwards. You know, it sucks, it’s out of your control. Do what you need to do. That's step one. Step two, for real estate in particular…

 

Most people when offered the opportunity to work without a real estate agent, would actually not take it. They will go and will prefer to have somebody hold their hand throughout the entire transaction. But now that you're not actually allowed to see people. And you're not. You should be doing social distancing and so forth.

 

It really puts a stretch on how much you want to see someone, which on the other hand gives a clear opportunity for technology to enable this social distancing and provide a similar experience. I think what we are doing right this second is actually quite telling, we could have done this interview in person, but the reality is that we're doing it over Zoom and it's vastly the same thing.

 

The content is going to be the same one. I'm going to say the same. And on top of that, I think we both ended up saving. Like, I didn't have to go and drive to a meeting. You didn't have to fly in, stay at a hotel or whatever.

 

So overall, we're getting the content without the cost. And I think this is going to be a time when thinking smartly about how can technology adapt to this new world is going to be crucial. Now there is an argument to say like, well, you know the cases and the deaths are flattening out. Why are we doing technology for something that will now finish? In all likelihood because how virality works, once we start going out, it will start picking up. We'll have to be shut in again, and then going to be shut out, shut in, et cetera. What this will have taught is: Hey, when push comes to shove, people will adapt. And so if you have a tool that enables them to adapt seamlessly, they will adopt it.

 

So to make a long story short: A) conserve your cash, do whatever you need to do. B) come with a tool that leans into the social distance things and enables it seamlessly for your clients to do so. And last but not least is look to couple up together.

 

What do I mean by this? Cash is king and if you were… and most likely it's a big winner of this coming recession and of COVID... are going to be companies who has plenty of cash really established. It's very likely that Google and Amazon are actually going to come out stronger. Questions in real estate are different because: Is Compass going to come out?

 

Well, that's very unclear because Compass is by and large operating like a startup and hoping to grow themselves out of the red. And right now, you know, like this is going to be a major step back. How is Opendoor doing? In this period of time is quite unclear. So is Compass is going to come out on top and consolidate afterwards? It’s not clear.

 

However, guys like Keller Williams or guys like Realogy. It will very likely be time for them to start coupling up, cheap technology, cheap companies who are working well. Probably if you were tiny, like Home 61, was, it won't make sense. But if you're a mid size, definitely.

 

So I anticipat, basically a consolidation. And this consolidation only works if you know people. So it's a good time to also go and knock on everybody's door. I want to give one last example cause it goes to my second point. Which is: have a technology that adapts to the market.

 

So there have been several companies who previously had no market, were not working very well. There is one in the UK, they were offering loans. But people had, you know, traditional banks to loan to. So, who cares? Since then, their business has grown like a hundred percent,  months over months because suddenly banks are not keen on lending anymore, and they're the only lenders, and therefore they're able to really disrupt their business. It was nice business, but not great. Now it's amazing. Now it's amazing because they have the right product for the right time. So the effect of changing people's habits is very, very strong. 

 

(Y.S.): Okay. Thanks for the answer. And actually you kind of mentioned this, about the consolidations that are going to come in the post Corona era. So my question is what are some other trends that you expect from real estate and how it affects startups and investments in general? 

 

(O.G.): So consolidation is going to be a one. The other one is a massive deaths from a lot of people. You know, if you're a doubt in Oakdale, if you're not Roofstock, if your business model was kind of shaky and not working as well as it should, et cetera, what I think you have to take it in account from a VC perspective.

 

Because if you are a startup that's losing money and you need to operate two months… you need cash. You're going to have to go to your VCs. Now, your VCs, they probably are, you know, they're always fundraising for the next fund. So very likely they're going to be fine with this fund but very unclear what will be for the next one. So they need to go and spend their money very wisely. If you haven't been growing, and if you haven't been hitting your targets before the Coronavirus it is going to be very, very hard. Furthermore, they probably already have some of their money committed for companies that were in a fundraising right before the Covid and probably they didn't pull out of this.

 

So I think there is going to be cherry picking a lot more than before the deal that they're going to have and in somehow it might make easier for them to start a new company, to back a new companies that has unproven and full of expectation than a company that has proven that they cannot grow massively when things are going well.

 

So a second trend we're going to see is a massive amount of startups death whether it is in real estate or not. It's going to be true, but I think particularly in real estate because quite frankly, there really hasn't been a trailblazer startup who knocked it out in the park.

 

I think the most impressive ones and those in real estate in general have been a Roofstock and Open Doors. But even then, like Open Doors make like 7% per transaction.

So, um, it's not trailblazer, super capital intensive. It's very unclear to me who is going to be the winner overall. Will Open Door are going to do well? They hold the assets and probably are going to be able to give them to the bank.

 

And since they're going to have an amazing business model where they can just simply buy up assets and be reassigning them. Roofstock is also going to go through a dry spell and then they're going to provide a lot of opportunities for investment.

 

We'll be looking for massive gains on this. Who else is going to do well. Very unclear. I would argue that even in the offline world, non startup world, in real estate, we're going to see massive deperdition and we're going to see massive drought in terms of number of transactions. We're going to see massive drought in price per square footage, any number of real estate agents in 2007 I think it was half of the amount of real estate agents and their worth in 2005.

 

The numbers were right around those. And I think we're going to see the same thing here. What's interesting is that the average price per transaction might increase. Because the only people who are buying when nobody has money. It is uber rich people, where 20 million is like, you know, whatever percentage their net worth is, they don't give a shit.

It doesn't really make a difference. So you might have more ultra luxury transactions. So your overall average might increase, but actually is a price per square footage overall, and the mass market will have decreased.

 

(Y.S.): Okay. So, actually you speak about a hell of a lot of dead startups and companies. And another thing that is interesting to talk about, will it survive on or no. It's actually a classic office because we see the rise of remote during this these times. And what is your opinion: will we receive an entire system shift to a work from home model or the offices will come back as strong as they were?

 

(O.G.): Well, I'm closing down my office this week, so, as this is very appropriate, but truth to be told. I have always had mixed feelings about my office because we're in real estate. We needed to have nice offices, but I often felt that because we had real estate agents that came in and out, we needed to be able to go to max capacity.

 

So we often paid for a place that was too big for a small team. Things were expensive: rent, even the fucking furniture that I'm now trying to sell it super, super hard. When quite frankly, I'm happy with a desk and a computer. Right. So, I have mixed feelings because on one hand, I think that working remotely is perfectly acceptable for people who know how to work remote.

 

And I think that the vast majority of people do not know how to work remote. How to build a routine, how to make sure that your part is, I think people often understand that working from home is just going to be easier. It is not. It is harder because a lot of the subtext, a lot of the context that is being exchanged in corridors is no longer there.

 

So you feel lonely, you feel you don't really know what's going on and you don't feel part of the company. It says, that's my number one problem with working remote and a hundred percent remote is that company culture is a real thing. It is extremely important and it gives the rhythm to the company is it is a company that's working really hard, pushing each other, et cetera.

 

You can feel it in the air. If everybody's a little sluggish and everybody's like pooling, everybody's slowing down. You can fill it into here. I've unfortunately experienced both. And it's a real thing and it's very hard to build a company culture if people are not there together. I mean, that's why they do people do things together. That's why they say go and suffer through building a  Lego building or whatever a company your company retreat is.

 

That is because being together really do build ties. On the other hand, I'm not having to deal with an office. And like, I mean, I still remember I needed to teach people like, Hey, after you use the sink, you need to clean it. And then, you know, you have to put the paper not on the floor, but in the garbage.

 

I mean, those kinds of things, which inevitably happens. I actually went to tour some big ass companies in New York and one common denominator that we had between our two companies by the fact that they were 300 and we were like 20 is that it has the same like: Hey, you need to clean your shit after you use it in the sink and like you have to do it.

 

And I'm like what's wrong with people? But anyway, to make a long story short, I don't think that company... I think that remote work will be much more accepted, but the same way that we now have rules even in small startups, like how do you operate on a meeting? How do you operate in an office, like, you know, don't cook Curry in the freaking microwave. Office work will also now be monitored and it will be an extension of a home. And I think that people are not necessarily ready for the home invasion that that requires. It means like, Hey, you're probably going to have time to check-ins. You're probably going to have time to check out. Your work is going to be a lot more monitored than before because. Hey, maybe you're super effective working from home, but a lot of people are not. And we need to have the company working in maximum productivity regardless of where you are. So probably in the next coming years, it's going to be a mixed between the two.

 

The toughest thing is going to be, I think... we're going to have a lot of what's more questionable is going to be shared offices, when health become more of an issue. Shared offices or coworking space probably is going to be the toughest question. So I anticipate a mixture of offices that are going to be smaller. That's where I'm leaning towards myself. So that's kind of why I'm exciting, thing is smaller offices, more remote work, but also much tighter control over remote work. 

 

(Y.S.): Okay. Yeah. Actually I've been working from home for more than a month, so I can add that you really feel a lack of communication and it's always being alone, or like in four walls, it's really hard to come to, to go with. So I think offices in one or another way, are shortly to come back. 

 

(O.G.): I want to add just a little. I don't have children and I don't have pets, so I have zero interruption. If anything, I have my wife who works harder than I do. So she's just like it's no distraction. But if you're in a home where, you know, you might have two or three children plus pets plus maybe even your partner who doesn't work.

 

The tendency is very, very difficult to work in this environment and you have to shut yourself up, but you shut yourself off it. It's very, very true. It's very, very challenging. So you can really have just an, either the loneliness or the overstimulation. It's not easy. People mean people always kind of assume that working from home would be like, have a dedication, if you will, as long as you don't like a salary.

 

(Y.S.): Uh, that's true. And a little bit more about your experience as a startupper. What main problems did you face when building a product?

 

(O.G.):  Um, so look, I will share the mistake that I have done, which is okay. Ones I saw Home 61 and in large part Shoes4you as well. I saw a problem, but more than anything I saw something that required my skills. What I am good at is to build technology and to do marketing. That's what I like. And quite frankly, one of the problems is the original model of Home 61 is that it required a lot more self-training and a lot more sales management than I was ready for, or good at.

 

And it took us too long to figure out how to do it. And if I had done a lot more research and if I had been a little bit less excited that I had the right skill for a problem, I would have understood this before I even started. Okay. So what was interesting is that the initial results of Home 61 were phenomenal.

 

Like we were doing 40K almost immediately. I think the first month we're growing, we had the right numbers, everything was great, but we couldn't control the growth. Because its growth was completely dependent on the deals we closed, which was depending on the real estate agents.

 

And we had no control over the real estate agents. And so we can have like, stable, stable growth. And that was very worrying from the very big get-go. And what's interesting is that once, where I was faced with this crisis, instead of like, Hey, we have a problem in wisdom salespeople, what should we do?

 

I actually doubled down on the thing that I knew how to do. Which was marketing and product. So we ended up having this amazing products that people were not using. So when building a startup, I think the biggest challenge is not necessarily buildings or products.

 

It was understanding exactly where was going to be the pain point and what I come from a generation where. We kind of turn off her a little bit. Our nose to the incubation center, the offline world. I still remember a conversation with my brother who is also an entrepreneur and he built a startup in 2000 or in 1998. Or was it 2000... right around there. So, he told me, and it still resonated me, like people will never go to a supermarket again. Why would they, when they can just get it from home. And in large part he was right about Amazon and there's a lot of things, but supermarkets do exist.

 

It's not like it's the thing. And, and kind of like this cavalier attitude: we're going to replace everything and everything's going to be digital and better. Kind of like anchored to me. So when I did my research to Home 61. I did it lightly over. What could I improve and what could I do that was going to be different and transcendent?

 

And in many ways, what we created was a better tool on how to do real estate, but it was not 10 X better. It was not like a replacement kind of tool. It was like an efficiency kind of a tool. And, if I had spent more time with the incubants understanding their pain point, I would have realized that they have the exact same fucking pain point that I ended up having, that they were able to solve and that I would perhaps been able to solve eventually.

 

But, you know, time's a constraint. Cash is a constraint, so couldn't do it. I would've been able to see it earlier. What's most likely would have happened. Is, I wouldn't have done that business. I would have done a different business once. I didn't require a skill. It was very different.

 

But, ultimately build a product, not the one that you like, but the one that people need and make sure that you understand your product, your business. In and out, like crazy. I want to talk just quickly about a competitor called Triplemint, who did the same business model. I have no idea how they're doing in this Covid world, and I hope they're doing well.

 

But I got to know David and Phil pretty well. David and Phil started by getting their real estate license and doing the deal themselves. And they ended up having an understanding of the world and understanding of the real estate and real estate.

 

That I quite frankly, still don't have. They did the research much better than I did, and therefore,  were more prepared for the challenges. And I still feel like I had some stuff that they didn't have or they don't have.

 

But for that business model, it mattered less. And so props to them. 

 

(Y.S.): Yeah. Great story. And so you were actually mentioning that Home 61 is going full online and talking about this, what do you think about software as a service? Will this model still be popular in the nearest future? And do you think about offering something like this to your customers?

 

(O.G.): The problem with software as a service is that you need to have a client that's willing to pay for it. And real estate agents, they typically don't have money. They're always short in cash, sometimes because they've been massively successful and they purchased a lot of commodities or because they are typically not that successful.

 

And quite frankly, our need to optimize and do anything. Again, if you look at the CRM in terms of real estate, you'll see that it's a race to zero. All of the prices of this year are going further and further down. You have companies like BoomTown that are well established or they're defending their prices a little bit more, but a lot of others ones are just like falling further and further down just because their clientele, which are real estate agents.

 

You don't have that much money. Firms like Compass will probably build their own because they're really not that complicated. Or we'll go to Salesforce. So again, consolidation over the people who are already established or just simply build your own.

 

In our case, what we're planning on doing is very simple, is we are going to offer you to a discount. We're going to be like: Hey, you don't get a real estate agent. So you get, you do the work. So you get to have a, you get to pay less for it. And I think that this is kind of the only way to do it because if you have to charge anything to your clients, they're going to probably say, no.

 

Technology is becoming very much a commodity. And so it's very hard to get people to pay for anything. Particularly in a world where, you know, money's tight and whatever money was tight with real estate agents, just decided not to pay for it. Which kind of makes sense. It's the fact that Zillow have lock-in fees of six months, is not because you need to have six months of a data, that's fucking bullshit is because real estate agents have no money.

 

And so he was, they came to lock. Contract for six months, like at least they have at least six months of it. And they're hoping that maybe something close in this, in this time. So they're able to renew. And, the average ticket by zip code is like 30 bucks or 80 bucks. So it's not that big that people will not notice.

 

I mean, your business and you're a startup is a SaaS for real estate agent. I would really, really rethinks this. I saw a very interesting podcast on top of that from a billionaire, a super successful guy. And he was saying something really interesting, which is in the SaaS world is there is going to be a consolidation for people who offer multi-services.

 

In a world where the market is growing, everything's going well, people go to very specialized tools. But in a world where there is a massive recession and you want to cut your bills, you go toward one tool that provides a lot of services. Which gives you big advantages. To companiy like Microsoft. And I am not an expert in SaaS, but this seemed right to me. 

 

(Y.S.): Okay. And so actually my last question for today. You've been doing a lot of startups. You have a huge experience in real estate. What are your top three advice for guys who are just starting their startup in real estate or maybe just starting their startup?

 

(O.G.): Sure. So I think it's going to be an amazing time to start a new startup. I think building a startup in a recession is fantastic because the recession changed the game. It's kind of a great equalizer in that sense. There is going to be new market constraints in your habits, and so you're going to be able to have a new playing field where you can build your startup.

 

Some of the best startups have been built in recessions. I would argue that companies like Redfin and Zillow benefited massively from the previous recession. And I think that there is going to be other effects like customer acquisition costs are going to be lower because it's going to be less.

 

Competition is the first thing that ink. So here's a beautiful thing, like incubants or people who are already in the market are going to lower their marketing costs, but you who were at zero, whatever you're going to spend is going to be an infinite amount of increase. So you're coming in a much better market.

 

You're going to come in with fresh tech. But I don't want to get too technical on it, but technology debt is a very real thing. This is why you see new startup where like three engineers beating out established companies with like a hundred engineers because they're able to build fresh for a new problem while the other guys have to deal with with the technology debt.

 

So it's gonna be great and the difficulty is going to be able to get funding. But if you're able to get funding, a lot of other people will not. And people are cherry picking. So if you're already doing something you're not going to be like having 20 competitors who are going to come in with the same model immediately.

 

So I think it's going to be a fantastic time to do a business. I would quite frankly revisit the idea of doing Home 61, the original model. I am not going to do it because it's going to be a lot more self training that it requires, but I think it might be a good time to launch something very, very similar.

 

By the way, for whoever is launching it, I'm happy to to be a consultant and or an advisor. Uh, I'm just not going to, I'll be an operator. I am personally looking to solve what I think are going to be the top 10 problems in for humanity in the next 10 years.

 

I think health, of course, is going to be a big one. We've seen that our supply chain in our agility in house has been subpar. Inequality is going to be even more staggering that it was before. We have massive inequality that was brought on by startups quite frankly, and by technology where people who moved in with technology were propelled forward and people who did not are being stuck, are being stuck further and further.

 

So inequality is going to be a big subject. Education is going to be a massive subject. I can just see it from my friends where some schools were massively prepared and typically private schools or very high end, like well-established public schools are doing really well with Zoom classes. And public schools just simply stopped. They're just not. They just don't know how to deal with it. 

 

Then climate change is something that is inevitable too. Into those are the five subjects that I'm currently investigating in.

 

Furthermore, learning from my previous mistake of not investigating. This time, I'm going to do my homework well and sorrow.

 

I just want to add a little note on the climate change. It's something quite positive now that we're not outside. You can see that virtually. The animals come in, coming out, being feeling a lot more security to the pollution level.

 

Everything has been better since we haven't been out that shows that we are having a massive and immediate effect on our environment in a much clearer way. But what we're not seeing is the consequences of climate change. That's going to come where dry, dry plates are going to become dryer or so expect more forest fires and more droughts in places like California.

 

But I also expect a massive energy slash water crisis for places where... in Nepal of glaciers. If the glaciers there are just melt, then they're going to have a massive dry, like they were going to have a massive dreads or there'll be no water. So we need to know, like, how we're going to deal with those consequences. Is there more warming of the planet, is it going to create a more instability such as like more hurricane for Florida. So how are you going to deal with that? And by the way, I'm by no means a green bleeding heart. I'm just really just looking at the stats and the impact it's gonna have on humanity. And I think that this is going to be coming front and center in the next 10 years.

 

And I would like my next startup to help in one of those big problems that I think we're going to face in the next 10 years. 

(Y.S.): Yeah. Olivier, thank you for this interview. It was a really great pleasure to talk with you and I hope we'll see you again for sure. Thank you very much for your time.

 

(O.G.): Thank you for having me. And, uh, I hope to talk to you guys again soon. 

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