Leadership and Technology: Two Key Factors for Successful Real Estate Startups

A conservative estimate suggests more than 100 real estate startups raised money in 2017, offering new, technologically-sound ways for homebuyers to pair up with their dream house. But what springs into mind when you think of property management?

Probably nothing.

A New York-based property management startup is looking to change that, and turn the industry on its head.

real estate company great jones

While super-serving investors with advances in technology may seem like a given in today’s “Everything-as-a-Service” business economy, Jay Goldklang, Chief Executive Officer at Great Jones, said the technology “simply wasn’t there” in property management.

Investing in new and disruptive technology, was a must. Doing so helped Goldklang secure $8 million in venture capital and Great Jones was born.

Here’s some insight into Great Jones unique business model.

A thoughtful approach to real estate

Based in New York, Great Jones was founded in 2017. Expanding into Florida early this year, the company has teams assisting investors in luxury real estate. The company’s founders, Goldklang, and Dave Diaz come from a background in institutional investing.

The men combined Wall Street best practices with the experience of managing large-scale investment portfolios. Initially, this was the starting point for Great Jones. Moreover, their concept revolves around bringing structure and a corporate approach to the average, every-day investor.

A proprietary technology platform makes this business model possible. “As an owner, you want to see what’s happening in real time,” says Co-Founder & Head of Operations, Dave Diaz. And that’s exactly what Great Jones’ software sets out to do for owner-investors.

According to Diaz, operations take place in New York at an office lovingly referred to as “the engine.” Meanwhile, the Florida account teams are the startup’s “heart.” Software developing and coding for the startup takes place in New York, while customer-facing account teams are located in Southwest and Central Florida to assist owners where they are likely to beach-front, luxury homes.

A unique investment

Great Jones designed their software platform around superior management of residential homes. Moreover, by using the platform to connect a team of virtual experts with owners, they manage properties cooperatively and transparently.

In development, they took innovation cues from insurtech companies, the hospitality sector, and ridesharing startups. By looking outside of the real estate startup industry, they created a software platform to meet the holistic needs of investors.

Words of advice for real estate startups

So what is the biggest advice for real estate companies according to Great Jones? Invest in experienced leadership and technology. According to Diaz, it’s this combination that has helped Great Jones cut out the middleman in property management.

“We are always on our owners’ team,” he says.

Additionally, to business leaders undergoing a digital transformation, Jay Goldklang has some advice for you. Leverage opportunities to use existing services, but where none exist don’t be afraid to get inventive. 

Susan is a writer, contributor and content marketer who publishes her own blog, Marketing and Murder. Susan’s greatest successes include a fruitful 10+ year career in marketing and outside sales, as well as a master’s degree in a liberal arts field and just being a Mom to her young daughter. 

  • Originally published November 26, 2018, updated April 26, 2023