Commercial real estate data is complex.
Reonomy knows that there are dozens of pain points when it comes to buying, selling and servicing commercial properties. By sorting through mountains of data with technology, they hope to eliminate that confusion and frustration and replace it with actionable insights to help their customers — WeWork and TD Bank, among notable others — get to the crux of what they need.
In an interview with three Reonomy team members, we found out how data and tech can upend a market, the various ways collaboration fuels their teams, and how the unique culture at Reonomy has attracted top talent from a variety of industries.
WHERE THEY DO IT: New York City
WHAT THEY DO: Reonomy connects the world of commercial real estate through technology. With an in-depth search platform and customizable data services, Reonomy unlocks new opportunities and insights for users on a national scale.
PLENTY OF PERKS: In addition to 100 percent covered health care benefits, unlimited vacation, commuter benefits and 401(k), Reonomy also offers free memberships to CitiBike and Spotify, catered breakfast and lunch twice and three times a week, respectively, and an in-office wellness room.
Bhaskar Maddala, VP of Engineering
Reonomy’s goal is to help people gain access to commercial real estate information in ways they haven’t before — Bhaskar is responsible for the team that builds the technology that helps people gain access to that information.
BEYOND WORK: When the weather permits, Bhaskar works on his 13-year-old Toyota; if he’s not doing that, he’s most likely playing cricket with the Hoboken Cricket Club.
You’ve been in similar roles elsewhere – how do those positions stack up to your experience at Reonomy?
The aspects remain the same — building a strong engineering team, developing people and technology in a sustainable manner, and planning for future growth while executing on current objectives.
At Reonomy, I’m looking forward to being part of and growing an amazing team across engineering and product to achieve our goals and realize the opportunity Reonomy has. I’ve been part of new product development and large technology and infrastructure transitions before, and this time around I’m looking to put real dollars behind what we accomplish at Reonomy.
We’ve only scratched the surface on the insights we can draw from the data that we have access to.”
What problems or inefficiencies in the commercial real estate industry are you solving with technology?
Commercial real estate data is siloed across organizations and across local and state government. It is also messy. Answering questions — Who is the owner of a property? Who is the property manager at an address? What is the status of the mortgage at a property? How many occupants are in a multi-family property? How many properties does an entity own? — are nontrivial. Unlocking the potential of these data assets enables opportunities for better lending, investing and prospecting.
To do this, Reonomy is taking the approach of creating an ontology and applying entity resolution techniques to map disparate data sources into a commercial real-estate knowledge graph.
Tell us about a project or challenge you’re working on that excites you most. How are you solving that challenge?
We’ve only scratched the surface on the insights we can draw from the data that we have access to. There are challenges across data engineering, machine learning and data science approaches that we’ve only just begun exploring.
The opportunity to build a platform for commercial real estate data — and dogfooding the data platform to build software-as-a-service applications and assist a very large need — is exciting.
Maureen Teyssier, Ph.D., Director of Data Engineering and Science
Maureen is responsible for how data flows through the company, which ranges from making sure her team is using the best-in-class technology, to coding, ideating and defining specs, creating and running tests, and working with other teams.
BEYOND WORK: An avid traveler, Maureen says her experiences abroad have helped her understand people better than before — what similarities and differences people have and how language can change the way people think.
You’re a very new addition to the Reonomy team. What are some things about Reonomy that attracted you?
All the different parts of this company are laser-focused on achieving our goals. Product, marketing and sales deeply understand our clients, meaning that I know that anything I build will provide value and generate revenue.
What role does data play in an industry like commercial real estate?
Data is king — this is a pivotal moment in the commercial real estate industry. Now that digital portfolios of properties and owners are available, people are moving away from paper-heavy systems. This helps them find more new opportunities, faster, than their competitors. They are able to make better decisions with the history of a property and are able to act on what they find with the contact information we provide.
Product, marketing and sales deeply understand our clients, meaning that I know that anything I build will provide value and generate revenue.”
Tell us about a project your team is working on that is solving an issue in the commercial real estate industry.
My team is working on a machine learning algorithm to increase the amount of ownership information that we connect to properties. On the client side, this means that once they identify a property of interest, the next step can be as simple as picking up a phone.
What kinds of collaboration takes place within your team, and between your team and other teams at Reonomy?
Within our team, people help each other and learn from each other. Product, marketing and sales are always so excited whenever a new feature is released. They congratulate and thank the individual team members who worked on the components. It’s obvious that we’re improving their lives, as well as that of our clients.
Michael Manne, Chief Revenue Officer
As the chief revenue officer, Michael leads the revenue side at Reonomy, which encompasses sales, marketing and business development.
BEYOND WORK: Michael grew up around basketball, so he enjoys playing and watching, and has even passed down the sport to his 3-year-old son — with a slightly smaller Fisher Price hoop.
As a new addition to the Reonomy team, what are some things about Reonomy that made you want to join?
First, I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know [CEO and co-founder, Richard Sarkis] and the team here at Reonomy. They had a great balance of both industry and technology experience — paired with an enthusiasm to solve complex data challenges.
Additionally, Reonomy customers just raved about both the product and people behind it. The ability to work with both small- and medium-sized businesses — in addition to large, global enterprises — was also very appealing.
Many companies talk about culture, but it’s definitely something you both see — and feel — when you visit our office.”
How do members of your team collaborate, and how does your team collaborate with other teams?
Collaboration is a major key to success and helps ensure alignment within the team and across the company. We start with a weekly sales meeting that regularly includes guest presentations from leaders and managers across the organization. In addition, we have a biweekly cross-functional meeting with leaders from each department where we share progress towards our goals and upcoming areas of focus.
Our CEO, Rich, emails a weekly company update to the entire company, and we also hold a monthly town hall. As with many other companies, we are also big users of collaboration apps like Slack and Trello for real-time communication and project updates.
What about the people or the workplace excites people about Reonomy’s mission?
We have a unique culture of ownership, enthusiasm and collaboration at Reonomy, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Many companies talk about culture, but it’s definitely something you both see — and feel — when you visit our office. In December, I had a chance to attend both our holiday event and the final townhall of the year, and the energy was just incredible.
We do individual and team “shout-outs” and in my very first meeting, individuals spent almost 30 minutes giving praise to their colleagues for all the help and support in making our customers and company a huge success in 2018. It was amazing to see this kind of authenticity and excitement as we headed into the new year.