Running a real estate business requires knowing your properties backwards and forward. Inability to discover what you want from a property can, in certain circumstances, hold you back in big ways and unfortunately this information is scattered and overly complex. What you need is Falkon. The leader in property-discovery understand that a mobile first option is best suited for your hectic life and makes sure you know everything there is to know about a property in a simplified and user friendly manner. So the next time you are walking around and feel an itch to look a property it will be right in the palm of your hand.
Today, we chat with Ash Zandieh, CEO of Falkon about the need for this real estate platform and why NYC is primed for it.
Tell us about the product or service.
Falkon is a mobile-first real estate discovery platform that is bringing accurate information, uniformity and transparency to the real estate industry. We’re in the business of connecting real estate professionals, including brokers, investors, retailers and lenders, with property owners to increase their knowledge and deal flow. Through our web and mobile apps, real estate professionals can instantly access property-level details and direct contact information of property owners to initiate deals more easily.
How is it different?
Falkon is every real estate professional’s secret weapon. You can request a cab and order lunch from your phone or the web, and we’re adopting this same model for the real estate industry. We see that most real estate tools out there are desktop-only, and the very few that offer a mobile app are seriously lacking, so we built a mobile-first platform that accounts for the way real estate professionals work.
With Falkon, you can now look up property information like BBL, asset class and finance records with a tap of a button, contact property owners and canvas properties right from your smartphone while you’re out in the field. Best of all, Falkon offers a revolutionary geo-location search feature that allows you to discover nearby potential opportunities based on your current location, something no other real estate platform does.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Falkon is currently only available in NYC but we’re in the process of expanding into other major markets. Our core market is real estate investment sales across all asset classes including commercial (retail, office and industrial), multi-family, townhouses, and more. According to Real Capital Analytics (RCA), national real estate investment sales topped $455 billion in 2015 alone so we see a tremendous opportunity to bring transparency and accessibility to this enormous market.
What is the business model?
Falkon has a premium subscription-based option that costs just $34.99 per user per month compared to the hundreds or thousands charged by other real estate platforms. With the free Falkon version, users can still search and access property-level information but the full enterprise version offers direct owner contact information like phone numbers and emails, in addition to premium features like custom searches and data exports.
What inspired the business?
Falkon was created out of a personal need. The real estate industry is littered with inefficient and overly complex platforms both legacy and new. As a former real estate broker, I’ve spent a good chunk of time canvassing different neighborhoods and properties. One day, while walking through a neighborhood in Brooklyn, I saw a building I wanted more information about but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Adding to the numerous instances that this situation has occurred for me and other brokers, I decided to build Falkon to make property profiling and canvassing much easier and more productive.
Based on your data, where are the hottest real estate markets in NYC right now?
Some of the hottest markets in NYC are SoHo, NoHo, TriBeCa, Flatiron/Union Square, and Williamsburg. These markets seem to be driven by market conditions lead by millennials in office, retail, and housing.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Within the next six months, we hope to own sign on at least half of the real estate brokers in New York City; there are currently 30,000 real estate brokers and we already count 6,000 as users. Within the year, we’re aiming to expand into other US markets, bringing Falkon to every major city in the United States.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got? – or – What is something that I learned along the way?
You cannot be everything to everyone. Remember why you launched your startup and do business with people that want to do business with you. Leave the naysayers for others to worry about while you focus on building the best solution for your customers.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Harry Helmsley. I think it would be amazing to shadow a young Helmsley, before he became the billionaire real estate tycoon, to watch and learn the art of real estate salesmanship.
Why did you launch in New York?
First and foremost, New York is my home. Being from New York, it’s one of the most inspiring and diverse places in the world. Secondly, from a real estate side, New York is North America’s largest real estate market.
What’s your favorite rooftop bar in NYC to unwind?
There are so many amazing places in the city that it’s hard just choosing one. However, if you’re into beautiful places that have a great vibe and killer handcrafted cocktails, you have to grab drinks at either Hotel Delmano’s, The Ides at Wythe Hotel, or Jimmy at the James Hotel.