Mann Report, August 2022

Page 78

FEATURES

Six Tips for Growing a Successful Proptech Company Jindou Lee co-founder of HappyCo

By Jindou Lee

W

hen I started out in this industry

estate folks are long and rolling out new

Customers in the real estate industry are

a decade ago, proptech was

technology takes time. Once the product has

seeking true, long-term partners.

not even a word, much less

been purchased, company-wide adoption of

an industry sector. Much has

technology takes even longer. So, achieving

Instead of using catchphrases like “we are dis-

changed since then and the road to building

any meaningful scale in proptech will likely

rupting the industry,” we took inspiration from

HappyCo has certainly been a winding one.

take much longer than initially planned. If

the Iron Man suit analogy — we create tools

you’re motivated by making a quick buck,

to help people achieve their full potential. We

There is no magic formula when it comes to

you’ll end up disappointed. It’s a grind that

built proptech software that makes our cus-

creating a successful proptech company,

requires patience and relentless commitment

tomers better on-site operators, and its ease

and no substitute for hard work, persever-

to get through these long cycles.

of use makes their jobs easier.

same time, it’s important to remain flexible

Plan for a multi-year investment of your time,

This approach was a means to our para-

and open to adjusting your strategy along

energy, focus and money. Then, create a

mount objective to create happier commu-

the way. Financing realities, rapid advances

long-term plan with achievable short-term

nities. We believe happier communities start

in technology and inevitable bumps along

goals. Recognize that you may be in “start-up

with happier on-site teams. The best way

the journey can make transforming an idea

mode” for several years, so it’s important to

to create happier on-site teams is to listen,

into a growing business an arduous process.

surround yourself with a founding team of in-

understand their operational challenges

novative, nimble and resilient individuals who

and then deliver solutions that truly solve

Perhaps most importantly, the greatest idea

will help you reach your growth milestones

their problems.

won’t work unless it finds a customer willing

and are in it for the long haul.

ance and remaining true to your vision. At the

Find Aligned Capital

to deploy it to fulfill a business need. My team and I have learned a lot, and a few areas

Become a True Partner

When we began 10 years ago, no one was in-

stand out as lessons any early-stage busi-

Anyone starting a company, especially a

vesting in this category; today, every investor

ness should consider.

solutions-based one, must listen to their

is suddenly an expert in proptech. However,

customers and work alongside them as they

selling in this industry takes a lot of time.

Play the Long Game

build — then iterate — the product or solu-

Truly building scale requires patient capital

Unlike other industries, sales cycles to real

tion. This is especially the case in real estate.

partners who understand the market and are

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