Paul Wakim is the CEO and Co-Founder of TwnSqr – a real estate technology startup devoted to breaking down the barriers of the real estate industry by providing homeowners and real estate professionals full control over the connections they make for their next real estate transaction. They have reimagined how the real estate process for buyers, sellers, agents, and investors should work. Paul got his start in real estate by starting one of the largest real estate photography companies on the east coast. He has also been involved in many real estates investing transactions including wholesale, flipping, and building ground-up new construction.
Paul graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 2016. His girlfriend at the time, now his wife, bought him a drone as a graduation present. At the time he also started a digital marketing company. He would go out and take photos for his wife, who was a large real estate agent. He saw one of the agent’s signs in someone’s front yard and called her to ask if she’d like photos taken with a drone, but she also wanted interior photos and everything that a professional real estate photographer or media company would do. Paul faked it till he made it, and proceeded to grow his real estate photography company from the ground up. The agent that he called that day happened to be the largest real estate agent in Pennsylvania at the time. She had him photograph over 400 houses that year. That was how he got into the world of real estate.
When he realized that there was so much technology and data in the real estate space as a whole. He took it upon himself to build some of that technology himself with his eye toward forming high-quality connections. Their software has gone through many different iterations, today their platform is a marketplace where real estate investors can connect with one another and leverage the contacts that each has in their network to sell their properties to one another or to their contacts, really helping them connect on a property by property or deal by deal basis.
For people that bring off-market properties to TwnSqr with an eye towards forming high-quality connections, they allow the real estate investors to bring their properties to the network side of the marketplace where everything on their platform is deal-based or property-based. Their users have full control over how other people have access to their networks and how everyone is able to vet one another. Building robust profiles with a review system on the platform where the community can self-police themselves. To succeed is to have a high-quality property that people want and that they want to sell to their network, or purchase themselves.
In this episode:
[01:09] Paul shares how he started his digital marketing company.
- Going out and taking photos with a drone.
- Working with the largest real estate agent in Pennsylvania, photographing 400 houses.
[05:30] Paul realized how technology and data can be used in the real estate space.
- Connecting with people that are more experienced than him.
- Forming really strong connections between people that need to find one another,
[08:30] Connecting on a property-by-property or deal-by-deal basis.
- The first piece of value is finding off-market properties on TwnSqr.
- A marketplace where real estate investors can connect with one another and leverage their contacts
[12:25] On their platform there are A players that bring the highest quality network.
- Everybody has control over who they work with.
- The users have full control over how other people have access to their networks and how everyone is able to vet one another.
[15:10] If you’re just getting started to connect with A players on the platform.
- Make sure you have a property that people actually want.
- It really comes down to what value you bring to a transaction.