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REACH Canada Director Mike McAra chats with Managing Partner Lynette Keyowski about the challenges faced by Associations, and new opportunities they have to pivot to better serve their membership.
“The box is now physically different and as a matter of fact, associations need to create a new box, right? And it may no longer be around demonstrating the value of a REALTOR®. It may no longer be around providing a great MLS system. It might not be around PR and professional standards…those types of things. It may now be around the competitive advantage as you noted. The competitive advantage of brokers has now been wiped away and everybody is now working from that same new plateau.“
Full Transcript of the Show
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Perfect! Alright, so we are extremely lucky to have Lynette Keyowski. The Managing Director of REACH Canada, and also the executive advisor to Second Century Ventures. So, thank you for coming on, Lynette.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Well, thank you for having me, Mike.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: And for those who don’t know this, Lynette is actually my boss. So hopefully this goes over quite well. But you know, I guess I won’t have to ask any too hard of questions in this. I’ll try to be easy on you.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Let’s use the term, “boss” in like the least possible sense. Let’s be real, you drive the bus more than I do.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Okay, okay, see the easy question is done already. So obviously we have lots to dive into on this. There’s clearly lots going on in the world. You know, one of the premises about this podcast is, you know, thinking outside of the box in the way we used to do things and how things are sort of transcending into this new reality, whatever that may be. And we’ll get to that, but you have a very interesting story, and I would love to hear it in your words. You know, how does a former CEO of a real estate association, you know, the people all of us tech company people want to sell to, become the managing director of REACH Canada? You know, the scale-up program, one of the largest in the prop tech space, that’s now part of this mass global network. How did all that come to be, Lynette?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Well, I’d like to say it’s just a great by-product of the networking-effect and getting to know people really well in the bars, at what used to be really amazing real estate events. So, I mean there’s some truth to that.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: It’s a relationship business.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: It’s a relationship business. But the reality is, my view on how well the industry has or maybe in some senses, hasn’t taken advantage of technology is what really lead me to this place. So, I wouldn’t say it was a direct path from being an association CEO. But certainly, it is all of those relationships and it’s one of those examples of, kind of, you get what you give, right? What you’re putting out there is what you get back in return. And I’ve always been a firm believer that, you know, there’s a lot of value in the real estate sector. There’s a lot of value in what real estate practitioner on the ground does. As a real estate association CEO, I often found myself in a bit of a challenge; often times, even in a conflicted place in terms of my ability to really affect great technology to help the people that I was there to help. And so, through an amazing number of relationships, the opportunity was presented to me, and initially it was only presented to me as a concept. Like, “Hey, we’re thinking of taking this REACH thing global. What do you think about this? And would you be interested in participating?” And I was like, “Yeah, sounds pretty cool, keep me posted.” So, yeah, I think it’s again, one of those…. One of those situations where you take advantage of the opportunity and lean in when it’s there. But you… when you have a vision and a view and, you know, kind of a gut feel for what needs to happen, those opportunities make themselves a lot more known. So, I feel really grateful to be here, but I think that’s a bit of a trajectory. Relationships, a desire to do really great things, understanding the opportunity for technology to fill that gap, and then having the opportunity present itself.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Well, I mean, really, it’s been in my view, on the surface it could look a little bit “different.” You know, you’ve got the association side, and you’ve got the venture side, but the reality is, is you know, you actually have a similar opportunity here with this role is enhancing member benefit, just through another way.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: 100% Mike. You know, that’s the… what drives me and jacks me about this opportunity is the fact that it is a… you know, it gives me more tactile opportunity. It gives us more tactile opportunity to meet those needs of those people. And, you know, not at all to disparage the structure of organized real estate, it’s the backbone on all of why we have the practitioner and the ability for the practitioner to get out there and deliver that value. But it does create some challenge. And I think there’s, you know, I also think it’s a timing thing, it’s evolution, right? The industry in its own way is evolving. And technology doesn’t wait, right? It’s actually what I love about the space is the internal optimism of entrepreneurs that really look at challenging issues and problems. And they’re like, “Okay, we’re going to go and solve that right now. It’s not tomorrow, it’s right now.” And that’s what’s so cool, is we have this opportunity to bridge that kind of gap.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Very cool. Very cool. Okay, so going back to your life as an association CEO, because, as a former tech founder the conversation we’ve had at the board room tables, if we can only sell to the association. You know, if we can get in front of the association, we can get there. That’s a company maker, that’s break even, we can go from there. So, you’re an association CEO, former association CEO, I would love to hear your, from your point of view, as tech companies would approach you with their big, new ideas and how they can enhance the numbers. You know, just sort of what that would look like, and how often the process and if you could speak to that, and that sort of side.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Yeah, so I think it’s interesting Mike. Like, I’m learning more about that process now in this role than I even knew about it then, right. Because then I was really just on the receiving end of a lot of those calls and I, you know, over the last decade or so that I’ve been in the industry or so, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of real estate tech companies and their approach to get their product to market, and it depends on the product, first of all. So, there were two streams to that to say that we were generally approached with. One was, can we utilize you as the association as the conduit to get our product into the hands of real estate practitioners. So, basically, can you just be our marketing channel, or part of our marketing arm. So, there was that aspect, and the other piece was the association type of technology. So, you’d back in CRM’s, MLS systems, lockbox systems. And then as that evolved, add-ons or ancillary products that would enhance how we delivered those products. And then, sort of more recently, there was a hybrid of the two: Can we utilize your existing core technology as the associations, so again, your backing CRM’s or MOS’s system to integrate our solution, to then better get into it into the hands of your members. And so, that conversation evolved a little bit. So how often? You know, that would depend. That would depend on your market size. So, I was the CEO of an MLS [7:19]*** Association of about 1500 members, so we’d be on the smaller side, but likely in that bucket at the largest number of associations from a population distribution size. So, the biggest associations in Canada, there are only a few of them at the high end in terms of a large number of members. Large number of associations kind of in the middle and then you’ve got some of the smaller ones. So, we’d be approached quasi-regularly. The Okanagan’s are a really great market opportunity, so there’s a lot of value houses, really great exposure opportunity. So, what that would look like is I’d often get an email, or a cold call from a founder or a CEO of a tech firm and it’d be like, “Hey, we’d really love you to look at this great solution. We think it’s going to be the next best thing for real estate practitioners. Can we have a meeting with you?” So, you know, that would happen maybe once a month, give or take at our association’s level. There was always a bit of a lens that we look through. One is, are you looking to us to be a conduit? Because a conduit at an association doesn’t necessarily mean there is a guaranteed market opportunity there. We’d put you on our list of preferred vendors, or we can give you access to the roster. We still have to do the work and sell your product. On the other end, if it was about a piece of association technology, it was, “okay, how do we justify the additional spend out of our members money.” Because that was how it was always viewed, and we had a responsibility to the members, but this is actually a value add to how we deliver services to them. So, the lens we often look through was, does it allow us to better serve the member, or does it add value to the members business? Those were kind of the quasi-lenses and every association has their own process to go through. Sometimes it’s very operational, sometimes it’s a very long-sales cycle and you go through committees, and boards, and recommendations and pilot periods. So, again, it depends on the organization, which is a piece of advice which I have for tech firms – get to know your association, they’re not homogenous. And the third piece around that was the dynamic between the broker community and the association. And I think that’s a big piece that tech firms don’t really understand, is that there is an internal dynamic between the member brokers and the association that they need to understand so that they are approaching the sales cycle in the best way. Because brokers don’t want the association to deliver business tools to their members, that’s their job. It’s their differentiating factor. So, there’s some unique political nuances that tech companies would stand well to understand. In our association, it was an evolution in the five years that I was there. It began as a very committee driven, volunteer driven, evaluation process. And then we get really clear on our core needs were, and what our strategies were, which made it a lot easier for us to have those conversations when we got the call from the tech company. Does this fit in terms of our direction, or not? And if it doesn’t right now, how do we make sure we keep it on the radar for when it does. That was my experience.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Very cool. So, two key questions jump out at me. Number one: Do cold calls and emails work?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: No.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: And number two: What are the three “do not do’s” when approaching an association? So, if you’re going to go cold, what do you not make sure you do?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: That’s a great question. So, I think the first thing, do cold calls work? Often not. Often not, because association executives in particular have a lot on their plate. There are a lot of competing factors there and even if it’s not the CEO, even if you’re talking to a larger association; the CTO – someone that is in charge of deploying technology. There are a lot of competing needs. I think the important thing for tech companies to understand is, if you’re approaching the association, which one of the two buckets are you approaching on? Is it core technology, and if its association based. If it’s core technology, I call that the technology that agents need to do their business every day. Without it, they could not do business. And so, in our world, that was the MLS system, it was the lockbox system and in some instances, it was, again technology has evolved, but it was a mobile app or some type of a data analytics piece, that now that enables them to be that expert in the market. Those are kind of those areas that associations are safe to play in, that don’t start to step over that line of delivering business tools on behalf of the broker. If it’s about a marketing arm, then there needs to be a value-add back to the association to say, if you help us, here’s how it’ll benefit you in your ability to serve and support and boost your members businesses. So, cold calls often didn’t work. At least not for me. And I felt like I was a fairly savvy CEO when it came to the new tech that was on the market, and really also savvy in terms of what tech is needed in this space, right? Not just, nice to have, but it would be really great if we had tech that could solve this pain-point on behalf of our members, on behalf of our association. So, be really clear about the pain that you’re trying to solve, I think that’s one thing. Build the relationship. The relationship is king. It is in so many areas. So, if you’re going to cold call, take the opportunity to either demonstrate to me that you already know me or my association or what our needs are, or that you want to take the opportunity to learn what that is. I think the important thing about that is associations want to know that if they’re deploying tech, they can build a really great relationship with the company that they’re partnering with. That’s often the decision-making process. I’ve not only been part of processes, but I’ve heard of processes where we selected that company because we loved their team. The tech, well, we could give or take the tech. We could have taken the competing solution and it would have given us the same result, but really, they bought you as the founder, they bought you as the team, and so I think relationship is king. So, the “don’t dos”: Don’t tell me you’re going to solve all my problems. If you can’t demonstrate that you know what all of my problems are. Or my members problems. I think the second thing is, really do, your homework. It’s no different than a relationship and a dating process. You kind of want to know… you want to get to know the association and what their rhythms are. Are they an association that is driven by committee decisions? Does the CEO on the management team have some autonomy to make decisions around certain things? So, get to know who they are! And that does mean taking a bit of time to do your homework and building a better relationship. And the third thing not to do, is expect that the association is going to be an extension of your sales team. That is probably the biggest misnomer I’ve had of companies is like, “We’ll rev share with you” and the expectation is we’re going to “rev share with you” and therefore you’re going to get out there and you’re going to really get out there and pitch our product on our behalf, right? And the reality is an association doesn’t have the depth of the knowledge of your product. And so, you probably don’t want them out there. And so, every organization already has their plate full in terms of the strategies that they’re deploying and it’s often not about deploying tech.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: That’s so, so helpful and so interesting because I think even for the most savvy tech companies, that differentiation between core technologies for the association versus business tools for the brokerage and the optics between delivering a solution as an association to members that doesn’t step on the toes of the broker members who are also your members. It’s such an interesting line to navigate. The reality of this is, it’s just there. And so, you have to do, but at the same time as an association, you have to continue to enhance the value proposition to your members. So, what they see as core technology, from my experiences is a lot of them take that for granted; that it’s an expectation. So, as an association, you now have this place where you can’t offer certain things because it impedes on the optics of a certain relationship, but you still have to prove and enhance your innovation level. So, I guess, flip that question on its head 180, how do associations enhance member benefit, especially considering how constrained they are with what they’re already doing for their membership; what is the best approach? Furthermore, how is that approach going to change in your opinion, in a post-Covid world?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Yeah, I actually think Covid offers a massive opportunity to the association world. I really do. And the reason I say that is you know; partly what challenges associations is how they view technology. And I’m making that statement very categorically and applying that blanket to the association world and really, there are so many shades of grey. And that shade of grey applies across every association. So, while those lines are there that you talk about between core technology and business tools, there are massive shades of grey depending on which association you’re talking to and talking with. They’re there to a certain degree, in every organization, but that’s where it’s important for tech companies to really understand what shade of grey they’re dealing with when they’re dealing with an association. Now having said that, if I do sort of just apply that blanket view, I think what Covid offers associations is an opportunity to really step back and, and really, it’s the sector, it’s the whole real estate industry, but especially associations on what is core technology? Because, that one has also shifted over time. It’s not just an MLS system anymore where this is the only place where you can get real estate listings anymore is through an MLS system, right? MLS systems and the data that they contain are now being leveraged to deliver other core pieces of technology and tools to the real estate practitioners. So, things around data analytics, data sciences, deeper intel into those hyperlocal neighbourhoods and geographies. And you know, companies are also looking to leverage MLS data to augment what they are in-turn providing as core business tools back to real estate practitioners. So, I think what Covid offers, Mike, is an opportunity for associations to say, “Okay. Our members can’t be belly to belly like they used to be.” They can’t anymore. They’ve had to change how they do business. And so, the way associations would view core technology, is “Are we enabling our members to sit at the kitchen table with their client and give them the knowledge they need and to demonstrate that they are the market expert and they are the one that is going to help them through the transaction.” That’s really the lens that associations sort of look through. That’s changed now. So, it’s no longer sitting at the kitchen table, and it’s no longer just the information that they’re disseminating. It’s now how can we enable our members to disseminate that information, and how can we continue to keep them top of mind and at the front of the end of that transaction. And really, that trusted advisor throughout the length of the transaction. So, in my view, this provides associations an opportunity to really think about core technology as enabling the process of the transaction; not just the intel that backs that process any longer. I think this could be a much-needed opportunity for that association role to pivot its thinking around its role in delivering that technology, which I think would be really, really cool and would elevate the value prop of those associations back to their members.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Well, it’s interesting because let’s say six weeks ago, you could make the argument that inefficient online process was a brokerages advantage. So, it was a business tool. Now, in a post-Covid world, that’s not an advantage. It’s just now a way of doing business because you physically can’t do it another way. So, you’ve removed that as being competitive advantage from the brokerages point of view because everyone is doing it. So then, at that point, as you sort of eluded to, the association almost needs to pivot and say, “Well, now anything around that process is actually a core business tool, or core process tool.” However, you want to frame that. And so, but that said, they’re still saddled with all of this additional workload. Now the associations have to have the opportunity here to look at that in more value and but their encumbered with a ton of other things still on their plate with obviously everything else that they’re doing. So how do associations do that? What should they be looking for?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Yeah, and I think…. I’m so glad you raised this. I think this is really the piece that is the foundational piece that the association world is really presented an opportunity around is, what is our core value proposition? What are our strategic, not just our priorities, but what are our strategic advantages in being organized in this way, to be able to facilitate that? What I love about how you just articulated that, is that you’ve identified that it’s not thinking outside the box; the box is physically different.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Yeah, yeah.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: The box is now physically different and as a matter of fact, associations need to create a new box, right? And it may no longer be around demonstrating the value of a relator. It may no longer be around providing a great MLS system. It might not be around PR and those types of things, and processional standards. It may now be around the competitive advantage as you noted. The competitive advantage of our brokers has now been wiped away and everybody is now working from that same new plateau. We now have to build a foundation on top of that new same plateau where brokers are then going to have to figure out where their competitive advantages are on top of that. So, that’s the new dynamic that I think Covid is offering associations, is to think about how to rebuild that foundation and then the box on top of it. I’m excited about that, because I think it’s sort of that thing that the industry, the association role has wrestled with. How do we move from a thinking around just how to deliver, how to support that member to member cooperative selling system? We used to use technology called catalogs. And now that technology is now an online MLS information sharing system. And when we had catalogs, we took that, and we had that information and we delivered print magazines. And now, we take that information and we display it on real estate portals. So, we haven’t really talked about a different process, we just shifted the technology that’s allowed us to do the same things. I think the place we’re in now gives us and the associations the opportunity to think about how to do things differently.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Right.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: So, it’s not about doing the same things in a different way, it’s about how do we just completely dynamically shift what we do.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Well, I think the interesting thing is the industry has seen a version of this coming, I don’t think anybody could have predicted that it would be a global pandemic that was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” I think if you look back, you create a strategic alternative or strategic initiatives in 2013, you have the danger report from NAR in ‘14 you have the danger report for [24:36***] in ‘15. Saying all of these things are going to change where the box would be re-created, but at that point, it was capital, it was outside tech companies, it was all of these other threats to the industry. Arguably, if you think back, I’m talking 6 or 7 years at fore looking change, and we have seen the change occur. Then literally at the drop of a hat, you have eight years of change completed in four weeks.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Totally.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Almost overnight. So clearly there’s huge opportunity in which, now I’m going to switch gears again. So, now in your role at REACH, your laser focused, we’re laser focused on delivering an immediate benefit to the members by helping tech companies scale and grow and empowering them. Obviously, what we’re looking to do has to change too, and that focus. So, from your lens as the managing director of REACH Canada, what are you most excited about for those opportunities in those tech companies? What gets you up in the morning when you’re talking with different tech players out in the space?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: You know, I love this question, because it’s been probably the most refreshing piece of what you and I have been able to create, is how do we bridge that gap? How do we bring great tech into the hands of the practitioner? I want to be really clear, not at all identifying the association world as a barrier, not at all. It’s about bringing an understanding of the challenges and the parameters that they have to work with and allowing that to become more of a conduit. But a conduit in a way that it meets the needs of everybody along that pathway. So, it’s not about going around them. You know, you and I have been very focused on engaging the association world into our initiative because we recognize that there’s an opportunity to facilitate and really bolster the association world in this regard in terms of helping their members adopt technology. But what gets me excited about some of the tech that I’m seeing is a couple of things. Technology now moves faster than it ever did before. I mean, you don’t have, and this may be an [inadequate *** 26:59] statement, but all of that backend infrastructure that’s been vested in years and years and years ago that, frankly, the industry is still operating on the back of. If I think about some of the more prominent tech out there, it was built in the era where all that data had to be physically stored in physical locations. That’s the technology that practitioner are relying on day to day. First of all, I’m really excited about the new tech that is faster, nimbler, more flexible in terms of its ability to adapt. So that’s the first thing. But the second thing is, what I’m excited about, is seeing the amount of tech that’s out there, ready to disrupt the process of how real estate is transacted. So, it’s not a disruption of the real estate practitioner, and I think all of those references that you pointed out in terms of [ 27:50 create*** strap plans], danger reports. They all pointed at these things as threats. And threats to the practitioner, and threats to the industry. And the reality is they’re not. They all present themselves as opportunity for the industry and the practitioner to evolve the process to mitigate those factors, and the factors aren’t threats, they’re just the reality in how the world is evolving. And to your point, Covid has just put that evolution on steroids. But what it’s also doing right in this moment, is it’s giving us a moment to pause. We’ve hit the pause button on a lot of things, and so we know coming out of Covid things are going to be different. But we’re also given this opportunity to contemplate how we want them to be different. And so, what’s so exciting about the place we’re at right now, prior to launching this program at REACH, is we’re watching companies literally create that narrative, write that future narrative. And they were like, “this is what our product was going to do in that world, and here’s how it’s either going to help or facilitate the process or shift things a little bit differently.” And they’re like, now just a second, we’ve been given a massive opportunity right now, because we already saw where this thing needed to go, and we’re there now. Covid has put the brakes on everything and everybody has to work from home. So now all of our VR stuff and AI stuff, it’s all super applicable in the moment, and we can’t scale fast enough. There’s also that, okay, that was iteration three for us, because we know the industry isn’t quite there, and the practitioner isn’t quite there. But they’re going to get there a lot faster; we’re going to iterate a lot faster. We’re going to skip steps two and three and we’re just going to get right to the end point. So, I think technology is going to be right there, ready and waiting for when things get back to normal, and that’s what is so exciting, is conversations that you and I are having with these tech companies three or six weeks ago have now shifted slightly to, “We’re not necessarily on hold, we’re more excited than ever about what the future is because now we’ve had this opportunity.” So, I think it’s going to be really interesting to see where that intersection happens, and when the world is ready to get back into whatever normal is, it’s going to be a very different normal. I think the opportunity is there to take advantage of it for the practitioner and for the tech firms to, in a never seen before way, to come together.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: What I love is you’ve got the classic adaption curve. So, you’ve got your early adopters, you’ve got your early majority or late majority, and you’ve got the laggards. And what you’ve seen with those technologies that are now required for parts of our lives, is that literally that entire curve has become adopted, almost like this. A great example, and everyone sees it firsthand, we’re using it right now, is Zoom. Everybody is using Zoom with their parents, their grandparents, if they’re fortunate to have and their kids. And this is a technology that the user experience hasn’t changed. It’s just as hard as it is to use three months ago, yet somehow there’s 200 million daily active users on it, including every single demographic. So just building on what you’re saying, I think one of the exciting parts about this is that you can find that process solver. That’s clearly got that impediment, there’s almost no limit to the growth potential.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: I think you and I had an experience last week talking with a start-up that has really only been in market now for what, three months, I think March they launched, so two months. Right before Covid kind of hit. As they were testing, they really felt that they had a great solution for signing mortgage documents. So, here’s the other piece that we can’t forgo, is that it’s not just the process, it’s the things that have in the past, either enabled or presented hurdles or barriers to process change. So, it’s not just the association world. Just the decision of every government across this country to all of a sudden, overnight, enable what signatures a mortgage document. It put this tech company on steroids, who was legit out there just trying to solve a massive pain point for every person that got themselves into a real estate transaction, and just with a process change. Just allow us to electronically sign our mortgage documents so that we don’t have to have the massive amount of time and inefficiency of having to go to a legal office, sit down. The reality is… overnight, I think within a week, every jurisdiction in Canada swapped that legislation out, or at least permitted electronic signatures on mortgage documents. So, you think about that, and you think about the power of the ability to make these minute decisions. But how liberating that is, and how massively transforming that will be for an entire industry. And not just one industry, but the legal industry, we’re talking the banking industry, we’re talking the real estate sector. So, I think that’s what we’re going to see post-Covid is it’s not just… I think this is the piece people forget is we’re not going back to how things were because things are forever going to be different because of little changes like this. This time is going to present additional opportunities that weren’t there before, prior to Covid. And there are also going to be some additional challenges that we’ve never foreseen because we didn’t have the ability to see them in a pre-Covid world. I think that’s the exciting thing is there’s a whole host of opportunity on both sides of this, of the coin. What I love, is working with these start-ups that are savvy and quick on their feet to shift at a time, and in a place where the infrastructure where they have to work in allows them to be quick and savvy. We just need decision makers now to be able to keep up with that.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: So that’s [34:30 inaudible]. We want to wrap it up, but that does [sail?**] us into a closing sentiment. A lot of people are getting a lot of noise out there for what is the sentiment like, from the venture community as well as the tech community. So, in the conversations that you’re having on both sides, even on the association side, what is that general sentiment like? Obviously, no one has a crystal ball, but what is that general sentiment right now and for those people that are trying to sift through the noise, what are you hearing in your conversations?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: It’s so interesting because I have expected that there would be a lot of doom and gloom, but one metric that always resonates with me has been that there a 10x investment in prop tech over the last, what, three years. So now, globally, there’s a 590 billion dollar capital injection into prop tech. Early on there was “Oh, we’re going to see that completely evaporate” but it’s like it’s the complete opposite. When I’m talking to venture, when we’re talking to start-ups, we’re talking to major corporates who see technology and investment in tech, tech infrastructure like REACH. That optimism is still right there. I would describe it as kind of simmering under the surface now, because nobody knows where it’s going to go, but it hasn’t gone away. I often use this analogy that this pause button has been pushed. I’ve had a conversation with somebody that’s really in-tune with tech investment in the US a couple of weeks ago, and they articulated the same thing from their point of view. Everybody still has their KPI’s, everybody still has their targets. That money didn’t go away, it’s still there. People are just sort of waiting to see where to direct it now. And so, we talk about all of the shifts and all of the opportunity that this period of time has offered. I think it’s everybody is still waiting to see where those best bets might be, but they’re still going to spend the money. And the corporates still want to partner with great initiatives that are going to allow tech and direct tech into those places and to lean into those places where there’s the most need. That’s what I’m so jacked about in terms of our position with REACH. We are just that conduit. We’re not out there to necessarily pick the winners and the losers, we’re out there to guide the great tech in the direction of where the biggest need is. We’re the facilitators and the fun part is, is marrying and connecting all of those dots. It’s an exciting time. It’s an exciting time for those to that choose it to be an exciting time. At every level, whether you’re a tech founder, whether you’re an association, whether you’re a venture capitalist. I think opportunities are going to present themselves, just like they do in any crisis.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: So last question, you know this one is coming. It’s not on the script though! It’s NAR 2021, so not this one coming up, it’s 2021. You are doing a keynote speech at NAR. What is the topic? What are you telling people?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: So, yeah, 2021.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Eighteen months!
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Eighteen months… I think what we’re telling people is, it’s never been a better time to invest in real estate technology. It’s never been a better time to invest in your own ability to evolve. I think eighteen months from now it’s going to take some time for people to come out of this. It’s going to take some time, not just for people, but for our processes to come back out of this. I think NAR 2020, people are still going to… if we’re in person.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Hopefully!
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: I think we’re still going to be jostling a bit around what does this look like, but in 2021, I think we are going to have this opportunity to talk to people about… I think people are going to be more open than ever about how to evolve themselves and where to evolve. So in 2021, I think you and I are going to have a massive opportunity to be sort of those, not just leaders, but we’re going to be the ones that are going to have the opportunity to champion and guide and advise people on the types of things that are out there. I think you and I are going to have a opportunity to see some really new cool things, and I’m really looking forward to be able to sort of champion what those new cool things are and how they’re going to benefit this industry on a go forward basis.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Love it. Love it. Well, thank you so much for that. You know, if I was watching this, with my former hat on, I would have learned a ton. I really appreciate the insights Lynette. So how can people reach REACH Canada, or yourself? How can people connect with you if they wanted to?
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Yeah, LinkedIn. We’re all over LinkedIn, REACH Canada, you are at @mikekmcara, I’m @lynettekeyowski, our website is www.narreach.ca so you’ll find intel on us there. If you’re a company, we’d love for you to sign up to our list so we can invite you into the program when we launch it later this spring. If you’re a mentor or somebody who just wants to connect with the sector and feels that they can be of value to some of these start-ups, we would love you to connect with us on the website as well, so that we can get you into our pipeline and get you connected with what we’re doing.
Mike McAra – Beyond the Box Host: Awesome, awesome. Well thanks so much, and I look forward to seeing you in person at NAR 2021, or before, since you know, we work together.
Lynette Keywoski – Managing Partner, REACH Canada/Second Century Ventures: Well, I don’t know, with the social distancing thing it’s like, maybe that’s where we will see each other next!
— End of Podcast —
Beyond the Box: Conversations with real estate executives, venture capital partners and technologists on what lays ahead for the real estate industry in a world after COVID-19.