We're seeing some real technologically gifted people from outside the industry coming in."
- Michael Beckerman, CEO at CREtech and CREtech Climate
We are excited to have Michael Beckerman, CEO at CREtech and CREtech Climate on the podcast this week! Michael joined us on the podcast to discuss his upcoming conference in New York featuring the biggest names in commercial real estate. What led him to the founding of CREtech Climate and dives into how new technology is impacting the real estate industry.
Don't miss it wherever you get podcasts! If you want to attend CREtech conference in New York check the show notes for more info and a special promo code!
CREtech is Reimagining Real Estate. They are the largest international community of professionals devoted to technological innovation in the real estate sector.
Learn more about CREtech, click here
Michael Beckerman's LinkedIn, click here
Adam Hooper (00:03) Hello and welcome, I’m RealCrowd CEO Adam Hooper, and this is the Real Estate Investing For Your Future podcast. Here we explore the latest in commercial real estate trends, insights, and investment strategies that passive investors can use to build real estate portfolios that last.
Disclaimer (00:21) All opinions expressed by Adam, Tyler and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of RealCrowd. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions to gain a better understanding of the risks associated with commercial real estate investing. Please consult your advisors.
Adam Hooper (00:43) Our guest today is Michael Beckerman, CEO at CREtech and CREtech Climate. In today's conversation, Michael discusses his upcoming conference in New York featuring some of the biggest names in commercial real. His founding of the CREtech Climate Program to solve the 40% problem and how new technology will drive tomorrow's real estate. If you want to attend the CREtech Conference in New York, check the show notes for some more information and a special promo code. I'll be there as well. So, send me a note if you want to connect. We hope you enjoy today's episode with Michael Beckerman. All right, Michael, thank you so much for coming on the show. It's been, gosh, I was looking at the calendar. It's been a couple years since we spoke last kind of early pandemic days, so a lot has changed since then. We appreciate you coming back on the show. So, why don't you tell us what's been, what's been in your world, what's happening since we, we connected back in 2020 with.
Michael Beckerman (01:36) Yeah, thanks for having me on the on the podcast. I'm a big fan, a big supporter of RealCrowd and all that you guys are doing and appreciate all the support that you've given. Not just CREtech, but our entire ecosystem. You've really advanced the conversation, elevated it, and just amplified. All the great innovation that's happening in the entire, prop tech, ecosystem. So first and foremost with gratitude, thanks for all the great work you guys are doing and appreciate the support of CREtech. So, yeah, I mean, it's been quite the roller coaster, which it has been for many. So, we're not unique in that regard. But being in the in the physical conference business during Covid. As you can imagine, when your primary source of revenue is people meeting each other in person was not a fun experience.
Michael Beckerman (02:34) But I mean around as long as I have been in business, you realize that once you get through the shock of whatever challenges that you're faced with you can look at it also like there's it’s horrible thing to say about Covid, but there's a silver lining here and I really feel like we got better as a company. We got more focus as a company. We got more disciplined as a company. We had to make really tough choices. But definitely I think CREtech has emerged stronger than ever. And I think our industry as well has gotten so much stronger through Covid. So, thanks for asking.
Adam Hooper (03:16) Yeah. And we'll talk a little bit later in the show about the upcoming conference you guys are doing again this year. But how was that transition to virtual? I know you were doing it virtual for a while back to in person now, Is there still a virtual component? And I guess the thread there is as we've seen. This kind of questions around return to office, staying virtual, staying, hybrid. How are you guys looking at in what has always been a very physical intimate, physical environment right? In conferences and networking? I'm just curious what's changed about your business that's gonna be longer lasting than maybe this temporary disruption that you guys saw when you had to go all virtual?
Michael Beckerman (03:55) Hmm. Yeah. Great question, man. So, I think we were one of the first to pivot to all virtual, in the beginning of Covid, we had to cancel some in-person events that were scheduled. And that was very difficult at that time. Remember, my team, led by my company, President Lindsey and Per tour did a phenomenal job of just, navigating that really complex and challenging and chaotic environment. And we pivoted too virtual. And it was good until it wasn't. And I still think that there's a place for virtual meetings are great. I'm enjoying not commuting to New York every day. Trust me. It's quality of life is definitely better. I'm working harder than ever. I'm on more Zoom calls and ever, but for us, we in the very beginning we did a couple virtual events that were really successful. But then I just always try and listen to the marketplace and you listen to your audience and you listen to what's happening and you observe. You look at the data and it was definitely fatigue. So, people were just getting back to work, and they didn't have time to show up for a virtual conference. It was asking too much. So, we just kind of wound that down and we'll do some virtual. In webinars where it makes sense, we’ll stream all of our content from our conferences or live conferences onto our streaming platform for people to consume and we'll create stuff that's for on demand. We have a product called, CREtech+, very similar to a Netflix or a Disney plus. So, a lot of the content lives there, but I'm just trying to be much more selective with when we do virtual. But I think the experiment of all virtual conferences, which in my industry was all the rage. I think it was a failed experiment in my humble opinion people want to be back. They want to see each other; they want to transact in person. They want to meet and greet and network. So, if anything, I think it's created more demand and more excitement, around in person meetings and conferences.
Adam Hooper (06:03) Yeah, we didn't know how much we missed it until we missed it. Right?
Michael Beckerman (06:06) Right, right.
Adam Hooper (06:09) And I guess, what are some of the learnings in that switch of going back to in person, have you taken from going virtual and did you learn anything in terms of, how you facilitate networking or presentation style or venues or anything like that? What did you learn from going virtual that you're taking into the going back into in person going forward?
Michael Beckerman (06:33) Yeah, great question, it's a great question, Adam. Like, it's great question. I think the biggest lesson, the takeaways, that I sit with now is just that, I think there's so much pressure on everybody's time. Because we're balancing virtual. We're balancing hybrid, we're balancing in person, that I'm just much more conscious of what we're asking of our audience and what they're capable of giving us. So, I'm extremely mindful of whatever we do has to be so purposeful. So, I think for me that was like the big sort of lesson, like less is more in the future.
Adam Hooper (07:28) And now. I guess since we're kind of going down the conference path, why don't you tell us a little bit about the conference coming up and listeners out there be sure to check show notes for links to register for this. So maybe give us an overview of what your upcoming CREtech conference is going to be like.
Michael Beckerman (07:49) Thanks, man. The thing we've been at this since 2017 and the first thing I would say is that our core mission at CREtech is, is driving innovation in the world's largest asset class commercial real estate. So, we wanna be the catalyst, we want to be the platform where people come to discover all the great innovation. Companies like Real Crowd and what have you. So, my job is to sort of build this ecosystem, build the community, and connect people. So, when I think about what it felt like in 2017, compared to today, I mean at that time it was mostly startups. Talking to venture startups, talking to themselves. we didn't really have the buy-in of the real estate industry. if I got a couple hundred people to an event, it was a great event at that time. And then fast forward to like, what's coming up in our conference in New York in, October 12th and 13th there'll be a couple thousand people, but the real takeaway for me or the real insight everybody will come there, and they'll see this massive crowd, this buzz of activity, the electricity in the air hub of just energy. But what I see, I have the unique vantage point to see who's there. And I've never seen a time where the real estate industry has shown up for a tech conference like the one coming up and that boats well for the entire industry. Right. Because that everybody's boat rises there. When we get the buyers at the table, everybody wins. And so that's the great and sort of, trend that I'm seeing. And it's global, right? So, we've got people coming in from all over the world. We've got the largest. Pension funds, asset managers. You've got the largest, owners, operators in the world in all food groups. You've got office, you've got multi-family, which are the two main stakeholders. You've got logistics though. You've got retail, you've got some hospitality, and you've got some residential as well. So, I think just the tent continues to expand. So, for New York that's like for me, which gives me the greatest source of pride. It's never about, it is important how many people there, but it's the caliber of people there and who's coming. And the second thing is, one of the things about CREtech is that because I work mostly on the programming is that I try and focus on is, I think it's less important to get very detailed in the weeds on specific topics.
Michael Beckerman (10:41) And what really moves the market is when you've got companies that are on stage, they're C-suites, they're CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CFOs, COOs, whatever, Heads of innovation. And they're talking about their playbook and their strategies. And for me that that is what really gets me so excited and I'm just still in awe of the caliber of these real estate executives that are showing up from Oxford Properties to Jamestown Hines, Gray Star related Boston Properties and it's real their senior, most senior executive. So, yeah that's what gives me just great hope and excitement for the future.
Adam Hooper (11:28) Yeah, it's definitely, a pretty heavy hitter list for the agenda and line up this year. I'm wondering, when we were first coming out of covid, we talked about revenge travel. We haven't seen it in other conferences yet, but again, the roster that you guys have lined up, I'm wondering, is there like a revenge conference season? Like people just, we've been waiting for this, right? We've wanted to get back to this and this. We're inherently social beings, right? And so, to be able to have some of these kinds of critical mass of influencers and great minds coming back together, I think that's pretty special. So, I congrats on what you guys have been. Yeah, man, I love to see it come back.
Michael Beckerman (12:06) That's great. Well so the thing that I've tried to do with the conferences is I envision them as there's something there for everybody, so if you're coming to network. This will be, we will have a dedicated area just to networking and so you'll use our app and you'll make meetings with everybody who's attending and it's speed dating and it's amazing what happens. And people tell this they're exhausted by the end of the day. If you want to discover some actual great. Products and solutions. There'll be a trade show floor, so we've got great ability that people are demonstrating the products and what have you. If you wanna hear startups talking about their path, there's an innovation stage. If you want to discover climate, technology solutions, we've got a dedicated climate pavilion. We've also now got one for affordable housing technology, and then you've got the keynote stage. So whether it's content networking, Biz dev, fundraising, just trying to make it so that whatever your objectives are you'll find them at the show.
Michael Beckerman (13:14) And yeah, man, people and I'll just say one other thing. It's in my backyard, but for us, there's only one place to do this. And that's with all due respect to others, great cities in the US and that's New York. Those that say New York is best days are behind them. They don't know New York City. They don't know resilience of the city. They don't understand what it was like growing up there in the seventies or the eighties, living through 911 in New York. I mean, it's the most resilient city in the world. So, for us it has to be New York. So that also, I think a lot of people are excited to come into New York.
Adam Hooper (13:50) Good. Well, so now CREtech, obviously you are one of the probably most connected guys in the real estate tech space at the nexus of all these different constituencies coming together. What are you seeing that is interesting maybe in the innovation stage, right, or maybe some of these technologies that have been trying to break into the real estate space for a while now. Starting to take some foothold. I guess when you look. Some of the presenters or keynotes or attendees, the conference, what has you excited? What are you interested in these days?
Michael Beckerman (14:23) What a great question. Well, I mean, for me it's the scale of the industry. there’s, some reports I saw JLL put out there's 10,000 startups competing now. I think the couple things I think we're at a very interesting inflection point in the industry where there's so many great solutions out there, but the challenge remains for the tech companies that you've got this is the largest asset class in the world. It invests the least in innovation as well as any other industry. It's like under 1%, where most are five to 10 that they invest in r and d. It's not because they're risk averse, they're technology risk averse. I mean, it's the riskiest in industry in the world. I mean, just imagine seeing a vacant piece of land and committing. Just boatloads of capital to building it and hoping that they will come. So, it's not that, it's that they're understaffed, they don't have the resources and there's the nature of the industry is that there's so many siloed solutions. So, one of the real interesting trends, and we're gonna hear a lot about it at in New York is that there's definitely a lot more integration, amongst the tech companies, which is a wonderful development because then you're listening to the customer, the customer's saying, too many that don't integrate, don't communicate with each other.
Michael Beckerman (15:45) I got one solution over here for this building, one over here, one in this country, one in another country. So, I think integration is a huge theme for our industry, and that's really exciting for me. And then there's a couple, obviously near and dear to me as we've talked in the past is climate which is going to be a big source of the conversation and just the other topics affordable housing, tech. I look at the built world, I look at the real estate industry. Biggest industry on earth it does, it builds great cities, great structures, but there's also a lot of problems in the built environment. Climates one lack of affordable housing two, and others diversity, equity, inclusion, and technology can, and the real estate can use tech industry, can use technology to be a great catalyst for a positive change. So that's also something that I'm really excited about hat's in the air for New York.
Adam Hooper (16:38) Yeah, we definitely wanna talk about CREtech climate here. Once we get through some of the stuff about the more kind of built environment areas, obviously, I think our industry has been slow to start thinking about climate and ESG, but I think it's definitely picking up steam, which is really good to see. But in terms of along these integrations and some of these other areas that you're talking about, I agree with you. I think that is just a natural progression, right? Everyone kind of tries. Figure out their problem space, solve that problem kind of in a silo. And then when you have these companies that are integrating with either five or six different service providers, being able to plum and build some of those pipes behind the scenes is really good. But I'm curious, I mean that’s from a technology perspective. But how are you seeing that translate to the actual built environment? Right. Are, are most of the things that you're seeing operational efficiencies? When you look at affordable housing? How are some of these impacting affordable, let's pick affordable housing. How are some of these different technologies impacting that? Is it construction technologies? Is it just efficiencies and operations? What are some of the interesting things you're seeing in that space?
Michael Beckerman (17:52) It’s unaffordable housing. Yeah. I mean, when I think about, tech and innovation in the built environment, and you think about these different categories, where it's got potential to make impact. I think whether it's affordable housing or whether it's multifamily or whether it's office or logistics, the core sort of objective that the real estate industry's looking for is number one, it's got to be a must have not a nice to have. So, shiny objects and cool features. And if it doesn't move the needle and deliver ROI and some kind of operational efficiency and solving a problem, it's likely not going to get adopted. So, when you think about all aspects of the industry. They're challenged with supply chain issues. They're challenged with getting all their data in one siloed source where they can make actionable decisions, they're challenged with doing as much as they can because of the labor shortages with technology tools.
Michael Beckerman (19:17) So whether it's virtual leasing or, what have you, or lease or marketing, any of those that check the box and multifamily will check the box in affordable housing, will check the box and logistics will check the box in every single category. So, I think it's kind of, while affordable housing it's a very new category that we're focused on. It's got the same characteristics as a lot of others, but it'll make a serious impact on people's lives. So, just things like speeding up the process of getting people qualified or delivering. Homes that cost less because they're either prefab or module or 3d, and it could be assembled in a factory and shipped to a site. It could bring down a cost. So, there's so many different tools that are available specifically for affordable housing. But my point is that these challenges are not unique to just housing. It's across the board that everybody's kind of struggling with.
Adam Hooper (20:28) Yeah. And then when you look at. I guess maybe two questions I'll ask here. I guess first, when you look at the companies that are being started and who's driving this innovation early in the real estate space, I think there was a pretty big gap between. Industry people that had an idea that were trying to come at it from a technical perspective, but with the industry context. And there were technical people that had no context about the industry, who were kind of coming it up from a purely kind of innovation and idea perspective. I'm just curious, how have you seen. That dynamic in terms of who's driving these innovations? Are they industry people that are trying to do things different? Are they coming from outside the industry and maybe learning from other areas and layering those into the real estate space? What are you seeing there? I'm curious.
Michael Beckerman (21:17) Oh, I love that question, Adam. Thank you. That's great, man. that's great. Great question. I haven't been asked that one before. It's great. It's really, you got me on that. I think it's really and I had a couple examples actually today of some entrepreneurs that I connected with. I think it's really like 2.0 in terms of the entrepreneurs, I think the first sort of rush to innovation in this industry was people that sort of scratching their own itch, but they were a broker or working for a real estate company and they saw a problem. They went out and tried to fix it. We've got some great companies, legacy companies that have been able to do that. And I think what we're seeing now is we're seeing some real, technologically gifted people from outside the industry coming in. That is maturing a little bit. So, a lot of the founders that I'm connecting with now are, do not have the real estate background that I think the 1.0’s did.
Michael Beckerman (22:28) And so they're coming from another tech company and they're still scratching so it'll be something like I bought a home, or I bought an apartment and I saw how dysfunctional and archaic it was. So, I went to go solve that problem. Or something with capital markets or something with insurance or compliance or underwriting or vendor procurement. We're seeing this new crop of entrepreneurs that are coming in and they're really accomplished, and they have real tech chops and they've done this before. They're serial entrepreneurs and yet they have some connection to the real estate industry and they're driving innovation, which I think is a great thing for our industry to attract that kind of talent.
Adam Hooper (23:14) Yeah, that, that's great. And thank, thank you for that clarification. I think that feeds into the second part of the question I was hoping to ask you've got a lot of innovation, good, bad, otherwise is driven where the dollars are going, right? And what's interesting to the VCs and to the funding sources for these things and when you have. Entrepreneurs that have maybe had successful ventures before, they've got VC relationships. They have some influence, I guess in where some of that innovation goes. I'm curious from your perspective, where are the most interesting areas of VCs are looking at right now in terms of driving any of those directions from a funding source? Like what's interesting to the capital side of this innovation environment right now?
Michael Beckerman (23:57) That a great one, Adam. Well, let's take a step back, right? So, we're definitely in a period of where the venture dollars, they're still flowing, but they're flowing a little bit more cautiously and prudently, which is a good thing. Six months ago, if we had this podcast if you ask me what's the venture climate? I'd say its evidence stain man. There's so much money being thrown at so many startups, and I'll hear these stories from these different venture groups about jockeying to get more money into a position where they're trying to outmaneuver another one. It just felt pretty frenetic, but now I think people have pushed pause and just given what's going on in the economy, et cetera, et cetera. The other challenges we talked about labor, supply chain, interest rates, so there's definitely more caution. What people are looking for sort of the same thing they've always been looking for is like recognizing that unfortunately 90% percent of all startups fail. They're looking for big addressable markets and startups that are solving those problems that can really scale and I think, the thing that I'm seeing now is that there are parts of the industry that I don't think have even been touched yet.
Michael Beckerman (25:18) There's some amazing innovation coming and there are things having to do with property management or vendor procurement or construction. So, I think the first sort of wave of innovation, whether it was building access or tenant experience sort of data and information? I think the winners not, I'm not gonna say they've all been picked, but I think those categories have gotten a little bit more mature than others. And now I think where the innovation's coming from is, okay, what parts of this industry. Our archaic still in the way that they are lacked sort of a digital solution. And so, construction a huge one. So, you're starting to see more and more startups on construction. We're see more and more on the FinTech side of the business capital market side of the business, which is great. And I get as. Property management, facilities management, just other parts of the business that I think the first sort of 1.0 was very much let's attack the obvious parts of the industry. Leasing data, tenant experience has been great. And now I think it's about, we're going deeper into the built world and how it can be streamlined and made more efficient.
Adam Hooper (26:48) And I’ll maybe tee you up here to start talking a little bit about, CREtech Climate, but what are those areas has you most interested, obviously, again, kind of an easy intro there to starting to talk about the climate initiatives you guys are working on. But I'm just curious where, where are you personally interested? What are you most excited to see at the upcoming conference?
Michael Beckerman (27:06) Thanks. Yeah, I've said that. Climate crisis is the single greatest threat and single greatest opportunity to ever face confront the real estate industry. And for me and I've talked a lot and it is personal. I've talked a lot about my own climate journey, I've always considered myself an environmentalist. I believe in science. I mean, how can you not today. And my happiest place other than with my family and my friends is being in the woods on a mountain somewhere. So, live that lifestyle. But I never really understood that the built environment was 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions. And that hit me contributor just recently through Covid Adam, where I was just like, Wait, no, it's transportation. It's oil, its gas, it's something, it's coal. It's no, it's not real estate. What are you talking about? It's not dirty. And then when you really start to do your homework and you understand that It's 40%. And of the built environment is generating more carbon emissions than any other industry on Earth. So, I said this has to be my life journey.
Michael Beckerman (28:44) My life's purpose, my life's mission. And it's 29% of that 40 I on the operating of these buildings, the carbon emissions that come from the actual physical structures, and then the 11 is coming from embodied carbon, the construction, and the transport of all the materials when we build. And so, I said I've got a big mouth, a big audience. I'm not afraid to use it for what I know is gonna be great for my kids and their kids. And so, I always come back to that line about, what did you do when you knew, when you knew the fight? What did you do? So, climate's a market, it's an obvious market for us at CREtech to go grab and scale and make money on in the short term. No way. There's plenty of other ways to make money, what we're doing and monetize. But it's the right thing to do. And as long as I'm running the company, it's going to be the right thing. So, my friend Travis Connors at Building Ventures of a venture firm. He calls it the 40% problem. The built environments, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, 40% of energy consumed, 40% of raw materials used 40% of land fill materials. So, and then you just look at all the legislation that's coming down. You look at what tenants are demanding now, what consumers and residents are demanding now and then just you look at the climate exposure, the exposure that the built environment faces, given the climate crisis, no other industry has as much, exposed as the building environment. So, whether it's flood, wildfire, heat, drought whatever you name it, they're just incredibly exposed from a risk point of view. So, then you add in the Inflation Reduction Act, which really should be called the Carbon Reduction Act.
Michael Beckerman (30:43) Politics, whatever, I don't get involved. And that's a great catalyst. So, there are some amazing companies that are doing some incredible work, on their net zero commitments and not greenwashing for the ones that I connect with. And so, I'm incredibly inspired. I have a not as, Podcast like this of course, but I have my own podcast. I'm doing keynotes wherever I can, talking about this topic, and we're gonna program it, as much as I can at the conferences. We'll have a lot of content. I've got, as I said, I've got a climate pavilion dedicated one at the conference, and it's something I'm gonna build and build and build and build and not prop tech's not going away. I just see this as, like, I talked at the beginning of the podcast, we're just building out the tent. But this is gonna be the big one. I mean this is the last point, as you could tell. I get pretty passionate about this, the numbers to decarbonize the built environment are staggering. They're mindboggling. It's hard to get your head around. I mean, it's somewhere in the neighborhood. It's going to cost about 20 trillion, 20 trillion on hardware to decarbonize the built environment. It's going to cost probably another hundred for mitigation and resilience investments, to retrofit and to ensure the built environment can survive the crisis. So, you're thinking about like, it's a hundred to 120 trillion over 20 to 30 years, 5 trillion or so annually. I mean, that's like the US GDP, I think is 20 trillion. So, when I talk about the biggest opportunity, it's the single greatest wealth creation opportunity in history. And that's not Michael Beckerman saying that, that's every leading venture firm in the world oncludes that. I mean, Larry Fink said the next thousand unicorns won't be a search engine or a media company. They'll be companies developing green hydrogen, green agriculture, green steel and green cement. So yeah, I'm on my soapbox now, but this is one you could tell and I'm pretty passionate.
Adam Hooper (33:03) No, I think it's great, right? I mean, I'm totally on the same page, right? I think we need more of that, and we need a louder mouthpiece for that, if anything.
Michael Beckerman (33:12) Well, I'm the louder mouthpiece, man.
Adam Hooper (33:18) It's such a huge topic that it feels so long term, so far away, so massive to try to unpack. It's easy to just kind of kick the can. Right? So, I guess maybe bringing that down to a more tangible right in front of us thing. What are some of the things that we can be doing as it relates to built environment or technology, or maybe what are some of the more near-term technologies you're seeing that can have an immediate impact? Something that we can kind of wrap our heads around in the short. That'll have that longer term impact as well.
Michael Beckerman (34:00) Yeah. Another great one, Adam. So, for me I'm about the tech part of this, right? So, I'm all my focus is not changing behavior. It’s not preaching about the importance or the why's and you should, it’s not made to brow beat the industry to make them feel that they're culpable in the climate crisis. But my job is to focus them on the solutions. Thank you. So, it's a great question. So, the good news is that a lot of the solutions are already on the marketplace. So, when you talk to the leaders in this industry, the Ben Myers of Boston Property, the Jonathan Flaherty of Tishman Speyer, the Natalie Teear at Hudson Pacific and you ask them what they're using, they've got a laundry list of solutions that they're implementing, right? And so, there’s a lot there. I mean, just on the existing buildings, there's great advances in glass insulation and controls. There are great advances on HVAC systems upgrades, heat pumps, replacing appliances. There's great, advances, just electrifying buildings. A lot of those solutions are all there on the market now, so you can go get 'em.
Michael Beckerman (35:31) And then you think about some of the materials that are needed. Where is carbon neutral concrete mass timber, prefabricated modular construction or 3D printed homes. Great advancements made in, in steel as well. And then just there's all these software tools that are out there just on sort of energy management. And then there's great companies like the measurables of the world that are giving all these real estates. Great insights into what is their sort of, carbon footprint and impact. So, they can measure it. Right. That’s what gives me the great hope and excitement. I listened to a podcast the other day as your Klein and had some climate expert on and they were talking about what they have to do on the grid and there's so much that has to be done and the scale of everything. And that's all true and it can make your head spin and, in my case, made me drink way too much tequila. But the good news is in our industry, environmentally, that's stuff's ready to go. That's on the shelf. We just gotta take it off the shelf and make it happen.
Adam Hooper (36:47) Do you have any sustainably produced tequila tips for anybody listeners about this?
Michael Beckerman (36:52) I have organic tequila. Yeah. That qualifies.
Adam Hooper (36:59) Oh, I think it is a great point, right? And I think the perception is that there is still all long-term fixes, right? There isn't that much that we can do immediately today to start having an impact. But it sounds like what you're saying is there existing technologies that are out there that just maybe need more attention or just need to be implemented at a broader scale, that that can start to have that impact right away. When you're looking at some of those longer-term initiatives, what are you interested and or what has you excited, on the longer-term scale?
Michael Beckerman (37:33) I mean I think the thing is that and I'm not trying to deflect. I think it's something like 90 something percent of the building stock has been around for whatever, 10, 15 years. And what a lot of the world focuses on is the great new stuff that's being built. And then I love it and it's terrific and we should applaud it, but we've got to focus on the existing building stock in the short term, in the here and the now. And so, I think that. what I get excited about is that and again, it sounds like I'm deflecting, but I'm not like when the message gets out, this is what excites me when the message gets out that green buildings, healthy buildings, climate friendly buildings, net zero buildings that are retrofitted command, higher rents, higher occupancies, higher cash flow, and greater property values. So, when you ask me what I'm excited, I really just want that message to go to the industry because that is what will really start to drive adoption longer term is controversial, but I just hope we build less and we retrofit more.
Adam Hooper (39:01) When you look at the retrofit opportunities across the different asset classes, is it similar in terms of impact or potential when you look. Office versus multifamily versus industrial versus retail or is it pretty It's across the consistent across.
Michael Beckerman (39:17) Yeah. I mean, it's across the board. I just think about the obsolete malls that we've got around the country. Think about the older stock of multifamily apartments that just Oil machines, right? That they're so dirty and inefficient and unhealthy for the occupants. When you think about Class B office buildings, it's everything. It's just this existing building stock I just want people to really try and focus in on that because that's, that short term will have the long-term impact, right? Because that's where the problem lies. It's all as I said, in the 40%, it's in the 29 of that is coming from these existing buildings that we're all living, occupying, traveling, shopping in. So that, that's where we gotta focus.
Adam Hooper (40:09) And it's almost we're we see a lot of value-add strategies in certainly multifamily space and less so office and retail, industrial. But it's almost like this is a new strategy, right? It's a new value add strategy. You're not just coming in and. Sping up solid surface countertops and putting in new faucets, right? But doing it with a bent towards that, again, healthier buildings getting closer to net zero, that in and of itself could almost be a new value add strategy, right? Not just layering out on top of
Michael Beckerman (40:42) Yeah. Well, I actually think that and I'm not a real estate guy, I just play one in the movies, but off the podcast, there's no doubt in my mind that there's gonna be a new category that's built, brown to green, where some massive company or the Blackstone kind of companies of the world are gonna go out and just buy all that building stock, renovate it and sell it in a couple of years. I mean, you just think about it and it, and you just think about the scale of the current problem. Like, I read somewhere that by 2050, 300 million people around we'll fall below elevation. We will live in coastal flooding area. Properties that are risk from the climate crisis, I mean it's just staggering. With current trends, we're not, we can't reverse it at this point. We gotta hold the line. How many lives are at stake? If we don't do anything and so we gotta attack where they're living and where they're I mean, is it realistic that all these people are just gonna get up and move to Canada or wherever? No. So it's a lot on my mind is about the mitigation of the risk that people are gonna be exposed to.
Adam Hooper (42:09) Yeah and again, I appreciate you. Taking a voice on that. Right. Cause like I said, I think our industry has been pretty slow to start coming around to this certainly lagging behind other financial industries. Fifth Wall, they were, I think one of the first to start a big ESG initiative in their funds. And I think we're seeing more, starting to pay attention to that. I think the conversation is becoming louder and more part of the mainstream. So again, I applaud you certainly for helping ring that bell and doing what you can to keep that push.
Michael Beckerman (42:43) Trying, man. Thanks Adam. Trying.
Adam Hooper (42:09) Yeah. We kind let you go, here are normal questions at the end. What keeps you up at night? I think you might have just given us something that keeps you up at night, but I guess maybe relating that back to technology side of things, right? I mean, what are you concerned about? Obviously, climate we know is a concern for all of us or should be. But what are some of those things about the space or industry or what you're up to that are maybe concerns that you have looking forward?
Michael Beckerman (43:21) And another great question. I, thank you. Now I've done a lot of these. You're really get right to the chase, and you ask some really great, thoughtful questions. I appreciate it. What keeps me up at night? I think it is that there are way too many mouths to feed and there's just not enough food on the table. That's what stresses me that because I care so much about this industry. When I'm at CREtech and I look out in the audience, and I see so many faces and so many people have given good, stable jobs to pursue a dream. I know how hard it is. I've been an entrepreneur since I've been in my 21 years of age when I started working full time. and I know how hard it is. It's, hard for me every day still and I worry about how many of these companies are gonna survive? And my Buddhist nature, cuz I am a Buddhist, says, well that's Darwinism, right? They can't all survive. They're not. Well, I don't know, man. I begged to differ, I mean, It's, a hugely, risky, venture that the path that entrepreneurs like yourselves, they take, and I worry that the industry's still so young and that the adoption is still so slow, when you think about it. And that's the reality is that a lot of the companies just won't survive. So, when I, that's why you asked me earlier about some of the trends. My message is you have to integrate, work with others, You gotta go into the ecosystem and partner up. You gotta collaborate. You might have to merge or sell with bigger more better funded companies or what have you.
Michael Beckerman (45:19) So, that's what stresses me right now. It's not like we're a consumer, marketplace, obviously, where you can just build an app and could cost you five grand and 10 grand and you put it on the cloud and it's go, and you could, it's like the market just moves so quick. This is a very complicated, complex, under-resourced, massive industry. That's good, we're in the second inning, so that's what keeps me up at night. It's just that a lot of these companies just unfortunately won't make it. And what can I do to be more helpful?
Adam Hooper (45:58) That was one of the things that stuck with you the most when we were starting this company, going through YC Combinator, down the Bay Area was that it doesn't get any easier, it just gets different. Right? It's not necessarily less stressful nine years into this, 10 years into the journey. It's just different. And so that's, that's certainly persist.
Michael Beckerman (46:18) Well, Adam that's right. I mean I've been following you guys forever. I'm a huge fan of RealCrowd. It doesn't get easier. I mean, even in my own business, you could look at it and say, oh you're doing great. Yeah. I mean I don't wanna brag but we're like 20 times what we were when we started. In terms of scale and size and it's as hard as ever because now I gotta keep going. My couple thousand conferences gotta be a 5,000. It's gotta be a 10,000. And you gotta attract more people. So, no, the journey never gets easier and that you just wake up every day and you have a big vision and you just focus on the small details and you just grind, right? I mean, I don't have to tell you guys, you guys have been doing.
Adam Hooper (47:09) Try to execute. So flip side of that, what has you most optimistic these days, Michael?
Michael Beckerman (47:17) Wow, great one. What's got me most optimistic? I mean, I think it's, like I said earlier is the caliber and that the industry's paying attention to all of us, the real estate industry, the buyers, and more than ever. And we'll see it in New York in a couple weeks. Or whenever, say I was week. That’s got me really excited is like I look at the list and by the way, nobody else can. I look at the list and I look at it and I go I never met this person. At the beginning it's just been like, I gotta literally connect with everybody. Come on in, come over here it's cool. We got free food, we got drinks. It's fun. It's cool. It's fun here. It's come on in. Now they're just all coming in. So that's what got me most excited. And I think, just going back, sorry to the climate stuff, I think we have an opportunity as an industry to change the world. And so that's also got me so excited.
Adam Hooper (48:20) Perfect. Well, I think that's a good spot to wrap it up on Michael. Always appreciate the conversation. Thank you so much for coming on today. Why don't you tell the listeners how they can learn more about what you are up to with CREtech and your CREtech Climate initiative.
Michael Beckerman (48:37) Well, thanks Adam and I again, to you and Tyler. I so appreciate all the support from RealCrowd, not just for CREtech. I mean, it's just for the industry. You guys really advance the caliber of the conversation, and you amplify so much good that's happening. So, I'm just deeply, deeply appreciative of all the great work that you guys do. And yeah, I mean, it's just cretech.com Conference is October 12th and 13th. It'll be great. I'm really, really excited about it. And you can follow me on LinkedIn as well. But, yeah, it's just cretech.com is where you'll find everything we talked about and more.
Adam Hooper (49:17) Perfect. And we'll have links in the show notes for everybody and would wholeheartedly recommend you go check out the conference. It's been a fantastic, spend of our time. Every time we've been there, it should be another. Perfect. Well, Michael, again, really appreciate it. Thank you and listeners, that's all we've got for today. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please send us a note to podcast realcrowd.com. And with that we'll catch on the next one.