Our CEO Rich Sarkis recently sat down with News Funnel CEO Michael Beckerman to chat about the genesis and growth of Reonomy.
In just four years, Reonomy has grown from a tiny startup run out of a closet to a powerful national data engine with thousands of users. That rapid growth is in no small part thanks to our dedicated Co-Founder and CEO Rich Sarkis. As we celebrate the launch of our national platform, Rich sat down with News Funnel CEO Michael Beckerman to discuss his entrepreneurial journey.
In case you missed it, we’ve outlined five key takeaways from their chat:
1. Good strategy isn’t about what you do, it’s what you don’t do
When starting a business, it’s important to keep focus narrow. In its early stages, Reonomy was only based in New York, with no plans for expansion until its methods had been tested and proved successful in one city. Start small, master one specific niche, and scale from there — if you attempt too much at once, nothing will happen.
2. Get feedback before you launch anything
After a year spent collecting CRE property data in New York, Rich and his co-founder Charlie gave it away for free. Why? Because they wanted feedback from top CRE firms in order to rapidly iterate on the product before launch. No matter how stellar your product might be, it’s important to get a second opinion — or third or fourth — before investing time and resources into its launch.
3. Replicating a good model doesn’t always work
Once Reonomy was up and running in New York, we began looking to expand into other cities. But we quickly realized that the methods we’d used to gather data in New York City simply wouldn’t be practical or cost effective when repeated for 30+ additional markets. That approach would have also resulted in a fragmented business model — 30 or 40 mini Reonomies operating in silos. With this in mind, our team hunkered down and ultimately developed a new model that supplemented our own data collection with a carefully curated set of data partners.
4. It’s never going to be easier than you think it is
After gaining traction in New York, the initial plan was to begin expanding across the U.S. in a matter of months. It ended up taking three years to create a high quality product that we felt confident launching across the country. Building a business is never easier than you think it will be, and it takes an immense amount of perseverance — there are no shortcuts.
5. Most startups die by suicide, not murder
Startups tend to be very paranoid about competition, but the reality is many of them are so focused on external forces that they fail to identify internal conflicts. Building a business is methodical and meticulous, and internal wounds — interpersonal, technical, financial, or otherwise — can cause much more damage than emerging competitors.