When Relola was selected for the NAR REach Accelerator class of 2017, Dave Garland became more than an advisor. He became a trusted friend of the company. And as a new class is about to be chosen for 2018, we’re happy to showcase Dave in our latest #meettheunicorns interview series.
The first thing to know about Dave Garland is that he has a serious title: he is Director of Strategic Investments for the National Association of Realtors and a partner for Second Century Ventures.
Second Century Ventures oversees the Reach Fund and the REach Accelerator Program. And that program is the largest accelerator in the real estate space.
“We bring in the best and the brightest companies from around the globe,” Dave said. “We look at thousands of them per year, and we whittle it down to seven to nine companies.”
So what does the program look for in a class? What makes a company a prime candidate for NAR REach?
“We're looking for passion,” said Dave. “We're looking for creativity, we're looking for growth strategies to help the realtor community, to really position the realtor for the future, for how to transact business, 5, 10, 15 years in the future.”
Thankfully, Dave and the team saw that passion, creativity, and growth in Relola.
“The key message that we wanted to focus on for the benefit of the Realtors was taking that tacit knowledge and sharing it with the consumer.”
Relola doesn't just serve Realtors. Relola helps Realtors serve the buyers and sellers better.
“We really help the general public to make better informed decisions about strategically moving or finding locations that they truly can enjoy and love. And Relola does that better than anybody we know."
Dave is no stranger to real estate. He’s a lifer. And he has his broker’s license in four states. So how has he perceived the industry changing? Where is real estate going, as a whole?
“The industry in general is largely dependent on the consumer, and you have to look at some of the macroeconomic trends. Those trends are pretty prescribed trends.
The great recession was one of the biggest impacts on our economy -- that our economy had seen, especially in the housing market. And right now, it's humming along. And it's a phenomenal market. Interest rates are still great for consumers. So I think that what comes next is going to be predicated on the consumer, and the reaction that the real estate industry makes to that consumer both on a commercial side as well as on a residential side.”
For someone who has an inside look at what’s new and exciting in real estate, what is Dave betting on as a game changer?
“I'm betting on organizations and operations that enhance and leverage the network effect. Those organizations that understand that no matter how much technology you can throw at the industry, it's still a relationship business. So if you can harness the essence of a relationship and translate that into a technologically efficient system that is easy to use, simple to understand, then you can win in this industry. Because it's not about the technology. The technology can never be central. The relationship is central.”
Meet the Unicorns is a video series where Relola sat down with unique thought leaders from all over the world of real estate during the National Association of Realtors Annual Conference & Expo. They really are one-of-a-kind, and it's our job to celebrate that!