In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Janine Yorio from Compound.
Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Janine Yorio, and I’m a co-founder and CEO of Compound, a technology-enabled real estate marketplace that is reimagining how the world invests in urban residential real estate. My career path has led me to a unique niche at the intersection of real estate and consumer brands, and Compound is a reflection of those passions. I was previously head of real estate development at Standard Hotels, and prior to that, I was a portfolio manager at NorthStar Capital, a real estate private equity firm, which, at the time, managed more than $4 billion in institutional capital.
At Compound, we’re making urban residential real estate investment accessible to enable diverse groups of people from all around the world to buy and sell small “pieces” of residential real estate in some of the world’s top cities, places like New York City, Miami, Nashville, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, and beyond.
I help guide our our extremely talented team to make a platform that is differentiated, better, and more attuned to what today’s investors want.
What problem does your product/service solve?
Residential real estate is the world’s largest asset class, yet only the world’s wealthiest have been able to invest in high-quality residential real estate in fast-growing cities. Compound allows a much larger, more diverse universe of potential buyers/investors to build a personalized collection of residential condominiums without the hassles or capital requirement typically required of direct real estate investment. By using Compound, people can live where they are, but buy everywhere. It’s the new American dream – a future in which absolutely everybody can own a piece of the cities they love. At Compound, we’re changing the face of what ownership looks like.
Through our mobile app, Compound allows people to pool their capital (starting with as little as $50) to acquire residential condominiums, to hold them as investments, and to buy and sell these equity stakes (called “shares”) just like they can buy and sell shares in companies. Each apartment is “sliced” into 100,000 shares and sold through an SEC-qualified securities offering.
Our team has decades of experience investing in real estate, and we’re channeling that expertise when we select properties for investment. We also take care of managing and leasing the properties as rentals. We securitize the offerings through our app, and offer an in-app trading exchange where shares can be bought and sold.
What are you most excited about right now?
I’m most excited about the formal launch of our app, which will be in January 2020. Our team has been working hard to create a solution to unlock real estate investing at affordable price points in the world’s best cities.
Let me paint a picture. If you’ve visited Nashville, Tennessee recently, you’ve seen that the city is growing in an explosive and exciting way. Beyond just the music scene and bustling restaurants, there is construction underway throughout the city – cranes everywhere and an effervescent culture that combines southern hospitality and liveliness. People love it there. Cities inspire, especially when the growth and energy is palpable. But there’s no way to capitalize on this growth; the barriers to entry are too high from both a capital intensity and labor intensive standpoint.
Compound will allow you to invest in the cities you love, and you’ll have all the information available at your fingertips through our app. The accessibility of Compound extends beyond us being “mobile-first.” In our opinion, real estate is intuitive to everyone. If you eliminate the jargon and overcomplicated models that have long been associated with real estate investing, anyone can grasp the value of a property based on what city it’s in, the neighborhood, the amenities, and so on. So at Compound, we take care of the investment analysis involved with property selection and allow our users to invest based on their affinity for the properties and cities.
What’s next for you?
Global expansion. We have all the plumbing in place and are ready to start syndicating apartments in major cities all around the world. Our solution takes the headaches out of investing, owning, and managing properties globally, and our objective is to serve up the world’s best cities on a platter (or app) and allow everyone to buy and sell pieces of them in a really simple way.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
Our planet. More specifically, I care about acknowledging responsibility for climate change, sustainability, preventing waste, fostering more awareness about excessive consumerism and dumping, increasing education around landfills, plastics, the truth about recycling and donation, and deforestation. I have young children, and am deeply concerned about the environmental problems they will face throughout the course of their lives.
As a self-proclaimed minimalist, and thanks to Marie Kondo’s KonMari method, I take accountability for the problems my generation has created by aspiring to be militant and thoughtful about waste production. I have shed most of my earthly possessions and practice obsessive attention to reusing and repurposing things, only buying items my family absolutely needs.
Thanks to Janine for sharing her story. If you’d like to connect, find her on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).
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