In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we spoke with Monty Ngan and Hannah Le from Ascend Build.
Without further ado…
Who are you and what do you do?
Monty – I’m the co-founder of Ascend Build – we help real estate developers and property managers optimize rental pricing. I graduated from Wharton in Business Analytics and
International Relations + worked at McKinsey prior to starting my current company. This is my second startup – the first one was an indigenous language preservation platform that I launched with the Philippine Department of Education.
Hannah – I’m a co-founder at Ascend leading engineering and product development. Previous to
this, I’ve worked with the Head of Medical Physics at Princess Margaret Hospital to create a
a fast, personalized adaptive framework for prostate cancer treatment and worked on various
consulting projects with WealthSimple, TD, and Microsoft through The Knowledge Society.
What problem does your product/service solve?
Our vision at Ascend is to help make real estate pricing and purchasing decisions more transparent – starting with leases. With Ascend, our developer clients can look up every property posted within a city and receive real-time analytics on how their leases compare to those of their peers. We utilize over 80,000+ datapoints, updated daily, including past rents, quality of buildings, and area amenities to help developers predict the best rent price. Hannah and I have spoken to over 120+ development firms over the past months to discover the main pain points they face, and were pleasantly surprised to learn how customers could now use our tools to derive insights they couldn’t previously, like “How much was a townhouse that went off- market in 1 day with 2 beds, 1 bath, pet friendly, has a pool and spa priced at?”
Working with clients in Vancouver since we launched has been the most exciting part since we launched last month! We’ve gotten requests from RE developers/property managers in SF, LA, and even London to bring our app to their cities and are very excited to continue expanding our reach. We have a lot of improvements to the platform coming up and are working on predicting ideal rent for our client’s properties.
What’s next for you?
We’re expanding to Toronto, LA, and SF in the coming months and looking to work with real estate developers, property managers, and asset managers in these cities ( we’re also open to other cities- we would love to connect on [Monty’s] LinkedIn). We’re excited to meet new clients and are working with the next 5 companies to sign on as design partners.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
Monty – Language preservation. I grew up in the Philippines to a family that code-switched between Tagalog, Bisaya, Fookien and English. At times, there were some words in one language I could never express in another. Growing up around a mix of several cultures – I’ve come to realize that a person’s language is tied to their identity and enables them to understand their culture more. Losing it means forgetting centuries of perspectives, values and history. Between 1950 and 2010, 230 languages went extinct and ~3500 more are predicted to do so by 2100 unless we put more emphasis on this issue.
Hannah – Human health. I think there are lots of technology infrastructure innovations that are coming up in the following years that can really change how healthcare delivery works that lead to longer healthspan and lifespan. An example could be a wearable that better analyzes metabolites in your body to proactively inform you of diseases, shifting our system from reactive to proactive. Another could be utilizing data and machine learning models to come up with drug molecules with higher efficacy. Especially during COVID, what are some ways we can utilize data and computer science to proactively create vaccines for future, potential pandemics? These are questions that I’m really fascinated by!
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop us a line (community @ geekestatelabs dot com).
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