For the first time, Real Estate Weekly, the industry’s oldest and most respected news title, is recognizing the shining lights in the emerging real estate technology sector.
As real estate’s evolution is increasingly driven by concepts such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cloud software, we have sought out the men and women at the forefront of the movement.
Today, we recognize those who are driving change with new platforms and devices, analytics and intelligence that is shaping the future of the real estate industry.
The Top Techs of 2020 are:
Co-founder and President
Allen Alishahi is co-founder and president of ShelterZoom Corp – a New York-based company set to provide a smart contract-based SaaS platform that will transform records, documents and contracts into fully digital, interoperable and intelligent assets — the company is also the creator of the first blockchain-based real estate purchase and rental deal platform. ShelterZoom has successfully delivered two industry-first, next-generation blockchain-based deal, contract and transaction management platforms that are revolutionizing real estate and many other industries. As a result, ShelterZoom has won multiple global awards, like SIIA CODiE Best Emerging Technology 2018 and CIO Application’s Company of the Year – Blockchain.
During the course of Allen’s career as a business strategist and a broker in New York for the last 30 years, he has founded and led a number of successful real estate and lending companies based in New York, including; Cyrus Charter Property and Land Company Inc.; Falcon Worldwide Capital Corporation; Sun Properties of New York; Charleston Capital Corporation; Falcon Property, one of Staten Island’s largest real estate businesses. Allen has been featured on podcasts like Yaptone’s Platform Players podcast and has written for publications like RISMedia. Allen has also been named Game Changer 2019 by Real Trends.
General Partner & Managing Director
Casey Berman is a General Partner and the Managing Director at Camber Creek. He founded Camber Creek 8 years ago and oversees all aspects of the organization. Casey leads the due diligence process for potential investments, makes investment decisions and participates in the management of portfolio companies. Casey is a current or past board member of Curbio, WhyHotel, Measurabl, Latch, SalesWarp, ClearEdge3D (acquired by TopCon), Latista (acquired by Textura), Vedero (acquired by Murata), and Parkifi (acquired by Dish Networks). Prior to Camber Creek, Casey was President of Operations for one of the Washington DC area’s largest privately held real estate development and management companies. Casey received a BA from the University of Michigan. Casey is the Engagement Chair and on the Executive Committee of the Washington DC Chapter of YPO. He participates in philanthropic endeavors including the marketing team of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and mentoring through university entrepreneurship programs.
Most recent achievement: Casey Berman’s most recent and notable achievements are the contributions he’s made to advance the PropTech industry as the Managing Director of Camber Creek, one of the nation’s premier proptech venture capital firm. This year, Berman launched Camber Creek’s third investment fund. Berman also led Camber Creek as it participated in some of the highest profile financing rounds of 2019 including deals with Curbio, WhyHotel, Measurabl, Bowery and Latch. Casey takes an active role in executing these deals; for example, he led the Series A investment in Curbio along with Brick & Mortar Ventures and took a board seat. Additionally, this year Berman was named a Top Tech Enterpriser in CRE by Real Estate Forum and a C-Suite Award Winner by Washington Business Journal.
Co-founder and CEO
Chao Cheng-Shorland is co-founder and CEO of ShelterZoom Corp – a New York-based company set to provide a smart contract-based SaaS platform that will transform records, documents and contracts into fully digital, interoperable and intelligent assets — the company is also the creator of the first blockchain-based real estate purchase and rental deal platform. ShelterZoom has successfully delivered two industry-first, next-generation blockchain-based deal, contract and transaction management platforms that are revolutionizing real estate and many other industries. As a result, ShelterZoom has won multiple global awards, like SIIA CODiE Best Emerging Technology 2018 and CIO Application’s Company of the Year – Blockchain. Chao has been named Game Changer 2019 by Real Trends, and Female Innovator of the Year by Women World Awards.
Chao immigrated from Australia to the U.S. in 2018 and is internationally known for her work in applying blockchain technology to create value in peoples’ daily lives. She has traveled to China, Australia and other international and domestic locations to spread her knowledge of blockchain. Some conferences where Chao has spoken include SXSW, World Blockchain Forum and Inman Connect. She can also be found on the Forbes Technology Council sharing her perspectives on how the technology will revolutionize business.
CEO & Co-Founder
Caren Maio is the CEO and Co-Founder of Nestio, the industry’s leading leasing and marketing software for multifamily professionals. Prior to Nestio, Caren lent her business expertise to corporate sales positions at powerhouse brands Nike and The Wall Street Journal. Caren graduated from New York University. She has been named one of the 3 Female Entrepreneurs to Look Out For by Metro and one of the 15 Women to Watch in Tech by Inc.com.
Most recent achievement: Caren recently won the Leading Entrepreneur category in The Women in PropTech awards competing against hundreds of nominations across the world; Nestio’s new product, Funnel, recently took home the prize of Best CRM at CRETech’s Real Estate Technology Awards.
CEO and Co-Founder
Denis Mars is the CEO and Co-Founder of Proxy. Before Proxy, Mars was the Director of Admissions at Y Combinator, responsible for initiating programs to help discover and evaluate the most promising founders and ideas that could change the world for the better. Y Combinator was an investor in Denis’ previous company Meetings.io that created the world’s first privacy-driven peer-to-peer distributed video conferencing system running entirely in the browser, which was acquired by Jive Software. Mars has a B.S. in Physics and a B.E. Honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sydney.
Most recent achievement: His most recent professional achievement is starting Proxy, a company on a mission to empower all people with a digital identity signal that’s universally accessible, secure and private. At Proxy, Denis strives to create technologies that revolutionize the way we experience the physical world while empowering people to maintain complete control of their identity, data, and privacy.
Integrated Business Systems (IBS)
Michael Mullin’s technology career spans more than three decades, during which he consistently has delivered positive business outcomes for his clients by leveraging industry advancements to improve operating results. Following many years focused on property operations, construction and accounting with high-profile organizations including Yardi Systems, First Advantage/SafeRent and GEAC Computers, in 2010 Mike joined IBS. The boutique commercial real estate technology firm launched its legacy property management/accounting software in 1979 – when the use of computers in the workplace was in its infancy. The IBS system continually evolved to meet changing customer needs and commensurate with technological advances, and under Mike’s creative guidance IBS products and services have expanded to serve a truly digital marketplace. In addition to servicing and growing its Imperium Powered by Acumatica and Acumatica Construction Edition client bases, the firm supports the dozens of regional commercial and residential real estate owners and operators using the IBS legacy property management/accounting software. Additionally, IBS’s Managed IT Services division offers consulting, design, installation and support services – with expertise in the areas of business continuity and cybersecurity. Mike’s continuing goal is to ensure that IBS’s clients are taking advantage of the best available technologies while remaining secure and safe.
In 2019, Michael Mullin was named among the inaugural NJBiz DigiTech innovators, in which honorees “represent pioneers from New Jersey who have, and are, introducing significant advances in the technological and digital space” and was recognized as an Acumatica MVP by his firm’s strategic partner. The MVP designation is based on Mike’s knowledge of the Acumatica solution, development of IBS’s proprietary Imperium Powered by Acumatica (a cloud-based property management/accounting software platform) and engagement with the Acumatica team. MVPs also are honored for offering advice and insights to their peers without expectation of payment or reward. Additionally, this year IBS was named as “Best Technology Firm” by Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Journal and listed among NJBiz’s Top Cybersecurity Companies.
Further, under Mike’s leadership, Imperium Powered by Acumatica this year received the latest Acumatica-Certified Application (ACA) recognition. The ACA title highlights outstanding development partners whose applications have met the highest standards set for Acumatica integration and functionality. IBS in 2019 also became a Value-Added Reseller of Acumatica Construction Edition, a comprehensive enterprise resource planning platform for that specific vertical.
James A. Pirot
Project Management New York
James Pirot leads Project Management Services at Cresa New York. For the past 30 years Jim has operated and managed commercial, residential, industrial, retail and hotel properties here in New York and throughout the United States. Jim’s experience provides occupiers with project advisory and management solutions that meet their ever-changing needs. He approaches his role as a full-service project advisor integrated into the client’s operating culture. With a diversified client base, Jim has experience in working through project management challenges faced by occupiers in within today’s vast array of businesses.
In New York, Jim’s assignments involved such properties as the Empire State Building, One Penn Plaza, 140 Broadway, Starrett Lehigh, as well the Helmsley chain of Hotels nationally. Clients • Affinity Health Plan • Annaly Capital • Amazon • Context Relevant • Dime Community Bank • Guardian Life • Media Storm • Palo Alto Networks • Robert A.M. Stern Architects • Sidoti • Sterling Publishing • Under Armour • Urban Resource Institute • Zillow • Year Up
Jim is a current member of the Real Estate Board of New York, Building Owners and Managers Association, CoreNet and a former member of the Real Advisory Board on Labor Relations.
Most recent achievement: Mr. Pirot served as project manager for the smart technology build-out of multinational law firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP’s (Fragomen) new 107,000-square-foot offices at 1400 Broadway, completed in August 2019.
Since becoming CEO of Vcheck Global in 2017, Adam Rudman has led Vcheck’s sales growth and expanded the company’s offerings as a leading provider of deep-dive due diligence background checks for commercial real estate companies, law firms, banks and investment groups.
During Rudman’s tenure the company has increased revenue by over 250% and he has successfully secured some of the largest Fortune 500 companies as clients. Rudman’s client-driven work ethic and diligence has helped the company to continue to grow as cited on the INC 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for the last two years.
In 2019 the company also invested heavily in machine learning and AI to provide more insightful reports in a shorter turnaround time.
Today Vcheck Global services over 1,000 clients across the globe that include many commercial real estate lenders and non banks that use the company’s sophisticated set of services to vet borrowers. The company’s services include identity verification, asset searches, judgments and liens, bankruptcies, criminal records, credit reports, social media presence and more.
“In the real estate space we provide an efficient deeper dive into background investigations for clients at a lower cost making the investigative process more affordable to many companies – big and small,” said Rudman. “Our staff saves companies millions of dollars in potential losses and help limit their exposure to litigation and unnecessary risk.””
Founder and developer
With an extensive background in global luxury residential real estate, Mike Russo is an accomplished real estate veteran with two decades of industry experience, with quantifiable success closing record-setting transactions on an international scale. Most recently, Russo served as director of business development and COO of Concierge Auctions, a global real estate marketplace specializing in the auction sale of luxury homes, where he personally handled over 350 property sales across 20 states and in 15 countries.
During his tenure, Russo spearheaded numerous sales and technology initiatives that helped Concierge grow to more than $1 billion in historical sales in just seven years. Prior to Concierge Auctions, Russo served as the Vice President of Realogy/Cendant, one of the largest real estate franchisors. In 2009,
Russo created and founded Rezora, a digital marketing platform targeted towards the real estate industry.
Under Russo’s guidance, both Concierge Auctions and Rezora were included on the Inc. 5000 Fastest
Growing Companies list, and now he has his sights are set on SparkOffer reaching that list quickly.
CEO and Co-Founder
L.D. Salmanson has extensive experience founding, advising, and investing in leading private technology companies. Prior to founding Cherre, L.D. served as Executive Director of Oppenheimer’s Private Shares Group, after Oppenheimer acquired Greencrest Capital, a firm he co-founded to enable pre-IPO transactions in some of the largest private technology companies in the world, including Facebook, twitter, and Uber. Prior to that L.D. served as the Principal of Knight Capital Group’s Private Equity Fund, and previously as a captain in the Israeli Army. L.D. earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, and is a Joseph Wharton Merit Scholar. L.D. also holds a B.A., LL.B., and LL.M. in finance and International Law from IDC Herzliya.
Most recent achievement: L.D. Salmanson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cherre, an award-winning AI connection platform. Cherre’s vision is to turn CRE underwriting and investment decisions into science through the power of connecting disparate data. His notable recent achievements include winning the Real Estate Tech Award pitch competition at the CREtech event in October, and presenting at key PropTech events throughout November including Propmodo: Building the Future, EY 2019 Real Estate Market and Digital Trends Update, Levertonia 2019, and Dreamit Live.
Chief Product & Technology Officer
ATTOM Data Solutions
Todd Teta serves as ATTOM Data Solutions’ Chief Product & Technology Officer where he leverages two decades of experience in technology and product innovation to lead ATTOM’s technology and product teams.
Prior to joining ATTOM Data Solutions, Todd led the product development and technology organization at Meyers Research. Todd began his career with Andersen Consulting, where he helped clients leverage data and technology to drive business results. Subsequently, he co-founded several startups, including VisionCore, a product and service company serving the mortgage and real estate data and analytics markets. He eventually sold VisionCore to CoreLogic, the largest provider of residential real-estate information services.
At CoreLogic, Todd led research and development teams that developed the company’s first mobile and mapping visualization products. He also led the company’s professional services organization and technology teams for multiple markets, including credit reporting and tenant screening.
Todd graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a degree in Computer Engineering and Computer Science.
Most recent achievement: In Todd’s role as Chief Product & Technology Officer for ATTOM Data Solutions, he is directly responsible for driving product development and tech innovation for the premium property data provider, as well as building teams to scale the business. Under Todd’s leadership, ATTOM has developed various key technological advancements over the past years, but the company’s most recent solution, ATTOM DaaS (data-as-a-service), is the first of its kind. This innovative solution allows for businesses of all sizes to quickly and efficiently leverage the power of property data without the time-consuming and costly process of building data management capabilities in-house.
Todd’s contributions have played a key role in ATTOM’s ability to provide premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation’s population. Todd’s team manages the rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, which standardizes and enhances the data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 9TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include bulk property data licensing, Property Data APIs, market trends, marketing lists, match & append and introducing the first property data deliver solution, a cloud-based data platform that streamlines data management – Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).