by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO
Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.
This week’s interview is with Michael Lucarelli, the CEO of RentSpree. We discussed why RESO matters for rentals, creating a startup in the real estate space and Delaware. Enjoy!
Q1: RentSpree has been present at recent RESO conferences and supportive of RESO’s mission. Why is it important for you to get behind RESO at this juncture of your company’s growth?
Michael: The way that we see it, there’s still so much work to be done in the rental industry. RESO had already started making progressive changes before we became involved. We know that RESO depends on volunteers to put forth valuable resources and knowledge about things like regional differences, pain points and how agents are using MLSs in different ways with the ultimate goal of helping to smooth the real estate transaction.
Given that we have about 250 partners who either integrate with or offer RentSpree, it felt like we had some connections that could help the way rentals are handled throughout the industry. We want to connect parties that normally don’t interact with each other.
As an example, we do some work with the California Apartment Association, the largest association of property owners and landlords in California. They have their own forms library, similar to the California Association of REALTORS®, and we want to help bridge gaps there, similar to how we would like to help contribute to the matching of metadata among rental vendors.
Q2: You have been heading RentSpree for more than six years now. and in the eyes of many, you are still a new company on the scene. Based on your experience, what advice can you share about the development of a startup, especially in a vertical as entrenched as the real estate industry?
Michael: You need to learn what is going on and really stand on the shoulders of those that have come before you to establish policies and procedures.
When CRMLS [California Regional Multiple Listing Service] became our first MLS partner, it was thanks to Data Dictionary Workgroup Chair Rob Larson putting me in touch with Sarah Trent Miranda, the Director of Business Development at CRMLS. Those industry connections were huge for us.
You have to listen and think before you talk. Go to conferences like RESO. Talk to people, learn, get feedback and advice. MLS and association relationships can help you have a more complete understanding of how the industry and particularly how industry data works.
And you simply can’t stop learning. I learn new things every day. I may have built a good foundation of knowledge, but I’m still learning. You also have to realize that you are not – RentSpree is not – the center of their universe. It helps you gain a better appreciation of your potential clients and the industry itself if you learn that they are thinking about more than you and your product.
Q3: I was surprised to see that you are a Blue Hen, meaning a graduate from the University of Delaware. Who is the most famous graduate from Delaware named Joe?
Michael: It has to be President Joe Biden.
RESO: Wrong. The correct answer is Joe Flacco, the NFL quarterback that won a Super Bowl at the helm of the Baltimore Ravens who currently plays for the New York Jets.
Michael: That’s actually what I was going to say! But I figured you wanted to hear Joe Biden. Flacco graduated about a year before me in 2012 and left a year before I arrived at the school. His pictures were everywhere, like at my favorite pizza place, Margherita’s Pizza.