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Ali Parandeh Zandpour – Trainer & Speaker
Interview featured by blocksquare.io
This interview is part of a series of conversations with leaders in blockchain for real estate, so our community can learn how blockchain is impacting real estate directly from experts worldwide.
Ali is an entrepreneur at heart. He has started and ran companies in UK, Iran and Spain. His latest startup Urbytus has given him a new passion to help entrepreneurs who might struggle and find themselves with the same obstacles. Most importantly he has used this same methodology to push Urbytus through the odds and to where it is now.
Urbytus is one of the leading online software platforms for Home Owners Association and Property Management companies. In 2008, Ali as then the president of his previous community foresaw the need for a service where owners and the management company could interact and resolve problems without the need of arduous meetings where disagreements were common due to lack of communication and transparency.
From registered post to registered email may not seem like a long leap, but in today’s chaotic world, where emails are lost in between the hundreds of junk messages, deliverability is not guaranteed and data manipulation so easy, there has never been a higher need to improve any and all existing solutions.
Real Estate development has kept up with using hardware and software technology during the construction phase but what has been missing and lagging way behind is what happens once construction is complete. All real estates require routine maintenance once built and this part has been the lowest to adapt new technology.
Blockchain has been the innovation that can help the real estate sector to change drastically and for the better. It is not just the need for email delivery and accounting, but a whole range of maintenance procedures, payments and workflow that can be built into blockchain.
At Urbytus our aim is NOT to create more work, but to simplify and reduce workload. Not just for the owners who want to enjoy their life and free time at home, but also for the management companies who are drowning in email, accounting work and disputes of all sorts. Many of these issues can be handled by using Smart contracts and integration of blockchain technology to provide transparency and accountability. Ali’s vision is to transform the sector of Property Management and bring about a change that is long overdue.
Ali is currently mentor, keynote speaker and always interested in getting involved hands-on in new exciting projects.
“Every now and then technologies change some sectors forever. Blockchain is set to bring the transparency factor that has long been overdue in the management of Real Estate and in particular Home Owners Associations.”
Q: Ali, tell us a little bit about your background.
A: I am a serial entrepreneur at heart. I have setup numerous companies closed a few and have sold two. I started programming when I was 14 on an Amstrad 6128 with 128K of memory. My passion was and remains to bring organisation to the disordered enterprises and the companies that I interact with on a daily basis, through the creation of efficient CRM systems. I hate waiting and I hate to make people wait for anything.
My new passion Urbytus came about in 2005 as I was elected the president of my Home Owners Association. While social networking is taking over our lives, we are growing apart from our neighbours, the people who live closest to us. However Urbytus is not a social networking platform or simply an online version of existing software, rather we have continually questioned why things get left undone and how we could improve on the old and outdated property management systems and methods.
Q: How did you get involved in blockchain?
A: About three years ago I got approached by two other friends (entrepreneurs) who suggested that we should look into this technology. After many months of brainstorming we realized that there is great use and potential for this technology in the HOA (Property Management) Industry.
Q:How do you see blockchain technology impacting real estate?
A: Currently, most uses and interest lie around the sales process, documentation and the legal process involved in property ownership and details. However, property maintenance is a much bigger market that dwarfs all the above put together. There is much need for transparency and proof of communication, better accounting practices, and fund management. Using Blockchain technology we can implement many of these required functionalities.
Q: What are you focusing on right now?
A: We are currently testing and working on how to best implement the first uses of this technology into the HOA sector. Just like the early days of any technology, we find that there is a lot of resistance and denial but as experience and history has shown it is only a matter of time. We need better technology to deal with the current issues and in particular that of accounting transparency and verified communications for legal purposes.
Q: What are your thoughts on the future of blockchain?
A: Blockchain is not a replacement, it is a tool or another way of doing something in a better way. So just like with the replacement of fossil fuel cars with electric cars, many of the older IT data processes will eventually get replaced. Yes currently implementation costs are higher and there are many unanswered/grey areas but it will only get better with time and support from the community.
Q: One final thought for our community at Blocksquare?
A: Over the past 30 years many people (friends, family, advisors, business angels) and so on put me off doing things by saying that it won’t work. If you have any doubts read the book “That won’t work” by the Founder of Netflix and forget all the negative advice. The only way you can find out is by doing it and following your heart.