This inspiring story is of a rising real estate startup called REINNO, started by Viktor Viktorov and Kristiyan Lozanov, based out of the United States. REINNO brings liquidity to property owners through tokenization and instant lending. REINNO’s goal is to offer the full spectrum of lending and investment products on the real estate market and provide a seamless transition for the consumer to blockchain-powered services.
The company makes real estate lending faster, easier, and more accessible. At the same time, REINNO aims to educate the public about tokenization to increase its acceptance, making the whole ecosystem more efficient. Here is the story of REINNO in Kristiyan’s own words.
Introduce us to the idea of REINNO
Most real estate owners use their properties as collateral for a loan or a mortgage. Unfortunately, traditional banks are slow and inefficient. They require a lot of paperwork and intermediaries. Moreover, the entire equity of a borrower is locked until they repay the loan in full. REINNO is addressing these issues with its instant lending product.
Imagine that Jessica owns a two-million-dollar industrial facility. First, REINNO tokenizes the property, or in other words, issues digital shares that represent fractional ownership of the building. At this step, we perform due diligence and collect important data about the property.
After the tokenization is complete, Jessica receives 2M tokens, each worth $1 and represents a tiny fraction of her equity. Now, Jessica can use as many tokens as collateral as she needs. She decides to deposit 1.2M tokens. She can adjust the loan maturity, loan-to-value ratio, and interest rate on REINNO’s platform. The loan is approved immediately without the need for additional paperwork.
Now comes the best part. Since Jessica only used 1.2M tokens, she still has 800K tokens left. She has the option to hold, sell or use them for another loan at any time. This is the equity she can use freely, even before she starts repaying the loan. This is not possible with a traditional bank. REINNO’s revolutionary model provides the flexibility that real estate owners have never had before.
What’s your strategy story? What led you to start REINNO?
My motivation comes from my dreams and thoughts of innovation and change. To do something new, to be sustainable, to compete with everything well-known, and to be able to impose it on the market. This is the real challenge that brings the greatest satisfaction.
Thanks to technology (in this case, blockchain), many sectors and businesses can benefit from major innovations that usually occur over a long period of time. This is what led me to REINNO – the ambitious task of changing the way we work in the old-fashioned real estate business. Disrupting an entire sector, such as real estate, is a very important and responsible task.
We are changing the way the industry works and the way people perceive it, its public image. I strive to upgrade my knowledge and abstract thinking every day to meet constantly changing needs. The learning never stops. I am grateful that my job pushes me to improve every day. This is the opportunity that I had been looking for from a very young age and could not miss.
What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at REINNO?
Currently, our marketing strategy is entirely organic. We do everything in-house – from video production to PR. This allows us to generate consistent traffic over time, with peaks around product launches and other big announcements. I think a lot of people will be surprised with how much publicity you can gain organically. Of course, it requires time, consistency, and the right approach, but it pays off in the end.
When it comes to operations, we have a hybrid workplace model. Even though the team is small, we have employees in different cities and countries. We are used to online meetings and time zone differences. During the pandemic, our main goals are to stay flexible and keep everyone safe. Our office stays open if someone needs a quiet space or a face-to-face meeting. I personally work from the office quite often. However, going there is not a requirement.
To increase efficiency, we use a combination of in-house and outsourced IT, specialists. This way, we can easily adjust our capacity. We always have our full-time tech leaders who create development strategies and oversee security, but we can also send individual tasks to an external team and expedite the execution. We find this model to work particularly well because our needs vary significantly – from coding for the platform’s backend to writing smart contracts.
What is your competitive advantage at REINNO?
We believe that providing tokenization is not enough. The real benefits come from the services that are enabled by tokenization. Most of our competitors are focused on providing a single product while we are capturing the whole life cycle of tokenized real estate – from issuing tokens and selling them to providing loans and secondary markets. Liquidity is not going to appear magically once you tokenize real estate. Additional services, however, will increase liquidity.
Understanding this allowed REINNO to tokenize over $350 million of commercial real estate and get recognized, from winning Startup World Cup regionals in December 2019 to being selected as one of the top lending startups to look out for in 2021. We never stop polishing our offerings, creating new services, and improving the existing ones.
Share a story when you have been customer-obsessed
At REINNO, we always put our customers first. We are obsessed with all of them. Even though we have a business and legal setup that allows us to onboard clients quickly, we believe that it’s important to take our time and understand their end-goals. Real estate owners don’t want to tokenize their buildings for the sake of it. They either want to sell, replace a mortgage or use their property for a new loan. Understanding these needs is key to delivering value.
When a project looks especially interesting to us, we will go out of our way to make it a reality. Tokenization is still a new concept, so there are lots of firsts. There was “A First For Manhattan” when Propellr and Fluidity tokenized a building in New York. Then, there was the “First Tokenized Office Building in Connecticut” by REINNO. Sometimes, when you are the first company to do something, you don’t know for sure if what your client wants is even possible. However, at REINNO we strongly believe that where there is a will, there is a way.
Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?
When we first presented REINNO to people not involved with the company (e.g., clients, investors, and potential partners), it was hard for the rest of the team and me to explain what we were doing. It might sound silly, but when you already understand the technology and mechanisms in your product, it can be hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone who hears about it for the first time. The second you get too technical, you lose everyone. It took some very awkward pitches for us to adopt a different approach. Sometimes it’s a good idea to describe your product the way you would to a four-year-old.
Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?
First, stay organized. Running a business is not only about having the greatest and most innovative idea. It is also about implementing it. Sometimes being an entrepreneur is boring. There are emails to write, legal documents to go through, and meetings to attend. You have to stay focused. Make sure to finish your tasks and follow up on important conversations.
Second, don’t get discouraged. Be prepared to hear “no.” Remember, you cannot create something innovative without pushing boundaries. Some people might not like it, and that’s ok. However, don’t ignore the critics. Listen to what they have to say and apply this information. Every time someone challenges your idea, they allow you to grow and improve.
Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.
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