A Lesson in PropTech and Investing with Simon Baker
Play • 45 min

"As you grow, it's very easy to get distracted by bright shiny lights. There are new opportunities everywhere. But … don't get distracted by them. Just focus on what you're doing, and execute, and then work on executional excellence." — Simon Baker

Today's guest has worked with online marketplaces across multiple countries, and even continents, advising on product development, and successful business models. Joining us for this informative episode on the future of online rental websites is none other than Simon Baker, who has over a 20-year career in online marketplaces, from being CEO of the REA Group to advising market leaders around the world, and investing in 30-plus marketplaces in 15 countries. The list truly goes on and on (and up). In this episode, Simon shares insights into what he has learned to be the most important focal point when it comes to driving and scaling a business, as well as what he looks for in leaders prior to investing. We find out what typically leads to failures in online marketplace and how to ensure the survival and profitability of rental listing websites in the long run! Tune in to discover the nuances and challenges of the online marketplace business, and hear some of Simon's real-life examples of how to overcome hurdles in the space. This is an episode you won't want to miss! 

Key points from this episode:

  • How Simon Baker got involved in online marketplaces and why he's so passionate about it
  • The scale of REA Group today
  • The lessons Simon brought forward to drive and scale realestate.com.au back in 2000
  • The importance of focus, persistence, communication, and trust
  • The disadvantages of perfectionism
  • An example of a challenging venture and what Simon did to succeed
  • The characteristics Simon looks for in leaders prior to investing
  • What a 'beer test' is and why Simon considers it to be a deciding factor
  • What typically leads to failures in the online marketplace
  • The importance and challenge of foresight
  • How to future-proof rental listing sites and ensure profitability
  • The role of the intermediary in the online rental space
  • When to look at partnering and why to avoid building
  • Some of the interesting, innovating players in the rental listing space across the globe
  • The traits the successful players have in common
  • Whether the opportunity exists for long-term listing sites to compete with short-term listing sites
  • The nuances and the challenges of the rental listing site model
  • How listing sites can become more efficient in terms of remote leases
  • Building trust through building a brand
  • Simon's podcast guest recommendations: Morada Uno, and Gabriel Braga of QuintoAndar
  • What we can expect at the 2022 Global Online Marketplaces Summit!

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