The First Four Motive Members, Making Real Estate More Connected and Open.

The First Four Motive Members, Making Real Estate More Connected and Open.

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”

Andrew Zusman, Skyrise, Motive Member

On June 23, I announced the Motive Real Estate Technology Accelerator to an audience of over 450.

After 77 days of grind, today I’m proud to reveal the first four Motive Members, who will participate in our 12-week program, beginning today. John Backes


Motive Cofounder Jonathan Van has already written up a great writeup on Dwelo.

Dwelo enables new developments and redevelopments an answer to “What can I do to make my complex stand apart?” Dwelo helps owners goes beyond pools, fitness rooms, and granite countertops. They quickly and easily integrate state-of-the-art smart devices in complexes offering residents and property managers a completely seamless experience. Keyless entry. Automated lighting. Automated thermostat. The possibilities are endless in apartments integrated with Dwelo.

They also are a dream for property managers. Control vacant units from anywhere. Seriously.

I’ll just keep it short: Smart. Apartments.


You may remember that Skyrisepresented at RealTech Dallas: Office Edition. Skyrise brings the incredibly valuable combination of experienced startup team, solid technical skill, and a deep sense of user empathy — Skyrise truly is designed to make office environments better spaces.

Skyrise cofounder Andrew Zusman recently wrote an article for explaining that office owners need to make their spaces more connected if they are going to compete with behemoths like WeWork.

Skyrise is free for tenants and inhabitants within office buildings. It immediately makes these environments more social and connected!

With Skyrise, I can make plans to go grab a pizza across the street with the badasses on floors 2 and 7.

I can stay up to date on events and news in my building. I can reserve building amenities, and access the building directory.

And perhaps best of all, I can communicate directly with the front desk via real-time chat, and if there’s an emergency (like a fire, an earthquake, or a cool food truck), they can push notifications out quickly and easily.


Chad and Alexander have gone deep in testing a fundamental problem for students: what happens when you’re on a 12-month lease and you get that internship? Leaseful is a peer-to-peer subleasing platform allowing people to monetize their unused rooms, and book their own temporary housing.

We were impressed with the entrepreneurial fire and focus in the Leaseful team.

After running a successful pilot at SMU, we are looking forward to what they will bring.


When I invited Casalova founder Ray Taeeb to leave Toronto for 12 weeks and join us in Dallas, his response was, “Is there good BBQ in Dallas?” Love it. But beneath the surface is a powerful platform that streamlines the rental process and creates market transparency for landlords and renters. Uniquely, they allow renters to bid on vacant apartments.

And they have great traction. They’re definitely doing something right.

Check out casalova here.

The Common Thread.

In July, I picked up “The IKEA Book,” which chronicles the iconic brand’s design history from its founding in the 1940’s until today. IKEA has always been propelled forward by one simple idea, that well-designed furniture should be for “the many people.” The book had a surprising influence on my thinking over the past few months.

Great spaces should be for “the many people.” Just like design, technology can enable that. It turns out that’s the common theme for the companies we accepted into our program. Our Members are passionate about creating a great product, but there is also a democratic focus — to truly make these places better for the people in them.

When I was working in multifamily investment sales from 2006 to 2008, I was continuously fascinated with the idea of creating additional connections between the management company and the residents and inhabitants of spaces. Even while working on the top multifamily investment sales team in the country, I wanted to find a way to use technology to make real estate better for everyone. So I’m glad we get to contribute to that.

Skyrise: connecting workers to their buildings. Dwelo: making apartments smarter for residents, and easier to manage for landlords. Leaseful: solving the common pain of breaking your lease. Casalova: creating more confidence and seamless communication when you rent an apartments.

Creating better spaces for the people in them. That’s the theme of the companies we are announcing today.

Motive For Investors

For accredited investors that are interested in the real estate technology space, we invite you to get to know these teams. We have taken a bold position by investing 60% more in each company than the average accelerator program. Because of this, we received excellent deal flow, and were able to choose companies that have reached well-validated problem-solution fit.

Motive For Property Owners

We invite property owners to get to know them as well — we are giving ample opportunities to start pilot programs for the small and large office and multifamily owner. Our companies are mentored from innovation professionals at CBRE, DTZ, Howard Hughes, and many others.

Motive Events

September 16: REVTECH Demo Day

September 18th at 8AM: Motive Mentors, Office Edition

October 2 at 8AM: Motive Mentors, Multifamily Edition.

October 20-22: CRE//Tech Intersect NYC.

November 19: Motive Demo Day (in partnership with DisruptCRE Dallas).

The Motive Accelerator partners with radicals, freethinkers, passionate artists and craftsmen who are rethinking the real estate industry.

Drop us a line at

 The First Four Motive Members, Making Real Estate More Connected and Open.

+1 Cheering for all the great companies at Motive.

Duke Long

1 comment