“Technology has already changed the way consumers approach searching for properties,” says Michael Haddad, “and this is just the start.”
Michael Haddad is the chief operating officer at NorthReal.
Time at NorthReal: About 4 years
Describe what you do in one sentence. Daily, I do a bit of everything, but my current focus has been continuing development (coding and design) of our Android and iOS PropClip app.
Degree, school: Bachelor of Computer Science, Siena College
Location: Rochelle Park, New Jersey
What do you do? Please elaborate and be specific.
NorthReal is dedicated to developing applications exclusively for real estate professionals and consumers to enrich the real estate shopping and transaction experience. I specifically work with a team on PropClip, a Web and mobile app that helps users organize and manage their online property search. Users can clip properties from real estate search sites to their PropClip notebook where they can add notes and new pictures, get notified of status and price changes, and connect with their agent to share properties and collaborate on finding their perfect property.
My team has been involved with all facets of PropClip since inception, handling all planning, design, development, marketing and sales in-house. To this point it has been a challenging, rewarding and exceptionally unique experience that I’m grateful to continue to be a part of.
How’d you end up in real estate tech?
Completely by chance. I was previously working at a high school, initially as a technology teacher, then in the administration. After five years, I left to try something new and the next day stumbled upon NorthReal, was hired and immediately became immersed in real estate tech.
What’s your favorite part of what you do?
I dislike jobs that become monotonous over time; at a startup company, nearly every day is like a mini adventure. Additionally, this job has given me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with some exceptional individuals and gain a tremendous amount of hands-on experience in a relatively short period of time.
What products have you had a part in developing in the past? Describe the product the idea and the execution.
Prior to PropClip, I worked on developing BeachBeyond, a Web and Android marketplace for users looking for beach vacation rentals. The initial scope of the technology was to have a user management system for registration and login; an interface for users to create, upload, manage and display beach properties; a way to track property bookings and availability; and it was to be developed using the CodeIgniter PHP framework. I primarily worked on the Web app’s design and created template pages that interfaced with the back end.
What are you working on right now? What are the challenges?
On the development front, we are currently working on translating PropClip’s online experience into full-featured, native mobile apps for Android and iOS. Since updating PropClip’s Android app this summer, mobile user growth has significantly outpaced the Web. Accordingly, we want to ensure that the mobile user experience is as rich, engaging and easy to use as the Web. What makes this particularly challenging is creating an experience that scales and adapts to all the current phone and tablet sizes and is compatible with iOS 8 and Android Lollipop. That said, we just submitted PropClip to Apple for review and release on iOS and have another Android update in the works.
Favorite Twitter account?
I’d also like to add I enjoy Google Plus and have found some great communities and resources for Android development there.
Having steak at a steakhouse with friends.
Favorite video game?
Pittsburgh. My dad was born in Pittsburgh, I have family that lives there, and I’ve been a huge Steelers and Penguins fan for as long as I can remember.
Favorite band or singer?
I don’t have a distinct favorite; I enjoy variety and usually have Pandora on in the background.
What do you hate about technology?
The expectation that you are always connected and available.
What is one thing you would like to fix about the real estate industry?
The accuracy and availability of listing data.
Do you think technology can change the industry?
Absolutely, technology has already changed the way consumers approach searching for properties, and this is just the start.
For better or worse, I don’t think there are any existing industries, activities or paradigms that are immune to technology’s influence.
In or out of real estate, is there one problem, large or small, that you would like to solve?
I’ve watched too many loved ones battle cancer to mixed outcomes. I’d like to be able to establish a foundation in their memory or help in any capacity towards improving cancer facilities and treatment.
What motivates you?
Life would be meaningless without family and friends.
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