The New Guard are the people building and defining the real estate industry for the next decade. 

Who comprises Inman’s New Guard? Entrepreneurs creating new business models. Executives pushing establishment companies forward into the future. Venture capitalists and investors funding the next wave of innovation. Leaders of organizations setting — and changing — the rules of the game. 

The New Guard will be honored at Inman Disconnect at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, CA, March 30-April 1, 2020. Here now, three inductees of the New Guard worthy of the distinction: 

Robert Reffkin, CEO of Compass

Robert Reffkin

CEO, Compass

Under Reffkin’s leadership, Compass shot from a regional New York brokerage, initially as Urban Compass, into a national Goliath with stratospheric ambitions. With his sights set on dominating the top 20 markets in the United States with 20 percent market share by the end of this year, all eyes will be on the former Goldman Sachs Chief of Staff in 2020.

But with backing from dozens of investors both large (Fidelity Investments) and, frankly, gargantuan (Softbank), expect the wind at Reffkin’s back for the foreseeable future.

Sean Black, CEO of Knock

Sean Black

CEO, Knock

A serial entrepreneur, Black staked his claim on the great white hope of property technology back in its infancy as a founding team member of Trulia, the San Francisco-based home search portal that launched in 2005.

Since then, the Penn State University international business management graduate has rode the wave as venture capitalists continue to pump ever-larger sums of money into the proptech market, first as founder and CEO of Crunched, a sales analytics company eventually acquired by ClearSlide, and now Knock, an iBuyer-like startup that differentiates itself by advancing cash to customers to buy property.

Now approaching its fifth year in business, Knock is barreling ahead with big plans. “I would say the most important thing is that we’re building a brand,” Black told Inman in 2018. “We know we’re building the next big Amazon-type brand for consumers.”

Raj Bhaskar, CEO of Hurdlr

Raj Bhaskar

CEO, Hurdlr

By extracting the pain points of bookkeeping, Washington, D.C.-based Hurdlr has skyrocketed to become the go-to mobile business management app for freelancers, entrepreneurs and, yes, real estate agents. Under Bhaskar’s leadership, the company took top prize in Realogy’s annual startup competition in 2017 while drawing funding rounds from investors like TTV Capital.

For Bhaskar, however, real estate has always been top of mind, not least of all with VisualHOMES, the property management software startup he launched in 2000, then sold to Yardi Systems in 2010. What he achieves next is anybody’s guess.

Want to join the New Guard in Palm Springs?  Apply to attend Disconnect and join in on the discussion of the pressing issues and future of the industry.

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