My colleagues often express that prospective clients are somewhat puzzled about Ask Wire’s function, since we communicate about a diverse range of topics, and I tend to detour into areas like geopolitical risks, macroeconomic challenges, demographics, and climate change. They aren’t wrong. I have a passion for numbers, so I tend to get lost in different topics trying to find reliable sources to base my understanding of the world. And that in many ways is what Ask Wire is – a reliable source to base your decisions upon.
My background is in real estate valuations and finance. I worked as a real estate valuer and as a financial analyst in London, before moving to Bucharest in 2007 to become an estate agent; I happily exchanged commuting in the tube with selling land in the outskirts of a developing capital. In 2011 I moved to Limassol to work as a valuer and had a side-gig running a healthy food shop; sandwiches, salads, etc – great fun! In 2012 I resigned and set up a real estate advisory business; we collected real estate data and developed business plans. Throughout 2013 this company worked on some challenging mandates, specialising in non-performing loans and distressed real estate. In 2014 I set up the company’s office in Athens before moving back to Cyprus in the second half of 2015 to set up the real estate asset management units of two systemic banks and a private equity fund. In October 2020, Ask Wire was born.
Ask Wire is building comprehensive profiles of all properties across the European Union. What does that entail? We collect data from various government agencies to describe what each and every property is, starting with earthquake risk, type of soil, flood risk, size of land, size, type and age of building, climate change data, etc. Think of it like the ingredients of a delicious club-sandwich, all beautifully layered one on top of the other.
With real estate data organised, standardised, and easily available to all, the possibilities are endless. You can map transactions and asking prices to see where and what real estate transacts, and the speed that a development or a developer is selling their units. You can analyse how a city is expanding, to take strategic decisions on where to acquire property or which to sell. With environmental risks and hazards easily available, an insurance company or a bank can identify the type and level of exposure each property has and automatically price its risk premium. You can also see where energy-inefficient properties are concentrated, to target potential clients for home upgrades, photovoltaics, etc.
With this wealth of data readily available on your phone, the question becomes: How can Ask Wire assist in automating processes and focus on strategies that boost revenue? As the heterogeneity of real estate, the fact that no two properties are exactly the same resulting in the need for data collection, becomes redundant it opens the opportunity to automate reporting and to tailor products and services to each and every property.
My co-founders, Niki and Andreas, and I have worked together for 8 and 15 years, respectively. We have been through a hell of a journey together, always having fun and knowing that we can rely on each other. We acknowledge our weaknesses, but we complement each other well. And that’s how a team should be; the sum should be stronger than the parts. We have now embarked on a new journey to bring transparency in the real estate market and optimise how products and services are marketed and sold.
We are grateful for being part of our journey.
Life is so rich.