People, product, profit: How Bowery Valuation is scaling up the first truly modern commercial real estate appraiser

A team meeting representing the scaling up journey of Bowery Valuation in the real estate business.

When you find the best people, you are closer to build the best product, then hopefully profit will soon follow. This is how John Meadows, Co-Founder of Bowery Valuation, sees scaling up their commercial modern-day real estate business. All of this following the mantra ‘people, product, profit’ since day one.

Working with growing companies from all over the world, I was excited to sit down with Meadows to discuss how they managed to triple their headcount and revenue back in 2018, then raise a Series A of $12 million this past December.

This week, on the ScaleUp Valley podcast, you can listen in to hear the whole story or read here for some of my highlights that I took from my conversation with Meadows on how Bowery Valuation is modernizing the commercial real estate appraisal process.

Learning as you’re scaling, the journey for Bowery Valuation

When Meadows graduated from University, he had never had a thought about entering the real estate industry. But a friend of his from UPenn reached out to recruit him at the largest real estate appraisal firm at the time. Unsure of his path, Meadows entered into what he found to be a surprisingly old-school space, in terms of technology.

The way he put it during our conversation: “Walking into the commercial real estate industry back in 2011, it felt like we were stepping out of a time machine back in 1985.” They spent four to five hours a day doing basically manual busywork within Word and Excel. This time served to put together these crucial reports.

The process was slow. The reports often contained inconsistencies due to the sheer mass of information that they put together each day. He and Noah Isaacs, his best friend from childhood who he’d recruited into the same company, realized that they had a huge opportunity to bring in new technology that would not only make the appraisal process much easier – but also more consistent.

The only catch was that neither of them were engineers. And they’d often heard stories of other startups taking one to two years to find the right partner. Luckily for them, finding their third Co-Founder was a breeze. Cesar Denvers was basically the first engineer they spoke to.

Turning different languages into one product

Meadows explained to me that, at the start, it was like both sides spoke different languages. Meadows and Isaacs spoke the commercial real and estate business language, while Cesar Devers spoke the engineering and tech language. It took them some time to bring both languages together into one. But once they achieved this, it was obvious that their product would help this industry immensely.

And they were right. Only 18 months later, they were able to enter an incubator class in NYC, without a launched product. They raised $2 million after about 60 VC meetings in 2 months with which they launched their business. From there, they went on to raise 5 million in a seed prime round and finally, their series A of 12 million back in December of 2018.

If you want to hear more from this conversation listen to the whole episode of the ScaleUp Valley podcast. Then, keep listening and keep scaling! And if you want to know more about ScaleUp Valley initiatives, calendar and purpose, join our community by subscribing to the ScaleUp Valley newsletter.

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