The business of real estate involves many professionals, but peruse their websites and you wonder how these people find each other and get stuff built: Developers and brokers tout their projects, but who designed them? Architects showcase their portfolios, but who paid? And so on.
Enter MyDealBook.com, a site that combines the qualities of real estate databases and social networks by offering not just professional profiles but also information on the business its members have conducted. “We provide a mashup,” says co-founder Mark Schacknies, “so you can click on a deal and find all the points of contact: who financed it, who the architect was, who the development sponsor was.” In other words, it's all the information you wouldn't get without a lot of web searching or phone calls—“not a productive use of anyone's time,” says Schacknies. The site also offers secure tools for putting a team together and working on new projects.
The founders—Ryan Slack, 36, Schacknies, 31, and Nima Negahban, 24—aren't novices when it comes to real estate and technology: Slack launched the successful database PropertyShark.com; Schacknies was involved in tech and finance before becoming developer of more than $300 million in mixed-use projects; and Negahban has advised Booz Allen Hamilton on technology and headed up web media for a real estate magazine. MyDealBook.com has a robust 330,000 members already (the user base of PropertyShark.com), about 10,000 of whom are architects, but the founders would like to see more sign up. In real estate, Schacknies says, “architects are one of the critical connection points.”