Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Ryan.
Jack, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I left graduate school, I went to a refugee camp at the border of Texas and Mexico. At that time, there were many Central Americans fleeing the communist aggression in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Life had become so cheap, and the quality of life so poor that these homeless immigrants, many of them children, literally began walking the thousands of miles from these countries to the United States with literally nothing in their pockets.
I have never forgotten the looks of those faces as they walked into camp. It was these similar faces that I saw again almost two decades later when I left Goldman Sachs after the IPO to teach high school on the south side of Chicago. Even here, it was difficult to find a stable home attached to these children. These children were often living in a different house every week or month.
REX is the third and largest of my initiatives to provide homes for children who do not have them. One of the lessons I learned from teaching on the Southside of Chicago is that there are two ways to provide hope and help in the world. One way is to give up one’s career to personally attend to those who have had little, as I did when I left Goldman Sachs. The second way is to provide a business service for others that is so compelling that one creates wealth with which to provide aid to those children who have little.
At REX, we are simultaneously changing the residential real estate industry by charging the lowest fees (2% vs. the traditional 6%) in the industry to sellers, while at the same time pledging to give back to those in need by donating homes all over the world to families who don’t have them. Our innovative platform uses AI, big data, and machine learning, to create a much better process to sell homes at a fraction of the cost, while the money we make goes to those less fortunate. It’s truly a win for the consumer, our colleagues, and for those who need good homes and schools.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has gone much smoother than I could have ever imagined. When you are trying to radically disrupt a trillion dollar industry, there are always unexpected barriers. But, the unexpected upside and happy surprises have been much greater than I ever anticipated. As we have proven ourselves, every step has gotten easier. We have attracted some of the greatest minds from the greatest schools in the world to work for REX. For instance, we have partnered with the most successful entrepreneurs from the last twenty years to advise and invest in our company and help drive us forward. We have also been able to sell some of the greatest homes in the world. After just two years, we are about to list our 500th home, and will do $1 billion in transactions next year.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Residential real estate has gone virtually unchanged for 50 years. Using big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, REX takes care of everything both buyers and sellers need, while removing traditional agent commissions of 5-6%. Our intelligent data-driven marketing, seamless transaction engine and licensed REX Agents sell homes faster, create better experiences, and yield huge savings for buyers and sellers. We are currently accepting homes in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and are launching seven new cities in 2018 including; Austin, San Francisco, and Dallas.
From day one, REX has been committed to doing good things for real estate consumers and to providing homes for those in the greatest need, wherever they may be. For every 50 homes we sell, we provide a home for a family in need. We started by funding the construction of a home for a family in Cambodia at the end of 2015. In addition to funding homes, the REX team regularly provides hands-on support to local nonprofits that provide shelter to families. Most importantly, we have dedicated shares we own in the company to building more schools and homes for children who do not have them.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I absolutely feel that Los Angeles is an amazing place for our business. Being a tech and startup hub, there are many innovative minds in Los Angeles that are receptive to new ideas and willing to participate in change. With the support and acceptance of the community, we have grown rapidly and been able to provide dozens of new jobs in the area. I would definitely recommend Los Angeles as a great place for someone looking to start a business.
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