According to a report by Statista, the global real estate software market size was valued at $8.9 billion in 2020, and it is projected to grow to $15.2 billion by 2025. The report also notes that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of real estate software.
This presents a tremendous opportunity for Founders and leaders of the proptech category to grow rapidly.
Our experience building sales and growth teams for tech startups has taught us three lessons in the persona of a candidate who is most likely going to crush it at a proptech startup:
Most first-time Founders are attracted to candidates from competitors since they are companies whose business models they either understand or companies they aspire to become.
When it comes to attracting a sales leader, we encourage first-time Founders to take a broader point of view on the industry. Sales leaders are wired to be opportunistic, which often translates to moving from one software category to another, especially in the early days of that new market. That’s where the big opportunities are, after all.
Our 20+ year history building sales teams has shown us that the more times a sales leader has figured out how to sell the value and vision of a new product category, the more likely they are to sell a new product or category successfully.
One of the obvious traits that stand out in the world's most successful sales leaders is their discipline and consistency in advancing a process and continually qualifying.
Generally, it’s ingrained in the DNA of the person. Since it is not an easy trait to maintain, candidates who continually qualify and advance conversations naturally will bring this innate skill to the business.
These characteristics should be evident in the hiring process - while assessing sales candidates look for those who push the process forward:
- “I’m interested in this opportunity. What do we do next?”
- “Is there anything else you need from me to advance to the next step?”
- “Do I have your endorsement as a candidate for this position?”
The Underdog Attitude
If they are a song, they are the B-side. If they are a brand, they’ll be on the lower third of the grocery store shelf. If they are on the Gartner Magic Quadrant, they are a Visionary (or hoping to be one.)
The underdog sales leader is the one who goes up against other well-known brands regularly—the one who has to be smarter, faster, and more nimble to close the sale.
They will beam when they share how they won a deal against their biggest competitor. In one case, we spoke with a VP Sales of a US-based company, and that VP specifically asked us to try to recruit one person whose name they knew because they were tired of the number of times they heard this name during head-to-head deals.
This is the dogmatic and scrappy determination startups need to close the big deals that propel the brand forward. Never underestimate the underdog, as they have the hunger needed to do less with more and succeed.