Nick Falcone, a trailblazing leader in Florida's tourism and hospitality industry, joins the podcast with Daniel Sehayik to discuss his background and how he got started in the real estate industry. He talks about his family's involvement in real estate development and how he and his brothers started their own business, NDM Hospitality, which focuses on utilizing hospitality technology to enhance real estate projects.
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David: Hey everyone, this is Dave Bitton, Co-Founder and CMO at DoorLoop. I'm going to be the host for today's podcast, along with my very good friend, Daniel Sehayik. Today, I am excited to connect with, Nick Falcone, who is a very, very prominent figure in the South Florida and US and international real estate market that Daniel connected us with. We're going to chat about his journey, how and why he started his own business, how he grew the business substantially, the state of the real estate market in the US and abroad, and his thoughts on the future. We also will be diving into tech and how you can grow your own portfolio like him. So before we get into it, I wanted to introduce my very good friend Daniel Sehayik, who has been with us on a previous podcast. So Daniel, give everyone a little intro about yourself.
Daniel: David, thank you so much. It's always a pleasure to be here. I enjoyed the first time. The second time is going to be fun. Look forward to more if you want to have me back. Just short, I'm a broker and an attorney. I do real estate. I'm a proud supporter of Florida, South Florida, all the way from Palm Beach Gardens down to Miami and Indian Town Florida as well. So just trying to do good and very honored to be here. Got nothing but respect for you, your family, DoorLoop and an honor to have Nick here with us as well.
David: Awesome. So a bit about Nick. Nick is a trailblazing leader in Florida's tourism and hospitality industry. He founded NDM Hospitality Services, that is revolutionizing real estate, travel, tech and dining. People use that word revolutionize a lot. I will tell you, I've spoken to Nick already a few times and he truly is disrupting everything we know about how to invest in real estate and business in general, as you will hear soon. He actually acquired BurgerFi's franchise rights as well, and became the chain's first ever franchisee. He also launched Rentyl Resorts that manages luxury properties like Encore Resort and Margaritaville in Orlando, Florida. And loves spending time with his family, I believe he has four kids now, also supports Florida State University and the Miami Dolphins. So Nick, you are super impressive. Welcome again and thank you for joining us today.
Nick: Thank you so much for having me. Pleasure.
David: And for those tuning in by podcast and audio only, feel free to go to DoorLoop.com/podcast and you could watch the video version anytime as we are live on video now as well. So Nick, just to kind of start us off, explain to everyone a little bit about yourself, where you grew up and how you got started in this industry.
Nick: Yeah, definitely. So I'm 36 years old. I grew up in South Florida, born and raised, one of the few, and actually grew up around the real estate business. My father's a developer, been in the development business for over 45 years in both residential and more recently in the last couple decades, more mixed use development. So naturally had a lot of exposure to the real estate world, had a lot of interest in that. But specifically with my brothers and I, we actually started a career that it dabbles in real estate, but we also really focus heavily on hospitality, technology and how to specifically utilize those two things to program real estate and take it to the next level. So I look forward to telling you guys more about that today.
David: Awesome. So it sounds like it was a family business that you got into and joined, is that right?
Nick: Somewhat. So we actually are, my brothers and I, 12 years ago we started our own business called NDM Hospitality, and we work very closely with the development business that my family owns and we compliment them with, again, programming the content of the real estate, controlling the management at the various aspects of the real estate and taking it to the next level.
David: Got it. Got it. So kind of walk us through the beginning stages of what you first started doing and then how you got to where you are today. So it sounds like you were always involved in real estate your whole life and then eventually branched off and started your own thing, is that right?
Nick: Correct. Yeah. So again, I was really blessed, had great mentors, specifically number one being my father and all of his successes in the real estate business. Looking back at his story, which is kind of a similar start to mine, he actually got his start in food and beverage. He was one of the franchisees from McDonald's up in New York, back over 45 years ago. And growing up, my brothers and I, since we were probably four years old, just kept hearing over and over about business and about his start and how he learned everything he knows from the restaurant business and how he was able to take that into real estate and other things that he's done. So I think hearing that for over a decade and growing up and thinking about what we want to do for our careers, that was kind of a natural starting point.
So worked in food and beverage throughout college, throughout high school. Got out of college with the degree or whatnot and said, "You know what? I want to really start looking for ways that I could break into the food space." Found a company that I could work with that had an owner training program that was spectacular. They allowed people to come in with experience in restaurant operations and they were looking for young people to go in and turn around stores that weren't doing too well, and they would provide equity in essence for growth in the bottom line that we can create in those stores. So I did that for a period of a couple years, made some good money from it, and then started looking for my own concept or brand that I could invest into and own myself. And that search actually led me to a company called BurgerFi.
So that was really the first thing that we did under NDM Hospitality. We got involved with BurgerFi back when they had one location, corporate location in Fort Lauderdale. We loved the brand, the food was spectacular, the energy, the ambiance. And we said, "You know what? If we're going to invest, we think this is the right one." And we became the founding franchisees of the brand-
Daniel: That's amazing.
Nick: ... Miami-Dade territory, where you guys are sitting, for very little money, because it was in the early stages of the development and rest is history. We've been doing a great job with BurgerFi ever since. So that's where we got our start.
David: So how many franchises did you guys open up?
Nick: So right now we have seven and we actually are going to be opening three more this year. And then we recently just actually brought on some additional restaurant work. We became the founding franchisees of another concept called Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. Big brand, they've been around for a while, but they've never franchised before. So we'll be the first ones doing that as well.
David: How many locations did they have before?
Nick: My understanding is I believe they have 61 right now around the country. So all corporate. And we did a three store deal in South Florida. We'll be opening one in Miami World Center, one in Orlando, and then we're still looking for a third location to open. So we're really excited.
David: So let me ask you, for people that are listening and also for my knowledge, so it sounds like you find stores or restaurants that you love, you love the brand, and you see the vision that, wow, this should be franchised. You go to the owners, you say, "Hey, we want to franchise your business." And they say, "Okay." Is it that easy, or you have to have some backing, some experience doing it? What's the process there?
Nick: Yeah, so with BurgerFi, they were actually looking to franchise. Usually food brands don't really start franchising until a little bit later on. A lot of time they build up their corporate base and then they start to really grow with outside individuals. BurgerFi did it a little bit different. They started franchising right out the gate. So it just so happened that when I was looking for the right fit to put our dollars, they were searching and through a mutual connection I got involved with them and it kind of went from there.
Now with Anthony's, it's a little bit different. Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza was actually bought by the same company that brought BurgerFi corporate, excuse me, that bought brought BurgerFI public a few years ago. And so being now that they have common ownership, they started talking to the BurgerFi franchisees of their plans for growth and what they were looking for. And my brothers and I, we created a great reputation within BurgerFi. We've won franchisee of the year almost every single year that they've offered the award. So they came to us first and they said, "Hey, we're looking to really take this thing to the next level and we think you guys would be the best people to start it with." So we're very blessed for that.
David: That's incredible. That's incredible. Congrats.
Daniel: I want to go back to something that you mentioned, that your father is one of your role models. Tell us a little bit about that. I got nothing but respect for your father and your family and love to hear your perspective on that.
Nick: Yeah, no, thank you. I really appreciate that, Daniel. I think with regards to my dad, just to give a little back story on him, he is one of three brothers. His mom and dad actually came over from Italy. They were immigrants from that country and their parents and whatnot. They had nothing when they came here. And really, my grandfather, for example, he worked three jobs to put food on the table, very, very humble beginnings for my dad. So to see him be able to do what he's done, I mean, he's been extremely successful in real estate and finance. Really, everything he touches seems to do extremely well. So from a business perspective, I was blessed to have that type of influence around me since I was a little kid. I think naturally you gravitate to that and I look at that growing up and I say, "Man, how could I emulate that and be just like that?"
But even more of a blessing is that despite all this professional success, he's even even better as a person, as a father. So always putting family first, putting my brothers and I at the forefront, always taking time out of his busy days to, again, to play sports with us or have fun or just mentor us in any way, shape or form. So I really owe the person I am today to him, to my mom, our upbringing. I couldn't have had a better upbringing. So just super blessed that I was born into that family, I guess.
David: That's amazing. And I also wanted to know, how do you two know each other? Because the connection came from Daniel introduced us to you. So what's the connection here?
Nick: Daniel, or did you want me to go to it?
Daniel: Sure, yeah.
David: Go ahead, Nick. Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.
Nick: So Daniel, you worked with my dad's company for, I think it was about two, three years, right?
Daniel: Yeah, almost.
Nick: And I met you there.
Daniel: That's right. I was working with Encore and Nick and his two brothers and a bunch of other people. They have beautiful culture, beautiful people, family, friends, culture. And it's been an honor in my life to have worked there for that chapter. So it's beautiful to introduce the both of you.
David: Do you speak any Italian?
Nick: I don't. I should, but I haven't picked that up yet, but one of these days.
David: So let me ask you, so your family and your business started off in the hospitality industry and then we'll get into real estate and food and beverage. So do you take any of your learnings in hospitality and food and beverage, because I'm assuming it's all about customer service and hospitality. Do you take that into your real estate business also?
Nick: Yeah. Since we have started in the food and beverage, we've really evolved a lot into other aspects of hospitality that are more directly related to real estate. So we have a lot of businesses under NDM Hospitality, but just to name a few, we started a management company for retail complexes. So we manage all of our family's retail businesses and whatnot. And that really connected us very nicely to everything that we're doing over there. It was pretty cool too because we're able to infuse a lot of our hospitality and entertainment mindset into retail. So when you go to any of our retail centers, we really call them experiential centers, because we actually program them 365 days a year with entertainment. Everything from small farmers markets and car shows to 20, 25,000 person concerts.
Actually, we're about to be doing a really big concert for 4th of July up at Sunset Walk in Orlando, where my dad actually last year, for the first time, he created a DJ persona for himself. And we had him go up there, no joke, we had him go up there and DJ in front of 20,000 people and he killed it. So popular demand, we've had requests for him to come back. So he's going to be back on stage in a few weeks. Anyone wants to come up to Orlando and watch, it's a heck of a time. We actually shut down the streets, down the whole block at the retail center and it becomes a big street party with all kinds of cool stuff happening.
David: That's awesome. Let's go.
Daniel: I'm down.
David: That's awesome. It's so fun.
Nick: It's worth checking it out. So that's an area where we take a little bit of our hospitality mindset and infuse it into real estate. Really helps with the tenant success because all of a sudden now these centers mean more than just a shopping venue or place to go eat. It becomes really a fun spot for people to hang out and really have a lot of experiences. So that's really something cool that we've done. We've started management companies in apartments and built to rent houses as well, which is a major sector of our family business. So that's very complimentary. Again, we like to build the best real estate, but at the same time, we want to make sure that after we develop that and build it, that the experience that these renters have is just as great. So we're able to keep that going throughout. And then really the fastest growing aspect of my business that I would say where we've infused the biggest synergies between real estate and hospitality, is a business I created called Rentyl Resorts, and it's spelled rental with a Y.
And the concept, it's somewhat complex, but in essence what we've done is we've taken Airbnb and Vrbo and what they do with renting homes and put it on steroids. Where instead of just getting a home that's, let's say offered by a host, maybe they're 9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, we're creating full resort communities that are amenitized with hotel resort amenities, 24/7 professional staffing, brand standards behind all the houses, so you know exactly what you're going to get from a quality perspective, safety, all that type of stuff. So you go to one of our resort properties, literally you have 24/7 check in, concierge. You could have restaurants, golf courses, people there to cater to every one of your needs.
And it really has been incredible, the results, both on the hospitality side with guests saying, "Wow, I didn't know something like this existed. This is so much better than your traditional vacation rental." But also on the developer side, the impact of what we've done, not just increasing the guest experience, but technology we've built to increase the bookability of the product and the revenue generation has allowed us to outperform the comm set so much that when people say, "Where do I buy a vacation home?" They're going to where they're going to get the best performance and that's driven price per square foot and sales velocity for us as a developer, through the roof. So yeah, the synergies we've created with that business have been off the charts and very fun for us too.
David: Wow. I want to get into Rentyl in a bit. Actually, I have a fun story for you. But NDM, the N stands for Nick, I'm assuming?
Nick: Yeah, so I have two brothers. We're super blessed that we work really well together, we don't kill each other, we actually compliment each other extremely well. So my brother, Dan, my brother, Matt, that's what the D and the M stands for. Best partners in the world.
David: So you're the three co-founders.
David: Give me the high level bird's eye view on all the businesses you're running because you've hit eight different businesses in 10 minutes. So there's Rentyl, there's BurgerFi, there's Anthony's, you have the franchise business, you have the rental business. What else are we talking about?
Nick: Yeah, so the management and apartments built to rent long-term rental and retail centers. And we also have some one-off restaurants that are non franchise. So we actually just purchased in Orlando, two restaurants called The Wharf and Lizzie's Barbecue. Other than that, that's everything.
David: That's it. That's it. That's it.
Nick: Yeah. And the last thing I would say is we have a technology arm to our business. So it's not really a standalone, but we built an in-house technology company and an in-house marketing agency to power everything that we do as well. So that kind of rounds out the family.
David: So you guys have started a lot in a really short amount of time.
Nick: Yes, sir.
David: So my biggest question is how do you execute all these huge ideas? Is it just great team underneath you? Is it just each brother takes on a different role of the business? How are you doing this?
Nick: Yeah, it's a little bit of a mix of both and some more. So my brothers and I, we all compliment each other extremely well, like I was saying before. I take more of the CEO role, the people, the strategy, more that leadership visionary type role. I also like to get involved somewhat with the execution and whatnot. But my brother Matt is really the operator of the family, so he really gets involved with that side and powers that very heavily. And sorry, I just lost the ... Okay. And then my brother Dan, he is more of our financial engineering/accounting brain. So we all kind of play different roles within the company, which really helps in a significant way. The other thing you mentioned is people, so great people, and we're very blessed to have the best team, very robust team with specialization across the board in the different areas of our businesses.
We're really, really big also though on mutual success. So how do we make sure that those people feel the success that we're having and they could be along for the ride? And I think anytime you can match great people with that mutual success mindset and that they know that we're rowing the boat in the same direction, good things happen. And then finally, putting really good process in place. A lot of what we do has some crossover similarities. We have a lot of management component, which has a lot of the same features, labor controls and inventory controls and people and all that type of stuff. So we are able to do a lot of cross-training and process crossover throughout the businesses, which I think helps from an efficiency standpoint.
David: Okay. And when one of the brothers has a crazy idea for something new, how do you fund all these crazy ideas? Is it just reinvesting your own money? Is it loans from the bank? What are you doing there?
Nick: Yeah, so we're pretty big on trying to make sure that as we're growing, we're doing it in a pretty measured format. So a lot of the time we're reinvesting profits back into new ideas and new businesses. Rentyl was one though that we had so much growth potential that we did go out and do a decent raise, about a year ago, we raised $25 million. So up until that point, my brothers and I funded the business with about 10 million of our own dollars. And then we just realized, wow, this thing's taken off so fast, we could really catapult it that much quicker with some outside capital.
When we started our growth in 2021, we had five resorts, about 350 houses under the platform. Fast-forward to today, we have 92 resorts, over 13,000 houses, and we have a pipeline of hundreds of different resorts that we're looking at right now with our own generated properties, as well as co-branding with other brands that are helping to bring pipelines. So the thing just got too big and we had to really make sure that we kept up with the momentum. So a little bit of different approaches for different businesses, but we look at all avenues when it comes to capital raising.
David: So when you said you're managing all these properties for Rentyl, are you developing and building any of them from the ground up, or are you just mostly managing other people's properties or buying them afterwards?
Nick: Yeah. So we have a couple different ways that we do it. Three main ways that we get our inventory. One would be through our family development business, we develop inventory. That's how we started the company and doing a proof of concept.
David: Let me pause you. What does that mean? Friendly development business, what does that mean?
Nick: No, family, family.
David: Oh, family. Okay.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So through my dad's company, he was developing product and we were able to tie into that and that that's really where we did our proof of concept. We developed, over the last seven years, about $3 billion worth of real estate that we've sold in the vacation home space, mainly in Orlando. And that's again where we outperform the market really greatly. So through that performance, we're able to then take that to other developers. So one way that we grow is, again, through our family business. Another way that we grow is we have a network of about 60 developers around the world that have seen what we've done, and they want to emulate that and copy it with us, with our platform.
So we're offering that now to those developers and really showing them how to do it and performing on the operations and execution side. And then the other thing that we do for growth is we look for existing properties that are already built. A lot of the time it's hotels that have residences attached to them, and we'll come in and be able to help power those to the next level and increase the performance.
David: So the funny thing is that you mentioned that where you have hotels attached to these properties, and I don't know if you read the show notes or some of my questions in advance, but I actually booked a family vacation at a Rentyl Resort at Bear's Den, Orlando.
Nick: Oh really? That's awesome.
David: Yeah, and it was amazing.
Nick: Oh cool. That's great.
David: I mean, that community, any community in Orlando, if you're listening, go to Orlando, rent a house in Orlando, they're all like mega mansions. They're so big, they're so nice, they're so affordable. What is it about Orlando? Everything's just bigger, better, and more affordable there.
Nick: It's a great place. Real quick before I go into that. It's funny, I live in Bear's Den, so you were my neighbor for a little bit while you were there.
David: It's an awesome community.
Nick: Yeah, so that was actually, just to touch on that for a second, that was actually the first of its kind. We partnered with Jack Nicklaus, the legendary golfer, and we in essence took his brand and created a hospitality brand with it. So we had a lot of success with that first project where now we actually have a international relationship with Jack Nicklaus, a co-branding partnership where anywhere that someone wants to do a Bear's Den using homes for hospitality, we get plugged in and get to power it. So we're really proud of that partnership. Jack Nicklaus guys are incredible, it's a great brand to be partnered with. But going back to your question on Orlando, since I've been up there over the last seven and a half, eight years, the area's completely changed. The amount of development there is absolutely off the charts. And it's just a really unique area.
You have people from all over the world. It's one of the most international destinations in the country, which I think is great for the economy and just for the growth of the area. You have a lot of different products coming into the market, a lot of multi-family, a lot of single family, a lot of vacation home. It's actually Kissimmee, which is theoretically where the resort where you stayed is. It's the first county and the only county in the country where the bed tax for vacation rental actually exceeds that of hotel. So the area, it's really ripe for growth. Being that it's not one of the ocean towns in Florida, it hasn't really gone up like crazy in real estate prices like some of the other ones. So you could still get some really good deals there and some great buys. So it's just a great market, biggest tourism market in the country, so there's just a lot to offer there.
Daniel: So Nick, just as a follow-up, when you're looking at a vacation home, when somebody else would be just looking at a home to rent or to sell, you could look at it with Airbnb, you could look at it with your product. How do you look at it that's different from the average person that you are also creating value where others cannot?
Nick: Yeah, so I think you're talking about from more of the consumer side, if I'm a consumer and I'm shopping for a vacation home. So I think number one, one of the things that we do specifically to get more exposure to more people, and when you look at Airbnb and Vrbo, it's still only a small fraction of the vacation market worldwide that has booked through those channels. Still a majority of the people book through hotels and the hotel distribution channels and whatnot. So one of the things that we did that I think is very unique and creates exposure, and I would say value to customers, is the opportunity for them to book through the channels they love. A lot of the time they have loyalty programs associated with those channels or they have just maybe a trust factor with them.
So for example, we became really the first people to promote the separate product on channels like Expedia and stuff like that. And that was one of the first things we did with our technology, not to get too technical, but vacation homes are always set up where each home is individually listed. It's called buy the door distribution. Whereas hotels, it's the opposite. You're selecting a unit type, you're never selecting the exact room at a hotel. You say, "I want to stay in the king room." And when you get there, they say, "Hey, you're in room 543, here's your key." You don't know that though until you get there. So the reason why they book that way is that's how it's set up in the property management system. So if you set it up one way or the other, you have limitations on what you could push your inventory to. If I set up by the door like a typical vacation home, Expedia, booking.com, don't accept by the door listings.
So what we did was we created a way to where I could build the inventory one way or the other, but I can manipulate it to send it out to any channel and therefore give consumers the ability to book it where they want, with their loyalty, with their trust factor, all that type of stuff. But what that's done for our homeowners, the people that give us their homes to book, the exposure obviously leads to a lot more bookings, a lot more revenue and better financial feasibility. So that's something that I think is a cool benefit. But then specifically for the customers, think about when you book an Airbnb, you're getting a home, but in many cases you have to play travel agent. If you want to figure out all the stuff you want to do, someone in the family, mom, dad, or whoever, they got to go look up the local ecosystem, figure out all the stuff you want to do, do a whole bunch of planning.
Whereas with us, a lot of the things that guests are going to want to do are right on site. And we could have one of our concierge literally plan everything for you, do an entire itinerary, really cater to your needs in a much better way. And then the things that people don't think of, a toilet backs up in the middle of the night and you call your host and they say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sleeping," or they don't even answer. We have people there, they're going to be there at 4:00 in the morning, and room service to your house, let's call it at 10 o'clock at night. I mean, these are things you just don't get from a traditional vacation rental, that we provide that better form of vacationing to our consumers.
David: Yeah. And I could also just add to that, and I've rented many Airbnbs before, and then I remember renting, I'm pretty sure I rented from Rentyl on Chase using points and I think Chase books through Expedia, and it was like Bear's Den by Rentyl. I'm like, "Oh, what's Rentyl?" Then I looked at the website, I'm like, "This is pretty legit." And then after I booked, I got nice emails, so professional, these are activities in the area, do you want to do these activities? I'm like, "Wow, this is really nice." So we ended up falling in love with the brand. So I mean, really great job.
Nick: Thank you.
David: You want to say something?
Daniel: Just to continue.
Nick: [inaudible 00:28:11].
David: [inaudible 00:28:11], yeah.
Daniel: Just to continue your thought, all those advantages for customers translate advantages as you as the investor or in your role. So when you're looking at a product, you're able to create additional revenue streams that somebody else CANT.
Nick: Oh, big time, yeah. If you look at the traditional vacation manager, vacation home manager, literally over 90% of their bookings come from Airbnb and Vrbo. And most of those guys, they don't have a margin to be able to do direct advertising or the technology to bring to all these other channels. So when you look at what we're doing, we're getting literally less than 5% of our bookings from Airbnb and Vrbo. And the reason why is because what I find on those channels is that when you have, let's say in a market like Kissimmee, 25,000 houses plus that are listed, really the way that everyone competes is with price. So it becomes a race to the bottom. And we don't want a race to the bottom in rate, that hurts our homeowners or investors.
So by diversifying where we're booking, doing direct advertising, because I have bulk inventory in one place, I have the margin to be able to do that. Being able to go out to the wholesalers, the consortias that only book by the type that other vacational providers just can't even send their inventory to them, or going to the Expedia's, to booking.com's, the biggest channels in the world, that gains us so much exposure that the other guys don't have, which in turn, we outperform in the vacational market significantly.
David: Yeah. And I'll add to that with the value add services and revenue, because I've stayed in a bunch of houses in Orlando, they all do the same thing, but they do it really well. You book the house and then you get an email, "Oh, do you want your pool to be heated 20 hours a day? You want to use the barbecue?" There's so many add-ons. And for you it's like, "Yeah, of course," click, click. They make it very easy. Adding to your concierge, so I remember getting stuck at a different gate. We went to a different entrance and we called the number, and right away, seven seconds hold time, boom, "Go to this gate." It was amazing. You don't really get that. I mean, you'd never get that with an Airbnb. Good luck reaching them. Especially, I think I called at midnight. It was great. So you've mentioned technology twice already, and I'm looking at your website, it says you are involved in a multifaceted hospitality real estate and a technology conglomerate. So how do you think of your business as a technology company?
Nick: Yeah, a lot of what we're doing right now, I would consider us more tech enabled. We're very big on how innovation powers our performance. So a lot of what we were just talking about with building distribution technology that allows us to do things other people can't do, that provides tremendous value to our business. Another thing that we've built that we're really, really proud of is our loyalty program. We've recently rolled it out, we're kind of in the infancy stages, but it's really a first of its kind. It's a multi-industry loyalty program. We felt that, you think of travel loyalty, maybe people, unless it's business travel, most people are taking two trips a year. So if I'm using a travel loyalty program, I'm not using it very frequently. And what we found through our research is that the best apps are the ones that are most used are the ones that provide daily value.
So we said, you know what? Let's put a spin on travel loyalty and let's make it to where you can earn points for your stays, but then let's tie in other businesses. Let's have it where you could use those points to put towards a down payment on your house or six months rent on an apartment or go out shopping or to your local restaurant, use the points there or vice versa. Do the things you normally do on a daily basis, build up points to put towards those larger transactions such as the house or the vacation. So that's what we did with our loyalty program. Again, we've rolled down the travel space, we're about to start rolling it out to retail and restaurant partners and then tying it into some of our real estate to start with the real estate component. But then what's also really cool about our loyalty program is that you could really get double points.
So everything that we do, you're using one of your typical Visa, MasterCard, American Express credit cards to book the transaction, which will automatically register with their loyalty program. So you swipe that card that's registered, you get the points right from using your credit card. So if you're already getting, let's call it Visa or Amex points from that card, you're getting double points, you're getting points from Amex, and points from us. So it creates a lot of value. It creates a big aspirational aspect too, where now you could really aspire to, "Hey, let me add up points for the next few years and go put a down payment on a house." I mean, that's a very foreign concept when it comes to loyalty. So we're really proud of that, but I can go on and on. We have dozens of products we built in technology that are there to enhance the business and with the future goal of potentially being able to sell some of these products, making them more of a SaaS offering and whatnot.
And then obviously with anything technology, we're big on data mining and how does data really bring our business to the next level? So we've done a tremendous amount of stuff with what we call our master data management, and lack of better words, we have probably, just in Rentyl Resorts, we probably use over 30 different systems. So our master data system takes these, APIs them into one place where I have a single source of truth, and then I could take all that and push it out to custom reports or push that data into other places I need it to be able to do things that I couldn't do with off the shelf technology. So that's just some examples of how we use it. And I would say, again, we're early stages in our tech journey. So as things continue to evolve, I think that's going to really be a completely different look and feel in the future.
David: It's incredible, you're speaking my language now, tech, MDS, data warehouse, we have all the same things now. Man, I feel like he takes the limitless pill every morning and just starts building new businesses, unstoppable. It's incredible.
Daniel: Well said.
David: You mentioned exit, so do you have any thoughts, ideas, future to exit any of these businesses? Is that one of the goals for any of these businesses?
Nick: I would say for a lot of these, let me start with Rentyl. I would say my goal with Rentyl over the next two to three years is to either bring it public or to a very large private raise where I could really take this thing to the next level in a huge way. The level of almost going after a sovereign fund or some really, really big institutional capital. So that would be my goal there. I do want to stay in it for the long term. I think we have something where as more and more people find out about what we're doing, I think that's going to be what's demanded by the customers, is that better form of vacation homes.
So that's our goal. I want to be the dominant player in that space and really take over that landscape. When it comes to some of our other businesses where we're complimenting our real estate in management and whatnot. For example, in our BTR and multifamily, my father with his assets would be looking to potentially do a public REIT at some point, and we would be tied into that from a management company perspective. So that's something we're looking at hopefully in the near future with that. But we're also very opportunistic. So as things come around and we have opportunities on the plate, who knows where the future will take us.
David: All right, so because we're doing this podcast, we get early access to the REIT, we can invest early is what I'm hearing. So just to summarize everything that I've learned about you so far, is you guys love trying new ideas. You're not afraid taking risks and trying things new. And the whole goal is to grow top line revenue, but also deliver more value and a better experience for all your customers.
Nick: You got it.
David: Is that a good summary?
Nick: Oh yeah, big time.
David: For the people that are listening, most of them listening are either landlords, property managers, real estate investors, and they're probably listening thinking, geez, what do I do first? This guy does everything. So if you had to choose, do it all over again and recommend the easiest business to get into with the easiest barrier to entry, what would you recommend?
Nick: Out of everything we do, I would say the easiest thing would be the management of the BTR and the multifamily. It's not very complex. Again, it's leasing, it's marketing, it's maintaining a really great property. It's pretty simple from that perspective. So of all the moving pieces of everything we do, I mean, restaurant, unless you're really crazy and you want to work like a million hours a week, you probably don't want to be in the restaurant business. With that being said, it's very fulfilling if you have that type of personality, which we do, we love it. Rentyl Resorts is extremely complex. You have to have a tremendous amount of knowledge. I mean, to be honest with you, I feel I could say with confidence, there's really no one in the world doing what we're doing with Rentyl. And I do believe that even if someone wanted to try to do it, we have at least a five-year headstart on anybody.
So for someone to figure out all the pieces of how to consult with the real estate developers, give them the playbook on how to build these things, finance them, legally structure these things, what's the proper site plan, the product mix, and then being able to operate it, have the technology, have the brand, the following, to develop all that stuff really is complex. So that's something I wouldn't recommend to anybody unless you're a little bit crazy. So yeah, I would say multifamily BTR is definitely the way to go if you want something that's a easier barrier to entry.
David: Yeah, go ahead.
Daniel: Just as a follow-up on that, once you become a sophisticated investor and you have real estate, tech, hospitality, food and beverage, what do you prefer in terms of what can be the most successful, the best return?
Nick: I would say for IRR, it's real estate, for that quicker return or whatnot. I would say growth potential in everything we're doing, it's the technology rental platform. I think anytime you could have very large tech multiples on a growth platform, that's something that obviously could create massive, massive returns. I'm very hopeful that we can get Rentyl to not be worth billions of dollars in the future, but tens if not hundreds of billions. So that that's there. I think that's one that could really have tremendous upside and probably the biggest potential. But yeah, I would say real estate for short term and more of that tech play for the mid to long term.
David: Well said. So he likes real estate. What about stocks? Me and Daniel always have this debate, real estate versus stocks. Do you dabble in stocks at all?
Nick: A little bit. We take a lot of risk in our business. So I find that I get frustrated when I see the ups and downs in the market because I'm a little impatient at times. So I have to sometimes not look at it for a while and just kind of let it fly.
David: Are you an ETF index fund kind of guy, S&P 500?
Nick: Yeah, a little bit of both, yep.
Daniel: Point for David.
David: I win one point. So was there any one thing you did that grew your company substantially that you'd recommend others doing also?
Nick: Trying to think of one thing. There's a lot of things. I would say for me, the outside capital raise we just did was tremendous. I mean, that really gave us the resources we needed to really take things to the next level. And I would tell people, despite the fact that we were very liquid with capital from our other businesses and whatnot, we were able to invest our own dollars, I highly recommend to people that are starting a company, go out and do a seed raise, get involved with these guys that do that because they're going to be your best proponents when you go out and you want to do your A's and your B's and your future rounds. They're right there by your side helping to put the book together and bring in the investors. And it's such a close-knit network when you start getting into these spaces, everyone knows each other.
So I would say that's one thing that has propelled our growth. But if I look back and if I would've done it differently, I would've done a small seed round just to get in the club with those guys and stuff like that, and just meet kind of a new group of capital. Another thing that I would say really helped us was creating our in-house marketing agency. I found that a lot of marketing companies that we were dealing with, they look at the marketing KPIs. Well, impressions, clicks, that type episode is great, but it doesn't necessarily translate to my bank account. And so we're really big on saying, "Okay, how do those metrics then attribute to revenue and bottom line, and how do you really close that loop on what's really working?"
And until we really brought that in-house and started to really get in and get our hands around it directly, I felt that we were kind of spinning our wheels on a lot of cases and not really getting the return on ad spend that we were looking for. So that's another thing that kind of jumps out to me as something that really helped to propel our business really quickly.
David: Yeah. We mention it all the time here at DoorLoop, they're called vanity metrics. Oh, we have more clicks. So what, what's the ROAS, like you said, return to ad spend. So I'm going to ask you two questions, but before I do, with the caveat that don't forget your brothers might be listening into this. So if someone's looking to start this big business, do you recommend having partners and doing business with family?
Nick: Yeah, so that's a loaded question. I'll start with doing business with family. We're really, really lucky. Again, we get along, we compliment each other. I think we're able to put our egos to the side, despite the fact we all kind of have a little bit of an alpha personality. We have a respect level where we kind of stay in our lanes and we are very collaborative. Now, on the flip side, I've seen countless examples of families that it's the complete opposite. They can't even barely be in a room together, and that really affects decision making.
A great example. I mean, I've seen, for example, in restaurants recently, where a family owned a restaurant, one of the siblings wanted to continue going with the business, the other two didn't. And they end up just really selling it for a lot less than probably what it's worth because of the fact that you have that pressure from some aspects of the group that's saying, "Let's exit the party and who cares what we do to exit, let's just get out." So I think that when you have those disconnects and when you're not able to collaborate and have those tough conversations from time to time, it's probably not the greatest idea to get in bed with family and business. And the similar thing with partnerships, excuse me.
David: Yeah, family's always tough.
Nick: Yeah, I think partnerships, people, I think it really depends on the personalities. Some people are great with partners, some people are a little bit more control freaks and whatnot and need to have that control aspect at all times. I think anytime you're bringing in a partner, you're going to give up some control, you're going to have to be a little bit more willing to do the debates. Now with that being said, the benefit of that is you bring in expertise, you bring in thought and capabilities that maybe you don't have or your group doesn't have.
So in my mind, I like partnerships. I think the trade-off of what you get in return by bringing those different ideas and different abilities, out-weigh some of the things that you might be giving up in a partnership. So for us and our style of doing business, we're big on that. But the one thing I always say is that we don't have time for getting in bed with the wrong people. So if people aren't good people, if they're not respectful, if we don't feel that connection, we don't even start the conversation. It's got to feel right, and it's got to be that right synergy right off the bat and continuously throughout as the partnership grows.
David: Yeah, it's not worth it. You want to sleep well at night, at the end of the day also.
Nick: Yeah. We don't have time for bad people.
David: That's where I see the two similarities the most between you too, because both you come from great families and you both successfully work with your families, which is not an easy thing to do. Do you want to comment on that a little bit?
Daniel: No, I appreciate you saying that, but I'll say it again, that working at Encore and getting to know their family, it was very like-minded and I feel very lucky to have learned from Nick and his family in my time there. So I completely agree.
David: You guys have mentioned Encore a few times already. So explain to me what is Encore exactly? Another one of the side hustles?
Nick: Yeah, so my dad's company is also somewhat complex. He owns Falcone Group. And then, so through Falcone Group, he has, let's call it family investments that are not part of a fund, it's just private investments. And then Encore, he's actually done three Encore funds, which are private equity funds that invest in various different types of real estate and whatnot. So he does that and then he has right now his private REIT and multifamily and BTR. So that's kind of what makes up his businesses.
David: Okay. So now I know what Encore is. All right. So I've asked you what are some of the things that grew your business. What are some of the mistakes that you've made that others should watch ad for when starting and growing their companies?
Nick: I would say one thing that I would definitely look at is realizing the proper way to grow. And what I mean by that is in my business specifically, it's so people oriented. And I think that when you're growing, you always feel like you need more people to keep up with the growth, or at least that's kind of the feeling that everyone gets is, "Oh man, we're going from here to here, that means we're going to need that many more people." I found that more people isn't always the answer. I think it's a balance between people and process that really creates proper execution. And that'd be the one thing I would always challenge is I can't count how many times I've had team members and leaders come to me and say, "I need to go hire an army." And I'll be like, "Let's slow it down. Let's look at what exactly are these people doing? What processes are in place? Are we even ready to train that army of people?
You could go hire the army, but if they're not trained and ready and there's not a structured approach of how they join the team and play their role, then it's not going to really be that great. And I like to use analogies. I mean, a lot of the time if you don't have that, I really think to sports, it's almost like if you put a football team out there and five of the people of the 11 out there don't know what their roles are. So the quarterback all of a sudden goes out for a pass to catch the ball. It's like, that's not going to work. And so I would say take time, especially when you're growing, to be very measurable on how you grow and strategic on that balance between more people and the right process and structure that will allow those individuals to be successful and try not to get too heavy on one side or the other.
So that's something that I would say in some of our businesses, we were excited. We're like, "Man, we're going to the moon, let's go hire, let's go do this." And from time to time, you get too far one way or the other and you have to kind of bring it back. So I think that's one thing I would definitely do. I mentioned getting involved with a seed investor early on. I definitely, in hindsight, would've done that. Those are probably two of the big ones that jump out at me right off the bat. I could probably think of more if I gave it more thought, but those are two immediate ones.
David: And you guys are hiring an incredible amount of people at a super fast rate, I can imagine, especially when new businesses come along. So how are you hiring? How are you determining you're the right fit? Are you doing it yourself, in-house, internal recruiters, external recruiters? What's the process look like there?
Nick: Yeah, mostly internal recruiters. We have an HR department, really, really great HR team. I'm super, super blessed to have the team that we have there. They're rock stars. So a lot of the recruiting sites, we're not big on external recruiters. We will use that 1% of the time maybe for very, very high level positions. So a majority of what we do is referral based or it's the job sites and just really going out there doing job fairs as well, and just getting on the committees and networking and whatnot.
David: How many people does NDM employ right now?
Nick: Just over 700.
David: Wow, incredible. That's amazing. And you said to me in our last call offline, and I don't remember the context, maybe do, you said, "As more people catch on, it's going to be an evolution in the market, smaller mom and pop players will go away." Do you remember that? And what does that mean exactly?
Nick: Yeah, so that was in context of Rentyl Resorts. When you look at the vacation home market, it's really dominated by a few different players. It's the individual homeowners, they either have an extra bedroom they rent out or maybe a second home, third home that they rent out on their own. Then the next step up is maybe you'll have professional management companies that will aggregate people's units and rent them on their behalf. You have some larger companies that have aggregated the smaller guys, like the Vacasa, but that's really kind of what they've done is just bought a bunch of small guys and put them together. So again, when I look at that, the term mom and pop could be considered maybe not the nicest term, but I say that in a way of saying that it's still a pretty simple way of management or whatnot. They haven't developed a lot of the technology. They haven't really developed a lot of the structure, the brand standards. And if you go to a lot of the properties, they might be doing things completely different.
So I feel that when you start to have an industry go from infancy stage to more maturity and institutional capital starts to look at it and people start raising money to grow bigger businesses, usually, and what I see happening is companies like us that are putting forth more capital, more sophistication, more tech, more advances that help us outperform, it does just that. It helps us outperform the smaller guys, and I think it kind of pushes them down a bit. Where if I'm someone who's looking to rent a house, I am going to go to the group where I'm going to get the best returns, the best service and whatnot. So that's what I see happening, especially as institutional capital learns more and more about this, they're only going to go to the players that they could rely on. They're not going to go and hire the guys that they have to worry are they going to be in business next week or whatnot. They're going to go to the ones with great infrastructure and really competitive performance and whatnot.
So I think naturally as this industry continues to progress, those people that are maybe individually renting their homes, it'll still exist, but I think that more mainstream will be kind of what we're doing in more of a commercialized setting.
Daniel: So just to follow up with that, right now if you're an individual, use Airbnb. In the future, do you think that your platform could be an option? I know that you focus on communities, but maybe you could focus on an area and somebody signs up with you guys.
Nick: Oh yeah, 100%. So yeah, that's exactly what we're doing. I mean, we're going out to every region, all big hospitality regions around the world, and we're looking at how can we get our foothold in those markets. I think the key thing for our growth and doing what I just stated with kind of outperforming the little guys, is we have to be in the places where those guys are at. If we don't provide optionality to say, "Hey, you can go with those, but you can go with this better form of doing it." Well if we're not there in the places that they want to go, then that hurts our ability to take over that market share. So that's a big part of our growth plan, is getting into the markets we need to be in and providing that optionality for these renters to know that they have this better way of renting.
David: Yeah. What I'm hearing also is if you're a small business owner, small real estate investor, and you want to compete, you really have to 10 x whatever you're doing and probably stay at some of these resorts and see what they're doing and try to do something that they can't maybe, whatever that is. It's just very hard to win as they have economies of scale.
Nick: Yeah, that's the beauty of our economy. If people get creative and they think of ways outperform, then usually they take over and puts it back in other people's court to try to counter it. So it's what we're doing.
David: On your website, it says the quote, "Win from within." What does that mean exactly to you and what is that?
Nick: Yeah, win from within is really our key to our culture. So that's what we preach with all of our team members. And at its simplest form, it's the concept of if the company's successful, it can't be my brothers and I feeling like we're at the top of the mountain looking down. We want people at the top of the mountain with us. I say to our team all the time, we're going to battle together. We are in the trenches, we're working hard each and every day, and our success really means that we're looking eye to eye to you guys when we meet those milestones that we're looking to be at.
So if we aren't there and we're not looking at you guys while we're there, then we didn't do something right. And that's really what the win from within mentality is. We want people to know that when they come to NDM, they're not just getting a job, they're at a place where they could really develop a career and hopefully do things that they can't do elsewhere and gain successes maybe they never thought they could. So that's really what that's all about.
David: Yeah. And that's another thing that I think I'm getting from him, is one of his competitive advantages is find really great people, treat them really well, give them everything you can and you're going to be unstoppable. It's all about the people, that's what I'm learning. You can't grow all these businesses without the right people. It sounds like you've somehow accumulated 700 of the best people in, is it only South Florida or Florida?
Nick: No, we're in 20 different markets around the country and some international as well. So I wouldn't be able to rail them all off the top of my head, but yeah, about 40% of our markets are international and we're growing all around the country.
David: So let's shift the last third of this conversation to the market and the industry. So you probably know a lot about the Florida market and you know a lot about the US market and it sounds like you know a lot about the international market. So let's go with, as a new person trying to get in, should they start off in their home market that they know best or look for better opportunities elsewhere?
Nick: I'm a big believer, start with what you know. I mean, it takes time to really get the nuances of different places, new markets and whatnot. So I definitely recommend if you feel confident where you're at and you know the market and whatnot, that creates a major competitive advantage. And that's one of the things we're big on is as we grow, being smart about how we do it. So for example, if I'm going to do management of a property, I don't want to be Florida and then all of a sudden I go to California or I go international. It's too spread out, it makes it too difficult, too many nuances I have to know in these different markets and whatnot. So I'd rather be a little bit more measured from that perspective.
Now in things that maybe are more like our distribution product where we're helping resorts just with distribution, I can kind of do that from anywhere. So with that, it's a little bit more of a shotgun approach, where I don't have to be as measured in regards to where I put the dots on the map. So I do believe that you want to be really measured with your growth, but at the same time, it depends on what you're doing and how much you have to actually be there versus what you could do remote and what whatnot, that I think really helps to guide that growth plan.
David: Yeah, that's great advice. And second question to that is why international or just opportunities falling on your lap you couldn't say no to? Or did you find there's more growth opportunity, more ROI when you go international?
Nick: For us, the concept of homes that are in a resort setting is something that's kind of foreign in the US, but if you look in the Caribbean, if you look in a lot of international markets, that's something that's been a lot more developed. Not necessarily standalone vacation home resorts with no hotel component, but a lot of the time you go to these international markets, they have hotels and then residences are attached to those hotels. So I think that naturally because of that, it was less of a kind of foreign concept to these developers that are out there and it was a little bit of a easier sell, let's call it, with getting them on board. So I think naturally that's kind of how we progressed. There was also just a lot of big opportunities that came up just through our business development pipeline and whatnot internationally.
So I think it was a little bit of, again, the natural progression, a little bit of where guys were shopping and just getting a lot of leads and whatnot. And then what we've found recently is that that trended more back to domestic. We were starting to see the international markets back in 2022 tighten up a little bit on the development side, whereas now we're more seeing that domestically over the last couple months, I would say in the last 60 days, we're seeing the development market in the US start to tighten up. So I mean, it's very cyclical, it changes all the time, but I think having the ability to look around the whole world, it definitely creates some optionality on when we could deploy and where we deploy to keep the growth going.
Daniel: And just in the US market, international arena, do opportunity zone rules, does that create an opportunity to create an annuity and to do a rental income stream like vacation homes instead of selling places?
Nick: What was that last part? I'm sorry. Instead of what?
Daniel: To create a rental stream with vacation homes instead of outright selling a home as you traditionally would.
Nick: Yeah, no, the answer is yes. We do a little bit of both. So we've seen to where both international and domestic, we could have it where we could sell the unit, have it where the buyer places it back into the program. And then in a lot of cases, we are finding that our development partners, they want to just own the inventory and really finance as a revenue stream and a kind of reoccurring revenue model, maybe sell the units down the road or hold onto them for a period of time. When it comes to opportunity zones, I'll be very transparent, I'm not the expert when it comes to that, but we do have a bunch of guys in the company that are really, really great with that. So we are looking at a lot of the opportunity zones domestically. We haven't really started to dabble so much in that world internationally yet, so I will have to ask them more about that and get back to you on that one.
David: Cool. And if I could just ask you a quick question, top three favorite cities or states in the US that you love investing in or that you're most excited to see growing or that is growing right now?
Nick: So you said states or whatnot?
David: Cities Or states. Yeah.
Nick: Yeah, I would say right now we're really, really big on the Carolina markets. I think right now that the real estate there's off the charts. So that's a really exciting one for us. Multiple markets across the state of Florida. We've obviously been heavily invested in Orlando, we love Orlando. We're actually developing the largest, one of the largest mixed use projects in the world actually, or excuse me, in the country, down in Miami, near [inaudible 00:59:37] Miami World Center. I think we'd be right there with Hudson Yards, is one and two of the largest real estate deals in the country right now. So we love Miami. Outside of Carolina's, Miami, we're doing a lot of development in Texas. Texas is a really hot market right now, so we really like it there. And we're actually looking at a deal right now in Las Vegas that we're pretty excited about. So that's still a really great market. But yeah, I mean, there's a bunch of them out there. I would say where we're most bullish right now though is probably the Carolinas.
David: And how has your business or the industry evolved and changed post COVID?
Nick: So right outside of COVID, it was actually really great for our business. A lot of people were, when it came to vacationing, they were not looking to stay in a hotel. A lot of people didn't want to be around others, they didn't want to be in the hotels with other people. And being that at that time in 2020, all of our resorts were in Florida and Florida was one of the more open states that kind of allowed business to go. So thank God for that because within, I don't know, 60 days after COVID hit, I mean, we were getting so much demand, it was crazy. People just wanted to get out of wherever they are and go vacation, be in a house and not have to worry about being around others. So we got a huge spike in 2020, 2021, it spiked even more. And 2022, the first half of the year was off the charts. So I would say it really kept going up, up, up.
Towards the end of 2022, we started to see the market softening a bit. I think a lot of the economic factors and inflation really started to affect people's spending habits, which we've been seeing that's continuing right now. And then I think everything that's continuously happening with all the economic factors, I mean, interest rates, development's really tough right now. I mean, products are extremely high-priced, so to build anything right now, you're spending significantly more than you typically would. So I think right now we're just seeing the market not necessarily go down the best path and we're seeing a ripple effect throughout all of our businesses really across the country. And I would say that right now in the state of Florida, I think we're seeing a bigger impact for whatever reason. I think a lot of what's happening politically with the Disney stuff.
I mean, I don't like to take political stances necessarily. I'm pretty neutral or whatnot, but with regards to when you see Disney pull out of the Lake Nona thing, when you see that their park attendance is down 22% year over year, we are seeing that impact the travel industry pretty significantly in the state of Florida. So those are some high level outlooks that we're seeing, but I do have full confidence that our state's going to turn that around. I have a lot of confidence in what we're doing, both on the political and on the business side with leaders throughout the state. So I think that's going to be short-lived, but it's pretty interesting what we're going through right now.
David: Yeah, I think you're at the right place at the right time. For us at least as a family, we have three kids and we never want to stay at a hotel ever again after COVID. We don't want share an elevator with 12 other people. So we've just been doing these homes for the last three years. So you were mentioning where the market's going. So where do you think the market industry in general is going in the next five years in the US?
Nick: I mean, I think five year outlook, it's going to look positive. I think what we're dealing with right now, I don't expect it to be a depression type thing like '08, I think it's more of a short-term recession. I do feel that for the rest of this year it's going to continue getting worse. And I hate to be pessimist, but just from what we're seeing, I think real estate's going to really freeze up. I think debt lending's going to be non-existent between now and the end of the year. And just in general, I think it's going to affect people's spending habits as well and impact the consumer side. So unfortunately I'm not super optimistic about where things are going this year, but again, I think that's going to be pretty cyclical and I do expect sometime in 2024 we're going to see that start to rebound. So we shall see. I don't have a crystal ball unfortunately, but that'd be my immediate outlook. And when I look at five year, I feel pretty confident that we're going to be in a really good spot.
David: So what he's saying is it's going to be a down year, so it's a good time to invest in the S&P 500. So last two or three questions, are there any new trends or you're a technology guy, so any new technology that you're excited about, that you're seeing? I mean, I don't want to use that word, throw out the word AI, but anything like that that you're seeing, that you're using in your business or that you're excited about?
Nick: Yeah, I think anytime throughout new trends in technology, right now it's AI. I'm not on the AI train as much as others. I think that AI is still really a little too infant for what we would want to use it for. I was actually exploring with the team the other day, coming up with a product and building a product that could be almost like a AI booking engine and create a more experiential based booking type of experience. Where instead of just going in and putting your dates and where you want to go, the typical booking bar, you could press a button, talk to a digital avatar. And not only could you say where you want to go and what you're looking for, but you could say, "Here's the type of stuff I want to do while I'm there." And it could actually give you options based on what you want to do and help to build out your itinerary real time while you're booking.
So I mean, that was the concept that we came up with. Then when you start looking at what the technology is capable of today, it's just too early. There's too many gaps in regards to the communication and the pickup of language from the human to the machine, to where there's too many like, "Oh, I don't know what you're saying. Can you repeat?" And I think it would actually create more frustration than benefit. But I do believe that as the product, as AI continues to evolve, I do think that's the route that we will be taking with that type of stuff or whatnot. It creates major efficiencies and I think it also will increase booking conversion. So AI's big, just a little early, I would say. There was the trends of the last couple years with the various different things, the web, whatever it was, Web3, Web4.
David: Web3, Meta, you're not in the metaverse? Rentyl's not there yet?
Nick: No, no, we looked at all that stuff. But again, I just don't see it as kind of as sticky as maybe the AI will be. I think AI will definitely stick, it's just going to take time. Those things, I didn't see the stickiness. You got the whole crypto thing, we're big on trying to have it where people could pay for stuff through crypto, but I think-
David: Cool. That's cool. Wow. I feel like he's dropped so many great ideas. We need to make people sign an NDA before listening to this podcast.
Nick: The only other thing I guess that I could say is when you think of crypto, tokenization of real estate I think is kind of interesting and that's been around for a little bit.
David: What does that mean? What does that mean, tokenization of real estate?
Nick: Yeah, so I'll give a concept that we're looking at. So think of it as, I'll give you a hotel example, imagine we're developing a hotel. And let's say I wanted to raise money or have another form of capital raising for the hotel. So a concept that we were throwing out there that actually has been done at a hotel in Colorado, is you actually tokenize the nights. So what you would do is you create a blockchain technology where you could in essence trade the tokens almost like a StubHub type of platform. And before the hotel ever opens, we as a consumer could actually buy these tokens, which would represent nights in the hotel over the next 15 years once the hotel opens. So each night will be a different token value based on the seasonality and how valuable that night is. Christmas, for example, is going to be a higher token value than May 1st, where it's not a great seasonality.
And so in essence, now I could pre-sell these tokens way before the hotel ever opens. When the hotel does open, the token value gets set based on the rates that we open up the hotel at. And that in essence, I've now collected money though for the pre-sale value of the tokens, whatever I set up pre-opening. And then now that the token's on a trading platform, I have the ability to either trade it in for a stay, either now or 15 years from now or anywhere in between. And the token goes back into the pool, and I've used it for a stay that maybe I locked in many years before at a much cheaper rate. So I get that benefit. Or I could actually go trade that token on the blockchain technology to other people like you would on a StubHub. So it's almost like when you buy a ticket to a game for 100 bucks and then all of a sudden it appreciates because Lionel Messi comes into town, the ticket goes 15 times higher. Well you go trade that token now for 15 x and you made a bunch of money.
So it creates almost a new way to raise money. It creates a new way for people to buy stays. It creates a new trading platform where you could in essence see the appreciation of those tokens. And then it does some other really cool things as well. So that's a concept we've explored that we probably at some point will put in place and maybe someone on this call will take it and run with it. But that's something that I think is pretty interesting, and I could see tokenization of real estate taking off in the near future.
David: Man, you are an such a different level. He's thinking so far ahead, it's amazing. I mean, what's in your water? What are we drinking here? I need some of this.
Daniel: Well said. No, that's true. And it's also interesting, it would actually be backed by something. So even though you have a token, there's an annuity or something of value behind it.
Nick: Yeah, exactly. So it's almost like taking crypto and putting an asset behind it.
David: That sounds like the topic of our second podcast together. Think we ought to have you on just for a crypto conversation. All right, so last two. What does the future look like for Nick Falcone and NDM?
Nick: So again, like I was saying earlier, I hope to really build Rentyl to be a multi-billion dollar business in the near future. Hope to continue to build out some of our other businesses as well. I do envision hopefully taking our business of NDM and merging it with the Falcone Group over the next three years. I think that officially merging the two entities will really take it to the next level as well. And I think more on a personal level, I didn't mention that too much, but I also have a bunch of young kids. I have four at home and want to keep growing the family and hopefully be as good of an influence as my parents were to me, to them.
David: Wow. So you want to keep growing the family. So if your wife's listening, how many kids do you plan on having?
Nick: Definitely don't want to keep growing. I want to influence. I might have misspoken.
Nick: Do a good job with parenting [inaudible 01:10:45].
David: Awesome. Yeah. Congratulations. So last question for me, if you have anything else, but can people invest in NDM right now or is that coming maybe down the road when you open up a REIT or go public?
Nick: Actually, we're going to be doing a small round for Rentyl, probably opening in the next 30 days or so. Like I said, we did raise a good amount of money last year, but we actually had an opportunity with a sovereign fund in the largest real estate deal in the world right now, where they want to do a pretty large infrastructure level deal with us. That is great, but it would require a little bit more capital for me to go set up in that side of the world and create the infrastructure needed to execute on that deal. So that is something that I will be looking to probably raise an additional three to five million this year to be able to capitalize on that. And anyone that's interested, I'd love to speak to them. But yeah, that's kind of the near term capital raise.
And the other thing I would say is we're also providing, helping our development partners for each individual deal find capital. So all the deals we do, for the most part, we get hired to do that and we'll be putting out packages for a lot of our real estate deals that are coming up as well. So there'll be opportunity to invest in those.
David: And I'm assuming accredited investors only?
Nick: Yes. Yep.
David: Okay. So if people did want to speak to you or anything like that, where can they reach you online, your website, LinkedIn?
Nick: Yeah, LinkedIn. So Nick Falcone on LinkedIn and that'd probably be the best place to reach out.
David: Awesome. Any final questions?
Daniel: I think that that's a beautiful place to wrap up. But I will just say again, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day. I know you're super busy with everybody over there, and David as well. It's beautiful to see the two of you guys chat. You guys are both heavy hitters and just enjoyed the interaction and listening to both of you guys speak.
David: Thank you for making the intro. Thank you. And Nick, once again, thank you so much for coming on. We really appreciate it.
Nick: Yeah, no, it's been a pleasure guys. I really appreciate it and thank you. I look forward to hopefully doing it again someday.
David: For sure.
Daniel: Please send regards to everybody in Boca.
David: And Orlando and all over the world and all the different countries. And for those listening, don't forget you could tune in at doorloop.com/podcast to watch this podcast in the video format. Or you can go to doorloop.com/webinars and we also have a whole different topic on webinar tutorials. So that's it for now. Thank you again and we'll be back with the next one soon.
Nick: All right, thanks everybody. Hope you enjoy.
Announcer: Thanks for listening all the way to the end. Don't forget to give us a good rating on whatever platform you're tuning in from. And we'll be back soon with another new episode. We hope to see you there. And until next time, this has been in Loop It In.
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