VAUNT’s Irina Constantin on shaping the future of real estate through proptech

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What does the future hold for proptech, and how is Romanian startup VAUNT poised to shape it? VAUNT’s platform  is currently utilized by over 50 real estate agencies and developers across Romania. The platform manages projects with a total value exceeding €2 billion, with transactions surpassing €760 million.

Furthermore, it aims to digitally facilitate the entire residential real estate sales process. It offers a range of user-friendly sales and marketing modules intended to simplify these processes and support the growth of its partners’ businesses.

In an interview with IT Logs, VAUNT’s CEO and co-founder Irina Constantin discusses the challenges that the real estate industry faces right now when it comes to streamlining its operational processes, the future of cities, communities, and much more. 

Irina Constantin: VAUNT launched at the end of 2020 to address the residential market’s need for a more digitalized sales process. My co-founder, Razvan Mitre, and I have backgrounds in corporate and startup environments, but we always aimed to create something with global impact. After building a custom ERP for a developer, we started getting questions from other developers how they could improve their sales. This led us to develop VAUNT, a comprehensive infrastructure for housing sales.

VAUNT streamlines the sales process for residential developers and their teams, from obtaining the building permit to handover. Our platform offers a range of modules, including CRM, financial modules, marketing and financial reporting, customer portal and asset tracking.

Recently, we launched VAUNT Market, a marketplace that facilitates cross-border residential real estate acquisition. We’re starting with US buyers looking to invest in Europe. This process can be complex due to varying regulations, but the potential is immense. Our goal is to make it easy for you to find, buy, and finance investment properties all over the globe from your computer, without any extra paperwork or traditional mediums. Plus, we provide all the info and tech tools you need to make smart investment decisions and maximize your potential returns.

Our client base has grown steadily, proving the real need for VAUNT. We’ve developed each module by observing how users interact with the product and actively listening to their feedback. We prioritize building long-term relationships, not just short-term engagements through our comprehensive customer relationship management system.

The fact that VAUNT has attracted over 70 clients (developers that have from 40 to +1500 residential units)  while being completely bootstrapped and run by a lean team leveraging technology indicates we’re on the right track. Our users appreciate the time savings, intuitive design, and ease of use. We’ve made the onboarding process simple with tutorials, and soon, we’ll incorporate AI to cut onboarding time by 50%.

Over the past year, we’ve done extensive market research, customer interviews, and meetings with investors, professionals, and realtors to ensure we’re addressing the right needs in the US market. My co-founder and I have been living between the US and Europe, leveraging our remote-first setup to scale the business and execute our expansion plans.

We’re transitioning into a US company with Romanian roots. To strengthen our presence, we’ve started hosting events in the US to build our community of users and connect with the local startup scene.

Currently, we’re focusing on deepening our community ties and pursuing strategic investments to accelerate our business plan and bridge the gap between the US and Europe.

Growing VAUNT has taught us valuable lessons daily from our team, clients, and the market. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Launch early: Don’t wait for perfection. Launch your MVP, talk about your idea, get feedback, and stay clear on your goals and target audience. Also make people pay you.
  • Learn how to build a network: Connect with people and maintain those relationships. Don’t hesitate to ask for help; many are willing to support you.
  • Stay flexible: Regularly revisit your strategy. Be ready to adapt when necessary.

These lessons, combined with our amazing team, are crucial as we scale VAUNT to become an international, billion-dollar company.

I recently got asked what proptech is, and to me, it’s not just software. It’s about tools that enhance our daily lives – where and how we work, how we live, and the spaces we live in. 

While we often focus on the tools, we need to ask: how are these tools contributing to society?

In the residential space, we’re shaping the future of our cities and communities. As a proptech company, we have a responsibility to consider the impact of our products. By approaching Proptech with this mindset, we unlock more opportunities for innovation and efficiency.

The world is constantly evolving, and we have the chance every day to make our society better through thoughtful, impactful proptech solutions. It’s not just assets, store of value or efficiency. It’s all about that big vision. And if we look at it from this perspective I am sure there we can move forward with innovation.

For now, we remain focused on the residential market. There’s still a lot of room to grow for us, especially with our new product, VAUNT Market. We know how to work with residential assets and want to put all our efforts into this.

We are already working on integrating AI into our platform. These new types of technologies can work very well as assistants, speeding up processes that take a lot of time – such as, in our case, scanning IDs to introduce the data into a contract.

Scanning an ID and using AI to extract the data and automatically fill in a contract offers a smoother client experience and furthermore, it reduces the risk of human errors. 

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