Saurabh Shah is a PropTech entrepreneur with substantial experience in real estate investments, asset management and business development across United States and South Asia.
He is the co-founder of InstaLend, which is a tech-enabled lender for real estate loans providing fast, affordable and convenient capital to real estate developers.
Saurabh has worked at the intersection of real estate and technology to disrupt traditional real estate financing model.
Where did the idea for InstaLend come from?
Working in real estate, my business partner and I identified the shortcomings in residential real estate lending. Banks move through the lending process slowly. Good deals are gone quick and need to close fast – it is highly likely that a seller may not be willing to wait months to close. In that time, property investors can lose good deals. Distressed home buyers need fast-moving lending partners and that the inspiration for InstaLend came about.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up, spend about 15 minutes exercising, speak to my family and then I’m off to the office. Being part of a lean team, the work days get pretty busy. I spend time with my wife in the evenings, cooking together and we end the day with a meal together.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Fortunately, this is not something I do by myself. I am blessed to be part of a remarkable team to collaborate with and breathe life into the ideas we come up with.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One of the positives while surviving COVID has been that the world has become flatter. Organizations are open minded to collaborating remotely, which has created opportunities for folks who may not be in prime locations. I’m excited to see how collaboration tools further enhance this culture.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I pick up the phone and speak to my customers – rather than relying on emails to communicate. It’s helped me convert NOs to YES’. Often I find these phone conversations leading to negotiations approaching a middle ground that helps all parties move forward.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Success requires persistence. Too many individuals give up too soon. It is impossible to beat the person who just won’t give up.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Vegan food can replace meat for good.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Speak openly about ideas, opportunities and aspirations. Discussing them helps me refine the ideas and also stress test them for practical implementation.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Ensuring that we partner with quality professionals and give them an opportunity to realize profits by aligning our incentives.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had many failures as an entrepreneur – the lesson usually always is to reflect on the failure and use it as a stepping stone to begin again, wiser.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Any individual can become a professional real estate investor and build a portfolio of passive income with almost very little cash as opposed to large investment commitments. All you need to start this business is a deal team consisting of a Realtor, Wholesaler, Contractor, Lender and a Property Manager.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought tickets to a group kayak activity where I interacted with strangers and ended up discussing our passions. I was surprised that many of them followed up with me even after the event and we were able to form some new friendships.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use AttorneyDrive as a tool to track and manage foreclosure cases. The service has the ability to collaborate with attorneys, automate document generation, centralize team collaboration and maintain REO properties. This is extremely handy for a national lender like my company, InstaLend.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Zero to One by Peter Thiel. This book has been written by one of the most successful risk-takers in the world, and he’s summarized his life-lessons and observations in the form of a book summary.
What is your favorite quote?
Don’t sweat the small stuff, its all small stuff – Richard Carlson.
- Distressed home buyers need fast-moving lending partners and that’s how the inspiration for InstaLend came about.
- Success requires persistence. Too many individuals give up too soon. It is impossible to beat the person who just won’t give up.
- Speak openly about ideas, opportunities and aspirations. Discussing them helps me refine the ideas and also stress test them for practical implementation.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.