Having established the New York office less than 6 months ago, Open Box takes great pleasure in introducing an established acquaintance, Gregg Haverstick, as a Principal of the office. Gregg has more than 17 years of Real Estate technology experience and describes himself as a ‘self-motivated, detail-oriented individual who enjoys networking and solving complicated problems using technology’.
Malcolm Hall, the founder of Open Box who bears the responsibility of developing strategic direction and managing overall operations – thus ensuring that Open Box keeps delivering not only proudly, but also with dedication, recently chatted to Gregg, subsequent to him taking up office.
The two first met at the RealComm Conference in 2014, but Gregg had been introduced to Open Box when he joined StuyTown back in 2011.
This is how their conversation went:
Gregg, tell us about what you were doing before you joined the Open Box team?
I was the Senior Director of Information Technology for StuyTown, Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, where I was responsible for developing and directing the company’s overall IT strategy, technical standards and practices as well as ensuring that the IT infrastructure could support strategic initiatives. I joined that team in 2011 from Related and during my time with StuyTown the property went through numerous transitions including three different management companies, four general managers and most recently the purchase of the property by Blackstone.
What inspired you to move to Open Box – and why us?
I have always been impressed with the Open Box team; and besides I wanted to try something different. In fact, if ever I have had the urge to do something new, it is now. It was kind of the perfect storm when Open Box felt the time was right for a greater American presence. I am excited to be joining the team; and I am excited about an organization that has really great people.
I recently showed friends in Las Vegas the Rob Sparke videos that Open Box had just released. It was the first time in recent memory when I was legitimately excited to share what I was doing at work with my friends.
What are some of the unique strengths that you feel you bring to the Open Box team?
I have worked with two very challenging real estate companies and have also collaborated with Open Box to solve many of their issues. Very few challenges out there will really surprise me.
I am comfortable with people - due, amongst other things, to the fact that my father’s job required our family to move often. I have lived not only all over the US, but have in fact lived all over the world and consequently relate very well to people across cultures. (I attended high school in England, where after I moved to Pennsylvania for University, while my parents went on to Belgium and I have been in New York since 1999.)
How do you see the Real Estate Industry changing over the next 5 years and where do you see Open Box fitting in?
The trend that has been happening since 2005 is that of becoming more mobile. If you do not have good open API’s, it is a problem. We are going to integrate with anything our customers want to integrate with. Open Box is perfectly positioned to offer solutions in this regard. Very few people and companies have the appropriate experience that Open Box does.
What are you looking forward to the most in your role as Principal at Open Box?
I am really looking forward to meeting new people! I love networking with the purpose of helping a variety of clients out there. I have in fact encountered some unique problems and New York certainly has a unique set of challenges.
We can provide some unique solutions.
Tell us a little more about Gregg outside of work?
I have been married to Emily for five years and we have two daughters, Olivia (3) and Ava (8 months). I’m quite nervous about the prospect of being a single parent for the first time this coming weekend! (There has been no official feedback from Gregg about how the weekend transpired after all…)
My parents, who were both born in Virginia, have been living there for the past 12 years. I have an older sister who also lives there and has three daughters. There are no other men in my family, as my dad, my mom, my wife and I each only have a sister!
What was the last book you read, and why?
It was The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston, which is non-fiction and is set in Honduras. It amazes me that some parts of the world are still unexplored. In this case the jungle canopy had to be penetrated to reach this undiscovered city and lost civilization. Fascinating!
A website you visit every day?
I am a huge sports fan, so I don’t skip a day of browsing ESPN.com.
Do you have a favourite restaurant?
Yes! L’Artusi in West Village Manhattan is a firm favourite for anniversaries, birthdays and any other special occasions. Even with your diet, you will enjoy it, Malcolm!
What accent do you have? Especially considering your numerous relocations…
Actually I don’t think I have an accent; or if I do, it could probably be described as a ‘muddled midwestern’ one.
Both men agree with the slogan ‘There’s always a better way”; and that in constantly searching for it, you can surprise yourself…
“What worked yesterday, might not work tomorrow, so let’s work something out!”