Investor Zach Witkoff Catalyzes Technological Evolution of Real Estate
Innovation is at the core of human evolution. Throughout history, we have found ways to make up for the limitations of our bodies by coming up with ingenious extensions of them. That’s technology: the materialization of our solutions to problems. We can’t turn back from it; it’s part of who we are now. Industries and institutions that are embracing technology are opening the way to a more abundant future, where most of our most tedious tasks will be delegated to machines, giving us room to enjoy what matters most.
As a result of our inventions, we have been able to transform the world around us, erecting cities and building roads to connect them. Because we will always need spaces to live and interact, the real estate industry is one of the most established in the world. It makes up for over 10 trillion dollars in the global economy.
There are always new projects being constructed, but the processes haven’t changed much in the past fifty to sixty years. Technology has the potential to revolutionize real estate, and investors like Zach Witkoff are looking into that.
The Witkoff family has been in the real estate business for over 35 years. Zach’s father, Steven Witkoff, is a real estate lawyer. He became an early investor in the revitalization of Washington Heights in New York City, which used to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. Steven partnered with Larry Gluck to create Stellar Management, a real estate development firm that quickly found success throughout Manhattan. In the late 90s, the partnership amicably dissolved, and Steven went on to found The Witkoff Group.
The company is well known for its preeminent hospitality projects and luxurious integral housing developments. The New York City Public Hotel, The West Hollywood Edition, and the Times Square Edition are among the most recognizable ones. As the younger Witkoff asserts, “We build experiences at Witkoff. We think about the whole picture. We create full ecosystems where people don’t have to leave the property if they don’t want to.”
Zach Witkoff wants to extend the family’s assets beyond real estate and integrate technology into the business. During his years in The University of Miami’s Business school, Witkoff became interested in technology and saw an opportunity for it to disrupt real estate. In 2019, the young investor opened Witkoff Capital, the family office part of the Witkoff Group. One of the firm’s primary missions is to identify game-changing technologies and find a place for them in the market. You see homes being built with 3D printers, which is fascinating. Now you can construct with robotics.
These are all the kinds of things that I’m looking at.” Said Witkoff. “AI and tech are changing the landscape of how we as humans operate every day, and we’re only in the early innings. As AI starts to accelerate, there will be a lot of automation that streamlines processes both in real estate and other areas, and it will be a game-changer. So that’s certainly one of the themes of our family office.”
As author Ray Kurzweil wrote, “The singularity is near.” This means that technology will reach a point that will change our entire existence. With the challenges we face today, a massive revolution could be useful. The ideas are there, and it’s up to leaders like Zach Witkoff to bring them to fruition.