Adding Flexibility to an Archaic Real Estate Landscape
On this episode of Say Yes To Travel, Host Sarah Dandashy talked with Jason Fudin, Co-Founder and CEO of WhyHotel, a hospitality platform, and operator focusing on multifamily buildings. It operates pop-up hotels out of the vacancy of newly built luxury apartments during the initial lease-up process. They talked about Fudin’s career, his time at Vornado Realty, and WhyHotel.
Fudin’s background is in high-rise institutional real estate development. He worked on large real estate developments for Vornado Realty that at times were worth more than $2 billion. Focusing on innovation realty, he tended to work with companies such as WeWork and how they could make space more efficient and better utilize it. While he was at Vornado, he piloted WhyHotel, and they spun it out to become its own independent, venture-backed company in 2017.
“The real estate world is kind of archaic in that highly siloed, and it has no flexibility,” Fudin said. “I was in the unique position of spending those 100s of millions and billions to build products while seeing a changing set of consumer preferences so spaces could be more flexible.”
WhyHotel brings a hospitality-style product into apartments, according to Fudin. Their first business line is a pop-up hotel. In some ways, it was the right place at the right time, as Vornado gave Fudin the freedom to build this new platform.
“If you’re a guest of ours or resident, you get to stay in high-quality apartment homes in great neighborhoods, but you get hospitality services,” Fudin said. “You get that hospitality experience.”
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