Bisnow Q&A: IOTAS’ Founder Scé Pike, One Of Bisnow’s Power Women
When IOTAS CEO and Bisnow Power Woman Scé Pike founded her company a couple of years ago, she saw an opportunity to disrupt the multifamily housing industry.
With her background in technology, her goal was to incorporate technology into a rapidly changing multifamily industry and attract a new generation of millennials and other renters to smart apartments, units that feature door and motion sensors, temperature control and more.
Since founding the company, Pike has delivered SoCal smart apartments in Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Orange County, she said.
Pike spoke with Bisnow about her company’s work and what it is like being a woman in the underrepresented fields of commercial real estate and technology.
Bisnow: Tell us about IOTAS and why you founded the company.
Pike: I realized that the multifamily housing industry and their residents were dying for more technology. I learned that the multifamily housing industry is a trillion-dollar industry that was ripe for a tech disruption.
As the new largest consumer power in the U.S., every other industry wants access to the millennials and the multifamily housing industry has access to them 365 days of the year. The multifamily housing industry has a huge opportunity to control this access using technology, such as IOTAS, as a gateway to millennials and their very valuable data.
Bisnow: Your background is unique. You work in two industries that historically have been male-dominated. What is it like being a woman in the underrepresented fields of tech and real estate?
Pike: I hope that this Bisnow [Power Women] event draws attention to the fact that women do exist in these industries and are in a position of power. The more visibility we provide that there are women in positions of power in these industries, the more acceptance women will gain and then it will draw more women into these traditionally male-dominated fields.
I definitely had my share of challenges. However, in some ways, maybe these behaviors were so accepted that it was considered normal, and I just plowed ahead and didn't let any of it faze me. I learned quickly to be 120% better at everything, to work more hours, to never burn any bridges, to get amazing mentors and to support other amazing people.
Bisnow: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your job? How do you overcome those challenges?
Pike: It's not much different than what I faced before: convincing investors and clients to trust in a woman, and a minority at that.
At the end of the day, when my clients buy IOTAS, they are buying an amazing product and an amazing team and trusting me to make it all work for them.
Business is still done with faith in the other person across the table from you. This is also even more true of investors. In early stage investing, they are not investing in the company, investors are investing in the people.
I overcome those challenges by being real, honest, ethical, humble, open and vulnerable. I invest in my clients, investors, partners and employees as much as they invest in me, often more. Their success truly matters to me because if they are successful that means I'm successful. My success is built on my relationships with people.
Bisnow: What motivates you? You have a high-pressure job. What keeps you going? What's your biggest fear?
Pike: I'm motivated by people — my family first, my employees, my advisers, my clients. But I'm also motivated by the long-term vision of IOTAS, which is to make IoT data monetization available to all, including the multifamily housing industry and their residents. If I can achieve this vision, that means there will be exponential revenue streams for the multifamily housing industry and passive income for residents. My biggest fear is to die knowing I had nothing worth showing.
Bisnow: What are the best ways to encourage diversity in the industry?
Pike: As mentioned above, I think one of the best ways to encourage diversity is to normalize women of power in the industry. We shouldn't be an oddity. We should be looked upon as equally present and accepted easily in our presence.
Pike is one of more than 30 women in the commercial real estate industry to be honored at Bisnow’s LA Power Women Series: Leaders In Commercial Real Estate on Wednesday at Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles.