Nick Narodny is the brains behind Aalto, a real estate marketplace that connects buyers to homeowners. The company launched in 2018, but the online marketplace was launched in April 2021. As a son to real estate agents, Narodny understands the real estate market well hence has always been passionate about it. He is determined to see the company scale the heights, and the recent funding of $13 million will facilitate its expansion. You can learn more about the CEO and founder of Aalto from these few facts.
1. Why he resigned from Grovo
Narodny was the co-founder of an employee training platform, Grovo, which he co-founded with Jeff Fernandez and Surag Mungekar in 2010. Unfortunately, the three executives lacked financial discipline after raising over $62 million since their launch. According to CNBC, the company went out of its way to give employees luxurious treats. For instance, every Friday, they would get manicures, and they enjoyed an in-house shoe shiner and gym. Sending employees to field trips in the jungle also was part of the unnecessary expenditure that saw Narodny and his colleagues resign.
2. The Greatest Challenge While Running Grovo
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have another thing in common besides being founders of software companies; the two believed that hiring intelligent people was one of the essentials to having a successful company. Narodny and his Grovo co-founders shared the same belief; therefore, even if it took a while before they could see the fruits of their labor, they never regretted taking their time to find the right recruits.
3. The Coolest Person He Met at TechDay
Speaking to TechDay, Narodny disclosed that during TechDay, he met with Philip Mabry, the one person whom he believed was the coolest of all the attendees. He was so blown away by Phil, and luckily for Grovo, Mabry was also captivated by Grovo. Therefore, a week after the event, Narodny and his colleagues invited Mabry for an interview. They were impressed by the prospective candidate, so they hired him on the spot. Mabry became the Client Success Manager for ten months before being promoted to be the Enterprise Client Success Manager, a position he held for 14 months.
4. He Believes in Giving Tailored Feedback
Narodny believes that giving feedback should never be personal or judgmental. Therefore, he encourages leaders to know the right time to impart feedback and choose the right place. He trained the managers at Grovo to give feedback, especially when hiring. Unlike most recruiters who do not bother getting back to the unsuccessful candidates, Narodny required the managers to let them know why they were not the right fit for the company.
5. He Likes to Empower His Managers
Leaders have different ways of showing their authority; some like to lead from the front, others prefer leading from behind. Narodny chooses the latter method because he believes managers can learn a lot more when given some leeway. When he talked to 33 Voices, he said that part of becoming a good manager of the managers is enabling them to grow. He added that everyone is different, and the learning process never ends because the market keeps changing. Narodny, therefore, opines that the best way to improve managers’ performance is by giving them enough rope to maneuver and make their own decisions.
6. His Proudest Moments
One of the most courageous things that a man can do is go on bended knee to pop the big question. Celebrities like Justin Bieber know all too well how much it hurts when you are in love with a girl, and she rejects your proposal. Therefore, Narodny convincing his wife Neva to marry him was one of the proudest moments of his life. Of course, establishing a company, Aalto, which is still thriving, is also another moment the CEO holds dear.
7. He Founded His First Company While in Seventh Grade
You may know of Grovo and Aalto, but these are not the only companies that Narodny has founded. According to Marin Catholic, the father of two was in seventh grade when he established Wise Well Computer Services. The firm focused on one-on-one training and education on internet applications and computer software. The company did very well, and within five years, it had implemented education programs for California real estate brokers.
8. He Prefers a Private Social Media Account
Narodny joined Twitter in 2009, and so far, he has only garnered 224 followers, perhaps mainly because he keeps his account private. His Instagram account is also private and only has 281 followers. Well, in this era of everyone flaunting whatever is going on in their lives, too much information can lead to identity theft, blackmailing, and social profiling. According to Panda Security, social media users can avoid falling prefer to cybercriminals by keeping their accounts private, which is something that Narodny seems to live by in his public life.
9. His Professional Background
Narodny got his business management degree from Boston College, where he graduated cum laude. Armed with his degree, he was employed as an investment banker at Jefferies Quarterback; he worked on acquisitions of Boeing and SpaceX since he was attached to the aerospace and defense department. However, he yearned to get back to tech, so he worked at Clickable as the sales team lead. That shift facilitated his meeting with future Grovo co-founder Fernandez.
10. Why He Founded Aalto
Passion is usually the main ingredient for most entrepreneurs, as it was for Narodny when he decided to venture into real estate. He believes that buying or selling your home is one of the biggest events you can ever experience. Hence, Aalto attempts to streamline the process, which can be tedious using the traditional method of listing properties and waiting for clients to show. With Aalto, he eliminated the third parties that also remove the brokerage fees, thus making his platform a much cheaper option for buyers. Besides, he cited an example of surgeons and other business executives who want to do stuff in their own schedules, and Aalto made it possible to do so.