Cover art for podcast American Building

American Building

60 EpisodesProduced by Michael GravesWebsite

American Building, hosted by Atif Z. Qadir, Sponsored by Michael Graves & REDIST, shares how iconic buildings came to be from the perspective of their developers, investors, and designers. These innovators discuss on a deeply personal level what they faced over the course of the entire building proc… read more


52. Trends in PropTech | Chok Lei of Clear Mountain Capital

Today, I’m joined by real estate executive Chok Lei to discuss his work with The Cedarview, a multiphase rental apartment development near the University of Connecticut. The 250-unit community is set upon a former nine-hole golf course, and will provide necessary housing for the students, faculty, and permanent residents of the college town. Chok describes how his team is providing a product that the town needs, but also is keeping in-line with the rural, natural character of Northeastern Connecticut. 

Chok shares how he was influenced to pursue a career in real estate development from a young age一the only issue is that he’s seeing the same homebuilding process his grandfather followed. We talk about trends in proptech, which is innovation and use of technology within the property sector, and more broadly, the real estate industry. To Chok, it’s more than a buzzword. Proptech is a movement bringing the real estate industry into where it needs to be today, and also where it needs to be going forward, in order to address housing issues that we're seeing across the country. 

I ask Chok about the exciting opportunities in the development space right now and what he keeps in mind when he’s investing in construction tech. He highlights startups in the proptech space that are making waves in the homebuilding space, and shares his predictions for the future of real estate development.

About the Guest:

Chok Lei is a real estate executive who has served in leadership roles for multiple investment firms, most recent of which is COO at Clear Mountain Capital, a New York City based company that develops real estate and invests in technology that will transform the industry. He is also a professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning. He previously worked at Pretium Partners and began his career at JP Morgan. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • The organizational and time management skill set that Chok gained from his time working in financial services
  • How the students in Chok’s real estate finance course at Columbia University help make him a better investor
  • Utilizing the natural landscape in Storrs to serve specific functions as it relates to land planning
  • What opportunity zones are and how to take advantage of them as a real estate developer
  • What’s currently trending in the proptech space 

About Your Host

“Atif Qadir is the Founder & CEO of REDIST, a technology company making it easy for commercial real estate professionals to find and use the $100B of real estate incentives given out every year in the US.”

Resources and Links

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