Interview with Umair Kabani
Head of Supply Acquisition & Expansion @ Peerspace

Peerspace is your little black book for finding unique and undiscovered places to meet, create, or celebrate. With thousands to choose from, their online marketplace opens the door to all types of spaces at all price points - from lofts and mansions to storefronts and studios. Whether it’s a photo shoot, birthday bash, pop-up shop, or team brainstorm, Peerspace gives people the keys to their cities’ best spaces. By showcasing and making their space available to an audience of millions, Peerspace makes it easy for both individuals and businesses to earn extra income from their space.
Hi Umair! Could you please introduce your work with Peerspace and tell us a bit more about current work with the company?
So, Peerspace is the marketplace for creative space. You can say, we are like the AirBnB for events and, these events can include film shoots, photo shoots, music videos, bachelor parties, engagements, corporate meetings, seminars. It has a wide variety of use cases and, what I'm primarily responsible for is the growth and launch of new markets, more specifically, I'm responsible for the growth on the supply side of the business as well as the demand generation strategies, such as corporate partnerships, branding events, routine stuff. So, it combines a little bit of both, the supply and the demand side of the platform.
What have been the main benchmarks and milestones you've reached in regards to Peerspace's expansion into Southern California?
So, without going into too much specifics since we are a private company, I would say the greatest milestone I've had personally at Peerspace is creating an innovative process for a supply acquisition, that not only scale just in Southern California but actually it can scale worldwide. And so, due to some of these processes in place right now, we've been able to add on at least over 10000 spaces in L.A. just alone. And, currently, I'm working on looking to automate and product ties some of the steps in our acquisition process.
What are your main skills in the field of Market Management? What makes market management for a company like Peerspace unique?
Well, to effectively manage your market you would need to learn how to actually measure it first. So, you need to put together our systems and processes in place to measure. And, this comes along with learning what the right metrics are or the right KPI´s. We check which our Key Performance Indicators because you could be measuring hundreds of things. But, if you don't measure and gain insight from the right things then, it could lead you astray in your business. So, it goes back to the Prager principle where 80 percent of your output comes from 20 percent of your input. You know, our job is to find what is those 20 percent and let's just keep optimizing that. So, finding these for your business is critical. So, then once you know what to measure then you can hold people accountable with goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant in time out. And, we go ahead and draft these every quarter, using OKR's which are Objectives and Key results. You can YouTube, you know, what are OKR´s. It's a really good read or a video, in fact. And, you know, our company operates this way, Uber does, Google does so, I highly recommend if you have your own startup you hold your team accountable too. OKR´s. The second question, you know, what makes badging pure space unique is that you know nobody saw this problem before. So, I guess you can say our competitors are hotels and so, it poses a unique challenge in terms of coming up with their own tactics or creative tactics to go ahead and execute from scratch. So, it's very exciting and very, you know, a scientific process driven methodology that we don't use here and, I recommend your startup do the same thing.
What makes Los Angeles such an ideal location for a company like Peerspace?
Luckily for Peerspace, L.A. is a natural hub for production. Funny story, when the founders first launched Peerspace, they only launched for events and meetings. The, one day in L.A., they started to see that, you know, a lot of the guests were using some of the event venues for production purposes like music videos, film shoots, Kickstarter videos, and so, then a light bulb went off in their head, they're like, hey why not launch a production vertical as well as part of our platform? So, we did and now, it's actually one of the biggest ones in terms of revenue for us, which is great! And, the future is super bright, as a lot of these tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Snapchat, Apple all get into the content creation game. So, it's just only going to be increasing for years to come. So, L.A. looks like an amazing, amazing market for Peerspace.
What's next for your work both with Peerspace and your own coaching career? What will be your main focus for the rest of 2019?
Well, the goal for Peerspace, for the rest of the year, is more national expansion. So, as of March 2019 we have already launched Dallas and Houston, just this month. And, we have plans to five to seven more cities by the end of the year, with Miami being the next market. So, stay tuned for that. In terms of coaching, I love working with small business owners and entrepreneurs who are just starting off, looking to kind of build their business or, even kind of just the more experienced ones looking to actually scale their business. I can bring in a lot of the things that I've learned from Uber and that Peerspace in terms of scaling, either the supply side or, even the demand side of the business. So, I can bring in real-world examples and different strategies or tactics that could be applicable to their business. But, a key thing that, you know, all business owners or CEOs of small business owners should keep in mind is, to come from a love it all mindset. You know, nothing will go according to plan but, if you just have an appreciation for what you are doing and not have too many expectations set then your whole world will radically change. And, that, in turn, will actually give me more energy to do whatever it is that you need to do. So, I not only coach you on effective business processes and practices but, as well on an abundant and empowering mindset, it takes to create grow and scale into a multimillion-dollar business.