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Meet Blerim Zeqiri of BI:Radix in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Blerim Zeqiri.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved to the valley to go to college and fell in love with Arizona, its people, and everything it has to offer. While double majoring at ASU, I started an internship with Alliance Residential Company – a major company in the multifamily industry. After graduating college I had an opportunity to work for one of the major investment banks, which had been a long-term goal. However, after giving it considerable thought I decided to stay with Alliance. In retrospect working for an investment bank right before the great recession was probably not the best outcome, but also being in real estate in 2008-09 was by no means easy. We were in the eye of the storm and the learning experience during this time shaped my view and outlook on business and economics.

While at Alliance I saw a need for a tool that enabled us to better understand our competitive environment in the multifamily industry. I reached out to all the major software providers but none of them had any interest in building the tool industry needed. We tried to have a startup company build the tool for us, but after 6 months of meetings, consulting, and failed attempts they could not deliver a working product, or even a prototype.

I reached out to two good friends of mine – Eugene and Alex, who are both software engineers and asked if they were up for building a business intelligence company that would serve the multifamily industry. They were both up for the challenge and we set to build BI:Radix into a full-fledged business intelligence platform. The BI in the name stands for business intelligence and radix in Latin means the source or origin. After 6 months of hard work we had a prototype that we could show to potential clients. In the meantime, I had left Alliance and started working for a private equity company investing in real estate. Having a fulltime job consumed most of the time and proved very hard to grow a company. After a couple of years of hard work and slow growth, the company finally started to take off when I quit my job and committed to growing it full time. We currently have 28 clients and are growing rapidly. We are expanding our team and hope to build a company that provides data and knowledge that our clients love and rely on to make informed decisions.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road to where we are today has not been an easy one and we have had our share of challenges along the way. Building a company is difficult. We often hear how it takes twice as long, it is twice as hard, and costs twice as much as we anticipate. But, I would say it is more likely 3-4 times as difficult as we think it will be. I am however a firm believer that each failure and every challenge is a learning opportunity. As a startup company we need to stay flexible and constantly adapt to changing business environment. Being in the B2B space has its own advantages and drawbacks. A huge benefit is that we get to work with large, stable, and nationally recognized companies. On the other hand, the drawback is that it takes time to work through internal processes of each company. At the end of the day though, the rewards of being an entrepreneur are well worth it.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about BI:Radix – what should we know?
BI:Radix is a market survey platform designed specifically for the multifamily housing industry to provide actionable data and analytical tools that allow owners and operators to accurately assess and strengthen their position in the competitive marketplace. Since inception in 2015, the BI:Radix platform focuses on streamlining the market survey process to save time and money, while creating greater data consistency and broader collaboration within the organization. BI:Radix provides unique, intuitive insight on complex and ambiguous data, empowering users to improve performance through more informed decisions.

We are most proud of the fact that we strive to continuously improve as a company and challenge our customers to provide us with constant feedback on our platform. We take this feedback in stride and incorporate it into our products, which has made our company one that our clients rely on for information integrity, ease of use, and agility,

What sets us apart is that BI:Radix is the first fully web-based business intelligence tool that provides actionable insights on the competitive environment for the multifamily industry. We provide data at its most micro level which in return creates a more accurate picture of the macro environment for our clients.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
One’s biggest wealth is the family and friends around them who are constantly providing support, feedback, and constructive criticism while pursuing those goals. At times the journey can be frustratingly hard, dejecting, and often might seem solitary. While there is truth to all of this for any entrepreneur trying to start and grow a company, the reality is that it cannot be achieved without the help and support of the people around you. We have been lucky to have many supporters and advocates along the way who have gone out of their way to help us and if nothing else, morally support us. The list is long and I am not going to put names, but no doubt our families, loved ones, friends, and clients have helped – all in a way they could and knew best how to push us forward.

The one thing I have learned in this journey is that one truly never knows who will go out of their way to make an introduction, help with a reference, or support you in a way you never expected. The only way to payback any of it is by trying to be helpful to those around you whenever you have the opportunity without considerable thought as to “how they will pay me back”. Amongst many jargons in the Silicon Valley speak, the term “pay it forward” is a good one. It is worthwhile remembering that your network of friends is the single largest asset you will have.

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