Meet The Real Estate Tech Entrepreneur: Cyril Berdugo from Landis
In this week’s founder interview, we interviewed Cyril Berdugo from Landis.
Without further ado…
I’m the co-founder and CEO at Landis, a social impact-driven company with a mission to guide renters on their unique path to homeownership. We want to make the journey to owning a home more accessible, transparent and empowering.
Landis leverages data to create customized financial plans for our clients so that they can save more money, improve their debt-to-income ratio, increase their credit score, and build a stronger financial foundation. That way, they can then qualify for a mortgage to buy their dream home.
If someone isn’t mortgage-ready at first, Landis’ dynamic underwriting technology can determine whether they might qualify for a mortgage in the next 12-24 months. We give them a budget to choose a property, and then purchase it for them. At that point, the client moves into the home as a renter and is assigned a Landis Coach to work on getting a mortgage. As soon as the client is ready for a mortgage, they buy the house back from Landis and seamlessly transition from paying rent to owning the home and paying their mortgage.
What problem does your product/service solve?
Landis is determined to make strides in closing the wealth gap in the United States, where homeowners have a median net worth that’s 40x higher than renters, with home equity making up a significant component of that gap.
Banks and other firms are using underwriting standards that were set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac decades ago. Those guidelines focus on credit and the client’s income at the time they are borrowing, all with very strict criteria and a fairly narrow view of debt-to-income ratios. They underwrite based on a moment in time and the data they use is static.
As a company whose mission is to help everyone on their path to homeownership, Landis takes a more holistic view of a potential client’s financial data to truly understand their situation. Utilizing technology and data science, we analyze more information including bank statements to understand spending patterns and cash flow, detailed credit scores and their drivers, rental history, savings, etc. In contrast to other firms, we take a more dynamic view of where an applicant is today, where they will be in a few years and how they will get there using our coaching.
What are you most excited about right now?
We’ve made major investments in our technology and coaching capabilities over the last six months. These will enable us to help significantly more clients on their paths to homeownership. We just rolled out an entirely new product, Ally by Landis, for our real estate agent partners that will make the home buying process much more seamless. We also redesigned the client onboarding journey from scratch to be more user-friendly. With these new launches, we’ll be able to grow much faster and work with even more future homeowners and real estate agents.
What’s next for you?
As a company, we’re always looking to have more impact through deep, meaningful, bi-lateral partnerships. One area where we’re doing this in a big way is with lenders. Mortgage loan officers send us their clients who aren’t quite ready for a mortgage yet. We coach them, buy a home for them and get a mortgage later. We think this lender channel has a lot of potential.
As we look for more avenues to create homeownership, the company will continue to explore more partnerships with proptech companies in the broader real estate and mortgage tech sectors.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I’m really passionate about giving back and spend time every year deciding how I’d like to allocate my donations across the many charities that I’ve come to love. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about Landis is because we see the direct impact we have on our clients’ lives.
If I had to pick one cause it would have to be St. Jude. I don’t see much more meaningful work than treating the toughest childhood cancers and pediatric diseases. I’m so inspired by the brilliant doctors who work so hard to improve the lives of children. If you’re reading this, please consider donating. Even a small amount will make a difference.