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- Maureen Waters became a partner at MetaProp, a real estate tech venture capital firm that has has invested in companies that have raised $2 billion, on April 1, ‘right in the middle of the pandemic.’
- Waters has been a leader at the intersection of real estate and tech for years, including as president of Google-backed Ten-X, the largest online commercial real estate marketplace, powering over 90% of online sales.
- With her anticipated move from her hometown of San Francisco to New York halted by the pandemic, Waters instead temporarily moved to Seattle before deciding to split her time between there and the east coast.
- ‘The first hour of my day is probably by far the most important,’ Waters told Business Insider. That’s when she catches up with colleagues and LPs in many different time zones, answers urgent emails, and sets her goals for the day.
- The rest of Waters’ daily routine includes a lot more emails — hundreds, she says — along with multiple cups of coffee and time to focus.
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Maureen Waters has been a major player at the intersection of tech and real estate for years.
After working at Cushman & Wakefield for 15 years, she went on to work as the head of real estate and asset management at Bill Gates Investments, and then as the president of Ten-X, an online giant in the commercial real estate space. (The Google-backed Ten-X is an online commercial real estate marketplace that powers over 90% of online sales.)
On April 1, “right in the middle of the pandemic,” Waters said, she signed on for a new challenge as one of four partners at MetaProp, a New-York based venture capital firm that focuses on proptech and has invested in companies that have raised $2 billion. The offices were already closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, so she had to navigate a lot of change — and responsibility — entirely remotely.
“I was all set to relocate back to New York from San Francisco, my hometown, but decided to hold off until things calmed down,” Waters told Business Insider. “Consequently, I shut things down in San Francisco and moved to Seattle to be closer to my son.” MetaProp adopted a “work from anywhere” policy while she was in Seattle, so she was recently able to decide to split her time between Seattle and New York.
Waters said that coming into MetaProp, she was determined to maintain a daily schedule packed with meetings, emails, and workshops. “I’ve always had a detailed schedule,” she said. “I find it easier to be organized with deadlines.”
But even for Waters, adjusting to a remote schedule required her to focus on flexibility.
“The first hour of my day is probably by far the most important,” she explained. During this time, she catches up with her colleagues and LPs around the world. Since many are in different time zones, it’s important that she uses that hour to answer urgent emails and set up her goals for the day.
- Early start to catch up with colleagues and LPs on the East Coast, in Asia, and in Europe.
- Review goals for the day from my journal the night before while making coffee — an espresso, but sometimes even two (good coffee is a must!) Ready “to crush milestones,” our MetaProp mantra.
7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Partners’ meeting during which we review potential investments, LP, and portfolio company updates
- Time for more coffee
- Peruse the headlines, sometimes I even read an article or two (some selected favorites: Axios, GlobeSt, Business Insider, and HBR). Some days, when I need a little levity, I (not so) secretly keep up with Meghan and Harry.
9 a.m. to noon
- Onboarding a new LP. Think of this like a welcome party to the MetaProp family when an LP begins its engagement with our Investor Services team.
Noon to 1 p.m.
- Gotta get out of the house — I like to take walks around the neighborhood to clear my head. I regularly call and catch up with family on the East Coast, too. A calm mind is a productive mind.
1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Innovation Workshop with LP
- Build an innovation strategy including a framework that integrates Corporate and Asset Strategy with a PropTech Strategy. An innovation audit that helps us understand the current state and long-term innovation goals and initiatives of our LPs. Ultimately, we define the roadmap for a customized Innovation Ecosystem.
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Emails, emails, emails — I get several hundred emails a day
- Time to focus — thoughtful, creative work takes dedication and persistence
5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Socializing with the MetaProp Family, virtually of course, at happy hour
- Zoom session with my trainer — if you’re reading this, apologies to my downstairs neighbor!
- I specifically block this time to make and/or eat dinner with my family. We always gather around a set table, without any distractions, and talk about the day and its news. Especially during the pandemic, I find time with my family immensely valuable and grounding.
8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- And to the couch! My family and I are currently watching “Homeland.” We all look forward to watching the next episode — and escaping the day for a short time. When Homeland gets a little too heavy, we turn to Disney movies. We last watched the new Mulan, which I really enjoyed.
10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- The next day starts the night before.
- I make a point of getting to bed early, putting my phone aside, reflecting on what I accomplished that day, and creating a plan of action for the next day.
- I try to spend 30 minutes reading before shutting down. I am currently enjoying “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson.
- If I am extra tired, I love Blinkist — short and sweet. If need a little extra help dozing off, I scroll through “the Gram.”
- Off to bed — good rest is success.